Mountains and Deserts-Life in the San Juans and Beyond

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by MountainsandRivers, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Ok. I was cleaning up my phone and downloading photos so i wouldn't lose them...Again...there was a "water incident" outside Silverton this summer that killed a phone and a lot of great photos went with it. I figured I should get off my ass and do a report of some kind and use them before I lose them.

    My location-Telluride. For those that don't know, it is a laid back ski town in southwest Colorado. There is a huge variety of good rides in the area. I consider my backyard to be about 3 hours in any direction. That opens up a lot of activities, and I try to make the most of it. I hope to break this up into different day rides or weekend trips that i did this year, but some may go back further. There may be occasional shots of my family, not always moto related, but probably will be amazing or funny. Be with me on those, i am a proud dad of two great boys!

    My bike is a 2009 Beta 525RR. It has been a great bike, modified a bit for the riding I like to do, abused a bit, because sometimes things happen when you ride offroad! She is kind of a sexy little Italian number that likes dirty things, A LOT. I rarely share her...just the way I am...sorry...

    The picture quality is poor, but so is my writing style...and riding ability for that matter, so i should at least keep it consistent. If you have low expectations for this thread, then i think i can meet that...

    So here goes....
    Here I am, standing on a bit of a drop off on the Gold Bar section off of Poison Spider north of Moab...
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    A riding season in the San Juans is like this. Spring and fall, we travel either to Moab (about 2hrs away) or Montrose area (about 1 1/2hr away). In the summer we try to ride as much singletrack and good mountain passes as we can. We have some great twisty paved roads too, but i rarely get the chance to do them...I am happiest on dirt and rocks anyway...

    Most of you know what Moab looks like, so i will start with the Montrose side. The Flattop/Peach Valley riding area is massive. It is a mostly open riding area with a lot of adobe clay, but there is also some good rocky singletrack up high. The hill climbs can be intimidating and there are a lot of great ditches to keep the grin muscles stretched...

    Here are some shots from an afternoon session this past spring..
    Rocks..
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    Ridgetops...that is the Flattop formation in the background
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    Some nice big banked turns...
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    Monster Ditch! This one is like a natural half pipe in spots, other places it gets so narrow you can barely keep your feet on the pegs..
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    And it just goes and goes....
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    I just love fast flowing ditches!:clap
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    So that is how we frequently burn a half day when we need to get some dirt fix.
    #1
  2. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    As the snow melts, we can start getting into our own backyard. Some big efforts are put into getting the passes and trails open...when it opens varies A LOT on the snow accumulations. I have ridden some of the local areas in mid May, sometimes it is late June or early July before it is cleared.
    Here is my youngest son doing a scouting mission on Ophir pass a few years ago. This was about June 20th...and we couldn't make the last 200 hundred feet or so to the top.
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    You want to enjoy some San Juan singletrack? Here is what it looks like after the snow melts...this is inmate Enduro-ince and I doing some trail clearing on the Bear Creek trail south of Rico.
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    All clear!
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    Imogene Pass is a fun road just above town. Great for a quick spin after work. Despite the rain, it was a great ride this evening with my friend Chris and Bob, inmate GrizCp.
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    This is the Winter trail, north of Rico. I did a quick scouting mission this evening, to get a quick ride in. I got out just as it got dark and started raining. Not the best idea for solo riding, but a fun little trail!
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    The next morning i met Bob again and we rode a bit of the Wilson Mesa Singletrack trail before i had to go to work. Lucky for me this trail is only a few miles from my house..
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    #2
  3. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Despite living here for 14 years, i can admit i had not explored a lot of the passes east of here, but that changed this summer.
    In early July I did a ride with my friend Ryan. I rode over Imogene at 7am, met him in Ouray, then we rode Engineer Pass and into Lake City for some BBQ and beers, then we returned via Cinnamon, California, Corkscrew and back over Black Bear. We did a leisurely sightseeing pace for a change, stopping frequently, and I was still back home about 5:30..I realized later I did not get a lot of great photos of this ride, but plan to do it more often from now on.

