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Old 06-06-2011, 06:49 AM   #31
mnormand
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The gear review was very good indeed. It made me decide to sell my Panasonic DMC-FZ50 camera kit and get one like yours instead.

Great trip, glad you guys made it ok.


Keith I hope my old Tiger is running well. Sure miss that comfy seat compared to my present WR250R seat.. LOL.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:57 AM   #32
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Thumb Great RR

As always an outstanding report on a trip that only you could think of and deliver. So what's next, Denver to California on dirt roads
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:57 PM   #33
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Rainbow Trail does two Cajuns

After riding the TAT from Louisiana to Denver, parking the bikes at a mini storage in Denver and flying home to work, we return in July to attempt the Rainbow Trail and a 14K in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.



The plan is for me to fly first and play around July 2-4. My son would fly later and July 5th we would ride on as much dirt as possible Denver-Rampart Range-Goldcamp road -Phantom Canyon-Greeenhorn Mountain-Medano Pass-Great Dunes National Park-Medano Pass-Rainbow Trail-hike up Humbolt peak-bail out at Silver Cliff-then link Cotopaxi-Guffey-11 Mile Canyon-and back to Rampart-Denver, and camp-out along the way. We would fly back home late July 10th.

Here's the track:



Here's what the Rainbow Trail did to him first:



And then to me:



We can't wait to finish it up.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #34
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Day 1

Fly to Denver



Ride and spend the night at Rampart:




The set up:



Found the $20 you guys left there:

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:49 PM   #35
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Day 2

Finished Rampart to Colorado Springs, here I am across from Pike's Peak:



Then looked for a way up Goldcamp Road cross west, but found it was closed to motorcycles, so decided to head north towards Boreas Pass.

These are some back trails around Tyrrall Creek:







These are near Boreas Pass:





At Boreas I took some of the ATV trails going west and decided to ride around until night fell:



















Campsite:



Dusk:



Quick video of campsite:

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Old 07-15-2011, 08:05 PM   #36
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Talking Day 3

Morning chill:



From Boreas to Breckenridge:



After more pavement than I wanted since Georgia Pass was closed, Guanella Pass:



Meeting my son in the ministorage in Littleton and preparing the bikes/gear for the rest of the week:

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Old 07-15-2011, 08:13 PM   #37
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:50 PM   #38
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Bueno!
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:28 AM   #39
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Day 4

Gas in Sedalia, just before hitting Rampart:



Playing around Rampart's side trails:



On the southern section of Rampart, near Garden of the Gods:



Campsite off Gold Camp Road, Middle Beaver Creek. We were disappointed the roads among the reservoirs (Moraine, Mason, McReynolds, etc.) south of Pike's Peak were closed....they don't even appear in the MVU maps of the area, though you can clearly see them in any topo map...according to the caretaker, an avid ADV fan, due to regulations to protect the watershed



Hike around the campsite w Lake Mason in the background:



Video of days 3-4

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:02 PM   #40
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Day 5

Today we finish Gold Camp Road, explore some of the old gold mines near Victor and head south via Phantom Canyon Road toward the Greenhorn Mountain area.

First we ride some of the trails around our campsite. These trails were much steeper and rockier than we ever anticipated. Made the rocks of the Rainbow Trail feel like tarmac.







Finishing Gold Camp:



One of the old gold mines north of Victor, the Vindicator mine. If you are interested in gold mining history and if you have time, there are lots of very interesting walking trails among old mines in this area:



American Eagles Overlook, amidst a huge active mine. At $1500 an ounce...they will keep going:



One of the best eateries we found, this one in Victor, owned by german immigrants, Gold Camp Bakery on 3rd Street: bread, pastries, soups, sandwiches, were superb. As European as you can get on this side of the Atlantic.



Phantom Canyon:









Son, your sponsorship dreams have been shattered...Refueling in Cañon City:



About to start climbing Oak Creek Grade Road north of Greenhorn Mountain:



Climbing Oak Creek:



Weather begins to close in:





First a few drops...then torrential rain...





