A Flatlander's Journey through Colorado

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Snake Doctor, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Snake Doctor

    Snake Doctor Crazy Bearded F***er

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    127
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Left the flatlander's meca of Florida for Ouray, Colorado for 14 days. From my house its roughly 2,200 miles by way NOLA one way. I have ten years of history there as a cop, so its a must stop before going West. A lot of slab, a lot of gravel, mountain passes, and a Tenere Ralley to top it off. Then to find the most scenic way back. I say the most scenic way back, but what I mean is the most scenic way back until the dreaded wind ridden panhandle of Texas. Don't get me wrong, I love Texas, just not the stretch of Amarillo to Dallas on US 287. So, without further delay . . .

    Sorting through the necessities, and non-necessities, camping gear, camera gear, food prep, clothes, tools, just the basics.
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    So sparing the photo's of the drudging slab of I-10, I-49, I-20, and US 287, I found a great little box canyon road out of Amarillo called TX1061 (Tacosa RD). I was planning on taking US 287 to Dalhart, TX, but a very gruff looking 1%er came up to me at the gas station in Amarillo and told me about this great little gem. 89 miles of twisty 2 lane, and he was right.
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    Once out of the panhandle of Texas, it was Clayton, NM to Pueblo, CO.
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    Because of the fires in Pagosa Springs, I decided to take US 50 from Pueblo to Montrose, CO. Absolutely gorgeous piece of slab crossing the state.
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    Once in Montrose, it was quick shot down US 550 to Ouray and the ralley campground. Home away from home, KOA cabins are great
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    So now that base camp was set, it was time for mountain passes, Day 1: lunch in Silverton and Animas Forks. Had two great Texans with me, and made the juant really fun. Unfortunately by the time we got near the the ghost town, it was getting late so we turned back for another day.
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    And for comic relief, Mark (One of the Texan's and fellow inmate) found a creek to cool off in . . . :rofl
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    Also the obligatory Silverton plug for "Thee Pig," great bar-B-Que with fellow inmates
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    Day two was Last Dollar with lunch in Telluride, then Last Dollar back. Last Dollar was great, some techical on Telluride side, and great views on the way to Ridgeway. While we at the top of the pass, a US Forrest Service Fire Officer told us about a great little 40 mile gravel road over the Uncompaghre Divide. Sounded like a great ride for day 3, to bad we didn't listen to the directions better.
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    A little GoPro action of Last Dollar Road from the Telluride side.

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    So we are sitting around the campfire, and talking about this 40 mile gravel road over the Uncompaghre Plateau known as the Divide Road, and several of the guys with little drt experiance decide that might be the "trick" to break in their new Tenere's. Well, we left Rideway and rode all the way to Whitewater, 90 miles of gravel. Loose gravel, hard pack, loose sand, not a great ride for newbies, but a great day all together. The scenery was fantastic, aspens and spruce to red rock.
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    Of course, by the time we realized it wasn't 40 miles, most of the guys were getting very comfortable on gravel, so all was good, and the blue bonnets were in serious bloom.
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    The landscape changed dramatically on the Whitewater side, pure red rock
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    So Thursday was the ralley dinner, awards and general get together, I can honestly say I have never seen as many Tenere's in one place. The ADVRider wave for good merit.
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    Well almost everyone bugged out Friday morning for points unknown, but a few of us inmates stayed behind. A command decision was made to pick up a few growlers at the Ouray Brewery whatever beer was on hand, and go sit in the Uncompaghre River and relax
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    Then it was to decide where to go next. My decision was to head to Durango for some sight seeing by way of the Million Dollar Hghway
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    So I opted to go to Mesa Verde, great place, got caught in a hail storm on the mesa
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    Now off to one of my favorite places . . . Moab
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    Now, I had wanted to ride Valley of the Gods and Monument valley, but time was not on my side. So I pointed South and started my was back to Florida. By way of 4 Corners and Shiprock, NM. I do so love the Southwest.
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    My detour took a bit more of my first day heading back than expected, but was well worth it. The Navajo lands are absolutely gorgeous, desolate, and harsh all in the same existence.
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    So after blowing my first day to head back on things I wanted to do, it was time to make to the east Coast of Florida in 3 days. I always wanted to earn an Iron Butt :pynd So since it was 5 pm on Thursday and I wasn't even to Gallup, NM yet, it was time for super slabbing. I hit I-40 at Gallup and pulled off at Santa Rosa for a hotel. The june bugs were mercilous, dang near knocked me out of the saddle a few times.