    One of the overlooks near the top of Engineer.
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    Waterfall on the Lake City side of Engineer.
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    I loved these old, broken dams. The things the miner's built 100 years ago just blows me away!
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    Old boiler near the top of California pass
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    The Bridal Veil Hydroelectric powerplant. A friend of mine used to live there, year round, with his family. It is a pretty impressive place. I have been to a big party there, in true Telluride fashion, complete with fireworks, kegs, kids and a Bluegrass band. Pretty scary place to party after dark though, one wrong step....
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    It was a great ride with great weather, which was not the case for a lot of this summer....
    #3
  4. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    A bit after this was the "water incident" where i killed my old phone, so I lost anything i hadn't downloaded, which was quite a bit. So just imagine all the trails I rode during the RMAR event in late July in Silverton. I had a big singletrack day south of Durango ski area-Dutch, Jones and Hermosa Creek trails, a day to ride over Ophir Pass and hit Calico trail above Rico and then return to Silverton via the East Fork trail, and a day riding over Stoney Pass to ride Lost Creek and Pole Creek singletrack sections. Some of my favorite rides of the year, but just memories on my end. I think some of those shots are posted on the RMAR Silverton thread...if some of you that were on those read this, feel free to add them...

    So I mentioned the weather was kind of rainy this summer. Usually we get the monsoons that last from mid July to mid August. Not this year, we had pretty consistent showers until late September it seemed. I was about to buy more flannel, drink more coffee and get all depressed and shit...

    Instead we said "f#*k it".
    Two friends, CK and Mikey, wanted to do a pass ride late August. The day we picked was far from spectacular. We could see our breath when we left. We had wanted to do a Lake City loop, but there ended up being decent lightning up high so we cut it short and did an Ophir Pass to Engineer to Imogene loop.

    Here is the fog coming down the east side of Ophir Pass.
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    It drizzled all the way to Silverton. We did a late breakfast and bought some handwarmers for the gloves. Then we headed up to Animas Forks. It had really started pouring when we got near the town, so we went full tourist and checked out every single cabin, every accessible level. This became the best part of the trip!
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    After the rain let up a little, we headed out toward Engineer Pass. We opted not to go to the very top due to lightning, but on the west side we went up one of the spurs and toured around another cool little townsite.

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    We spent a lot of time playing on these old boilers. Here we are as the submarines are about to crash into some big ship...
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    Oh, yeah, we did bring motorcycles on this trip...
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    The first bits of color change that I saw this season. This was late August, but most of our good color didn't go until early October.
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    This becomes the Ouray Ice Park in the winter, on the way up to Imogene Pass/Yankee Boy Basin.
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    The top of Imogene Pass
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    The storm let up that afternoon and we got to finish with a beer on the patio at the Floradora. Not a bad day at all!
    #4
  5. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    I had one of my best fall seasons ever. I got to ride a bit more than average and still managed some fun family events so I didn't have to get cold in the doghouse.

    I got another good ride on the Wilson Mesa ST on Memorial Day, closing day of the season for that one.
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    A friend told me I should ride his bike for the day. I couldn't argue. I used it as my "work vehicle" that day, but somehow got lost and rode to Rico and back. Weird. I can admit I liked the Harley, it was fun for just cruising around, but I still prefer my dirtbike.
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    Met RTW Doug briefly at the BBQ joint in Moab one night. I recognized the hack in the parking lot from the thread. Wish I could have talked longer with him...
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    Got a good day with the kids in at Peach Valley. Here is my six year old with the right attitude. By next year he will probably know to use the other finger for ADV.:lol3
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    Some 4wheeling on the Rim trail on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
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    His older brother..
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    #5
  6. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    5 Miles of Hell. I had heard about it, a technical trail in the San Rafael Swell, west of Green River, way out in the middle of nowhere. I went up with my friend Simon to meet some other friends who I had met through ADV due to a ride called the Monkeybutt 500. It is kind of something to do if you like sick and wrong things, like riding a dirtbike for 10-14hrs a day, well into dark, covering as much singletrack as you can between Woodland Park and Taylor Park in 3 days. To say it is a sufferfest is to put it mildly, so when i meet some of these guys to ride, i know it will be a good day!
    We rode some fun trails, VJs and Red trail while heading to 5MOH.
    This trail will humble most people. First off it is a lying whore. Tempts you with five miles right there in the name, but its 8 miles long. At five miles you are ready to give up. By mile seven I couldn't really use my arms and my left hand was permanently bent to hold the clutch, well after shutting off the bike. It was awesome!
    This is Tomas (Rinoman).
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    I don't know why Simon crashed here. It looks so smooth!:lol3
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    This is Mark (Modette)
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    Ben (CO650XL) needed a quick trailside repair. Apparently if you crush in your clutch cover so much that there is a grinding noise, it makes you worry about having to push your bike out of here, which ain't happening. Bend it back out, removing metal fins, clean it up, good to go!
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    After we finished 5MOH we were greeted with a long whooped out ATV track to return to the main road. It was definitely the first time I saw hauling ass on whoops to be so relaxing after a long day!

