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Old 09-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
f650gsa OP
de la Mobra la BMW
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Joined: May 2006
Location: crook county
Oddometer: 550
No Name Adventure

Let's start then with many thanks to - for providing Continental Divide Trail GPS Files , -GSL- for 50/50 passes in Colorado , -Brent4ADV- for having me two years ago on TAT and shared some routes with me , myself -f650gsa- , my girlfriend D. and my local ridding buddies .
So this trip was done SOLO in 15 days and about 6000 miles , half off-road the other half on the road connecting trails and my home . It consisted in a section of CDT ( continental divide trail ) from half way of Montana down to border of Colorado/ New Mexico , some mountain passes in Colorado of the 50/50 ride that is presented on , some sections of TAT ( Trans American Trail) and some put together by me while being on the trip since I end up with more time left than planned .
I will present the adventure in one single post and it might take few days to have it done . I have no clue what interest I will get to it and I will apologize for now if my replays to any questions will come late . Also some wording might be different that what you used too since I wasn't originally born in US so I am still working on my English .
The whole trip was EPIC and I will do my best in presenting it in detail, hopefully I could answer all the questions with all the pics that I have taken . I rode my trusted GS 650 converted into a Dakar with 53k miles at the end of the trip and this is the only dirt bike I have ever owned so basically I learn all my off-road skills on it .

Here WE GO !

Day 1 Chicago to somewhere in North Dakota

About 960 miles and my firs day camping . Long day but I had a great weather and at all the time I had wind from the back .

first night of camping

Day 2 Somewhere in North Dakota to Butte Montana 650 miles

It started as a very foggy morning so for at least 2 hours I could barely ride and the visibility probably was less than 20 feet . On my way to Butte I passed by Theodore Roosevelt NP where I took few pics then as soon as I entered Montana it became very windy . I made it to the Continental Divide Trail and did about 20 miles then decided that I should stop at the nearest camp ground to get some rest .

Theodore Roosevelt NP

Continental Divide Scenic Look-Out

second night of camping

Day 3 - Down the Continental Divide Trail to Tetons NP

From here on it's kind of hard to keep up with exact locations since I had some trouble with the GPS and my directions weren't as good as I thought . So I hope pics will take care of most of the talking . Most of the terrain was fairly easy except when it stared raining and the gravel turns into mud so traction wasn't very good .

sunrise on some mountain peaks

The Old Bannack Road

The Old Bannack Road

The Old Bannack Road

The Old Bannack Road

Some local rider from Idaho that I came across on his KTM 690

and myself

some awesome road

and another one

then a National Forest Road closure that I decided is not wort the trouble to trespass

some National Forest Road that is located in between Yellowstone NP and Tetons NP

Tetons NP - will be a very interesting night possibly very cold

Day 4 Tetons NP to Rawlins

It has been a very cold rainy night -32 F- and I wasn't ready for it . I tried to start as early as possible but my GPS would not work because of the cold so I would ride for a while then stop and have my GPS warm up against the engine . The scenery that I have been trough was amazing and at times I would do 70 miles/hour on some of the roads . Sometimes way to fast because of the sand pockets and some water washouts that almost caused me to crash badly . I was able to control the bike and pull it out of trouble . Also since my 2610 GPS doesn't have the maps updated I had some trouble finding some roads so I end up going at times just on a straight line over bushes to a main road that I will see ahead . Overall a very good day and I saw for the first time bears in the wild . Whoo Whoo!