    So bright an early Friday morning, I slabbed an Iron Butt out to New Orleans, 1,100 miles in 19 hours. Rolled in to my buddy's house chunked my clothes in the wash and crashed out. Much respect those IBA guys, I documented mine so I could get a coveted license plate. I will say I was quite amazed how proper pit stops and hydration make the whole experiance quite easy. I never felt tired, and was alert through the whole ride. Endurolytes and a Camel Back are your friend.

    So at noon on Saturday, I decded to make the final push from NOLA to Palm Coast, and easy 600+ miles. Made it in at 3 am, would have been earlier, but stopped for some crazy good Bar-B-Que in Mississippi at The Shed. Besides it was raining and I needed to stay dry.

    Well hope you enjoyed the light banter and pictures . . . almost forgot, the obligatory foodie shot. Hands down the best meal of the trip, hence the pictures, From the Blue Pig in Moab. Pulled pork, smoked tri-tip, cajun sausage, fried okra, loaded baked potato, and an Uinta Imperial Black IPA . . . freakin delicious

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    #1
  2. Snake Doctor

    Snake Doctor Crazy Bearded F***er

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    127
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Hope you enjoyed it
    #2
  3. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    948
    Location:
    St Petesburg, FL
    Wow...quite the ride. The Super T is perfect bike for this. Back to sweating in Fl...

    Cheers!
    #3
  4. zadok

    zadok Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,042
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Colorado looks great. Thanks for the report.:D
    #4
  5. combo

    combo D S N

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    302
    Location:
    Santa Fe, Texas
    Loved the photos and report. :thumb

    It was great meeting you and the others that enjoy our sport. I think fun was had by all.
    Was tough to go home when our time was done.
    #5
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,067
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    looked like fun!
    #6
  7. true grip

    true grip Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Centerville TN
    Awesome trip Chris!

    The Blue Pig is now on my list.
    #7
  8. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    759
    Location:
    Wichita Falls, TX
    I live a stones throw from hwy 287 in TX and you nailed the wind thing. Oddly enough I leave in 8 days and will be visiting so many of the places in your pics from the 4 corners area that you might have been my travel agent.

    I've also had the pleasure of riding most of the roads you did in the Ouray area.

    8 days and counting -- I was already excited -- and after your report it's gonna seem like 8 years!

    Fine report, thanks for taking us along.:clap
    #8
  9. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Great ride! The second photo brings back memories! I was on my way to Paonia, CO, for the BMW ralley, riding my loaded KLR. I'd spent the night in Amarillo (rode there day one from SanAntonio) and hit that intersection at about 5:00 am on day two. Still dark, no one in sight so I downshifted to 4th and made the turn onto 385 for Clayton. Then the night came to life: blue and red lights in my mirror! The DPS trooper had been just sitting there waiting for me to blow that stop sign. (23 years of LEO experience told me I might have a chance though) Sure enough, a quick conversation about stop signs and I was on my way again.

    When you hit Whitewater after the gravel, you should have taken 141, 145 and 62 back to Ridgeway/Ouray. Paved but what a road! One of my favorite Colorado highways (after the Million Dollar.)
    #9
  10. bouldertag

    bouldertag WannabenarlyADV'rrrr

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    459
    Location:
    Utah
    Great report thanks!

    boulder.
    #10
  11. AndrewT

    AndrewT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Tivoli, TX
    Thanks for sharing!
    #11