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Old 09-07-2014, 09:10 PM   #1
tuffstuff OP
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Colorado. San Juan Mountains. Uncompahgre

Three if us loaded the trailer in Virginia and got in the truck to head to the San Juan mountains of Colorado a week ago yesterday. Should have started this RR a few days ago so need to catch up a bit. Hope you don't mind!

We are all bringing KTMs. I have a little 250 XCF-W. JPS 450 EXC. DZ has the 500.

Starting in Virginia we drove straight through, non-stop to Colorado, stopping only for short breaks at truck stops to sleep and get food. Well, being the one girl and smallest person, I am in the small back seat of the truck so I don't need or get to do any of the driving. Worked out well so I could sleep most of the time, especially through Kansas!! JPS used cruise control without touching it for 267 miles. Here are 2 pictures JPS took 5 hours apart.






Once we got to Colorado, the drive was so much better and I stayed awake to watch the beautiful changing landscape as the mountains grew in front of us and my ears popped as we gained in altitude.

We stayed a night in Grand Junction to rest up then down to Ouray where we found the cabin to be our home for the next week. I will have no problem getting use to this view right from my cabin. Stayed in Ouray RV park. Great place!





I am going to save this post and start the next because I am nervous about losing everything I write as I catch up for the week!

tuffstuff screwed with this post 09-07-2014 at 10:08 PM
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:38 PM   #2
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The Rides.

Regrettably we don't have the cord to the camera so I am posting pics from my phone and will need to go back and add pictures when we can get them next week when we get back to Virginia. Sorry!!

The day we arrived we headed straight back up to Montrose to get a bike fixed with nothing more than a test ride. Blown fork seal! We went to Davis Service Center in Montrose and drooled over the big inventory selection. Hard to find such big shops in Virginia! The guys were incredible. They fixed DZs fork that same night by staying late! We were able to get the bike back to Ouray the next morning and not lose too much time at all!

We went for our first ride that afternoon and loved that our biggest dilemma was trying to choose a direction and trail. We decided to start on the Alpine Loop and follow the suggestions of others we had met already.



MINERAL CREEK TO ENGINEER TO ANIMAS
We headed up south on Highway 550, yes up, very fast elevation gain. If you haven't seen the Million Dollar Highway, it's spectacular on its own. We went a short distance up and dipped into Mineral Creek toward Engineer Pass. The guy at the shop had suggested we stay off the lower portion of Engineer because of how rocky it is, but we didn't really know well where we were going and figured we could turn around if it was too much. It wasn't too much but it worked me good!! Being from Virginia I am use to rocks and didn't mind them at all, so we powered up the bottom portion of Engineer, then turned down for a break to Animas Forks, and just enjoyed the easy roads down all the way through to Silverton.

SILVERTON
After a refreshing root beer float at the Pickel Barrel in Silverton, we started out of town up 110 Cement Creek but on the first switch back I nearly lost it completely realizing my rear tire was way too flat!!! We turned around back to Silverton and stopped in one of the jeep rental shops for a shady place to change the tube. The guys were so friendly and even though we didn't need it, they offered the use of their tools and anything we needed! They gave us a lot of tips and before long we we're on our way again! By this time the sun is going to set so we decide to take 550 all the way back to Ouray rather than risk getting lost on trails we don't know possibly in the dark.

MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY
We took 550 back and I loved the scenery as the sun was setting over the mountains. Solid back tire now and I was able to hit the switch back tight turns with no problem and even gained a little confidence on them. Typically I'm not confident on a dirt bike on pavement but I know the bike is capable of more than I give it, so all the turns helped me practice. I have a trials tire instead of the knobby I use to use too so wasn't sure what I could get away with. We ducked off 550 for a short detour into Yankee Girl before getting back on 550 for the rest of the ride back to Ouray.

YANKEE GIRL
If you want a great up close and personal tour of some old mines along with fun swoopy riding, do the Yankee Girl detour. So incredible to see all the old mines.

HOT SPRINGS!!!!
After a day of getting beat up on Mineral Creek and the bottom of Engineer and fatigue just from the trip and getting settled, we welcomed the rest in the hot springs. The ONLY thing I have to complain about is the price. You pay $12 per person for the whole day or 1hour. They don't care how long you are in there. Yes, lots of fun pools and a great place for families to hang out all day, but to just soak for an hour at the end of the day for an hour, I resented the $12 we each had to pay. In minutes my resentment melted away as we dipped into the hottest pool and relaxed under the night air. So worth it!!

tuffstuff screwed with this post 09-07-2014 at 10:14 PM
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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Towards Ridgeway

We had intended to go back and do more of the Alpine Loop but at dinner the night before we met a couple locals and they sent us north out of Ouray towards Ridgeway and we discovered more trails!!

COWS CREEK
We found a great trail just north of Ridgeway off CR 10. There were cows hanging out and we moved slowly past them as they looked at us and slowly moved out of our way. Then we dipped into the forest and found some of my favorite trails!! We saw a couple guys hunting and a lady on horseback and that was all. The rest of the place was ours. Unfortunately it is not a loop, just and out and back but it was super fun and rain was coming in quick so we finished our ride and went back to wait out the storm in our cabin.