32F overnight

GPS warm -up

a mama bear with two cubs

Be aware of road work around here , the road could be worse than the trail itself . I helped this guy get out of the mud on this section - not easy pushing that much of a bike .

a bit of rain again and the road gets very slippery

Great Divide Basin

There is absolutely none around here , kind of freaky

Day 5 Rawlins WY to Salida CO

This has been too long of a day , I pushed it until midnight riding the last section barely seeing the trail at all . I used the GPS zoom as a guidance in the dark otherwise I would have probably missed one of the turns and crash . It stared again very cold at KOA in Rawlins where I meet 4 other guys from Alabama doing CDT . Once again a very scenic day with a creek crossing , some Private Property Trespassing and taking apart the barb wire plus a section with no road at all --- GPS you say ! The trail started being a little more difficult and some of the roads that I took were different than the ones CDT .

cold again

some riders from Alabama doing CDT

mice nest that I have disturbed

GPS warm up

60 miles an hour gravel road

fooling around on some farmer outhouse


sheep herd

Hose from Chile who's taking care of the sheep heard , very nice guy

on my way to a Private Propriety and barely no road at all

Now I am there and I have two choices - go back 20 miles or take the barb wire apart and ride down the mountain 3 miles . Option two was the best choice !

a bit sceptical what if I came across the owner

and I made it to the last gate safely , now I am in Colorado

small creek crossing

over some Pass that I can't remember it's name

now it's getting dark and I am still riding

Day 6 Salida Co to Alamosa CO

After a long day yesterday I planned to take it a bit easier and get some energy back but this day proved to be one son of gun , had a flat on Marshall Pass and crashed on a easy section doing about 45 k/h where the road was poorly marked .
So I started climbing Marshall Pass where I came across 3 adv members that were riding TAT . We exchange few words took few pics then down the mountain we go . I stopped to take another pic and what a surprise my bike wouldn't go any further , looked on the rear tire and it's completely flat . Three hours later the tire and tube are brand spankin new and now I am running front TKC and rear Dunlop D606 . I was told that those Dunlops are great but not in my case - very loud , unstable at any speed over 50k/h and dose not grip well on gravel. That's a total disappointment and besides that I will need to get a spare rear tube since the old one has two huge holes in it .

that's where I am going -to the top

Marshall Pass

one last pic before the flat

that's one big nail , can't miss it and my tire is shoot too

it appears to be one of those nails used on horse-shoes

sunbathing while changing the tire

on the road again

not anymore , don't always follow GPS directions

back on the road

Now what ! While riding down the mountain doing about 45k/h I came across this section where they push all the excess gravel and I thought that's the road . I was way wrong and when I realized that I will go in the ditch I locked the brakes , bike spun out 180 facing the other way while I was still on the bike and the left side bag hit me on my butt . Got up really quick and WTF was this . All this happened next to a house and it appeared that the owner heard all the crunching noise so he came out to see what happened . I told him the story and looking one more time at the road he said " You right , It is confusing ! " . Fixed it and now I am on my way to Alamosa to get a new rear tube from a Yamaha Dealer . Thanks God I was OK !
Got in Alamosa where I got that rear tube as a spare then I looked for a cheap campground where I can change the oil and leave my old tire behind . And done , the bike is ready for another 3k !

Day 7 Alamosa CO to CO/NM state border than Durango

My last day on The Continental Divide and scenery didn't change at all . You just want to stop every two minutes and take photos . Not a bad day as the day before but I still had some trouble . It rained , I got lost on my way to Summitville because of a my stupid GPS and poor road signs then my clutch cable broke . I guess everything happens for a reason and both my flat and the clutch cable happened while stopped to take pics . Meet a hunter on my way to Summitville that gave me some directions and helped me out changing the clutch cable .

