DADODIRTS Four Corners of Paradise

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DADODIRT, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    July 15, 16, 2017

    Spent Saturday wandering around the rally site and attending seminars. One on GPS Kevin Adventure rides. Got the bug to finally purchase a gps unit for the bike. Another one on Precision Cornering by Walt Fulton and the highlight Helge Pederson Cape Town to Cairo. If you've never seen his photography you are missing out.
    Walked around and spent some money - bought a Sargents seat for the GS and shipped the stock one home. Got in line to ship and had a nice chat with Wes Fitzer, current MOA president. He spent some of his life in Durango.
    Spent some time watching the GS giants.
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    Also ran into Eddyturn and hung out with him at the closing ceremonies.
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    My overall impression of the rally is that I wouldn't ride farther than a day to get to it. I like the smaller ones like Sipapau.
    Vendor food was good.
    Beer tent line was never long but why in the hell do you buy coins for beer?
    Lots of mc vendors. Anything you want.
    Thursday night music was Hogan and Moss. Scorch Folk. I like it. It was probably the only performer I liked. Saturday night ended with some big band music. Like my parents would listen to.
    Kudos to all the volunteers. I'm not trying to knock the rally. I figured after 20 years of being an MOA member I should at least go to one. Just not my thing.

    July 16, 2017

    I can hear tents being taken apart at 5 am. Must be a BMW rally. Up and outa there before 7am. Stop at Denny's for a fill up and just motor on home.
    390 miles.
  2. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    August 6, 2017

    Jeepers Creepers. Man, it's busy up in the mountains above Silverton.
    I hauled the CRF250 up to Eureka above Silverton and rode up to Odom Point above Engineer Pass.
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    Down the east side and up a side trail towards a trailhead for Wetterhorn Peak.
    Back over Engineer to Animas Forks, up California, Hurricane and Corkscrew. Lunch on Corkscrew and listening to thunder.
    View of Hurricane from Corkscrew.
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    Back down through Silverton. Got soaked on the last 10 miles or so back to the truck.
    80 miles
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  3. redrock88

    redrock88 Been here awhile

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    Insanely crowded. And the county keeps grading down the road meaning more traffic and dumber (faster) ATV renters out there. Be safe!
  4. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    I imagine that if you go up there during the week it wouldn't be so bad. Working man's hours.....
    The jeeps aren't too bad. They will (for the most part) let you pass. A lot of the ATV's and side by sides don't even bother to look behind them (when they do have mirrors).
    Different up there than it was ten years ago, that's for sure.
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  5. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    August 26, 2017

    West Mancos Area.
    Last minute free night off so I decided to spend a night exploring close to home. I've been up to the Aspen Loop a few times, but haven't camped with the bike yet. It was nice to have a base camp and do some shorter rides Saturday.
    First was up a new road to me. FR352 climbs up from the Jersey Jim Lookout tower. It's quite a climb with a few ascents over loose baby heads. No spills, but I had a rough time after a stall on the steepest climb.
    I stopped at the intersection with FR351.

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    I came down 351 to 350 and back to camp for lunch.
    After lunch I headed over to the northern end of the Aspen Loop. The stretch of ATV trail west of the Gold Run Trailhead is one of my favorites. OK, so it's the easiest. But it's remote. Middle of nowhere remote. That's what I like about it. Stop for a few minutes with the bike off and just look around.
    I stopped among the cows (ok not so remote) at the intersection with the Morrison Trail single track. I've been back that a time or two and can't remember if the road shown on the map (556N) intersects the trail as shown or not. I took the ST out to the end of the motorized route (top of Bear Creek) and looked around a bit. I think I was stumped by that before.
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    Back to the loop via the ST. It was a short stretch, maybe a little over a mile. That's enough solo ST for me.
    Ran into fellow Durangoans Kevin and Eric along the trail and stopped for quick chat.
    I took 560 to 561 back to camp for an afternoon break.
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    Around 6 I headed up 350 to 346 to Twin Lakes. I stayed o 350 following it to Windy Gap first. The loop passes by here, heading north and south from this high point. Not as nice a picture op as down by Twin Lakes, though.

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    Had some cell reception up there, so checked in with the family before returning to camp.

    Simple dinner and a small fire for the evening. No rain.

