High Tour III - or more fricken Colorado pics

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by GregInBoulder, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    SueInBoulder and I started a "tradition" a few years back. We'd pick a fall weekend and try to get lost, grooving on the fall colors, eat well and forgo the camping in favor of a hot shower and soft bed. Along the way we'd take a bunch of pictures, tormenting those of you who don't live in Colorado, and put them up in a report. This is that report. Mostly landscapes. Roughly a thousand miles in two and a half days.

    We had the luxury of choosing between the old reliable 1100 or the new sexy 950. If it was the latter I needed to mount up some new tires really bad. SIB had Friday off and wanted to get some mileage in a westerly direction if possible. I'll admit I'm kind of stricken with the 950 and was leaning in that direction. Of course I waited until Thursday night to change the tires. If you haven't had the excruciating thrill of changing a rear tire on a KTM 950 get ready for a big bite of humble pie. Took me about four hours. At one point I decided to give up. SIB raised her eyebrows and said, "hmmm, that's a first". I went back to work. I finally got it done but by now it was too late to find the short in my prior weekend's project, heated grips. Whatever, we're on the road tomorrow at the crack of noon or as soon as I can bail on work.

    Friday dawns, the morning slips by, noon comes and goes. SIB is packed and tapping her foot. About 2:00 I announce a departure time and we jam our gear into the bags. We roll out of Boulder at 2:30, gently as I haven't scrubbed the mold release off and part of last night's exercise was pounding my front rim back into some semblance of a circle. (due to a night ascent and decent of TinCup the week prior - a story for another time.)

    I've cleverly conned Haydule and Bonnie into some accommodations for the night so our final destination is known. I've got a loose idea of a route to get us there and we haul asses down to and up 285 to Jefferson. Here we turn south. The idea is to ride a cutoff route that Esteban, Yellow Pig and I rode last winter. There is a report somewhere on that fateful trip, 2 hours to cover 20 miles in the slickest snow snot covered road I've ever been on. I wanted to ride it dry and look around since the last time I was there the snow shoved up my visor precluded any real reconnaissance of where the hell we were. :lol3

    (finally, some pictures)

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    Readers may not notice the weather but it was in the back of my mind. O.K., maybe the front. Riding as I often do in the grand scheme of the west, it is not unusual for me to make a significant course change to try to outwit some major weather system. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. For today we just watched and pondered. Tomorrow might be a little more challenging.

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    #1
  2. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    Get there around 6:00 pm. I've got two numbers for Hayduke on one of those yellow sticky things. One is his work number, the other the house. We dismount and fire up the cell phones. They don't work.:huh We are dumbfounded, disoriented, confused. But, we are ADVriders. We remount and decide to look for a "Pay Phone". Now there used to be lots of these around. I remember using them. They were at the corner drug store, in the airports, on busy street corners. It's true I haven't seen one in years but never you mind, we'll find one and that we do. We dismount again and approach the device. It requires change, how much we aren't sure. We have two quarters between us and from what we can discern, that is good for one call. I've got two numbers.

    As we're peering at the instructions the sun comes out and a fine local gentlemen steps up and asks if we need some assistance. We explain our predicament and he hands me his cell phone. It works. We exchange knowing looks, call Hayduke, get directions and within 10 minutes are home free for the night.

    A fine time was had by all. Great dinner, better stories, some Guitar Hero thrown in, cats got some attention, bikes looked over and a fine bed to call it a night.
    #2
  3. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    After a great night's sleep in the ADV bungalow, SIB and I roll out to a fresh cup of coffee compliments of Hayduke and Bonnie. I've got a weather eye but we're in it for the adventure, not the tan. All systems are go and we ride about 11 blocks and stop for breakfast. :lol3

    Having fortified ourselves for the ride ahead, we aim the 950 towards the south and west. We find ourselves bucking a pretty serious side wind from the south that makes sense. To the north, it is dark and stormy. I'd decided to stay off the high passes and try to route around the southern end of the weather, let the winds do their job and see how far west we could get.

