3 days in central Colorado

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Tanger, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    A buddy and I spent 3 great days riding in central Colorado. He's on a KTM 590 Enduro and I'm on a Honda CRF250L. The goal was to keep moving, see a lot of beautiful country and challenge ourselves, but not get in over our heads. We wanted to stay on dirt, as much as possible. Some asphalt was OK.
    We decided to ride from town to town to hit motels, rather than camp. I'd like to say we were keeping weight down, but really it was because sleeping on the ground sucks after 50!
    He's got a fair amount of dirt oexperience and I'm fairly new to dirt. We both spent our youths on street bikes.
    Sept 7th. Pre-trip inspection and gear fitting session. Parker, Co.
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    #1
  2. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    Day One: Salida to Crested Butte.
    We parked the truck at my cousin's in Salida. Great people and I can't thank them enough for helping us out on this trip. IMG_3428.JPG
    Here we are, all loaded up and ready to head out. Maybe a little nervous...
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    We headed South toward Poncha Pass and turned West to Marshall Pass. It was a nice way to ease into the dirt. IMG_3437.JPG
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    #2
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  3. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

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    We were both a little nervous about our fuel range, so we never passed a pump without topping off our tanks. First stop was the Tomichi Creek Trading Post in Sargents. IMG_3443.JPG

    From there we road over Waunita and Black Sage Passes. Mostly graded dirt roads through high mountain valleys. This is on Black Sage.
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    Then it was time to drop down to Pitkin for some lunch and another fuel stop. IMG_3446.JPG
    #3
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  4. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    Pitkin was a great place for lunch. Nice people and good burgers and gas. From there, it was up and over 12,015 ft. Cumberland Pass.
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    As we climbed, the rain began to fall. We stopped to talk it over and decide what to do. The thunder had stopped, so we decided to put in rain gear and go on. IMG_3449.JPG

    As we climbed, the rain turned to snow and we found ourselves riding through a sloppy wet snow.
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    #4
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  5. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

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    Location:
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    At the top of Cumberland Pass.
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    From there it was an easy ride down to Tincup. The biggest danger was avoiding the quads and side by sides.
    Rolling in to Tincup....
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    It was time to shed some layers, so we rolled on down to the Taylor Park Trading Post for a break and more gas. Dirt bikes everywhere around there!
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    #5
  6. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

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    We had full gas tanks and were feeling pretty good, so we decided to add some more easy dirt. Rather than follow the Taylor River, we went around the lake to the North and then SW down FR748 & FR744. This was a beautiful / easy ride and I'm glad we added it to our plans.
    It was getting late, so we went straight up 135 into Crested Butte. Dinner and a few beers and day one was in the books. About 150 miles, mostly on easy dirt.
    #6
  7. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    Day 2 - Crested Butte to Leadville.

    We headed West out of C.B. Up to Kebler Pass. At the top of Kebler Pass we had our biggest moment of indecision on the trip. It seems someone had altered the sign in town and made it "133 miles to McClure Pass". We had to make a decision. Reroute our plans or ride on and run out of gas. After pouring over maps and GPS, I knew it couldn't be that far. A local finally stopped and confirmed the distance. We were fine on gas, so we pushed on.
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    Kebler was all it was advertised to be. It would have been even prettier a couple of weeks later in the year. Even so, we rode through miles of mature aspens.
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    The ride was suitable for passengers cars, so still easy riding. The biggest danger was looking at the scenery and riding off the road.
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    The next stretch was the longest stretch of asphalt. North up and over McClure Pass. We had discussed the option of skipping a lot of this by going over Schofield. After a few beers in C.B, I was ready for it! After a few youtube videos, I chickened out.
    So it was asphalt down to Basalt for lunch and gas. Then East toward Leadville. We were happy to be back on dirt again and this was probably the most challenging riding of the trip. A few section of baby head rocks and one surprisingly deep water crossing and we were on the summit.
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    #7
  8. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
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    The descent down the East side was fun. A few rocky sections and a lot of uphill traffic to get past. The weather was coming in again so we hustled down to Turquoise Lake.
    This is looking back toward the Pass.
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    Definitely ready to check in and get some dinner. The Alps Motel was our final destination.
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    After a steak at Quincy's, it was time for a beer ( or two ) at the Silver Dollar Saloon.
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    #8
  9. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

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    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    Day 3 - Leadville to Salida.
    After breakfast we rode South out of town, then East over Weston Pass. Other than a few sections of imbedded rock, this was another nice, easy ride. The aspens were changing at the higher elevations and that added to the beauty of the area.
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    The summit of Weston Pass
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    Dropping down into South Park, we picked our way South along forest roads until we had to pull out onto 285 to continue on. That was the worst 10 minutes of the trip. 70 mph blacktop, yuck! We turned back on to dirt as soon as we could.
    We pieced together a route through the 4 Mile North area. (Mostly on 311, I think) the riding through there was a blast! It was a little more challenging than I expected, but I'm really glad we took the detour down to Buena Vista for lunch and one final gas stop.
    After lunch, it was back up toward Trout Creek Pass. We turned South onto Castle Rock Gulch into the South section of 4 Mile. This was supposed to just be a dirt way to get back to Salida, but it was my favorite riding of the trip. Forest Roads that were mostly 2 track, with a mix of smooth and rocky terrain, open meadow and thick forest. IMG_3494.JPG
    That took us right into the North end of Salida. We finished loading the bikes just as the rain rolled across the Arkansas Valley. IMG_3497.JPG
    In the end, we road about 450 miles in 3 days- mostly on dirt. We had hot sunshine, rain and snow. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery and met some pretty cool people. It was a fun route and I'm already going through maps to plan the next trip. San Juans....?
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  10. tommymerle

    tommymerle advwanabee

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    can you count me in on the next one? I probably could have done that on the Crf1000 but it might be better to bring my xt500.
    #10
  11. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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  12. misterk

    misterk Been here awhile

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    great report, thanks
    #12
  13. Engineer5

    Engineer5 Adventurer

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    There was a guy blasting up Hagerman on his AT when we started our way back down.
    #13
  14. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Not yet far enough away from town
    That's the kind of ride I need. Easy dirt, a steak, a glass or two of Irish Whiskey and a motel bed for the night. You did it just right. May have to copy what you did. :thumb
    #14
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  15. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

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    Great Ride Report... thanks for taking us along :clap
    #15
  16. Mudclod

    Mudclod Mojo Moto

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    Fantastic! Great images.
    #16
  17. DresserCat

    DresserCat Adventurer

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    Great ride report. Good job on the photos.
    #17
  18. Dread

    Dread Putt-Putt Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
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    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Great ride report. Can you tell me how you like the Wolfman bags? Did you need to add a heat shield? I think those are the perfect bag for my CRF, but I don’t know if I need the heat shield because the pipe already looks shielded.
    #18
  19. Tanger

    Tanger Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 17, 2015
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    34
    Location:
    Parker, Colorado
    Dread,

    I really like the bags so far. Easy on and off. No metal frame work. Carry a fair amount of stuff. They don't move at all and there is no need for an aftermarket heat shield. Mine never even get warm.

    Where I have them mounted, they only lay on the white plastics. Even if you pushed them back a few inches it would still be on the factory shield. Here's a couple of closer pics.
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    #19
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  20. Dread

    Dread Putt-Putt Adventurer

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    Awesome -thanks for the follow up. I think that may seal the deal for me.
    #20
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