The Junk Drawer Trip

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by NCD, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

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    Everybody has one. That drawer full of odds and ends that are all invaluable in their own right, but too small and insignificant to have a place of their own. So they all get lumped together into one big beautiful menagerie.

    That's how this trip went down. No one big destination worthy of designation, but a whole lot of missed odds and ends left over from previous trips out West. Just 9 days, 4000+ miles by myself in this great big country of ours. You just can't go wrong in Colorado and Utah - the riding and scenery are just soooo good.


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    But to say these destinations aren't worthy of designation is a damn mistake. I take that back.
    #1
    Tsilatipac likes this.
  2. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

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    :lurk

    Ok, I'm ready....GO!!!!!!
    #2
  3. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Yep, I'm buckled in, let's go.:clap
    #3
  4. chokozip

    chokozip Been here awhile

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    Princeton Minnesota
    I have my box of places as well.

    Looking forward to your report.

    Sean
    #4
  5. Shooby

    Shooby Anti-Cager

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    :lurk
    #5
  6. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Prologue

    Just like my CDR Trip, there is one major problem in the way:

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    Ohio and Colorado have 1 thing in common. They are separated by a 1400 mile sea of CORN. We must eat a LOT of tortilla chips or something. Bonus this year was near 100 degree heat indices, and sweltering humidity. I think I may have bought equal amounts of gas and water on the trip out.

    But all whining aside, two 700 mile days brought me to Colorado Springs, and the base of Pikes Peak. But let's talk about Denver college girls for a minute.

    Heading down I-25 past Denver, I'm getting gridlocked in unexpected Sunday traffic. It's moving OK I guess, but it's beginning to be a bad ending to some long, hot days on the highway. But some errant driving on my immediate right catches my attention. I look over to see 4 very nice things in the rear seats of this vehicle.

    BOOBIES! :evil

    Fresh, young college boobs being flashed for my viewing pleasure!

    Dammit - I have to keep my eyes forward on the changing vehicle speeds ahead of me - but seconds later I see the same thing happening in to my left! But this car it's the front seat passenger and 2 in the back. What the hell! My heart sank as my lane slowed and they drifted forward out of viewing range. Why, why, why couldn't this happen back in Nebraska where there was nothing for miles?

    I'm guessing it was some type of college prank or sorority dare thing - or they are just really big fans of ADV bikes or something. Maybe just pure drunkenness. Does it really matter?

    FWIW, the 'equipment' on the right was more to my liking. :lol3 A bit more, ummm ... perky, with more defined 'features.'

    I really, really need a GoPro.
    #6
  7. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
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    So, after a Sunday night replenishment session consisting of a gigantic plate of Mexican food, and some Fat Tire Ales I was ready to have some fun after the drone.

    Woke up and rolled out of the Mecca Motel . Love hotels like this. Small, family owned, clean. Park right in front of your door. Oh yeah, almost forgot the most important part - cheap!

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    Today's first destination looming in the background. Pikes Peak.

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    Headed up the access road, and paid my fee to the man. There was a cyclist behind me at the entrance, and I asked if he had to pay to ride up. Same fee as me. I think if a cyclist makes it to the top, they should get refunded when back at the bottom. Just sayin'.


    I was riding pretty sketchy for the first dozen or so turns, as the last 2 days of straight miles had rotted my skills. But this road is a hell of a lot of fun, not easily captured with photos. As I progressed upward, the wind was getting stronger and stronger. To the point where each time you came around a corner, you had to be ready for a 2-3 foot shift in your lane position as the gusts pushed you from an ever changing direction. It wasn't long after timberline when I saw the group of 20 or so motorcycles stopped on the next ridge. Uh oh.

    Damn. They were stopping bikes from continuing up any farther. I knew the wind was getting out of hand, but just chose to deny it. But the roadblock didn't give me much choice. But I made the most of it, by careening back down the mountain with an ear-to-ear grin. The aforementioned cyclist was not looking all too happy about the wind situation BTW. So, Pikes Peak goes back into the Junk Drawer.

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    Almost forgot. Tropical Storm Ivo. I was running 48-72 hours behind the worst of this storm system that came up from Mexico and made a mess out of sections of CO and UT. All things considered, I made it through with mostly success. But a few things, like PP, got fouled from the unsettled atmosphere.

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    Next part of the day was a fast road ride up to Como to pick up where I left off on the CDR in 2011. I was downright giddy to be back on dirt and enjoying the sunshine.

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    But the bumpy road and my vigilant rehydration got the best of me, so I pulled over to take a whiz. I then realized that I was pissing at an intersection of sorts.

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    Really? What the hell is this road sign doing out here? This is the "road" leading to the West away from that intersection:

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    The sign just seemed so out of place. Little did I know that a major douching was on the way. But not from the sky.

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    I misjudged this crossing by a longshot. I saw the rock poking out on the left (right in the pic) and shrugged it off as shallow. Holy shit was I wrong. That rock must be sitting on a dam ledge or something. As I plopped in it was immediately apparent that this is deeper that it looked! My knees were pushing the wake, and water splashed up an onto my arms, chest, and shield. I couldn't see a damn thing! I just gunned it and churned through and up the other side. The rut is pretty visible. Luck prevailed on that one. Damn you Ivo.

    Salida is down there somewhere:

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    Through Salida for some lunch and gas, and onward toward Lake City via Marshall Pass.

