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Old 07-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #256
Gaston Gagne OP
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We can ride when it's wet or when it gets wetter.







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Old 08-07-2012, 09:08 AM   #257
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In spite of having made plans for this trip months ago, getting ready had a certain feel of spontaneity to it. Our refigerator stopped working the day before we left. Thank goodness it didn't quit a day later! I didn't have my truck ready to roll until 5:30 the day before. When we awoke at 5 the next morning, it was in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, and the power went out. I said, "If there's a tree across the neighborhood entrance, that's it. We're staying home." No kidding, our egress from the neighborhood was blocked by a tree. We could have gotten past the tree, but there were wires in it, so we used the neighbor's driveway.

Then drive like hell.




This is NOT going to help us stay awake, and I'll never feel the same about white bread again.




Note the grease stains on the box.




Layla once again found the sweet spot in a Kansas wheatfield to snooze. We woke up and got to Denver around 9:30. Breakfast burritos at Tijuana Tacos.

This point of the narrative introduces some friends we haven't seen in almost 20 years and some friends we have never seen because they weren't alive in 1996. Arapaho is an inmate here and hopefully will add details I may forget. We went to their house in Frisco and caught up on old times and new. We were slightly hung over from the ride so we did a nice walk to Rainbow Lake.

I got up the next morning and assembled bicycles and then headed out on the DRZ to Georgia Pass. Nice ride for a random side road. No pictures as I forgot the camera because I was in such a hurry.

I got back for an awesome breakfast and we got our stuff ready for a bike ride. Pigtails and helmets. These guys rock!





At 9000+ feet, we are sucking wind.




Layla used to pilot one of these bad boys.




A quick stop for some souvenirs.




Our objective.





No, wait, we still have ground to cover. Sugar Lips mini donuts does most of its business selling zipline tickets, but they will whip up a fresh batch for you.




Good thing Copper Mountain is uphill from the house. We had to weave in and out of raindrops on the way back.




OK, now that we're acclimated to the altitude, it's time to head up even higher for a more remote location. We'll need supplies up there because the store is far away.




Arapaho got his work out of the way and rolled out his 525. We rode into a nasty storm that soaked us on the way up.




The view from the porch. The cloud shows here were superlative.




Here is a gratuitous motorcycle shot from the next day's ride.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:53 PM   #258
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arapaho and I got a relatively early start and headed up Humbug Hill, which offers this nice view of French Gulch.




The downside of Humbug led us over to the road up to Georgia Pass.




We then headed out for Glacier Peak. My guide explained to me that this road would become a non-motorized route in the near future.

We're going where?





If I'm not mistaken, the peak in the background is Glacier Peak.










That climb up onto the shoulder there was pretty tough.





Insert wheezing sound effect here.




My guide.




We then turned back for Georgia Pass to head down to Jefferson.







We made a brief stop in Jefferson before heading up one of the forks of the South Platte and Webster Pass.





This is beginning to look interesting.








Just as things got really interesting, we met two jeep vehicles coming down the road, and there was not enough room for me to let them by. I had to turn around and fnd a bit of an alcove and lean my bike in there and then find one for myself a little farther down the hill.







We were keeping out eye on this thunderstorm blowing up the valley.




While we were sitting at the top, a really strong wind began to blow at our backs, pushing the storm back down the valley away from us.


From the top, Radical Hill looks pretty tough and scary. We went over the pass and came to the split in the road and decided that we could always turn around if we didn't like the look of things. It was pretty tough, but we made it. In fact, araphaho made this final climb look easy. I had to push a bit. Insert wheezing sound effect again.





We were greeted by some jeepers and these guys.








We did another short out and back before dropping back down a really fun road into the Swan Valley.





I think we got about 80 miles in for the day. Just amazing. Thanks to arapaho for the guidance and company.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #259
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love it!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne View Post
I think we got about 80 miles in for the day. Just amazing. Thanks to arapaho for the guidance and company.
My pleasure. Thank you. Come again.

I did most of the trail parts of this by myself again this weekend on the trials bike. 3 hours of non-stop standing up. I was whipped by the time I got home.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #261
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Outstanding ride there Phil and Phil! Thanks for the post!

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:49 AM   #262
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So, you just pack up and go to Colorado like it's nothing?

Awesome!

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:55 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arapaho View Post
My pleasure. Thank you. Come again.

I did most of the trail parts of this by myself again this weekend on the trials bike. 3 hours of non-stop standing up. I was whipped by the time I got home.

I bet you were whipped when you got home. I almost never stand up. My dad used to yell at me for it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:25 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Gaston Gagne View Post



.
sweet
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:17 AM   #265
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A little bit of bicycling. Those donuts left me in a sugar crash coma, so I left my shoes at the house. Missing today's ride is not an option, so I'll just do it in street shoes.




It's easier to push in those shoes anyway.





We huffed and puffed our way up Little French Gulch to the top of Humbug.










We worked our way down into Swan Valley again.

We climbed a road to the Colorado Trail. Fun stuff, that is, after we climbed a bunch.













This fellow knows how close you are to a punctured lung out there.

'


I also learned on this trip about the dredge mining. They were boat/shovels that dug their own bodies of water.