    55 miles
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  6. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    August 27, 2018

    Up to watch the sun rise over camp.
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    After breakfast I headed over to the north end again, starting the Aspen Loop out on FR401 and heading east.
    I stopped somewhere before Windy Gap.
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    Had to stop along the trail for this one.
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    At Windy Gap I headed down 350 to 351. 351 goes up past 352 and descends back to 561 north of Jersey Jim. It's a lot easier than 352.
    I hit a lower stretch of the loop between Jersey Jim and 350, then back to camp.
    I was camped right next to 561D, so I saved some energy for a little trip out that trail. Fun, through the Aspens, to a fallen Aspen blocking the way.
    One last chance to stop and just look around.
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    35 miles.
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  7. zipweed

    zipweed Been here awhile

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    that piece of morrison 610 is exactly the trail I was wondering about as possible Bear Creak access. I hiked down just a little bit not wanting to commit on my big 650. So are you saying about a mile out it dead ends above Bear Creak? How technical is that little piece? Inquiring minds want to know.
  8. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    The sign at the top of the steep states 'end of motorized route', so I don't think it is open to mc's, and I'm not sure how far down it goes. It's pretty easy out to there. On a 250, but if you are comfortable on the ATV trails you will be fine.
  9. Fat Toney

    Fat Toney Long timer

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    Great report!
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  10. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 5,6 2017

    Half day of work and off to the Ballpark for the Rimrocker.
    I picked Ballpark Campground as it was about center of the route and easy to get to. Right along Hwy 141 between Naturita and Uravan along the lower San Miguel River and right across 141 is an easy access to the route.
    Set up camp and had a nice fire for the evening. Absolute full moon was intense. The anticipation of the moon as I watched the light on the west side of the canyon seemed to last forever, but the rise of the moon over the canyon wall to the east was quick. Picture would have been nice, but the cozy bench was even better.
    I met up with the only other camper Saturday morning. He was a local and was helping with the Rimrocker Historical Organization on keeping the campground kept up. It's a donation based site (donation site is at the entry, can't miss it) and was immaculate. No running water, but fire pits, tables and a couple johnny on the spots make it worth the other option, bushwack camping.
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    October 6, 2017

    Rough night. Found out the hard way that my beloved Big Agnes sleeping pad had a slow leak. Fun times filling that thing three times each night.

    Stuck around until the sun warmed up the site. Plan today is west into Utah. I got onto the trail within a mile of the campground.
    Some of these views are a lot of the reason for the trip.
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    Twenty some years of riding that strip of pavement below and I never knew there was a dirt route up above.

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    Long way to the La Salles.
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    Mining junk.

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    That's looking down River Road towards the confluence of the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers. The hanging flume is down there.
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  11. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 5, 2017 cont.

    The stretch of the route through the canyon is probably the most difficult. One little stretch on the east side had a steep descent in my direction. And a short stretch of sand on the west.
    I stopped east of Buckeye Reservoir for a break.

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    Nice view of Paradox Valley.

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    Southern San Juans in the distance.

    I continued west past Buckeye to the base of La Salle pass.
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    I've been up this way before, so I decide to backtrack and go up Geyser Pass. The Delorme shows a road that connects back to Buckeye.
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    I got up to the top and headed east, but the road seemed to peter out in some private property, so I backtracked to Buckeye. It would be dark if I took the same route back, so I descended into Paradox and hit Highway 90 for a couple miles to River Road and up past the confluence to 141 and back to camp before dark.
    150 miles.
    Marcus I. likes this.
  12. Marcus I.

    Marcus I. The virtual world can't compete

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    Like your honest matter-of-fact reporting DADODIRT. As spectacular as the phootage is-in person must be awe inspiring!
    Thanks for stoking this dream ride in my heart . . .
    :raabia
  13. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 7, 2017

    Up to a cool morning with some frost on the seat. Plan today is to ride east and explore up on the Uncompaghre Plateau and then head back home. I figured it would be windy in the afternoon and it would warm up a bit on a later start, so I took my time and broke camp.

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    Good color, bad picture.
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    I stopped at the top of Columbine Pass and took a look at the map.

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    Robidaue loop looks fun. 5 miles back the jeep trail I turned right onto a rougher ATV trail and was immediately out of my comfort zone. In the first half mile of what I scaled to be a three mile track I was down in a creek after a hairy descent and looking across the creek at a steep ascent. I opted to turn around and save this for another day. Solo will do that to you. Another rider and I would have at least attempted the trail.

    Out to Windy Point for lunch. The Rimrocker map shows an alternate descent into the canyon. Again, I'll have to save it for another time. The map states that it is rough and steep. I'm sure going down would be fine, but I also want to make it home today.

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    Looks like I have enough gas, so I take another side road. FS 611 is a short cut listed on the map. It's nothing difficult, so I continue up about 6 miles and backtrack.


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    Back to the campsite by 3 ish.

    The little red pig sips the fuel. I brought an extra gallon to add to the 3.1 gallon tank after the first day.