Several of the area roads we planned to take were chained, gated or private....so we did a lot of re-routing on the fly cold and wet...



those rain pants we left in Denver were starting to feel really warm and dry...until out of the corner of my eye I see this on a side road...



we make a 180, turn right and a hundred feet ahead we find Ophir Campground, off 165...



For $30, a dry and warm camper, yeah, a little old and with a few dead bugs here and there, but it did the trick. I wasn't looking forward to setting up camp cold and wet. Besides, game room and everything: fussball, ping-pong, pool, darts..:







Safety first:

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Old 07-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #41
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Day 5 Video

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Old 07-17-2011, 07:07 AM   #42
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Day 6 part 1

Today we ride the Greenhorn Mountain area, then head southwest to Medano Pass and the Great Sand Dunes National Park, head back north to the southern section Rainbow Trail and begin our hike to Humbolt Peak.

Leaving Ophir Campground:





our little friend here made our night a nightmare. The kittie was up all night walking and meowing and even crawled inside the motorhome through a screen door...





Heading to Greenhorn Mountain:









Greenhorn Mountain ahead with its flat top distinguishable from miles away:







Late breakfast of hot chocolate and cliff bars:



Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Medano Pass in the background:



We descended from Greenhorn on some of the many trails in the area:



It's steeper than it looks etc, etc,





There were simply too many trails to explore and so little time....Probably two days of full riding around here. We didn't see a soul.







Here we already crossed the valley between Greenhorn and the Sangre de Cristo's. Some of the trails we wanted to take for a more direct route to Medano Pass ended up being private roads, so we had to ride to Gardner first. Things start getting a little sandier:



We didn't take too many pictures on the way down; we were a bit nervous...already having been alerted as to how deep and dry the sand was and surprised about how deep the creek crossings were, the water being murky so we couldnt' tell the depth...and neither one of us was volunteering to walk them first....Re sand, our plan was to drop the gear as soon as things got nasty...



Which we did right around this corner with the sand dunes ahead:



By now we were exhausted, very low on fuel and hungry:



Adventure riding in the US sometimes has its benefits; food (great burgers here at the Oasis BTW):



and fuel:



A couple of months later flying from Salt Lake City to Dallas, I went right over Great Sand Dunes National Park and Medano Pass:

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Old 07-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #43
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Day 6 part 2

From Great Sand Dunes National Park over Medano Pass to the Rainbow Trail...Plan is to ride as much of it as we can or have time to without any gas stops, hotels, support, etc.

After making it to Oasis for fuel, which was critical or else we were out of luck altogether, and we were now concerned about having to trek uphill on the sand.

But we made good progress by deflating the tires to about PSI of 12-14, which we should have done on the way down... , and by coming up with the rule better to crash than to stall...

Here we are at the spot where we picked up all the gear we had dropped off looking west:



and looking east:



It was truly bizarre to come over the mountain pass among the pine trees to encounter these sand dunes. Highly recommended to anyone traveling with a light bike.

We stopped here to get tires up to regular pressure.



We crossed Medano Creek half a dozen times:





Finally, over the pass and then heading north to catch the Rainbow Trail! Things started very pastoral



We took the road up Music Pass. These next two are at the TH for Music Pass:






This one back on the RT. Things got progressively more difficult but fun:



No question the gear was not making things easier. But the plan was to ride it unsupported yadi yadi yada...





With dusk approaching, we made it to South Colony Creek, the TH to three 14 thousanders in the area, including Humbolt Peak which we intended to hike. This is right after making it to the TH and before the hike.



We got our gear and tent on small backpacks. Plan was to hike and make it as close to South Colony Lakes as we could and set up a base camp. The trek up was a pain in the dark, and with rain about to come down, we set up camp near the old TH about 2.5 miles from where we had left the bikes.

This is what it looked liked the next morning, getting the java ready:

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Old 07-18-2011, 05:34 AM   #44
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Video of Day 6 part 1

Greenhorn Mountain

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Old 07-18-2011, 01:29 PM   #45
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Excellent report! It looks like a great route.
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