Lil Tour of Colorado

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ktmklx, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    After crossing the Continental Divide for the second time in 3 days we descended into the town of Como. Leaving Como and the Pike National Forest behind us, our route turned into gravel ranch roads. Elkhorn Road is posted at 40 MPH and runs between CO 285 and CO 24. I have a feeling this road was never posted until alot of big orange dirt bikes started leaving dust wakes on it. :clap It was very hard to keep the Ninja below 65 here, but we did our best.:lol3

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    An old building in Como

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    Some where on Elkhorn Road

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    The wide open gravel is nice change of pace from the winding mountain roads.
    #21
  2. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    After Elkhorn Road we passed through the town of Hartsel on CO 24. From there more ranch roads this time they were narrower and turned from gravel to dirt.

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    Often photographed water crossing.

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    Mike

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    The Kid

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    Notice how the old guys don't make a big splash. :wink:
    #22
  3. RoyQ

    RoyQ Long timer

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    Sadly I did not do a ride report. I just dumped a few pics along the way in the regional gulf states section under "where did you ride in ms today" thread. Yes we rode all those passes that day, black bear being our first one that morning. I had planned on riding by myself that day since I was out there by myself ha. Max approached me at that very gas station that morning and asked if we could ride together for safety reasons. Of course I agreed. Turns out Max was an outstanding rider so we both hit it off instantly. He rode down the steps on black bear standing on the pegs:eek1 extensive trials background so he told me. Anyway enjoyed our brief chat and it looks like you guys had a super trip. Maybe we will run into each other out on the road again someday.
    #23
  4. RyanR

    RyanR Been here awhile

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    Looks like you guys had an awesome ride, and great ride report! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I did a ride in the opposite direction a few weeks ago, CO to WY and stopped at that same gas station in Encampment, I was beginning to think we were SOL until we came around that corner and saw the pumps!

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    #24
  5. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    Oh yea, not a lot of places to buy fuel in that area, but a great place to ride. The report is only about half done, stick around the good stuff is coming up.
    #25
  6. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    Not to far after the water hole we came to an overlook, the town of Salida could be seen below.

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    We had a quick lunch and fueled up in Salida. When we arrived the sun was shining hot and bright, by the time we were ready to leave storm clouds were moving in. Our route took us right in the direction of the storm clouds, and over Marshall Pass. There are 2 roads that lead up to Marshall pass on the east side, Marshall Pass Road and FR203. FR203 is rocky two track and that is the one we took. It had rained in this area just before we arrived and the baby heads were wet and slick.

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    Tricky riding

    We took a break right after the rockiest section, we were at about 10,000 ft. Mike was struggling with the rocky trail and high elevation. He suggested turning around and going back, I offered to go ahead while he rested and check out the trail. I scouted ahead for a couple miles and returned telling the guys that the most difficult riding was behind us.

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    Steep, wet and slippery on theses pigs.

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    Tuckered out we arrived at the pass.
    #26
  7. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

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    As a native of Colorado, I'm enjoying your ride a great deal. But the closest I've come to riding the CD is from the top of Monarch Pass to the top of Marshall on single track. It follows the Divide along the ridge and was a blast! Keep up the good report!
    #27
  8. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    That sounds like fun. Do you have any pictures?
    #28
  9. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    After Marshall Pass it was an easy gravel drive into the town of Sargent on CR243. After fueling up in Sargent it was onto CO 50 and then CR14PP. We had a UPS truck on our tail running down this stretch of twisty gravel, we were running about 65 mph, he stuck right to us.

    From there it was onto FR788. It was late afternoon and the storm clouds were getting thicker and darker and finally the rain came. The rain was coming down pretty hard, luckily the road was more gravel than dirt. We stopped at McDonough Reservoir and considered camping there. We decided it was too early and continued on in the rain.

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    McDonough Reservoir there was fire ring and outhouse here.
    #29
  10. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    We continued on in the rain, there were some amazing views along this road.

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    Near Los Pinos Pass
    #30
  11. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    After looking at the Map we were hoping to get something to eat in Cathedral CO. No luck with that, Cathedral is an intersection, no houses or businesses.

    We set up camp in the rain at Hidden Valley Campground. My tent was just a few feet away from the rushing creek, ah, the best white noise you could ask for. The rain stopped and the sun came out just after we got the tents up. We screwed up not buying any food earlier in the day, beef jerky, trail mix and granola bars for supper this night.

