Bergs Over the Rainbow

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HighFive, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Uh oh.....my wingman is already out on another trip of some kind. :huh Thought I wore him out.

    Geeez Cyborg, what on earth are you doing in the desert? [​IMG]

    We're supposed to be sharing magnificently embellished tales of our grand adventure together. Where I almost got eaten by a bear in my hammock (again), and you almost died in that huge hillclimb crash (while I was video'n).

    Hhhhmmm.......what to do now? [​IMG] This is a pickle.

    A) Wait for you to come home

    B) Move on down the trail and hope you catch up later (something you're used to)

    I guess we'll put it to a vote.

    HF :ear
    #21
  2. Rider1

    Rider1 Ridin' Dave

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    I vote "B" please.

    R1
    #22
  3. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Do as you will HF, home Thursday and I'll do my best to catch up.
    The view from my seat this morning, friends small plane (talk about off the subject)

    [​IMG]

    Now don't give away too many spoilers...:lol3

    :freaky
    #23
  4. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    You mean like this,


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    Mums the word, Scout's honor!


    We got the last laugh on him though, eh? :lol3


    HF [​IMG]


    p.s So far, the B's are winning...
    #24
  5. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Due to the lack of objections, the B's have it. So carry on, we shall. :nod

    But first, I shall answer a question I received via PM, for the benefit of all. Don't be shy to ask your questions publicly in the forum. I don't mind so much.

    1) Yes indeed, we had a real life, close encounter with a big black bear…..at night.

    2) No, I didn't have my camera with me in my hammock. Consider the photo a necessary reenactment. You'll understand everything soon enough.

    The Rainbow Trail is located in south-central Colorado, near the town of Salida. It stretches 100miles across the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, from the south end near Medano Pass (and the Great Sand Dunes) to the north end near Silver Creek (approximately 9 miles west of Hwy 285).

    There is a fantastic detailed map available thru Nat-Geo's Trails Illustrated (Map #138). For $10 you get a huge waterproof, tear proof, foldout of this mountain range that requires both sides to see it all. The Rainbow Trail is indicated quite accurately on this map by a red dashed line. These maps are the best I've seen and used related to the National Forest system in the USA. I highly recommend them. Maybe I'll spread it out and take a photo to post later.

    In the meantime, here are some minatures I scarfed from the Web to give those not familiar a bit more orientation.

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    I set up a basecamp near Hayden Creek Campground, approximately mid-point of the trail. This turned out to be an excellent strategy for several reasons, which should become obvious later. This primitive campground is at the base of Hayden Pass, near Coaldale, CO. The red star on this map spots Coaldale. Simply drive the main road due West of Coaldale (shown as Hayden Pass Road on most maps) and it will dead end at the campground.

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    This is an honor system fee campground where you stuff an envelope in a lock box. But, there are several excellent FREE campsites along the road within the final 2 miles approaching this campground. I nabbed the first one of those spots I found, and was within a hundred yards of where the Rainbow crosses the road. The Trail is well marked.

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    Yes, I brought the Mobile Mansion! Figured a guy willing to drive 1,500 miles to join me, deserves the royal treatment. I've had a little practice at it.

    Here is a partial mock-up that shows a small portion of the Rainbow near the mid-point. Not much, but gives you an idea where its located within the Sangre de Cristo range.

    [​IMG]

    Our plan was to ride from Hayden Creek south to the the end near Medano Pass…..camping overnight along the trail, if necessary. It was!

    Then, slab it back to basecamp (thru Westcliffe), reload ammo and complete the northern section come bear or mountain lion. Then, slab back to basecamp thru Salida, when complete.

    I only had the stock 2 gallon tank on my Berg, while Cyborg was equipped with the additional sub-frame tank giving him 3 gallons. So, a fuel pitstop was planned for me at Westcliffe, when we got near to that point.

    While Cyborg had a 2-day drive from Seattle, I only had one from Tulsa. Be it however fortunate, I arrived one day ahead of the Cyborg.

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    A happy camper now, all set up….

