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Old 09-03-2012, 10:28 PM   #76
cyborg
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HF and I take a rest and snack break after the Hermit Pass Rocky Road, then head South on the Rainbow trail again.







Another one of the fun little cubbyholes. Once again, the camera flattens everything. Steep down, followed by steep up.






HF catches me on a little 90degree trail turn with a creek crossing










Ahhh, some smooth trail for a change









But it didn't last very long before our usual diet of rocks, rocks, and more rocks appeared again.








However the nice views make it worth it.







We come upon an axle-deep creek crossing where we meet a friendly Ranger on a quad on the other side and talk over the trail we have just passed through. He said it had gotten so rough they were going to take a prison crew and trail tractor and fix the worst places. He also said we were the only bikes he had seen come down this part of the trail in quite awhile. It seems the heavy rains in recent times had removed a lot of soil from the trails on the steep parts and left nothing but rocks. Oh yeah, we knew about that.






A little bit farther down the trail from the Ranger we ran into a work crew cutting down some fresh blowdown. HF got into the act and helped clear the trail with them. Great bunch of guys doing a tough job to keep the trails open.


cyborg screwed with this post 09-03-2012 at 11:59 PM
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by what broke now View Post
Say Cyborg,

Have you been on Brewton road down to west bar on the Green Dot roads out of Ellensburg? That is a rocky son of a gun.
If so, is this tougher going in the rocks [ I will admit some of it looks steeper than Brewton] on the Rainbow?

Fabulous ride report, btw, you guys know how to live. Your Cascade rr with H5 inspired me to ride the Red Hill trail after I read it, and I am down the singletrack rabbit hole ever since...
what broke now, no have not ridden that road (that I know of). Jonah lead/routed us around a lot of that area a few years ago for training, but I don't remember anything being as difficult as parts of the Rainbow Trail. I'd be curious to ride Brewton road.

Single-trail is great fun, I've just slowed down a bit and have less stamina than I used to (and after several after-crash rehabs) but I can't speak too loud with Ratman, thinairflyer and their gang still out there on the trail. I'm just a young punk and hope to still be doing the same if I make it that far.

BTW, HF is 5 years younger than me.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:59 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot View Post
Really enjoying this. Great look at some details about the trail. Thanks!
Hey there, Cannonshot, glad you like it. Somebody had to do it….



Quote:
Originally Posted by thinairflyer View Post
Hermit Pass road is sure enough a rough one.
Which road or trail did you take from the Rainbow to get gas in Westcliffe HF?.
L D in Westcliffe, CO
Beats me, Thinair. We just went "that way" and eventually found town. Think we came back a different way; just winging it. I do remember a loooooong straight stretch of dirt road, what seems to never end, going down to town.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rmhrc628 View Post
Great story
Few questions?

Rear tyre:
Is that a Metzeler Karoo rear?

What size?

Why did you not go specific dirt tyre?

How do you rate it?
Cyborg was correct, I was running a set of Maxxis IT, on recommendation from Rufus. Rear size: 110/100-18. Fantastic tires in the dirt & rocks! Fine on the pavement too.

No, they are not DOT.

Yes, I'm a hooligan.

When was the last time "one of our finest" ever took a knee to read the spec's on your tire?

The Maxxis IT will stay on my Berg from now on!



Quote:
Originally Posted by cyborg View Post

BTW, HF is 5 years younger than me.
Wow, he's a real spring chicken compared to an old fart like you. That explains everything.

HF
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:29 AM   #79
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Continuing southward, the section between Hermit Pass Road and the Comanche/Venable Trailhead is pretty salty. That's Okie for rocky. It means: Not Big Bike Friendly.

Don't be fooled by that photo of smooth shelf path along the Aspens. There is one bad boy of a nasty rocky climb in that portion of trail. Or was it between Venable and the Horn Creek Trailhead? I forget. Sounds like it will eventually be broom swept clean. The forest service said they were bringing in a Swaco (??). A two-track size, mini bulldozer, to reduce the grade of that nasty hillclimb, widen and level the trail surface, and pick out all the rocks (prison crew). This would all be done now, as they said it was coming out the following week. According to The Man, they have experienced a high rate of bad 4-wheeler accidents along that hill. Very bad, I believe was the term.