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    We ride up 114 until it looks like the above and make the call. I'd spotted an overland dirt route that should deliver us into Lake City and goes back south as well as west. We take the plunge.

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    #3
  4. thunder63

    thunder63 Adventurer

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    Amarillo Texas
    I am only 5 hours away and yet it will take another year to get there. Thanks for keeping the desires on a hightened status.
    #4
  5. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    Lady luck is smiling all the way. We never really get wet and wind around and up through a drainage that is totally new to me. The light doesn't do justice to the aspens, once again a kind of "you had to be there moment".

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    The road climbed until we hit a small pass and once again Colorado humbles me. I'd not been here before. We stopped and gaped at the scenery, laughed at our good fortune with the weather and commenced to powerslide down the back side. :clap

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    #5
  6. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster prairie rider

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    Love them Quakies, thanks!:thumb
    #6
  7. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

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    Great pics, Greg! Isn't that road sweet?
    #7
  8. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    We worked out way up to the highway and headed down into a deep valley.

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    Intermittent mist/snow/rain but light enough to not really matter.

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    So we roll into Lake City and stop for fuel, just in time to say hi to PharmaKyle who is just pulling away with several other riders. :wave

    SIB: How much further?
    GIB: Oh, probably an hour or two to Gateway. Maybe a little more.
    SIB: Really?
    GIB: If I'm wrong may a giant fish bite me on the head.

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    (I was wrong)

    Anyway, we moseyed on our merry way to the west and north. It got REALLY windy but we finally pulled into Gateway around 6:00 pm. Got a room, sat in the hot tub, ate a great dinner and decided that we'd be on the road by 8:00 in the morning.

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    #8
  9. Medicine Creek

    Medicine Creek 127.0.0.1

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. InsuredDisaster

    InsuredDisaster Sam's Summer Camp

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    I was at that spot the other day too!
    #10
  11. GregInBoulder

    GregInBoulder Jerry rules. Get over it.

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    As it so often happens, you put up with a day of marginal weather, your cat pukes in your bed, you get a flat, whatever. You power through knowing it's just a solid deposit in the Karma bank and there is interest accumulating.

    Just before I went to bed Saturday night I checked the sky and it was full of stars. We'd ridden about 340 miles directly through an east bound front that day, going west. Sunday morning had the brilliant, clean air that follows a good purging wind, which was probably in Kansas by now. Not a cloud in the sky and nary a breeze but it was cold.

    We were gassed and on the bike at 8:00 headed for the Grand Mesa via Lands End road.

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    In the pic below from about half way up Lands End you can see the La Salles to the west. The canyon cut that leads to Gateway and the Delores River is in the center of the shot. Moab is on the other side of the mountains.

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    The temp at the top of Grand Mesa was a balmy 28 degrees and the prior days blow had a left a little white stuff behind.

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    We headed to Collbran and then through the heart of the east side of the mesa. I love this country, we saw about two herds of cattle, three pickups and that's it in about 50 miles.

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    From here we jumped over to Kebler and down to Crusty for fuel and lunch. At that point we realized we would need to increase our speed somewhat if we were to make it back to Boulder in time for a dinner appointment. A few last shots from Kebler.

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    Up the Taylor, over Cottonwood and down to BV. We pointed the 950 east on 285 and hauled into Fairplay only to find the road closed due to high winds. Detoured down through Breck and on the I-80 slab to 93 and home. Pulled into the driveway at 7:00 pm. An 11 hour day with a few stops for fuel, photos and a quick lunch.

    Was another great run, hope you enjoyed the pics. :D
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks GIB!! another one of your great colorado reports and pics :thumb
    #12
  13. ST4Fun

    ST4Fun Proud to be an Infidel

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    Good God...what a gorgeous State.:raabia
    #13
  14. 309

    309 Special Purpose

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    You two got some great shots!

    This picture gets me thinking SIB might not want you to sell the 1100 just yet...and maybe it's time to get her some heated gear.

    #14
  15. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    :thumb :thumb :thumb
    #15