After dinner, it was time for some local reconnaisance.




I got to ride the 525.







In short order we came upon moto singletrack that will have to wait until morning because of the failing light.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:46 AM   #266
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Daylight Donuts is great.





We more or less made a beeline for the trailhead that we saw the evening before.





I want to marry a girl who can climb steep singletrack hill with slick, wet root steps. Layla was killing it even though she hasn't been on a motorcycle in months.












The Swan Valley side of Humbug Hill has jumps and bank shots. Fun stuff!





That 525 is ridiculous.






According to Juha's dirt skills video that I recently watched, I should be stepping the rear end out, using the berm at the top to limit the rear wheel drift.





We worked our way up a motorcycle trail toward Georgia Pass.









At Georgia Pass, arapaho had to turn around to get back to work.





Jefferson, CO




My incessant babbling about Webster Pass was enough to convince Layla to go for the big loop.









Totally a bluebird day, right? Let's' have a tea party at the pass.





Uh, maybe not.





We took a pass on Radical Hill and headed down into Montezuma. It was awfully nice of arapaho to let me use his motorcycle, which was very fun, by the way.




After some delicious sandwiches at Prost, we headed to the Frisco bike park. The town/city of Frisco has established a public facility dedicated to bicycles and skateboards.

I'm quite confident that these two will be schooling us in short order.







Another two ride day.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #267
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The next day we did a shuttle run of Peaks Trail.






















Back in Frisco.




I could hang out here indefinitely, but we must get going. Onward to Steamboat Springs.




We only made it as far as Wolcott. Fortunately there is a nice little campground right next to the Eagle River. As it got dark we saw lights on the cliff on the other side of the river and heard shouts. They didn't sound like distress shouts, so we didn't call the authorities. It turned out to be some climbers doing their thing after dark.

We ran into Eagle for gasoline.




Wolcott was a good place to spend the night. arapaho had told me about Bocco Mountain. Layla went into Edwards to do some looking around. I headed up CO 131 to check it out. I stopped in at Above and Beyond 4x4 Adventures, where a guide gave me some key beta.

Mystic Seaport is --> that way.





Much different vibe here. It's sagey, deserty kind of terrain.






Very fun trails. The loop is laid out on top of a plateau and occasionally drops over the side of the plateau. The piece of info that I got from the jeep guide was that downhills were a good indicator of what I would have to go back up.









I worked my way southward to the edge of the plateau right over I-70. This is where the dropoff became intimidating. I could also see our laundry hanging in camp below. Remember: we can always turn around.




A little scouting on foot.




I could probably get up this if I really had to, but I'm here to have fun, and I have a meeting time.





So I rode the other side of the loop back around to the same escarpment.








There are billions of these flowers.










Here we are on the east end of the escarpment. Swallows appear to have nests in those rocks up there.




We made it to Steamboat that afternoon. Ahhh, the Safeway parking lot. This is the takeout for the lower section of Fish Creek, which one might dismiss as lame because it runs through a golf course and town.




Let's sling a little mud, girl.

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Old 08-11-2012, 06:09 PM   #268
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Layla and I have been to a number of hot springs resorts, and this one blows them all away. We first came here in 2005 and have watched the development. It just gets better and better.










We rented one of the rustic cabins.




You can poach a soak in the creek if you come up from Mad Creek. If Hot Springs Creek were much higher, this wouldn't be so pleasant. In fact, this year, the cold cycle in the tubbing process was sort of weak with the low water.





The next morning I got on it early. I took the truck and set it at the Mad Creek parking lot, so Layla could finish a bicycle ride there. I headed up CR 129.

Indicator of clean living number 8, Hahn's Peak in your viewfinder.




Hang a left onto 1156, aka Prospector.




It was pretty wet there, this morning. If fact a few of the hills were really slippery.










Maybe some people get jaded riding through aspens, but I find their entertainment value very high.

I recognized this one aspen grove that had head high undergrowth the year before. It was there, but it was flattened on the ground. Wow, that must have been some microburst. No, it's a huge flock of sheep.




There's one in every crowd.




Shortly after encountering these guys, my path was crossed by a bounding moose. Every time I see one, I can't believe how big they are.









I owe whoever did this a six pack. After I slipped and crashed my way down a long hill, I encountered this. I didn't look to see if a ride around would have been feasible, but certainly, going back up that hill would have been an act of desperation.







Prospector brings you to Nipple Peak Trail. To the left is quad legal trail that brings you to a trailhead that would be a tremendous place to camp.




I did that as an out and back.










To the right, Nipple Peak is motorcycle only singletrack and the only trail I know that is as good as Prospector.

This name was carved into several logs. The person with the saw??












The aliens left behind a trail map.








At the Nipple Peak Trailhead, I picked up the series of 1149s that took me over to FS 550, the main road to Wyoming.




I then took Ellis Trail back to Steamboat Lake. Last year, Ellis was the semi-bumpy runout to a whole day of epic riding. This year, I fell twice on the rocky uphill.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #269
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too much fun...


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Old 08-12-2012, 07:20 AM   #270
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I have to say, you sure know how to live.

I'm with you on the Aspens, too. I think they're really neat.
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