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    ….what on earth is a guy to do? It can get real lonely out here…

    HF [​IMG]
    #25
  6. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Here is the Trails illustrated map I used for the Rainbow Trail…..#138

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    Big, durable, and fabulous detail. I've ridden a long time, and never heard about these until just a few months ago.

    Buy maps here

    Zebulon Pike would be SO proud. His Expedition of 1807 to map this mountain range, and the loss of life incurred, was not in vain.

    front side
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    back side
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    The Trail stretches the entire length of both sides of this map. And, here is a close-up showing the Rainbow in a red dashed line.

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    Call me old fashioned, but I'll take a good detailed map over my gps any day. Batteries not required. My land-nav skills are still sharp with a good map and compass. You can take away my gps, but you can't have my compass. You'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands…..and it will still be working.

    Yes, we captured the gps tracks on our Garmin gadgets. And, Cyborg is going to clean it all up for you and make it available……eventually……if he ever returns from the desert. He's still MIA.

    Many thanks to my good friend Rufus who turned me onto these Trails illustrated maps, and shared generously from his huge bag of important adventure papers. He's even more old fashioned than me. Doesn't have a cell phone….still yet. Doesn't need one. He's so fast on tight skinny trail that he beats most any cell signal to destination. :deal

    HF :thumbup
    #26
  7. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    I'm glad you trucked the Berg out. I don't feel so bad trucking the 250R out. I am in Lake City and they have wifi here so I am able to catch up. Rode some awesome single track yesterday. Lost Creek Trail, starts close to Carson and comes out over by Stony Pass.
    #27
  8. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog North Georgia Dual Sportr

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    +1 :thumb
    We rode it last August :ricky

    Im enjoying the RR High 5 :D & Totally Agree with you :nod

    #28
  9. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    What did you think about Lost Creek Trail? It was all I wanted. Took us 3 hrs to go 12 miles. We had to stop and work on one of the bikes a couple of times it was overheating.
    #29
  10. Hardroad

    Hardroad Been here awhile

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    Ready to read it all.

    Hardroad
    #30
  11. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    A hardy WELCOME to everyone who has hopped on board. You're going to get to learn a lot about the Rainbow, which you might not have seen before....as so few people (in the grand scheme of things) appear to ride the whole thing out.

    A few special notes:

    Dingleweeds.....that was some trip you had with BigDog! Guess it was fitting for him to break-down instead of you.

    Fotobo....glad you're having a good time out there. Go farther....longer....that WRR will go the distance.

    Hardroad....long time, good to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed some good rides on the F8 this summer.

    Now, back to business. Time to ride!

    Standby....

    HF :cob
    #31
  12. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    I had a whole new day to burn, while waiting on the Cyborg to arrive. At last communication, he was still about 800 miles out.

    But I had planned for this fortunate possibility, and brought something very special along with me.

    [​IMG]

    My beloved WRR, infamously known as R² :raabia

    One of my favorite dualsport bikes I've ever owned. So capable and faithful, she has her own fan club with more hits than my Facebook will ever see.

    She badly needed some fresh mountain air in her face, after being so neglected since I bought the Berg. Thought all her fans might enjoy seeing her in action again.

    So up…up…& away, we go climbing Hayden Pass to the top! Its an absolutely perfect day for a ride in the mountains.

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    If you look real close at this sign, you can see the Rainbow Trail drawn on this map.

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    I really like this pass, its a nice ride up on the east side with superb views.

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    Its a fairly smooth 4x4 jeep trail up to the top. Its big bike compatible. BUT the west side is a real bear with a huge boulder field on a long steep stretch. Don't take a big bike over the top and down there. I wouldn't recommend it. Cyborg would give you a little show-n-tell of the west side, if he weren't AWOL.

    [​IMG]

    See that big green patch across the way…..on the other hill. The Rainbow Trail runs right across that meadow, and I can't wait to get there! I'm getting might antsy.

    And, there is Hayden Pass Road down in the valley where I setup basecamp.

