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Old 06-25-2009, 11:19 AM   #16
DolphinJohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321
]No bother, just check out the GPS, re-route around it, and get back on the trail as quickly as possible![/SIZE][/FONT]


On a better day:
This is what that crossing looked like about a week or two before Ike.



There must've been some serious water rushing through there.
Great report so far. Keep it coming!!






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Old 06-25-2009, 12:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpt4321

This was a sad morning for me, as I lost my beloved lexan spork while washing our dishes after a hearty meal. I was later able to track down some new plastic cutlery, but I am still yet to find a replacement for my spork.
The BEST Spork in the world.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:28 PM   #18
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Great stuff
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
DauntlessDave
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More Please!

Too bad about the spork. I camp with one too (though not a fnacy titanium one.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #20
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Day 9. Ophir Creek, CO, to Mt. Princeton, CO

Discussing the actions of the previous night at some later date in time, Owen and I agreed that it was both the best and worst night of our trip thus far. Indeed, it was miserable at the time, but it's what adventures are all about.

Luckily the weather the following morning was actually quite nice; around 10 AM, as we were ending our gear-drying and packing up to go, the sun started to come up over the mountaintops and cast a warm glow into the campground.

The day's ride was quite nice. We were doing the real rocky mountain thing at this point, riding on gorgeous mountain trails, with scenic views all around. At this point the trails were great quality, and we were just cruising, have a great time.


We cruised down into Salida, and what a cool little place. After our adventures over the past few days, we decided that we deserved a treat, so we stopped at a cool little joint for some burritos and beer. We headed out of town, with the goal of staying in a camground at the foot of the mountains. The weather was starting a look a little hairy at this point, but with camp close by, we were not so worried.



At the campground, we had one of those experiences that makes travel like this so interesting. While setting up camp, a couple folks towing a RV rolled through, looking for a camsite; much to their chagrin, we had taken the last site. We rolled out to the local general store to buy some beer, and on our way back out we ran into the same group. They kindly asked if we would mind sharing the site with them, offering to pay the site feed and provide us with food and drink. Due to sheer chance, we ended up spending the rest of the evening sitting around a fire with a pair of 40's couples, drinking and sharing stories.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:24 AM   #21
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Great so far, good luck with the weather !

hang'n on the side here ... can't wait for the next installment
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:53 AM   #22
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Looking good...
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:37 PM   #23
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Good stuff indeed. Owen, I hope your XR is ready to get dirty on Sunday.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:08 AM   #24
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Great report! Thank you.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:26 AM   #25
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Those teriyaki beef nuggs are a godsend. I live off those at work sometimes. Good for an easy meal and they'll last for ever in that bag.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullmonte
Good stuff indeed. Owen, I hope your XR is ready to get dirty on Sunday.
Oh I am sooooooo ready... if it will hold oil...
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #27
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Day 10: Mt Princeton, CO to Telluride CO

We awoke to a light shower in the morning, and Owen to a throbbing head indicating that he had too much to drink. The rain stopped as soon as we were done packing up, of course, but I don't think Owen's headache did.

Today was one of the most anticipated days of our trip; it was the day we would be riding over the Rocky Mountains, including the continental divide. Over the course of the day we would ride numerous mountain passes, including Hancock, Tomichi, Cinnamon, Hurricane, and California. First up was Hancock.

Riding out of camp, the roads were fantastic, and it was clear that this was a popular area for ATVs, as there were quite a few trucks towing quads on the road. We got a bit lost going through a little town at the foot of Mt. Princeton (Nathrop, maybe?), and ended up taking a blocked-off trail up to the road we were supposed to be on. The views were already getting good:




We rode under the classic leaning building, but we figured we'd seen enough pictures of that in TAT reports. :)

The road up to Hancock pass started to deteriorate, and in no time we were riding a pretty rough trail with a good bit of loose boulders:




After this, the trail got even worse, and we stopped taking pictures. I was surprised that we had not heard about this section in the numerous ride reports we had seen; I am sure it would have been significantly easier on a real dirt bike without all the luggage, so perhaps the bigger bikes had been taking the dual-sport bypass?

Difficulties notwithstanding, we made it to the pass, which is along the continental divide; the magnitude of where we were, and the views, made all of the pain getting up worth the trouble.


From here we dropped back down, and then went up through Tomichi pass, which was a more enjoyable ride, although it did not offer the same sense of accomplishment as crossing the continental divide. We cruised back down the west side of the mountains, and stopped in Sargents to warm up with a hot bowl of chili.

Out of Sargent, we had a very enjoyable ride through some high plains, between the continental divide and the San Juan Mountains. We had been riding for quite a few hours at this point, and the combination of a hangover, the rough trail up to Hancock, the cold, and the altitude left Owen feeling a little sub-par:


All day, the roads and goegraphy were nothing short of brilliant:


before dropping down into Lake City, there was a scenic vista from highway 149, which offered the following panarama:


It was hard to complain about the little bit of pavement that we did ride; the road into Lake City, for example (I believe it was 149...) was a seemingly endless roller-coaster of switchbacks and hairpins, all beneath the beauty of the towering mountains.

After filling up with fuel, we began the ascent to Cinnamon Pass, which is one of my fondest memories from the trip. The road up was rather enjoyable, offering just enough of a challenge to be fun, without adding to the beatings we had taken in the morning, and the view from the top was arguably one of the best of the entire jouney.

On the way up:




The bikes at Cinnamon Pass:


The view from the top:


In the middle of September, there was still snow remaining from the previous winter:


After Cinnamon Pass, we rode through a few more passes (including the high point of the trip, at either California or Hurricane pass, I can't remember which), and a few abandoned mining towns. I found the desolation and ruggedness of the San Juan Mountains to be significantly more appealing than the busier mountains to the east.




At this point, however, it had started to get quite late, which, coupled with the fairly early sunset at this time of year, had me beginning to worry. We hurried out of the mountaintops, down to highway 550 near Ouray. In the fading light of day, we climbed yet more amazing pavement, and then hit the dirt towards Ophir. By the time we hit the dirt, our headlights were providing more illumination than the sun, and soon we were traversing steep slopes with loose gravel switchbacks by headlight, a very uncomfortable exercise. We eventually picked our way into Ophir, passing through in the darkness and quiet of night, and the town appeared perhaps a bit spooky.

When we hit the pavement of route 145, we had a hard decision to make. We could go left, continue on the trail, and try to find a place to camp, or we could go right, ride into Telluride, where there was sure to be a bed and a hot shower waiting. In light of the day's events, we (somewhat begrudgingly) made the decision to ride into Telluride for a room. Telluride is a gorgeous (albeit expensive) town, and in hindsight I am glad to have been able to see it.

After a hot shower and clothes washing, and a gourmet dinner cooked by camp stove on the room's carpet, we passed out, planning to ride towards Moab in the morning.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:55 PM   #28
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Nice report Kyle. Always like seeing the pic of the slick road in east Arkansas where you both took the spill. I know that road well. It is about 3 miles north of Marvell and about 10 miles from my house. That road is probably pictured in half a dozen TAT trip reports. When it is wet it is slick.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #29
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Nice pics. Looks like a great trip. We went to Moab this year instead of Colorado. I like the temps in Colorado much better. Riding the wind here in Kansas.

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Old 06-27-2009, 05:52 PM   #30
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I'm re living it. Funny how I reconize each and every photo location and it brings back pleasant memories. Thanks fellas ! Keep it coming.
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