This is the only pic I got from my phone, but DZ got Go Pro video of me. Will try to add this later too.

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Old 09-07-2014, 10:04 PM   #4
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Yeah, next time let us Colorado inmates know you're coming and you might be offered a free place to camp as nice or nicer!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadenelson View Post
Yeah, next time let us Colorado inmates know you're coming and you might be offered a free place to camp as nice or nicer!
Thank you!!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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Imogene

I will post more tomorrow but 2 days ago we rode up to the summit of IMOGENE from Ouray and back again. It was late so we didn't have time to cross over to Telluride but we might still if weather cooperates. Here is my resting spot, selfie of my boots :)

I am a mountain girl and love all mountains but this is a view that is impressed on my memory with fondness. It was a tough ride up and I needed to stay relaxed on the descent because it was rocky, but being a mountain biker helped me find my lines and stay on it.

Leave you with this final picture until I get more time to post and more riding in!!

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Old 09-08-2014, 04:43 AM   #7
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Excellent, glad you guys are having fun. Great time of year to be there too.
Best rainbow I've ever seen was coming down Dallas Divide into Ridgeway.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:58 AM   #8
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San Juan Mountains

I've been there several times on those roads and others but never on my bike. Next time I'm riding to Telluride for the bluegrass festival and that's that . . .
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:26 AM   #9
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More plz
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:37 AM   #10
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More pics

Managed to get you all a few more random pics from yesterday and today. All these pics taken by DZ. Getting rained out right now but I think the consensus is to gear up and find places to ride that aren't too steep and slick

I was getting a little antsy in the rain so found a pony to ride



And when there is rain there is bound to be a rainbow somewhere! Here is a beautiful shot of Silverton



And a few more random shots. I do love old trucks.



A few mountain flowers



And a goldfish pond next to the hot springs in Ouray



Maybe I can find someone with a card reader to get the pics from the passes so I can share them with you before I get home next week!
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #12
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Was just in that area a few months ago. Your in the prettiest part of Colorado IMHO have fun and ride safe!
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #13
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Rain and more rain

Well yesterday we took the day off riding because if the rain. We toured the Silverton mine called Old Hundred Gold Mine. Cutest little girl with her daddy who was a miner and giving our tour.



Here she is plugging her ears as her daddy demonstrates loud equipment



And a bunch of random mine pictures







And today we said to hell with rain, we are riding anyway. The guys even went up Black Bear Pass, just to the top and back. The Telluride side is closed for maintenance because of a jeep roll last week (everyone survived)

We rode over these mountains into the clouds



You have to wait until I get back from dinner to see the rest of the pictures and report from today :)

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Old 09-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #14
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Yankee Girl, Brooklyn Road, and Black Bear

Well despite the rain we geared up and headed south on 550 from Ouray. JPS was determined to ride Black Bear before we leave the area so we decided to play in the rain and see what we could accomplish.

YANKEE GIRL
DZ and I had already ridden Yankee Girl earlier in the week, but it's a great way to avoid the blacktop and skip a large section of the snaking 550. It is fun to ride it once but on dual sport bikes with knobbies, you don't want to do it more than necessary - at least I don't. Now, on a sport bike it would be fun, but I'm not a fan of it the twisties on a dirt bike. You can get lost in Yankee Girl for a while. It is mostly dirt with lots if woops and sections to really play. All the mines make Yankee Girl picture paradise too.



To make Yankee Girl even more fabulous, we found the mine that KTMs are made!! Even the puddles were orange!





Yankee Girl spit us out right in front if BLACK BEAR PASS. I confess humbly that I was a little unsure of the slippery rocks every where so I rode part if the way up, then found a rock to rest on while the guys went to the summit. They said fare it was easier than mostly what I had ridden already but for me rain and rocks is a little unnerving. I took a bunch of pictures with my phone here







Then I started snapping a few while I waited for the guys



My bike resting with me while I waited.


Then when I heard them coming back I used the bear in the sign to get a few pics







Then I wanted my picture in the bear too so I posed and DZ took a couple for me too. We were having fun. He did a better job than me.





Hopefully I can snag a few pictures they took from on top of Black Bear pass for you to edit this later.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:58 PM   #15
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Riding back to camp on 550 in the rain!!!

When we were done playing, the rain started to really hit us so we jumped onto 550 to ride back to Ouray. At the higher elevations it felt like ice pellets hitting me, and talk about cold!! My coat was good but I was only wearing Fox riding pants and there was no keeping the water out. By the time we got back to camp my fingers were completely numb and I was soaked through, and I have no excuse because I have excellent rain gear, I just didn't wear it all. As we descended into Ouray I could feel the warmth from the valley again.

Despite the rain and slipping and sliding and cold, I am one happy girl tonight with a bit grin. Such a great day!!
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