    [​IMG]

    Drive Cyborg…..DRIVE. Hurry up already. For the love of ADV its time to hit the trail ! ! !

    HF :ddog
    #32
  13. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Good stuff HF, since that happened before I got there. I'm back, 700 mile day, so gimme a chance to catch my breath and look at what I have and get with it. Anyone here who has done a ride report knows it's real work and HF has had a bit more time to percolate on it than this overcommited person.
    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Good to see the old WRR out. Don't want it to get jealous of the Berg. That is an amazing little machine. Rode mine up to the North side of Black Canyon yesterday. Over 200 miles round trip. Good thing I put my aux fuel tanks on, there was no place to buy fuel. That rack is big and ugly but it sure comes in handy.
    #34
  15. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Wayne's 525. Turns out there was a big mud dobber nest in the cooling fan. I was thinking out about you Mon. I rode some awesome sandy roads starting at the visitor center for Great Sand Dunes natl park. Vehicles had to be licensed but luckily I was on the WRR. My KTM sure would have been fun there though. I'll tell you about it later, don't want to hijack Scott's ride report.
    #35
  16. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Hip-Hip-Hooray! :freaky

    HF :thumbup
    #36
  17. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    :lurk

    Get on with it! Ah hell, I should probably wait.. I've only got so much more time to ride this summer before the white stuff starts flyin' up here. :cry
    #37
  18. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Alrighty then, I'm still pretty tuckered out but here goes...

    Yes indeed, Mr. HighFive did in fact visit me up in the Seattle area a few years before, under the guise of accompanying his daughter who is going to school in Seattle. Little did I know what his sub-agenda was until now, sly Southerner :lol3

    However I messed with him good by taking him to a Husaberg shop just before he left, setting the Husaberg Hook. Then I tortured him by getting a FE390 myself and sending a picture. Oooh, evil. Of course HF couldn't stand it and soon after he drove all the way to Texas to get one, a 390 like mine :deal
    Then I sent him dual-sport conversion and bling part$ list to add gas to the fire and soon HF was busy with all that. :knary

    Revenge was soon to come back to me with a casual email from HF "How about we ride the Rainbow Trail in Colorado", "it's a purty trail and surely not as hard as those nasty trails in Washington you regularly ride." Somehow it did not register that Salida was 1450 miles away! Lots of luggage testing and prep was done and the day finally came and off I went to drive across 5 states in 2 days.



    Day 1: Big Country

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    Day 2: In Colorado finally

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    Those bare tall 12 to 13K peaks in the distance as I got close to Salida

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    Finally arrival at Camp HighFive!

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    I was pretty worn out, so not many pix, HF may have more.


    Here was HighFive's setup when I arrived. Where was the Berg?

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    I was too tired to ponder that, nighty night...

    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    After sleeping like a rock, I woke up to this cheery scene!

    [​IMG]

    None other than Chef HighFive, who I might add is pretty darn handy with his compact galley. :thumb Probably due to lots of practice in his many years of Trials competition out of his Portable Palace. We had some good eatin' this morning. :getiton




    I looked around a bit more, aha! There was the HF Hussy, demurely hiding in the shelter of the trailer while that wench of a WRR was out in the cold, after being rode hard and put away wet the day before.

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Since I was still pretty tired, a warm-up day was in order.

    After breakfast we grabbed the two Bergs and headed West up the road to Hayden Pass

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    Up the bumpy rocky road, with good views

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    Then we reached the summit. The day sure was starting out nice!

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    HighFive grabbed my camera and took the mandatory shot of my first ride in Colorado

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    (For future ID, HighFive has the white Klim pants, I have the blue ones...)


    We decided to continue on over the pass going down the West side of the Sangre De Cristo range in this area. It was a MUCH rockier road than the East side of the mountains. This shot was a milder section, too busy riding in the rough parts. Some of the road was nothing but cantaloupe-size to larger rocks and very rough om 2 wheels, HF may have more pix of this area.

    [​IMG]



    It was worth it with a nice view on the West side.

    (Click for larger image)
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    #40