to Summitville

one more pic of the mountain

then my clutch cable broke

now it's raining

a road blockage by some cattle relocation

Cumbres Pass and I am on Rio Grande Scenic Rail Road

Impressive , Old and still running

On my way from Chama NM to Durango CO

Day 8 Durango CO to Silverton CO

This has been a hell of a day and could have been worse . My Continental Divide Trail is over and now I am attempting to go over some passes that I couldn't do two years ago due to some mechanical problems and crashes . The next few days are part of some GPS files that I got from one of our members GSL and it's called 50 passes in 50 hours ( 50/50) . I am a bit worried about it and it's good that I am , after all it's Colorado and some of this passes are not easy especially for bigger bike . The day started on rt550 with couple of some passes that are on pavement from Durango to Silverton . Then I went over Ophir Pass to Telluride back over the same pass to Ouray then on some nasty road to Engineer Mountain heading to Lake City . This was bad , I dropped the bike numerous time , lost my tent and my water supply , hasle for about 10 minutes on a very rocky section then when I got to the point where the road splits I made a wrong turn and end up towards Mineral Point rather than Engineer Pass/ Cinnamon Pass . Now I am fucked and can't get the bike out off a steep climb with bunch of boulders around . Dropped the bike 4 times on the left then once on the right on a stupid boulder that crushed my radiator and now all the coolant is leaking out . Now it's even worse no water , no food , no cellphone reception ,no tent to try and see if I could camp out and fix it overnight at 11000 ft . Meet a guy that gave me four empty plastic bottles so I could get some creek water for my broken radiator and some good water to cool down then with some directions from him I made up the mountain up to the point where I could ride down to Silverton again have the bike fixed and maybe buy a new tent . Done deal and now I have to ride few minutes at the time so I do not ruin the engine or at times where is down the hill no engine at all . After about two hours I am back in Silverton from Engineer mountain exhausted and in need of help . First step -I need a tent and luckily I get a Coleman from a local store , Second step - find a campground in the city near local stores where I could work on the bike and have cell phone reception -Red Mountain Cabins did it and helped me out too with some supplies , Third step call my GF to have my spare radiator ready to be shipped in case I can't fix this one then call my local riding buddy and a member of this forum "kion" to post on and and see if someone around Silverton has a spare one to borrow then I will have my spare one shipped directly to them . Within a half hour I get a call from "Tha Rick " that has one and he's willing to ship it to me from North Springs CO . WOW isn't that amazing and fast too ! Thank You ! . Now I could get another radiator if I have too in a fairly short time but I 'll wait until morning to see if I could fix mine . Bike is apart and there is a huge split at the point where plastic and aluminum binds . I am glad that it's not punctured and I hope I could fix it . The bad part is that the only place that had some epoxy is closed so I'll have to improvise using some heavy duty tape . I am very tired at this point and decided to have the bike put back together in the morning and hopefully my quick fix will last .
Good Night and because of the situation there aren't any pics of the bad sections -too tired and frustrated.

lookout on rt 550

rt 550

rt 550

the new Tenere in Silverton - NICE !

Up to Ophir PASS

and I made it

now paying some respect to the pass

looking down at Telluride from Ophir Pass

a dead end road that I took to a nice waterfall

rt 550 lookout

rt 550

old mining towns

Up to Hell I am going ( can't remember the name of it but it goes from Ouray over Engineer Mountain to Lake City)

Now I have a broken radiator and I am heading down to Silverton to have it fixed .

taking a quick brake so I won't overheat the engine -The Light is On anyway

taking the bike apart

my damaged radiator

f650gsa screwed with this post 09-10-2010 at 08:45 AM
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
f650gsa OP
de la Mobra la BMW
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Joined: May 2006
Location: crook county
Oddometer: 550
No Name Adventure part II

Part II

Day 9 Silverton CO to Lake City CO then Montrose CO

Got up early so I could finish the bike and hopefully my quick fix will hold . After few test rides around on Silverton streets it looks like no leaks at all so the ride is ON again . Up the mountain again to Lake City over Cinnamon Pass then from there all the way on back roads to Montrose . Good day with no problems at all and I definitely need it a easy day . Down the mountain I meet a guy from Ohio on a 1200 adv that rode with me for half day testing his new bike on some of the gravel roads .

