Louisiana to Alaska on as much dirt as possible

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ejtv, May 27, 2011.

  1. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    A little bit of everything in 10 hours of riding to Red Feather Lakes.

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    Hill Top Cabins and Store at Red Feather Lakes

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    #61
  2. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Early AM ready for breakfast:

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    Breakfast burrito special at Sportsman's Cafe (199 Dowdy Lake Rd) lasted all day:

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    Jakbrand lowering his KTM standards to 85 octanes:

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    Heading west toward Panhandle Reservoir:

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    Short ATV trail looking for a road north or a road south out of the Black Mountain area that didn't exist...

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    Asking for directions. We noted the handgun on the table, pulled out just to make sure...

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    One of the most beautiful ATV trails we have ridden in a long long while, somewhere west of Panhandle Reservoir....in pristine condition:

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    Not on any maps...if you can find it, you can ride it too....no ruts, covered in smooth hard-packed sandy dirt and pine needles:

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    Big sky coming down from Deadman Road:

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    They had a crush on orange:

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    So they called their buddies:

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    Blue? Blah!

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    Where are we? Lots of re-routing today, maps don't show private gates...

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    Somewhere along CR 157:

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    Lunch stop:

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    On our way to play in the sandbox behind:

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    #62
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  3. toddler

    toddler Unpronouncible

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    Thanks for sharing.

    How did you do such an excellent job of picking the good riding routes while here in CO.

    I live near Estes Park and you did not miss much.:clap
    #63
  4. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Toddler,

    Some of the most scenic dual sport type routes in Colorado are north of I-70. You are fortunate to live in the middle of it. However, the remote, least traveled routes are not low hanging fruit. Had to research a bit more than usual.

    Between locked gates and infected pine trees the inventory of roads in NoCo is dwendling.:becca

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    The good news is that there is still plenty to enjoy. Wait untill you see day 4 :clap

    #64
  5. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Very easy, I let Jakbrand do the research :clap
    #65
  6. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Splitting that herd of free range bison made me nervous. They are such beasts. The only time I ever listened to so much grunting, farting and bellowing was during my 30 year high school class reunion dinner.:lol3

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    #66
  7. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    These are playing on the East Sand Dunes of the State Forest State Park :happay

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    Jackbrand goes into the bowl...

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    down...

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    up...

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    and back...

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    A year later, on my way from Salt Lake City to Denver, the plane flew right over the very same Sand Dunes:

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    Rain chased us all early afternoon, but never caught up to us. Here we are dealing with a fast-stretching chain on the WR...after 10,000 miles, time for new chain and sprockets.

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    The fence designates the unofficial crossing into Wyoming around Camp Creek

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    The sign makes it official:

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    More big sky as we rode Boswell Road, just north of the Border:

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    And more looking around and re-routing as some of roads were once again, closed or fenced in...

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    Back at Red Feather Lakes before sunset in time for Ramen noodle soup:

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    #67
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  8. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    North Sand Hills OHV area near Walden, Colorado was certainly the highlight of the afternoon.

    I have watched top desert rally riders carve effortlessly thought endless dunes and thought to myself, "that's what I want to do!" The pros make it look so easy.

    Well, after one sandy session I can tell you it's exhilarating but exhausting. I seem to fight more than flow. :norton

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    #68
  9. ride919

    ride919 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Colorado
    What we did Sep 8-12:
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    Great route, do you have a gps track?
    #69
  10. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Today Jackbrand :dg served what was the best day of the NoCo Enduro trip, lots of ATV, singletrack, Jeep roads... with at least a third of the single track totally unexpected.

    After another breakfast burrito special at Sportsman's Cafe we started with a portion of the Killpecker Trail, the north-south section. Here I am showing off while I could:

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    Then jackband bailing me out after I crashed, riding my WR on this tough little climb. It's steeper than it looks yada yada yada, you know the drill.

    I really was hoping he'd say, it's your bike... :eek1 not as powerful as the KTM, or rear suspension too soft, or front suspension too soft, or handlebars too low (all true, BTW), but no, four or five times this trip he proved the WR was just fine:

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    Killpecker was a :ricky, up and down, creek crossings, rock gardens, smooth pine-needle covered sections...more and better than we anticipated.

    And thank you all :clap who worked earlier in the 2011 riding season to clean it up for us out of towners. There was major chain-saw work done that must have taken days to complete.

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    Single track came out of the trees

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    The trail then opened up to some beautiful vistas of the mountain range to our south-west, I assume both Rawah Peaks, Clark, etc.