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    It was fun to meet several Divide cyclists taking a break up on top of the pass. Hats and helmets off to those adventurous souls willing to do the CDR on bicycles. I'm a lifelong cyclist, and have done lots of crazy long distance stuff on bikes, but I think a motor is good equipment to have along on this route.

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    Shortly after Sargents, heavy rain cock-blocked me from taking my intended dirt route to Lake City. (Thanks Cannonshot, at least I was prepared!) But in CO, a road detour is still always a great time, and it left me with some time to chill and look around before calling it a night in perhaps the best moto camp spot I have ever scored.

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    Traveler's note: Listen to the campground host if there is one. I missed that site, as it was a walk-in. I had the whole place to myself, so he suggested that spot as the best view in the place.
    #7
  8. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
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    NE Ohio
    Tuesday, part one.

    Tuesday was a loooooong day. Since the weather looked cooperative, I really put the hammer down to get some dry ground covered. I putted back down to Lake City, devoured a gnarly breakfast burrito, and then headed up Cinnamon Pass.

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    Don't screw up to the left, that's for sure.

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    You will notice a lack of pictures from here to the top. Cinnamon Pass is from my knowledge considered an easy pass. With only a few years riding under my belt, solo, a loaded pig, and far from home it was definitely at the upper range of my skill set. As each section passed, I was like "shit, I hope it doesn't get any harder" but then it would. But I kept at it, and only dropped it once. I stalled right as I crept over a moderate rock step. Farts. I saw stars after I picked piggy up by myself! Minor pannier carnage - a little memento of my journey was the only evidence. But then it just lets up, and lets you motor to the top easy peasy.

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    Put 'er in gear and started creeping down to Animas Forks:

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    I really dug Animas Forks. The fact that you are allowed to explore the buildings on your own accord is amazing to me. No warning signs, barricades, etc.

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    Time to backtrack across that bridge..

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    & and head down to civilization.

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    #8
  9. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    Mo Tuesday

    And speaking of ghost towns, it’s pretty quiet in here all by myself. Oh well, I will keep moving on….

    I absolutely raged down 550 to Durango. The Million Dollar Highway is one fine piece of blacktop. No pics buddy. I had clear road ahead and some RV’s behind, so no way was I stopping to take photos!

    Soon the Western foothills give way to arid conditions as you head toward Utah.

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    An onward towards Mexican Hat. I love how the roads just hug the landscapes out West.

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    Hang a right, and head out onto Valley of the Gods Road:

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    I was pretty happy to see how quick the road had dried out. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be doable.

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    But you did have to keep an eye on the road though. The recent rains had left some of the washes a bit gnarled:

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    And then this. GPS showed me being about a mile from the end of the loop. I hopped off, and gave it test in a few spots. Pure mush quicksand – no way to ride through I could find. I was just about to head back out the long way, when a small singletrack go-around caught my eye. Literally a tire track width, and it looked a like it had been used a few times. I went around carefully, and continued on nice and dry.

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    Next up: We’re gonna ride up this:

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    #9
  10. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    522
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Tuesday, again.

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    It's pretty wild to be riding right into a rock cliff, with no real clear way up visible.

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    But of course there is, and it's one of the wildest easy access public roads I've been on. Kind of like a mild version of the Schafer Trail in Moab:

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    Valley of the Gods, and the road you took to get here trailing off in the distance below:

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    Then hang another left, and ride 1000MPH* out to Muley Point:

    *edit: I want to add a little more here. I missed this comment in my notebook about Muley Point Road ... "Baja 1000 motherfucker!" This road had been graded/repaired in the day or two before I got here. That was clear from the condition and fresh action on the stubs used for turnarounds, etc. It was packed solid, and slightly damp. Tractiono mucho. It may not have been 1000MPH, but I was cookin'. The road just undulated up and down, with the suspension compressing in every dip - and extending on every peak. So simple, yet so fun. Damn I love times like this.

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    I want to find THAT road next time:

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    Bike in this one for scale.

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    I've never seen Utah like this. Damp roads, water in the washes, and standing water.

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    I told you, this was a looong day. And I'm lugging the f*ck out of my bike taking this pic. Idiot.

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    Toward Natural Bridges:

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    Long day in the saddle, temps from near 40 to almost 100. Not a drop of rain on me, but it was nearby almost all the time. Love Utah.
    #10
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Love it! :thumb
    #11
  12. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

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    NE Ohio
    Thanks man, it was getting pretty lonely in here!

    I was in neutral, idling right at the turnoff for the track section you gave me from Sargents to Lake City - - and the sky was pure black to the South and West.

    I can't complain too much. I was able to do much of what I was after, but Ivo definitely boogered up the plans.

    Thanks (again) for the route help!
    #12
  13. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Upstate NY
    I am really enjoying your RR. Great pictures and words. Thanks!
    :clap:clap:clap
    #13
  14. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

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    XLNT RR..can't get enough of the area
    #14
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Really like the junk drawer theme and the choice of destinations. Going to pin map them :thumb
    #15
  16. enduro0125

    enduro0125 Sticks and Stones™..

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    Orchard Park,NY
    Nice report.

    Like the style of your writing. :thumb
    #16
  17. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Thanks all. When I got back, I really couldn't decide how to tell the story of such a mixed up group of destinations. But I figured the pics would do most of the talking - and a search in that junk drawer for some touch-up paint gave me the idea!:D
    #17
  18. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    Thanks! Now that I have a few people in here, I will have to get a few more words goin'.
    #18
  19. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    I suggest this change to that quote:

    #19
  20. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Great stuff. Two of my favorite places to ride.
    I can't wait to go back again. :clap
    #20