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    Just shy of 220 miles, good run on this day.
    #31
  12. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    If we could get to Dove Creek this evening we would be back on schedule. I told the guys if we make it to Dove Creek tonight there would be a nice motel room waiting for them. It should be easy enough but we were getting a late start and we had 2 mountain passes to cross. Crossing Marshall pass the day before was a little tricky, I think we were all wondering what Cinnamon and Ophir passes would be like.

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    #32
  13. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    There were some nice views around the campground and we spent about an hour taken it all in. We also used this time to let the tents and tarps dry out. I mentioned before Alex likes his rocks, he could resist this one either. Mike and I decided to join him and we were able to get some nice photos of the area.

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    A gentleman that we met at the campsite with his dog.

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    The road we came in on the night before
    #33
  14. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    After packing up camp it was onto Lake City to get something to eat. It was just before 11:00 when we got to Lake City we saw 2 restaurants in town, the first one we stopped at was kinda of an artsy fartsy type place that was transitioning between breakfast and lunch and didn't seem to interested in serving some dirty bikers. We went across the street to Sportsman's BBQ Station, this stop was much more to our liking. Pulled pork sandwiches, old wood floors with wide cracks and 40 year old beer signs, this is more like it. Friendly people running the place too. While we were eating our sandwiches Mike announced that he was going to take the main highways to Dove Creek and not ride the passes, he told Alex and I to go ahead on the planned route. So now it was decision time, do we all stick together and take the highway and skip one of the highlights of the trip or do we split up as Mike suggests? I am not thrilled about Mike riding by himself, but damn this is why we came out here. Alex wants nothing to do with the highway and is ready for some challenging riding. I don't want to talk Mike into riding the passes because he got pissed off at me yesterday for talking him up Marshall pass.

    We decided to split up and meet in Dove Creek at 8:00 pm. It was a stand up move by Mike to offer going alone and I appreciated it, he knew how much Alex and I wanted to ride the passes.

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    Alex and I leaving Sportsman's, while Mike breaks away on his own.
    #34
  15. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    Enjoying reading this one, bookmarked... Gives me more chops to finally do the dual sport swap to my Ninja 650R...
    #35
  16. Hakatan

    Hakatan quality > quantity

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    Great ride report. I've enjoyed many of those same roads...so I know how fantastic your ride must have been

    He's referring to the Monarch Crest Trail. Incredible views. I loved riding it on a mountain bike this past August...but I sure would think twice before trying it on a 650cc dual-sport. :huh. Better riders have and will continue to ride it:deal:

    #36
  17. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    DO IT, DO IT

    The Ninja makes an excellent DS bike when set up correctly. I swapped bikes with Alex a couple times on this ride, the mutant ninja feels simply amazing when compared to the KLR. The inner fender and swing arm changes transformed this bike from what it was a year ago.
    #37
  18. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    Thanks for posting that information. I think I want to move to Colorado.
    #38
  19. ktmklx

    ktmklx Been here awhile

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    The first few miles up Cinnamon Pass were pretty uneventful, once we got past the parking lots for the jeep and ATV haulers things got a little more interesting. We had to work around our share of jeeps and ATVS, I don't think riding this on the weekend would be very fun.

    Around 10,000 feet there was a tight switchback with a steep rough exit, I stopped to square it up. Alex stopped too and and he could not get the KLR to take off again! I yelled at him to put into first gear, he of course yelled back IT IS. I had the ninja parked beyond the steep exit and walked down to Alex. I asked him to let me on the bike and see what was going on with it, reluctantly he got off and I tried to scoot the bike up the steep exit. The bike just didn't have any power, I revved the piss out of it and got it over the hump and parked it next to the ninja. I looked at the GPS and noticed we were at 10,000 ft, 2000 plus to go, I told Alex that we were going to have to turn around. The old man screwed up and didn't even consider changing the stock gearing on the KLR. Alex would have none of it, he insisted the bike could make it to the top, I knew it wouldn't.

    Reluctantly I agreed to continue on. I gave Alex a push to get him going and then over took him on the incline. I am thinking this is crazy and worried his bike is going to stall and he'll drop the thing. Switch back after switchback we are getting closer to the top, we are riding at a good pace to keep the revs up. I can't believe the KLR is still climbing.

    We come to a small parking area just not far from the top, I pull in and Alex follows. Alex says the bike is running OK and he can make it, I tell him to lead the way to the summit. Alex is pulling off his helmet when I pull up beside him at the summit, the look on his face said a lot. He conquered it, and he was proud. :clap


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    Just getting started.

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    View from the small parking area.

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    Alex taking the lead.

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    Take that Dad.

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    #39
  20. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    I do not have the skills for those sorts of modifications unfortunately. Would be sweet though. I will have to stick to bolt on.
    #40