Denver to Durango....and back.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Fastway*, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    Does it count if it's on the slab? A couple of years ago (yes years), I boldly announced to a few buddies that we need to get some dual sports and "see the sights!" So tomorrow, we are mounting up our Ducati's and heading out on the highway. That's right....street bikes.....on the pavement.

    So it really didn't happen the way that I wanted it, but hell, it's on a bike. See, I grew up riding the dirt but my pals didn't. They already had street bikes and I (at the time) had nothing but 4 wheeled transportation. They figured that it would be easier for one person (me) to buy a street bike than for all the rest to buy dirt bikes. Good logic, I guess.

    Tomorrow, we head out. Ironically enough, only two of us. They others coundn't get permission. WTF! It's only a couple of days. Not like we're doing a real ride like the rest of you on this site.

    Pictures starting tomorrow, but I make no promisses. Even with all the digital technology....I'm still photographically challenged. Wish me luck.

    PS. Only riding two lane roads less travelled. No Interstate.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Should be very scenic.. be sure to post lots of pics :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Hueychief

    Hueychief FNG

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    Anxiously awaiting your pics and report as I've worked in Montrose and Gunnison and live in Minnesota. I want to come out and do a ride such as yours in the next few months.
    Thanks.
    #3
  4. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    I have no idea how to reduce the size of the photos so I can post them. Please help so I can give the report.
    #4
  5. denvercraig

    denvercraig n00b

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    Great ride my friend.....thanks for the great road selection. 858 miles door to door....some weather but overall a great weekend. We went from 5000 ft to 11500 ft and back....all good. No tickets :)
    #5
  6. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    Departure time at 3pm last Friday afternoon. I decided to work from home which really didn't work. The anticipation was way too much. Craig had his bike in for some routine service a few days before the departure day, which didn't turn out favorably. A part had to be "rush" shipped overnight, which cost an additional $85, on top of the service bill. The part finally arrived five hours before our launch time. Good news is that the broken part was discovered, replaced, and most likely prevented Craig from being dead in the ditch. Thank you Boulder Motorsports!

    Me and Craig ready to leave. I'm on the left (directly behind the cooler of the two Ducs). Mine is cooler since I had mine first. :D


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  7. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    ok, so the photo thing worked for me. Thanks Gadget Boy for the direction to Smugmug. I had burned up the past two nights trying to reduce photo size.

    We headed out of Denver with our sights on Salida Colorado. The plan was to never hit an interstate and to travel on roads that really don't see much traffic. We started off on C-470 and then up Hwy 285, so the trip was pretty much doomed, as both of those are pretty much interstate. But actually, there really isn't anyway out of Denver that doesn't involve this situation.

    The "interstate" riding was brief since we were headed to Pine Junction, where we would head south on 67 to Woodland Park. As soon as we turned south, I waved Craig on. This road is full of twistys and I knew Craig would rip through them. He thought I waved him on due to his "superior" riding. I waved him on knowing that this was heavily patroled by Jefferson County and I preferred to not get the ticket. (luck on our side...no tickets for either of us).

    Pikes Peak just outside of Woodland Park.

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    #7
  8. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    We hit hwy 24 going west towards Divide and then on to Florissant, where the Florissant Fossile Beds National Monument is. http://www.nps.gov/flfo/index.htm

    We didnt stop (or take any pictures) since we were in a hurry to see the Royal Gorge. Heading south on High Park Road, which is part of the Gold Belt Tour road. Let me tell you....this road is awesome. It comes with sections of new pavement, which I believe that they call bituminous. This stuff is a bit rougher than what we see in Denver, and it really grips. Needless to say, with little traffic, we were flying! Had to be a little concerned since this stretch crosses across open range several times and we did see plenty of cattle grazing close to the road.

    Made it to the Royal Gorge.

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    #8
  9. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    #9
  10. dirtphoenix

    dirtphoenix from the ashes...

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    Great so far:clap
    #10
  11. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    We hung around the bridge for a short while but really wanted to get to Salida (first stop) before dark. I'd seen the bridge twice before, once on a family vacation when I was about 10 yrs. old, and then about a year ago when I took the family. If you're looking for cheap entertainment.....look elsewhere. It will most likely cost you about $100 for a family of four, however when you compare it to skiing, it's really reasonable and a must do. My family loved it and Craig mentioned that he'd be taking his clan there soon. You really can't compete with Colorado Tourist Traps.

    So we got back on Hwy 50 (west), which is right alongside the Arkansas river. Craig out front, as always, and felt right as ease with the speedo at 85mph. This section is awesome as you can see everything. Long sweepers and plenty of passing room. We made very short order of this 50 (or so) mile stretch.

    First Night at the luxurious Comfort Inn followed by a pleasurable dining experience at Quincys.
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    #11
  12. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    We ended up at Quincys at the advisement of the Check-In guys at the Comfort Inn. We asked about something close that we could walk to and they mentioned an Italian joint or Steak House. Uhhh...Colorado, we'll take the steak house! It also came with these following words...."It's really good and really cheap." Decision made.