up the mountain again looking down at Animas Forks

Cinnamon Pass

riding down the pass to Lake City

some of this turns aren't very easy

same spot where I crashed two years ago on TAT and broke my panniers rack so I had to return back to Lake City and have it welded

the guy from Ohio that I meet

Looking at Crystal reservoir near Black Canyon of Gunnison NP

down on the bottom of the Black Canyon of Gunnison

camping out just outside of Montrose CO on my new tent

Day 10 Montrose CO to Moab UT

From this point on I am on my own with no maps ready so I will just have to improvise . From Montrose CO I rode down to Nucla CO on Old Hwy 90 an unpaved road that is not very easy to ride when wet . From Nucla all the way to Moab UT hopefully I could get on The White Rim Trail in Canyonlands NP . That wasn't the case because of a major road damage that occurred 10 days earlier due to a storm and completely destroyed a section of the road . I could ride 100 miles in then come back the same way but I wasn't in the mood for it and instead I did Shaffer Trail and fooled around on some TAT sections that I did before until I dropped the bike again and broke the brake lever . I decided that is time to get back in Moab , find a campground , clean up and do some laundry . Found a nice campground just outside of Moab where I came across two riders from Australia on a 650 Dakar and 650 DR touring North America . Very nice guys and I got from them a nice AUS advrider sticker . Thank You

Manti LaSal NF

Shaffer Trail - UT

looking down at Colorado River

it has been a very windy day with a lot of sand storms

some sections of the road aren't very great and is not as easy as it looks

fooling around on some deep sand until I broke the brake lever

adv AUSTRALIA - received from two riders on their North American Adventure

Day 11 Moab UT to Rangely CO

This has been an awesome day with just one incident trying to take a shortcut from Gateway CO to Grand Junction CO on some back roads that proved to be very bad . I turned back just because I wasn't sure if the route that I got trough my GPS is even real . I asked some locals for that route and none of them knew about it so it wasn't wort the trouble . I went over Geyser Pass ( Manti La Sal NF -UT) , Baxter Pass ( Piceance Basin - CO ) and many other places that just completely amaze me . Hooray !

looking back at Moab from Manti La Sal NF

riding up to Geyser Pass

Geyser Pass

down the mountain to Gateway CO

target practice

not the shortcut that I need it ! get traction if you can ! I am going back !

riding up to Baxter Pass

looking down from Baxter Pass

not far from Rangely CO riding on some of the county roads

it's bed time again

f650gsa screwed with this post 09-10-2010 at 08:50 AM
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
f650gsa OP
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Location: crook county
Oddometer: 550
No Name Adventure part III

No Name Adventure part III

Day 12 Rangely CO to Sinclair WY

The main thing for today was to explore Dinosaur National Monument and whatever time was left head towards home as much as possible on gravel roads . A very scenic day with no delays whatsoever but be aware if it rains some of this roads are impassable .

Breakfast with 3 Jeep"s

that's where I am going -Echo Pass Road in Dinosaur National Monument

looking at Green River

down to the bottom of the canyon on Echo Pass Rd


some small cave

inside look

down by Green River

Jack & Rial Chew Ranch 1910-1970"s

impassable when wet Echo Park Rd

Look Out point at Green River

on my way out of the Park

deep sand spots on the road that could be very dangerous

Day 13 Sinclair WY to Black Hills SD

Now I am just fooling around getting as close as possible to Chicago , taking as many gravel routes as possible . The plan for today was to ride from Sinclair WY to Alcova WY to Casper WY to Newcastle WY then Black Hills SD . Good day , good scenery and I am ready to cruise home but not before I will explore for few hours Black Hills NF . The only one major thing to mention is that I almost got hit by FIRE TRUCK that was in a hurry to a local wildfire in Thunder Basin National Grassland . BE AWARE and keep your side of the road !

riding up to Seminoe Dam

small sand dune

Seminoe Dam

Down the mountain to Alcova

somewhere in Thunder Basin National Grassland

road kill

my last section of gravel before Black Hills

Day 14 Black Hills SD to Reliance SD

Just a easy day enjoying some of the back roads in Black Hills NF , the South Rim of Badlands NP and part of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation . Nothing special to mention just more good scenery and my time is up for this trip .

