Muddy Pass, CO - August 2010

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Luke308, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Luke308

    Luke308 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    <table id="post952873" class="tborder" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td class="alt1" id="td_post_952873" style="border-right: 2px solid rgb(0, 0, 0);">As the first heavy snowflakes are falling here in Trinidad, Colorado, I think it's time to post my first ride report from the past summer to ease the chill and help the winter pass. Summers are always too short! Especially for those of us who ride on 2 wheels...

    Nearly every August of the 25 years I have been blessed with here on God's good earth has taken me and my family to Vail, Colorado for two weeks of rest and relaxation. This was my first summer with a motorcycle, and thankfully a well equipped and reliable 2001 KLR 650.

    Summit County, Colorado is one of my favorite regions in the state. The beautiful mountains are covered in lodgepole pine, aspen, and lush, wildflower covered meadows. The conditions in summit county can be extreme, but the combination of moisture, cool evening temperatures, and warm sunshine have a way of making every flower and tree reach their full potential for beauty. The shear number of trails and forest roads grants us accessibility to the area and are a pleasure to ride.

    This ride begins on a cool morning in Vail, CO after getting some grub at the Holiday Inn restaurant in west Vail, and grabbing a fresh pack of AA batteries for my ham radio (Yaesu FT-817ND), then leaving town northward on Red Sandstone Road.

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    It had rained heavily the evening before and I was hoping I would not encounter too much mud, but as it turned out the dirt road was just damp, and soft enough to allow the tires to dig in and power around the corners. Good times!

    The air was mighty cool in the shade and created a fog in the low ground

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    After a few miles up Red Sandstone Road there is a left (west) turn marked "Muddy Pass"

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    The roads were smooth and extremely pleasant to ride on. Along this road the entire morning I passed a few people camping and a few dirt bikes but was essentially on my own the whole time.

    Time for a water/picture break

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    The road climbs up out of the valley and upon reaching this meadow was treated to a large cow elk trotting away. The ski slopes of Vail to the south can be seen in the background.

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    Further up the road looking north

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    I stopped quite often as I was in no hurry and was thoroughly enjoying the smooth winding road and nature around me.

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    I came across this tree struck by lightning presumably the night before. Judging from the large and distant shrapnel I'm glad I wasn't present to witness the spectacle. The pinecones weren't blackened by flame or ash, but by the superheat created by the lightning bolt. A thirsty woodpecker stopped by to say hello to me.

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    Reaching the summit of the pass I took a side road up the hill to take in the view and play with the ham radio.

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    Beaver Creek ski area can be seen to the south

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    I rode the small ridge trail a ways to the east and found a couple pine trees a suitable distance apart to string a simple speaker wire dipole antenna. I made a couple contacts, one into Oregon with only 2.5 watts on 20m SSB. After about an hour I packed everything up and headed down to the road again. This is looking to the north/northwest

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    From then on the road starts to drop in elevation and you come out on the beginning of the western slope, where in the distance of a few miles the landscape changes from lush forest, to dry hills and sagebrush. A few more miles down the dirt road in the distance and you find yourself near Wolcott, CO on highway 131.

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    The dirt road was undergoing maintenance from the location of the last picture, down to Highway 131, and there was a nice layer of small gravel that made things a little more exciting. Other than a few pucker moments, I made it down to the highway, and the short run back to Vail on I-70 without any mishaps!

    If you ever find yourself in this area with a couple hours to burn this little route pays off many-fold in the awesome views and cruising down pleasant forest service roads where the KLR is in its element! Stay warm this winter and don't forget that we're as short lived as a wisp of vapor so enjoy life as much as you can!
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    #1
  2. HAULINDAVE

    HAULINDAVE Adventure Rider

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    GRASS VALLEY CA
    Nice pics and report . :1drink
    #2
  3. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,365
    Location:
    S W France my little bit of paradise
    Right that settles it !!!!!!! i have to get an off roader.
    Phil
    #3
  4. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,993
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    terrific ride report
    great pictures
    love that you took the HAM radio along, as well
    well done

    thanks for taking us along
    #4
  5. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,800
    Location:
    Next to Rio Bravo
    WELL DONE!

    Made better by the many clear pix & your good posting ability.
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,185
    Looks great.. can't beat that kind of riding! Thanks for sharing your ride :thumb
    #6
  7. Leoscorp

    Leoscorp Anturiaethwr

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Townsville AUS
    Very pretty place dude, wish I was doing the ride. Thanks for letting me dream with your pic's.:clap
    #7
  8. buffaloman

    buffaloman n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Pueblo West, Colorado
    Nice report. Best regards, wb0hbj
    #8
  9. redog1

    redog1 KLR650-2009

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,880
    Location:
    Magalia, CA./ Butte & Siskiyou C.
    Rode several passes last September with my riding partner lionsrroar. Fell in love with Colorado, I have to go back.:thumb
    #9
  10. rschulte

    rschulte Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    55
    Great pictures. I'm doing my first Colorado dual sport ride this summer. :clap
    #10
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,658
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    nice :thumb
    i sure do miss summer. :cry
    #11
  12. foster

    foster Huh?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    797
    Location:
    Cartoogechaye, NC
    Nice!
    I really need to spend time on the bike in that area.
    #12
  13. gus1911

    gus1911 Team F5

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Virtual Bivouac
    Nice RR!

    :thumb
    #13
  14. LngRidr

    LngRidr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    183
    Location:
    Colbert, GA
    I miss spring/summer
    #14
  15. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,273
    Location:
    Gray GA
    Very nice. One of my Captains takes an annual hunting trip to Gunnison every year. I told him that one of these days I would help with the gas bill if he would haul me and my bike out so I could do some exploring out there. Thanks for the read.
    #15
  16. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,314
    Location:
    Spoke Can, WA
    Brings back a lot of memories. I worked for the BLM in Montrose back in '77-79. I was into 4WD pretty heavily then, but have gone to the dark side two wheeling about a year ago.

    I've always wanted to go back there and try dualsporting my old favorite haunts. Your RR gave me another good push in that direction. Thanks! :clap

    BTW, Like your ham setup. Used to have a K1, and wish I had it back! :cry

    Have a great 2011!

    Dale, the Old Fart
    WU7X
    #16
  17. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,202
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Nice pics, that's an area I want to explore at length someday, was around there once a few years ago following L&M trailguides. :ricky
    #17
  18. Bumpy ahead

    Bumpy ahead Bumpy Ahead

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    567
    Location:
    Jakarta
    Very interesting. Excellent! You have a well preserved forest and beautiful landscape there. By the way, what helmet do you use?
    #18
  19. Luke308

    Luke308 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    The helmet is an AFX FX-37. They run about $100.
    #19
  20. coloradogoose

    coloradogoose Really?!?

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    I can see the desert from here...
    Thanks for some beautiful summer pictures during a snow filled january. We are lucky folk indeed to be living in such an amazing state. (I'm down in the 4 corners area) I enjoyed the ride report.
    #20