    A few weekends later I met Rinoman and Mike (Brav) along with my boss and some of his friends for a guys weekend in Moab.

    Mike and I wanted to test our nightlights, so headed out to Slickrock at 11pm. I think we did a full lap in 1hr 15mins from town. Only one sketchy slide down into a little gully, minor pucker factor, not too bad. Pics didn't work well, here was the best...
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    The next day I rode with my boss and his friends. They used Jim from DualSportUtah to rent bikes for most of them and be their guide for the day. The plan was to ride Onion Creek, head out to Rosegarden Hill and then ride some of the Kokopelli trail and return via Castle Valley.I tagged along because i had never rode that area. It was a fun, relaxing day. Mostly dirt roads, but beautiful scenery and hardly any other traffic.
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    Someones bike was getting a little sleepy in the parking lot...
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    The next day Rinoman, Brav and I wanted to put in a big day. This goes back to the Monkeybutt mentality. Sick and wrong things can be really fun on a motorcycle! We rode Poison Spider, Gold Bar Rim, Golden Spike, up Gemini Bridges to Metal Masher, then over to Wipeout Hill/Seven Mile Rim and finished with most of the singletrack at Sovereign and Cedar Mtn(???) Left town at 9ish and back around 5. This seemed to be the stop and hang out at an overlook trip. It was a really great day to ride!
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    Brav and Rinoman
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    So you know when you start to get really tired after a good physical day and you get light headed???



    Maybe start hallucinating???



    You know what I mean right?



    I think I did. I imagined I saw some cowgirls on the horizon. They sure looked pretty, all dressed up, the horses were done up as well, with pink accents to match the cowgirls...



    Damn. They are getting closer....



    I think I am freaking out a bit now...
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    Whoa. Don't worry, this ain't my first rodeo. Maybe this is real. I asked one to be my Buckle Bunny. Alas, I had no buckle to give, so this is the view I got...
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    Now boys and girls, believe you me, drugs and riding do not mix!

    This report wouldn't be a complete ADV report without some food, so here is some lunch. High class red pepper smoked oysters with a view!
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    Sovereign area...
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    Got one more day in at Peach Valley last weekend..hope to ride at least once a month this winter, maybe learn some new stuff south of here in New Mexico, or this may be the parting shot for 2013....
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    Hope you have enjoyed it so far!
    #6
  7. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Been here awhile

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    Great report & pic's.... Keep m coming.

    :clap Cowgirls :clap
    #7
  8. crjdirt

    crjdirt Been here awhile

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    Thanks for putting this together MnR! You're lucky to live where you do. Small world- I rode with Modette and GrizCp (Brek Trek, what's up guys!) and I think I've ridden that sleeping Gas Gas if it's Jim of DSU's. Plz keep the entertainment coming! Oh and I love people's RR's that leave me craving beer ha ha
    #8
  9. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    What great collection of shots.

    Makes me want to get out and explore. Some very unique spots you've found there.
    #9
  10. mdouglas71

    mdouglas71 Adventurer

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    Looks like a blast for exploring.Makes me wanna hop on my bike and explore too. Too bad I got work :(
    #10
  11. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Nice! :thumb Thanks for sharing!
    #11
  12. Gaston Gagne

    Gaston Gagne Past Easy

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    :lurk

    Hoping to head to Moab this spring.
    #12
  13. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Cool pics of your boys! Looks like you're a great dad! :clap:clap:clap
    #13
  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    M&R, looks like a great year :clap
    #14
  15. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    It sure was Chris. Hope to ride with you next year, but at least got to meet you in Moab for breakfast this past spring!
    #15
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Jimmex sent me the link to this, let's just say we have target acquisition. :freaky
    #16
  17. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    :lurk


    Good stuff Trevor, we have to make some mid winter footage somehow.:1drink
    #17
  18. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Planning on it Tom. I really hope to get a ride in at least once a month this winter. Hoping to check out Farmington or Aztec in December. The Moab house is very available for us in the winter, and now it is well stocked with a 310 Husky and a 450 exc as a buddy bike.
    #18
  19. 03rubicon

    03rubicon Been here awhile

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    I am so jealous, I would give my left nut to live in Telluride, what do you do for a living?
    #19
  20. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    I came here as a ski bum/raft guide, but once I built a house and started a family I evolved into a Bitch to the Rich. I now do property management for a lot of the second homes in the area. Pay is decent, hours can suck, but it allows me some freedoms to enjoy my backyard!
    #20