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Old 07-18-2011, 09:55 PM   #46
2d2rick
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Please finish this report.

I want to ride the Rainbow Trail complete from the Medano Pass to Monarch Pass. I am on an XR650R and have buddies riding WR450Rs. We need to know what you did for your gas/camping stops. Otherwise awesome ride report. I hope to be doing things like this with my kids in 10-13 years when they are old enough to ride on the road.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #47
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We fueled at Canon City, then after playing around at Greenhorn Mountains, we refueled at Oasis at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. From there we could have made it the full length of the Rainbow Trail to Salida. Our WR's with extended tanks have 200 plus mile range.

We camped at Lower Colony Lakes but this requires a hike. There are developed camping sites in a couple of locations along the RT but I personally prefer more remote places away from campers, cars, etc. Not sure about the regs, but there were plenty of good potential campsites along the RT on unimproved areas. There is water on many stream crossings.

I think a 650 may be too big. We had our hands full with 250's plus gear, but then again we are not expert riders and were pretty tired from days of riding prior to the RT and the hike to Humbolt.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:27 PM   #48
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Day 6 Part 2 Video

The Rainbow Trail. This video documents a section of the RT from Medano Pass to the Lower Colony Lakes TH.

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Old 07-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #49
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Day 7: Hike to Humbolt Peak

You can skip today's report if you don't enjoy hiking and only want to see motorcycle pics.

If you do, or are intrigued, hike to Humbolt Peak is a real treat. Adventure riding and hiking is a great combo, despite the fact that you pack just a little extra with the small day backpacks, good hiking shoes, Katadyn filter, etc., both worth your while.

From TH off the RT, we climbed 2.5 miles to basecamp last night, then early am prepared for the hike to Humbolt Peak, about 5 miles away.

Filtering water at the old TH. Dirt road to this old TH is now closed, so hence the hike, lots of campsites on the West side of the creek, but last night we didn't know...:



Trail opens up after a mile or so to reveal Crestone Needle to the left on this picture:







South Colony Lakes behind:





Climb up to the saddle



The saddle, "The Peak" as Crestone Peak is called by the locals, behind and to the left:



From the saddle to Humbolt hike is a bit of a scramble, nothing technical





The Needle to the left behind me, The Peak to the right. The views from Humbolt are spectacular:



From the saddle you climb to this ridge:



with incredible views of North Colony Lakes straight down:



Then a quick scramble past a false summit, you get to the top, which thankfully hikers have built in a short wall of stones for protection against the wind:





On the way down things got a little colder as the wind was hitting us head-on:







Humbolt Peak behind:



Side trip to the base of The Needle, crossing South Colony Lake:



Soulth Colony Lake/Humbolt Peak behind:



We moved our tent to this side of the creek after a long nap...



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Old 07-20-2011, 06:33 PM   #50
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Day 7 video

A few views of the hike up to Humbolt Peak:

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Old 07-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #51
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Great report and route.

I'd love to get back out there and rid the Rainbow trail, and do some hiking.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #52
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Fantastic pics and video. Those 250's rock.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:57 PM   #53
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Days 8 & 9, Part 1

Today is Saturday. Plan was to ride as much of the RT as we could, see what progress we could make, then start our trek back to Denver, sleep wherever night caught us and get back to the storage unit and catch a Sunday evening flight to New Orleans. Helmet cam died on us, looked like no memory left, so you will miss a couple of great ...

RT pics from South Colony TH to the Middle Taylor Creek area:





Good thing about the RT is that after it kicks your behind, you can rest a bit though places like this:



Then it kicks you again:



And again:





We almost bailed out at the Alvarado TH, but decided to keep rolling to the next bailout point. Here's the final picture of us on the RT, right on the intersection between the RT (straight ahead) and Middle Taylor Creek Road/SR 160 (to the right):



In all honesty and despite the enthusiasm, we were just tired. Too ambitious to think we would finish the whole RT, plus the hike, plus riding to and from Denver on dirt, plus Medano Pass,plus Greenhorn, rain delay, etc. in 6 days. We probably needed three more days. We didn't even explore all the trails in the various areas we rode by...which is the lure of Colorado.

Middle Taylor Creek Road looking east into the valley:



On the way to Westcliff on 160 looking east:



And looking west saying good bye to the Sangre de Cristo Mnts and the RT :



Great and at Westcliff's Poag Mahone's (beer, burger and soup were excellent, a great way to celebrate the RT and refuel for the rest of the day)

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Old 07-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #54
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Days 8 & 9 part 2

Leaving Westcliff, the plan was to head back west and then flank the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north towards Guffey/11 Mile Canyon.

Here are a couple of I assume classic 11 Mile Canyon pics the next morning day 9 closing in on Rampart/Denver:







But first, from Westcliff back west toward to Sangre:







Racing the rainstorm:



Eventually the Sangre de Cristo Mountains turned northwest and we had to head northeast. The landscape between Cotopaxi and Guffey was stunning.