GPS trouble - no road at all

Black Hills

beaver dam

no clue what it was , no info's whatsoever

this was a narrow road with a lot of turns , very hard to see around corners

cattle on the road

then this Big Boy

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Badlands NP

abandoned rail-road

Badlands NP

Helicopter Rides in Badlands NP - due to high winds it was closed -What a disappointment !

my last night of camping

Day 15 - The Last Day of The Trip Reliance SD to Chicago IL

A long boring day with high winds and about 800 miles to do . My only concern was if the rear tire that I have on Dunlop D606 will last because it cracked all over around the knobs . I kept the same front TKC for the last 6000 miles and by now was completely worn out . I could have changed it with the front D606 that I had carried the entire time but I wasn't very confident in it's traction since the rear that I had on wasn't performing as I expected . I had a felling the the tire was old and dry that's why it had a poor grip .

time for new sprockets and new chain

damaged sustained by the panniers

that's how my rear tire looke all over

plus this know that blew off

THE END what's next !

f650gsa screwed with this post 09-10-2010 at 09:04 AM
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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great report-great pictures........... think I need to check some of this out. thanks
Adventure begins when your plan falls apart.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:47 AM   #5
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Wow!! Awesome adventure!!! Glad you were rad mishap was not a trip ender.. Thanks for the fantastic report and pics
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:03 AM   #6
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Real nice report!

Quite tough doing that stuff alone, I imagine...
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your most excellent adventure mate! The scenery is magic and there is so much of it too. Here in Australia there are plenty of dangerous critters that can end your day in minutes...then I see Mummy bear with her two cubs in the same place where you camp in a tent and think that I'd rather deal with the snakes and spiders anyday!
Always nice to see people doing what I dream of Well done mate!

Never try bull-shit'n a Bull-shitter!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:45 AM   #8
Enjoying empty roads...
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Great job Cat! My dad and I are definitely itching to get back out west and ride again. That 50 passes in 50 hours looks very interesting. Glad you made it back safely. Congrats!
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
Tha Rick
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Sweet ride!!
Happy Trails Y'all.

It's not about tha bike nor tha ride; it's about tha adventure in life we all seek. Great memories are made of taking tha trail less traveled and explored.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:19 PM   #10
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Really nice trip

f650gsa------man you really had a nice ride---and i'm so glad my gps tracks helped you out.

I have to give you credit---you went on your own and did things your own way and it was obvious to me you were very well prepared as you handled whatever problems were dealt to you.

You pictures were superb---really enjoyed the Utah ones----and others showed the difficulty of the terrain very well.

Those 650 GS's (single cylinder models) are really great motors--last forever and give superb gas mileage---about the best I've seen for a 650.

I really appreciated your pictures over Baxter pass---as I went over it just a month ago and it was a pass I never hear anybody talk about-----I just saw it on a map and found it.

REally nice---and thanks for the ride

And oh yes---You get the AdvRider award for the longest
single post I ever seen---pretty brave of you---one little click of
the mouse wrong---and it's all gone.

Mark Sampson
2008 Yamaha WR250R/2006 KTM 450EXC/2014 KTM690/2013 Husky 650 TR650
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #11
from the land of Toto
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Those F650GS singles are tuff bikes and you just proved it, along with you being a keep your cool kind of guy. I really enjoyed your R.R., and the pictures were great too. Good job, and thanks for taking us along.....
Ks-Rydr.... Two-lane blacktop isn't a highway, it's an attitude !
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:16 PM   #12
just passin' through
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PROOOF! -well done sir! amazing tale and great photos ! seriously
What's next? More action!
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:01 PM   #13
T O Double D
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Wow. I'm gonna take awhile to really read this, but man I can tell it's awesome from just skimming through it quickly. My hat is off to you sir!

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Old 09-11-2010, 04:53 AM   #14
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Great RR, can see you didn't take the easy way around.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:19 AM   #15
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Amazing RR! Beautiful pictures.
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