We had it rough! You will have it Easy Peasy….from the sound of things.

Onward,



As we approached the Grape Creek Trailhead, the path was smoothing, widening, and spilling out onto the foothills prairie.





A rather enjoyable ending to this half of the Trail, considering the load we packed thru those hills.





Zebulon Pike made a famous, heart wrenching trek across this mountain range way back in 1806.



Its worthy of research, admiration, and explanation here. But, we have so much Trail to cover going northward from Basecamp, I think I'll leave it to you. I do strongly encourage you to look it up. He kept a thorough journal of his expedition where they lost several men due to exposure in the winter, right here in this very area we are riding, while they frantically searched for a way to get over the mountain range. The discovery of an existing trail (used by native Indians) saved the mission. It was Medano Pass they found. And, its quite interesting to read Lt. Pike's own words as he describes seeing the Great Sand Dunes on the other side, for the very first time ever recorded.



Big bike friendly, the final southern segment is…..between Grape Creek (Music Mtn Rd 119) and the end of the Trail at Rd 412. I hear Music Mountain is quite pretty, and I really wanted to see it. But, I was running low on fuel, time, & energy and had to push on. Thought it best not to mention it to the Old Man. So much trail, so little time.



I'll ride my F800GS on this portion the next time I'm passing thru the area……just because.

With a sense of accomplishment only half fulfilled, we meandered along some nice dirt roads across a massive private ranch, headed back toward Westcliffe.



Sixty miles of trail completed, my thoughts begin to focus on the 40 miles still to come. What wonders lay waiting to ambush us there?

Refueling at the official TAT gas station, we slabbed it uneventfully a long way back to Coaldale, and our Basecamp at Hayden Creek.

I think we slid across home plate about 5:00 pm. Which left us just enough time to rent a shower at Cutty's Resort (down the road) and head toward Salida.

We kept our promise with Ramz (who had visited our camp) and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Grimo's Italian in Poncha Springs. Get the Combo Plate…..Mmmmgood.

No sleeping pills required tonight! Not even the bear could wake me up this time.

Tomorrow is gonna be a good day! Starting with a right proper big breakfast (suffering for the cause), we would see what's hiding in the hills to the North.

HF
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The Okie-Dokie BDR Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow
Texas or Bust! Rocky Mountain HighFive The Other Side of Nowhere
Athena Big Bore Project

HighFive screwed with this post 09-04-2012 at 07:37 AM
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #80
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Are we bothering you with too many photos in this report?

Two days & 60 miles of Rainbow lasso'd, we've formed a new strategy. Drop the camping gear and hope to conquer the remaining 40 in a single day. We desperately needed to travel lighter. But hey….who else has ever ridden out the Rainbow while camping off the bikes? We consider it an honorable achievement, if only amongst ourselves.

This day started bright & cheery.



And surprisingly, it looked like it would be another magnificent day to ride in the mountains! Is there ever really a bad day of riding in the mountains?

I don't think so.

Being the Trailboss, Scout, Medic, and official Camp Cook, I have to whip up some proper trail grub of omelets & camp biscuits. I think the Waterboy liked it, but one is never certain.

Mount your horses….time to ride. And things get ugly quick! As soon as you turn northward off the Hayden Pass Road, you have to ride uphill thru a boulder garden for...I donno...maybe 3 miles non-stop. Its a whale of a way to start the day! Hard pounding and loose going as we chugged along. It almost got me for a "three". But I managed to the top with a only two points. Darn proud of it too. Whew….I think Trialsberg deserves a rest. She did good.

Where's Cyborg….I can't even hear him. The Bergs are very quiet. Aaah, here he comes finally.





Exiting the boulder ravine, was he ever glad to see me resting against a tree. I'd like to see someone ride a KLR up that section!

Continuing on, we have a long way to go until crossing Kerr Gulch, the next Trailhead. The path is up….always up. More gradually sloped on this side of Hayden Creek, but but seemingly never ending. Must have been a 10 mile climb before it felt like we made a summit. I'm not really sure. But my oh my, what a beautiful trail it is. Just don't step off!







Here's a great example of MSTIL:





That happened a lot.





Just saying…



Holy friole' I said "Don't Step Off the Trail!"