    Another 146 miles today, or 296 miles in less than 4 gallons of gas. The reserve light hasn't come on yet and it looks like 1/2 a gallon left.
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  14. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 28, 2017

    Possibly the last nice weather in this stretch of a warm, dry fall. Miles. On the GS. Is what I need.
    I pack for an overnight in a motel. I love camping, but it cuts into the miles this time of year.
    I'm still not certain where I'll end up tonight, but thinking either Moab or Fruita.
    I do know I want to hit the Dolores to Norwood road, so after fueling up in Mancos I headed that direction. I stopped about 20 miles after the pavement ended for a short break.
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    I don't know if anyone can explain this. I might call the DOW. I'm not a hunter and so there might be a simple explanation.
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    Elk in different states of decomposition.
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    Some of the bones looked as though they have been through a couple years here.
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  15. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 28, 2017 cont.

    Rolling on.
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    I picked another of the many rough pull outs along Highway 141 for a lunch break.
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    Never get tired of this view.
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    I noticed at a couple of the quick picture stops that the abs lights were flashing indicating a power issue, so I decided to motor to Grand Junction to get a battery. Long story short, I know that's the issue.
    I never get tired of any of these views. Looking out toward the bookcliffs.
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    Fellow rider.
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    I made it to the Harley Davidson (and BMW, but they have to enter through the back door next to the garbage) for a battery. I made the mistake of parking out front, but they didn't want me taking my ugly, old gs apart next to those nice, clean HD's, so I was told to pull around to the BMW/KTM entrance. Next to the garbage. Out of view. Nice folks and I am glad to have found the battery in stock, so I'm not bashing the dealer, just get a chuckle...
    Nice room at the H Motel in Fruita. Walking distance to the pub. Free beer from the bartender when I sat down. I must have looked like I was going to ask him to change the channels from college football to the world series and he decided to thwart that attempt as Mizzou was his alma mater. And the Dodger won. That game, anyway.

    255 miles.
  16. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 29, 2017
    Nice to not have a plan but know that whatever road you take home will be nothing but remote western Colorado/eastern Utah.
    Cold this morning, which pushes me west. Other option would have been over Grand Mesa and out along the north rim of the Black Canyon. But it will be really cold up there.
    It's not exactly warm at 85mph for the first hour either, but I'm not complaining.
    I have only been on this north (of Fisher towers) part of 128 one other time, not on a bike.
    Stop along the river.

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    Still some color down here.

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    Dewey Bridge area.
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  17. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    October 29, 2017 cont.

    At Castle Valley I decided to head up over the La Sal Loop. It's supposed to be paved, but is under construction. Keeps the traffic to a minimum if nothing else, but the first few miles after the Gateway intersection had me wondering how far the construction was going to last.
    One stop on the far side of the loop.
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    Skipped Moab. It's a silly place, anyway.
    Fuel in Monticello, then back on the dirt in Cahone and down across the Dolores River.

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    One more stop at the end of the dirt.

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    Back home by 4:30. Great weather. The only traffic was in Grand Junction. I mean the only traffic.
    All in all, about 100 miles of easy dirt.
    Another 344 miles today. GS miles, that is.
  18. Marcus I.

    Marcus I. The virtual world can't compete

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    “. . . 100 miles of easy dirt. . . . 300 miles today. GS miles, that is.”

    Thanks again DADODIRT. After selling my ‘06 1150 GSA, and buying my 1st 1190 R, I still long for the best roads out west on a BIG bike. Thanks for your GS RR. My days of KLR (the ‘90’s) I’m afraid are long gone.

    A few years ago, my wife and I took our new FJ through Norwood, past Lone Cone into Delores and beyond. What beauty you have there!

    I may PM you in the near future for some more “easy dirt” tracks in the Four Corners area.

    Safe solo riding!
    DADODIRT likes this.
  19. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    November 12, 2017

    Aztec - Road Apple ST
    I haven't been on this route in a couple years. Fun with O.
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    Oops!
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    Save!
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    Rest.
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    Heading back.
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    Happy Trails.
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    Fun day. Perfect weather. We did about 25 miles of easy ST.
  20. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    November 25, 2017

    Still no snow in the southern San Juans. Keep on ridin'.
    I loaded the gear on Friday after Thanksgiving for a quick trip to the Indian Creek area outside of Canyonlands, NP.
    After a stop for breakfast in Cortez (Pippo's) I was at my campsite for the night by 9:30 am. Very busy with climbers this time of year. I stopped to look at the message board at Beef Basin as someone I know is camping up that way, but didn't see any note so I headed a bit further west to the Superbowl CG. It was packed, but a nice group of kids let me use half of there group site.
    Today's ride is up Lockhart Basin.
    First stop about 10 miles up.
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    I went up about 25 miles or so. Probably not even half way to Hurah pass. And got stumped. The road was somewhat washed out and I was just doing solo old guy stuff.
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    On the way back down I decided to explore some of the side routes. Got turned around pretty quickly on the road down to the Colorado River.
    Then went a few miles out to a nice overlook.
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    TBC
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