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Old 08-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
McRuss OP
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Colorado on a KLR, August 2011

There's an old saying that "if you are going to be stupid, you had better be tough." So I must be tough since I was stupid enough to ride the KLR from my home to Colorado and then through the mountains there before riding it home, a total of 2713.5 miles (according to my GPS) over two weeks. I spent three days in Durango during which I did not ride it and two days in Denver, also not riding it those days. I averaged over 55 MPG with lows in the 40s on the return trip and highs in the 60s while plodding through the dirt roads in the mountains.

Old Lime Creek Road between Durango and Silverton

The focus of the trip was meeting up with Colorado Chuck and some other friends in Paonia, Colorado, during the BMW rallye, July 28th through the 31st. We camped in the city park as usual which meant I had to lug the equivalent of a small passenger with me. I no longer am content to 'rough it' so I camp with a very nice but fairly heavy cot, mattress pad, sleeping bag and extra liner in the event of cold (not a problem this year!) But all in all, it was a good trip, two 500 mile days each way with plenty of rest in between.

View from Garvin Mesa north of Paonia. Good photographer, caught a mirror and some cows without even knowing it!

One of the beautiful lakes on Garvin Mesa

The West Elk Mountains from Kebler Pass between Paonia and Crested Butte

The Ragged Mountains from Kebler Pass

Chuck and I did have a very interesting ride from Paonia back to his place in Aurora: We left Paonia about 7:45 Sunday morning, riding to the top of Kebler Pass and then down Ohio Pass towards Gunnison. We cut across to Highay 135 and had a late breakfast in Almont before heading up over Spring Creek Pass (and a visit to Spring Creek Reservoir) and down to the Taylor Park Trading Post. It was here that I discovered the bolt and spacer holding my SuperTrapp had departed for parts unknown. We asked Roy Cranor (proprietor of the Trading Post and one the the nicest guys you will ever meet) for a piece of baling wire to wire it up until we could get to a hardware store. He cut us off a chunk of wire and then told us he had a few bolts if we thought we could make do with one of them. A few bolts? How about two large bins, one with a very nice assortment of bolts, nuts, and washers; the other with the same assortment but in metric! We sorted through the metric bins and came up with just what I needed to make the fix (permanent now I think.) When I asked how much I owed him, he said "Oh, how about $.50?" We gave him a dollar, about what the bolt alone would cost anywhere else! Anyway, with that adventure out of the way, we headed south over Cumberland Pass to Pitkin, then Wanita Pass and Black Sage Passes and finally, Old Monarch Pass. We hit payment near the Monarch Ski Area and made our way into Salida where we spent the night in a motel, not wanting to unpack a tent and gear for one night. Plus, we both really wanted a shower (not that we needed one...)

Monday morning we left about 7:30 and having found an interesting route on the map the night before, headed for a dirt road on the north edge of Salida. This road, Chaffee County Road 175, took us up, up, up to a crest overlooking the valley at the foot of the Collegiate Mountain Range between Salida and Buena Vista. We continued down from the crest, paralleling the Arkansas River on Fremont County Road 2. This road is a beautiul dirt road that could almost be mistaken for pavement it was so smooth. We followed it for about 30 miles before coming out on Colorado Highway 9 which took us shortly to Fremont County 11. About 10 miles later we turned off on Freemont County Road 69 which became a fairly faint twin track before T-ing into an unnamed road. We though it was Red Canyon Road (from the map) but it was a very little used 4X4 road and it was all I wanted with the loaded KLR.

Freemont County 2

One of the good places on the unnamed road!

Eventually it came out on Shelf Road, our goal, which took us to Cripple Creek for lunch.

The Shelf Road between Canon City and Cripple Creek

From there it was pavement to Deckers by way of Woodland Park. We sat out a downpour in Deckers before continuing up over Rampart Range and on in to Aurora to Chuck's house. We had one stretch of 3 miles of dirt that was muddy and VERY slick from the rain. I almost lost it on a couple of occasions and could just see me trying to pick up the KLR in the mud. Would have been like wrestling with a pig in a mud hole! Three days later, with a clean bike, I rode home to Lakehills.

McRuss screwed with this post 08-01-2012 at 01:05 PM
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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Thats a beautiful area in the west elk wilderness. Been there a few times elk hunting. Looks like a great ride!
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
cycles is a mean toy
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I cannot read the font because of the color.....
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:02 PM   #4
McRuss OP
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Location: Texas Hill Country
Oddometer: 246
Originally Posted by Hetzel88 View Post
I cannot read the font because of the color.....
Ahhhh....didn't dawn on me because I have the black/grey screen. Will fix that! (I copied the text from my website which is also black background.)
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