Its straight down there......vooop....vertical. Nothing beneath you. The bushes won't catch a person. But maybe, something else...


MSTIL

Same spot looking ahead, in front of me (while waiting on CB to find the stirrups)





Never so happy to be back on level ground. We survived yet another near miss.



The rest stops would be brief today, there was no time to waste. We wondered if our goal too ambitious…?





Hey, let's see you get your 990 around that one, CB.

Little useable surface to grip. Go too slow and you'll slide right off. Then, its "bye bye".



Surprisingly, we encountered a few more rocks along the way.











Man, I'd sure like to plant my home RIGHT HERE!

There's Cyborg…..the small dot in the middle…..leaving no rock unridden.



Worth it….worth it….worth it….



So worth it.



Who's dumb idea was it to not bring camping gear? I swear, if I had mine with me, I would have stopped right here!




Heck if I know where we're at….even with a map. Who cares?

Maybe this is Bear Creek Trailhead (Rd 49 crossing).



Keep on trucking was our motto today. No more stopping to smell the rocks, Cyborg. Daylight's burning!



Ho-chi-momma….this is getting a little thin!







Find a friendly get-off point whenever you can. Its the best way to enjoy the scenic views. Much better than looking at it while riding. But maybe that's just because I'm getting old. Only two days remain until I turn 50.

For the first time in my whole entire life, its looking hopeful that I might possibly achieve a major life goal without interruption.

HF
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'13 Husky TR650 Terra, '11 Husaberg FE390, '10 BMW F800GS, '12 BMW R1200GS
The Okie-Dokie BDR Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow
Texas or Bust! Rocky Mountain HighFive The Other Side of Nowhere
Athena Big Bore Project

HighFive screwed with this post 09-05-2012 at 04:15 AM
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #81
cyborg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFive View Post
This day started bright & cheery.

And surprisingly, it looked like it would be another magnificent day to ride in the mountains!

Being the Trailboss, Scout, Medic, and official Camp Cook, I have to whip up some proper trail grub of omelets & camp biscuits. I think the Waterboy liked it, but one is never certain.
HF was whipping up another good breakfast, always appreciated.
(it's a multi-day RR, you have to have food!)




Skill with the frying pan as well as the bike. No dab.




Mmm, bacon omlet with sositch!




Yes indeed, good eatin! Thanks again HF











Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFive View Post



Just sayin'



Holy friole' I said "Don't Step Off the Trail!"


About that particular set of photo's above... HF had stopped on a somewhat level place to take a shot

I pulled up behind him and stopped on the steep slope and took his pic



But as I was taking a few shots, my rear wheel which I had locked, slid in the loose sandy soil and I slid backwards.

Whoops!

I dropped my camera to grab the bike and throw it into the hill, which is this pic. Can you see the camera?



I hopped off the bike to look around for my camera which I saw perched on a little rock in the sandy dirt, 5ft down the side slope and a pesky little chipmunk ready to steal it!





Just as I slid down a few steps to get it the dirt slid more and the camera started to topple off the rock and I swooped it up just before it plunged over the edge and down the many hundreds of feet of that slope! Saved!




HF to his credit was a bit concerned, but hey I was a mountain climber for a long time so a little vertical stuff is no big deal.


Once stabilized again, off went High Five!




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Old 09-05-2012, 07:13 PM   #82
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High Five shows us more of this great trail






We round a tight bend in the trail and HF sees a bit of an obstacle








Hmm, this needs some consideration and planning, trials type. HF ponder his route for a no-dab crossing. HTIL (Hairier Than It Looks)






then he goes for it!







Sure was lot of this lovely kind of trail...











We take a rest break, boots off ahhh







and High Five had to make a tough decision, I'll have to let him describe the agonizing choice.


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Old 09-05-2012, 08:13 PM   #83
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Aaah yes....I remember now. It was the toughest decision along the whole Trail.

A) Hermit cookie - old fashioned molasses, by Newman's Own
or
B) Druid Circles - oatmeal raisin, by Trader Joe's

This was terribly troubling. Both were so good, and we only had two remaining from the survival kit Cyborg hauled down from Seattle. He wanted me to pick which one I like best. That's when I saw it...a big one. Pointed over towards it as I yelled "BEAR!". This diversion was adequate to aid in the "decision". I ate both!