We passed through Guffey late in the afternoon. I had heard from a friend from Florida who got me riding motorcycles a few years back that "I don't use tents when I ride in Colorado, I use a tarp for a roof, waterproof maps for a floor and no sleeping bag, plus, there are cabins in Guffey"... (I guess my set up is too much luxury for him....) so we asked around until we found "The Garage":



Owner Bill told us he had a cabin left, outhouse included within walking distance:



hot showers just around the corner next to "the honeymoon suite"



mood gas lighting:



all for $30. Deal!

That same night this transplanted cajun writer and his son were treated at the Bull Moose to, what else, a crawfish boil!



with Bayou Boys Cajun Cooking catering and their cajun owner, now Colorado resident, David,



And to top it off, I swear I am not making this up with Photoshop, after several days doing the Rainbow Trail, nature threw a gift at us in Guffey:






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Old 07-23-2011, 06:08 AM   #55
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a couple of notes

In prior posts, others have asked, so just in case, maps of the RT:

Medano to Ducket Creek
Ducket Creek to Salida
Medano to Salida on Stay the Trail

If you want to try hiking a Colorado 14K, here's the best resource I found with maps, descriptions, ratings, photos, etc.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:16 PM   #56
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Cracker & Cajun Enduro Northern Colorado

Teaser pic:




What we did Sep 8-12:



Plan is for ejtv and jakbrand to fly to Denver Thursday, pick up our bikes at our respective storage units and meet in Nederland, play around Northern Colorado Friday, Saturday and Sunday on as much single track, ATV and forest roads as possible and return to Denver Sunday before sunset.

Itinerary:

Day 1 Fly Florida/Louisiana to Denver; ride to Nederland
Day 2 Nederland to Red Feathers
Day 3 Red Feathers loop
Day 4 Red Feathers to Denver
Day 5 Fly Denver to Florida/Louisiana

The equipment, a KTM 530 and a WR250R, with long range tanks.



Minimal gear, change of clothing, tools/tubes, cameras, etc., all fitting inside Giant Loop's Mojavi and Camelback or Zack Pack. Stay in hotels/cabins, eat where locals eat, pack trail mix for lunch, stop for gas, etc.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #57
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Day 1: Denver to Nederland

I rode from Littleton to Nederland via Deer Creek Canyon/285/Red Cone/Webster Pass/Loveland/279. Never ridden Red Cone. I figured if I made it safely (or not) on the WR, jakbrand on the KTM, who had mapped out all the trails we would ride, would know my limit...I did ride up to Red Cone...and down to Webster, no falls. Not a soul around from 285 to Montezuma, epic.

Here's the only evidence I have:



Plus this GPS photomontage, not sure it counts as evidence:



It was late in the evening and I had to push on to make to Nederland before dark. Cold. Light snow on Loveland. I took video of Red Cone but the memory card on my helmet cam had a fatal error and nothing I videoed the whole trip survived.

Jakbrand needed to do bike maintenance first, so he rode direct to Nederland late afternnon and waited at Sundance Lodge. Dinner at the Lodge was fabulous. Try the grilled peaches for dessert.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #58
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Day 2 Nederland to Red Feather Lakes

Breakfast next to town hall at New Moon Bakery; the ham and cheese filled croissants were excellent and so was the latte:



AM sun heating things up on the climb to Mineral Mountain/Caribou Flats from Eldora:



One of several closed roads we hit during the tour, this one off Left Hand Canyon:



And a typical sight: Jakbrand having to re-route at road closed...



Though this time the re-route meant climbing up, around and down the piled rocks...This was Jakbrand's one and only fall on this trip...and the first of about a dozen falls for me. Here he is after having ridden both the KTM and the WR through this difficult section.



Lunch at Estes Park



Somewhere around Buckhorn Creek:



Harder than it looks:



Well, I was not performing some radical turn, just getting on the bike from a dead stop...

We then approached Donner Pass via Moody Hill and Sheep Creek. Unfortunately the first mile up Sheep Creek past the bridge proved my undoing. Jakbrand had to ride my WR through one or two difficult rocky sections and not knowing if it would be one mile or ten through rock garden after rock garden, we turn around and b-lined it via Monument Gulch and Seven Mile Canyon to Red Feather Lakes for dinner and lodging at Hill Top General Store Cabins; highly recommended lodging if you're planning a trip there.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:33 AM   #59
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Sundance Lodge in Nederland, Colorado. Clean rooms, tasty food at the Cafe and the lodge manager is an avid off road rider who takes an interest in the adventures of wayward DS riders.

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Old 09-14-2011, 07:46 AM   #60
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Climb from Eldora to Caribou Flats







Many gates from Nederland to Estes Park. Most were unlocked and legal to pass through.



Pierson Park Road looking towards Rocky Mountain NP





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