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    I regret we just didn't have time to do the east west section of Killpecker. Next time.

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    End of our Killpecker venture

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    Here we are riding around for an hour looking for the dirt road south paralleling CR 14 toward Chambers Lake Dam. The FS decided to close the only road south that we swear was on our map and we could see in front of us. The nerve. This was a major blow to jackbrands plan. It meant a total reroute taking us in every other direction except south. Already defeated and riding west for about a mile on an plain forest road we :rofl when we found the alternate route the FS created just recently. They just moved the road that was on the map south about a mile...

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    #70
  11. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Green Ridge Trail gave us lots of mud holes to play in:

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    And some great vistas:

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    Lunch: Cliff Bars, trail mix and water at Lost Lake:

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    Looked like a single track west of CR 21 was bulldozed? We skipped the rutted-tree-stump fest.

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    Found this other one instead:

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    Finally, we can take pictures through aspen trees:

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    :confused which way to go around Radial Mountain, south west or south east?

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    No question made the right choice. Illinois Ditch, Illinois Pass, Trout Creek and Willow Pass :happay

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    This last section, in my opinion, was A++. Unfortunately, we were enjoying it too much to stop for pictures :super

    We then headed south on 125 and on a fateful stop to check our GPS track, my WR's battery declared it was dead. Thankfully this did not happen in the middle of a tough trail. With that, plus being still over 100 miles away from Denver and wanting to get there before dark (KTM had another electrical gremlin, so no headlight), we slabbed it south to Denver on 125-40-Berthoud Pass, our storage units and then the flight to Louisiana and Florida the next morning.
    #71
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  12. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    If you've never done it, consider hitting the donate button and give ADVrider site administrators a few bucks to pay for bandwidth, etc.
    #72
  13. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Don't miss five star Killpecker Trail while it's rideable. It snakes through a forest devistated by mountain pine beetle and Killpecker Trail can be clogged with fallen pine trees after the slightest wind storm.


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    Also, if you want to connect Killpecker Trail to Green Ridge Trail (highly recommended), then make a note on your GPS that FS 517 and FS 177 have been rerouted. Both do not exist as depected on USFS Roosevelt/Arapaho NF map. Their actual intersection is about one mile to the west of the map's location. :thumb

    Ride On!
    #73
  14. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Looking west from Denver towards Moab, it is like this, with a couple of alternates in case of snow: Denver, Marshall Pass, Lake City, Uncompahgre Plateau, Moab. Not a lot of time, only 3 1/2 days of riding, but we should have plenty of fun.
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    The plan is for my son and me to fly to Denver mid June 2012, select gear from storage, ship a few things back home, dump the rest, pick up the bikes at the shop, ride to Moab. We will meet Jakbrand and other inmates there to do a ride/camp/tour of South Utah, primo campsite on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, return to Moab, store bikes, fly back home to Baton Rouge, work, and get ready for the next leg from Moab to Salt Lake City later in the summer.

    The WR250's suspensions are being upgraded. Technical single track really taxes me and after riding a KTM for a few miles, I realized how inferior the suspensions of the WR's are. The upgrade should extend my comfort level with more difficult terrain, i.e., I am hoping it will make me a better rider…:rofl... Travis Jones of Go-Race Suspension is doing the work. I will report later after the ride on the upgrade, but from all the research I did, his work should do the trick.

    I have also upgraded our camping gear with ultralight items I have tested this winter.

    Stuff like this:

    Instead of a nylon tent, a cuben fiber tarp (blue bag, on top of a Kindle in the pic), carbon fiber single pole instead of several aluminum poles, titanium stakes, super light solid fuel/wood stove to boil water instead of jetboil, down quilt instead of sleeping bag, cuban floor instead of nylon, etc. Huge difference in weight, size…yes, my wallet is a lot lighter because of it too :lol3. But essentially I can carry my tarp, pole, mattress, stove, sleeping bag and miscellaneous stuff inside my 3 liter hydration pack easily.

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    #74
  15. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    My son and I flew into Denver Wednesday, picked up bikes at repair shop around 10 AM, cleaned up mini-storage, shipped a box of stuff we didn't need home and finally fueled at Sedalia to start our trip around 2 PM:

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    Plan was to follow a southern dirt route via Rampart Range, Guffey, Ute Pass, Marshall Pass, Lake City, Cinnamon-California-Hurricane-Corckscrew-Imogene Passes, Telluride, Last Dollar Pass, Uncompaghre, Gateway, John Brown Canyon, and finally Moab in 2 1/2 days.