    It was a block away and the guys at the front desk were right. It was good and cheap. Craig and I both had Filet, salad, baked potatoe (not sure if that comes with an "e" or not), steamed vegtables, bread, and always a staple with us......a double of our favorite. In my case, Crown, and in Craigs case, Rum. So here it goes.....all for $36, tip included. Don't ever expect to get that in Denver!

    So.....Please stop at Quincy's if you're ever in Salida. Great food, great staff, and great prices.
    #12
  13. denvercraig

    denvercraig n00b

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    "See, I grew up riding the dirt but my pals didn't."

    Whats with this BS....I'll have you know that 30 years ago I was running on my RM 125 :)
    #13
  14. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    :ddog How come no one ever told me there was a Quincy's in Salida? We love eating at the ones in Buenie and Leadville. Now there's a new one for us to try. Perfect. :tb


    I can't believe you didn't have the chocolate moose for dessert. It's yummy.
    #14
  15. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    We had breakfast at the Comfort Inn and it was surprisingly good. Not the dry cereal and danish in a bag that has become the standard for a Continental Breakfast.

    We filled up and headed west on Hwy 50 to the top of Monarch Pass. It was quite a scene with all the mountain bikers. I guess this is a popular launch point for the Monarch Crest Trail that is supposed to be a great ride. In addition to the cyclists, there was a hideous amount of Harley Riders. Craig and I decided that there must be a "don't ride with protective gear" convention close by. We never saw it.

    Looking back to the east. Not sure the name of this peak but it was way up there. Timberline out here is approx. 11,200 ft.
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    We kept riding west on Hwy 50, where we stopped to stretch alongside the Gunnison River. This lone, Chocolate Lab was oblivious to us as he was having too much fun with the stick.

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    #15
  16. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    And then his friends showed up!
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    We then headed south on Hwy 149, which is on the eastern most part of Blue Mesa Reservoir. Now this is COLORADO. Unbelievable stretch of two lane and I have no pictures to show for it, at least not til we got to Lake City.

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    I'm not really sure where this "At the Backyard" was located but I never saw it. In the middle of Colorado, in a very obscure town, I found it hard to believe that it would bring in Suzy Bogus and Michael Martin Murphy.

    We had lunch here in Lake City at an outdoor BBQ joint. I asked our waiter about a big water fall that was supposedly south of town. He was convinced that I had no idea what I was talking about.

    But, I was right.
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    Actually, I would have missed it but I told Craig when we were leaving town to look for the falls or at least a sign pointing to the falls. We no sooner left town, and I knew something wasn't right. Whatever I ate for lunch was not jiving with me. Craig was way out front and I figured I was going to be making at sudden stop, but there really wasn't anywhere to pull off. I kept thinking this feeling would subside, but it didn't. I was sweating bullets and then there was Craig on the side of the road. He spotted the sign to the waterfall, which I had completely forgotten about. Craig lifts his visor and says "wanna see the waterfall?" I can just imagine the confusion when I cocked my head and said "oh yeah...the waterfall." Anyway.....I made it to the facilities just in time. Nicest bathroom facilities that I think I've ever seen.
    #16
  17. boarderx686

    boarderx686 n00b

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    What's the hold up? You still cleaning out your drawers?:topes :flush
    Let's see some more pics!
    #17
  18. Fastway*

    Fastway* Pavement Man

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    Now that that was taken care of, I could get back to enjoying the ride. By the way....the waterfall was about 15 miles south of Lake City (left side of 149).

    Somewhere between Lake City and Creed.
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    A couple of kick ass bikes!
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    And we made it to Creede. Couldn't believe all the people. We figured that it would be like Lake City, which was basically a Ghost Town.

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    A couple of Ducs in the road.

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    We didn't stay too long. It was a little disappointing to see so many people. I'm not sure why we were surprised. It is the summer in Colorado.

    I don't believe that this shop is period specific to the mining days, but I took a photo anyway. Actually, I was trying for the American Flag, that was stretched out by the wind, just moments before.

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    I had heard that there was an old Firehouse built into the side of the hill, so we set out to find it. I found it as it was at the end of the old town. I looked over my shoulder, and no Craig. Figured that he put his helmet on without his earplugs and that slowed him down. About 10 minutes later, still no Craig. WTF! I went back to town (two blocks) and there's Craig, no helmet, no jacket, looking bewildered. "Won't Start!" I'm thinking......should have got the ST2 instead of that ST3. Actually, I was thinking....."O-SHIT." So I got off, marched over, and went through the same process of starting my bike. Key to on, check. Neutral, check. Clutch in, check. Kickstand up, check. And low and behold, it started! Damn Italians need the kickstand up, with rider on bike to start it. Who'd a thunk?! Craig likes to fire up his ride as he stands aside and admires it. I'm more about getting on and going. Lesson here, Craig. :lol3

    Off we go. Sorry, with all that, I forgot to take the picture of the firehouse.
    #18
  19. BeerMe2

    BeerMe2 n00b

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    Nice report Steve... thanks for pics
    #19
  20. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    :lurk
    #20