And here's a video Cyborg crossing that same creek. It was a tricky one, if you got off your line. Thanks to a dry summer, more so than normal, all the creek levels were much lower & slower than usual.




I'm not understanding why my videos are flickering like this. The originals are fine. But both of my uploads to Youtube (in this RR) are doing this. What gives?

HF
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #84
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Up to this point, I'd say we have completed about 3/4 of the Rainbow. We popped out onto another pretty meadow, and could see the town of Salida below,



as well as something else.



A big afternoon thunderstorm was preparing to block our way. Soon, we would be hiding in the trees waiting it out. It became a daily affair.

Lots more down & ups as we sneaked thru the woods.


MSTIL





CB was looking back at the trail here:



He said "skinny". I said "rocky". SKinny….ROcky…….SKINNy…….ROCKy. We were starting to have more moments like that. Maybe the altitude was getting to us.

CB took this photo to show me, because I didn't want to look down.



Ok….Ok…."Skinny" wins!

That settled, we can press on….







Finally, a place for another rest stop. Its raining. We're getting wet. We don't care.







Now its raining a lot. Time to put on a rain slicker. The trail had a "slicker" too.



We can finally see Hwy 285. Hip-Hip-Hooray!



Downhill all the way…….hold on good….its steep, slick, & tight.



We both sign guest register, as requested.



Then, try to figure out where in the world the trail went. It doesn't go straight across the highway. This took some back and forth, but we finally sorted it out.

Turn Right and head a few hundred yards to the north on the pavement. Then, Turn Left and start climbing…..up….Up……UP!

Somebody needs to post some better signs along the highway on both sides of the road in this location. Or, did another idiot steal the signs?

HF
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #85
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Hwy 285 to Sliver Creek junction would be the last segment of Trail to ride. A 9-mile stretch that will test your metal when its wet…..especially after covering the other 91 miles before getting here. Beautiful as can be, it didn't disappoint.





But you better bring your A Game!





And leave your KLR at home.











We made it.



But were not quite finished yet. Must perform important sacred ritual….





MISSION ACCOMPLISHED ! ! !

A long slab run back to Basecamp at Hayden Pass. Here is one satisfied customer!



Still sporting his proud Koban wraps on the wrists. I tell you the truth, he wouldn't have made it without it. I'm just glad I never needed any out there, because he used mine all up!

Addicted to the Rockies on his very first trip, and reluctant to leave, we spend a day in "debriefing".



Of course we went riding……all day long. I gave him a nice tour of the Salida country side.



And he watched it rain.



I think it made him homesick for Seattle, because he departed bright & early the next morning.





A finer trail mate I reckon you'll never find. I was very blessed to share this experience with him. Epic!

Adios amigo. I'm sure gonna miss those Hermits & Druid Circles.





Shucks….all by myself again. It could get lonely out here. What's a guy to do?

Its my 50th Birthday. I think I'll go riding!













But this is a another whole story……I got trapped in a canyon with bears!


The End


HF
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:23 AM   #86
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I'll chime in here before I disappear into the mountains again, this time in WA and on foot with my better half, packing the camp.

This was an awesome ride and well worth the drive. High Five/Scott is mighty fine company and a great rider. I never saw him fall (believe me, I had my camera ready...) and rarely take a dab, that 25+ years of trials competition showing through.

Thanks for wrapping this up nicely HF and if I git round to it, I have a few videos to process I'll eventually pop up here if I can remember. I hope this RR gave you all out there a taste of the Rainbow Trail, a very worthy stretch of trail if there ever was one.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:39 AM   #87
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:09 AM   #88
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Excellent RR you two!!! Really enjoyed reading about the Rainbow. This RR has it all, expert riding, cooking and storytelling telling.

Seems like the government trend these recent years has been forest use segregation, so refreshing to know there's still at least a few trails, like the Rainbow, left in FS inventory that allow multi-use.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:34 AM   #89
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Bravo

Great RR-------lots of great pics............great the way both of you contribute.......happy five ohhhh, just gets better here on out.......
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:49 AM   #90
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It looks like you guys had a blast. I'd like to make a trip like that someday. Thanks for the great photos & RR.

Where's your next trip?

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