    Then meet Jakbrand & other friends from Florida Friday evening at Moab to start our Grand Utah Roulette Saturday morning, returning the following Friday, for a total of 10 days of hard dirt riding and camping.

    First mechanical of the trip, we noticed bark buster of one of the WR's with a missing bolt. We turned around at the gas station to head back when we noticed a bike shop in Sedalia right before entering the highway. Owner gladly looked for one, found it, gave it to us and sent us on our way! Super nice guy and if you are ever in Sedalia, a good shop to get some last minute repairs done.

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    One of the many dirt roads leading into Guffey and then Marshall Pass:

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    Not too many pics this first day since we were wanting to make as much progress as possible through areas we had already traveled before. We arrived at Marshall Pass after about 170 miles around dusk at 9 PM and started to look for a camping site. We settled here for the chilliest night of the whole 10 days of riding. We packed enough dehydrated food for dinners and breakfast to last us until Moab, along with a small solid fuel ultralight stove and camping gear.

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    New suspension on the WR's by Go Race Suspension vastly improved the handling of these WR250Rs. More on my assessment of the bikes later on.
    #75
  16. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    AM campsite at Marshall Pass:

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    After breakfast, we continued west. Our goal today was to make it to Telluride via Cinnamon/Imogene Passes.

    Second mechanical of the trip, a nail through the rear tire of my bike…unfortunately, lack of practice, I pinched the replacement tire…and we had to patch it and replace it a second time :dog

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    Here is a family of bicycle riders doing the whole Continental Divide trail from New Mexico to Canada stopping to exchange stories as we finished up the repairs.

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    Finally on our way, this is on the western side of Marshall:

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    Refueling at Poncha Springs:

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    Heading to Lake City through the northern edge of the Rio Grande National Forest:

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    Lunch break by Los Pinos Creek, right before Los Pinos Pass:

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    We then refueled at Lake City and headed to Cinnamon Pass. Below is the pass and the descent into Animas Fork. This was the first of several passes we completed in this trip that we had to abort three years ago on F-650's due to snow, mud and our inability to get the bigger motos through:

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    Animas Fork below with the climb we would take toward California/Hurricane/Corkscrew, three passes that we also were unable to complete on our F-650's three years prior:

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    This is descending Corkscrew Gulch:

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    We then headed to Ouray and up to Imogene. This is the classic "drinking cup" shot on 361 climbing toward Imogene. Lots of traffic, though.

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    Arriving at Imogene Pass which had opened just a couple of days before. I took the first of many falls this trip negotiating one of the small switchbacks before getting to the final narrow shelf road. We both stopped counting after the third or fourth fall :rofl

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    The descent to Telluride:

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    Black Bear switchbacks and Bridal Veil Falls in the background:

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    Luxury accommodations in Telluride at Camel's Garden, bathrobes and all. We were tired after flying NOLA to Denver at 6 am, starting to ride by noon and completing 340 miles of mostly dirt and 7 or 8 passes in one and a half days…plus changing two flat tires…no amount of weight lifting in the gym, walking, jogging, and sprinting can replace hard riding. Plus the last leg to Moab would be another 200 plus miles, including several miles of single track… I used to train to race bicycles…as I get older, now I train for my vacations...:rofl

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    #76
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  17. stefer

    stefer Been here awhile

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    Great ride report.

    But let me ask you, how do you plan such a long trip off road? I'd love to be able to make my own trails like this, but I don't know where to start apart from reading maps for hours on end. Is there a secret to it?
    #77
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  18. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    No secrets, lots of research prior to the trip reading maps, NFS maps, MVU maps, Google Earth, Garmin for hours on end. 90% of the resources are on the internet. The TAT, MHC and SR, of course, you can purchase here. ADVrider reports are a huge help too. The rest, you can purchase the maps from the NFS, Public Lands Information Center, etc. Then transfer waypoints and tracks to a GPS so you don't waste too much time with navigation during the trip.

    It takes me 10 months to plan a 10 day trip, and several weeks to do the road report, which means I am always on vacation :clap
    #78
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  19. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    San Juans opened early this year. See ya in Moab.
    #79
  20. stefer

    stefer Been here awhile

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    :D That is how I am.

    If you don't already, you could contribute your trail(s) to http://dualsportmaps.com/ .
    #80
    wilcoxbr likes this.