The Junk Drawer Trip

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

  1. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    It really was. But avoid it if bad weather is upon you! Using that and the road across the Uncompagre Plateau would make some great routes back and forth from central CO.

    Thanks!
    #41
  2. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Friday – last day of fun before we gotta go home.

    Woke up to a crisp, clear morning. Time to finish the Flat Tops Scenic Byway.

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    Official PR, found here:

    Connecting the towns of Meeker & Yampa, the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway showcases the White River National Forest’s long history of multiple-use land management and remains a “working byway” providing access to public lands as well as rangeland for local sheep and cattle ranchers. The 82 mile drive is accessible with any passenger vehicle (during summer) and is an ideal location to view pristine scenery and wildlife. The Byway is the backbone of access to the Flat Tops Wilderness and over 350,000 acres of public land managed by the US Forest Service (Blanco Ranger District). The White River National Forest is the country’s foremost Forest for recreation, offering visitors a wide variety of outdoor activities.

    It’s not paved – but it’s a fully groomed gravel autobahn of sorts!

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    And definitely a better alternative to I70 East – that’s for damn sure.

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    The pine beetles are really devastating the Rockies. Makes me sad. :cry

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    The sign in the lower right alerts you that the fun continues!

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    You can see the route ahead based on the twisty tree line in the hillside.

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    Yep. I totally followed all posted speed limits. I swear!

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    Next: Rocky Mountain National Park
    #42
  3. acidman1968

    acidman1968 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
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    147
    Location:
    Utah, Great Basin / Intermountain West
    Great stuff!!! Looking forward to the rest of the story!
    #43
  4. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Here you go...
    #44
  5. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Friday continues – but the end is near.

    Bummer. Last of the Junk Drawer tidbits.

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    Headed up from the West on Trail Ridge Road.

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    Almost to the top. Trees are becoming scarce.

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    Up at the visitor center in the afternoon –and the weather is looking pretty bad. I calculate that I have about 30 minutes until all hell breaks loose up here. Storms are near, and lightning is visible just a few peaks away. Everyone is like ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ and I’m like ... ummmm… ... that’s gonna be here any minute! It’s not so cool when it’s on top of you!

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    Thankfully, it’s clear to the East!

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    It’s just sooo badass that we are allowed to ride/drive up here.

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    Alpine Tundra. At least that is what I read. Seems logical.

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    I did the good old “"let all the cars creep ahead so you can totally haul ass down the mountain”" thing –and it worked well as always. But I came upon a corner where I could tell there was an undue amount of traffic. WTF? I can'’t be at the gate already. – Why is everyone slowing down?

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    This big guy is why. Holy crap it was gigantic! I killed the bike and coasted into a great viewing spot on the narrow shoulder. Bikes rule! Time passed as more and more people gathered to watch this creature –totally unaffected by all the attention. Absolutely awesome, and a superb treat on my exit from the park.

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    I must have been there 20+ minutes just mesmerized. But… people can be such idiots sometimes. Big RV’s would stop in the middle of the road, and that would cause others to get all fussy and honk their horn. Cursing at each other. Fingers. Jeez, what the hell? And then…:

    The master of all asswipes. Guy and passenger on a *cough* major brand of popular American motorcycle pulls up behind a stopped car and can’'t immediately keep going or get around. Loud ass pipes, radio fucking blaring. Neither one even glances over at the glimpse of nature off to his/her right. I cringe –cause he’'s such an a-wad –and I’'m the only other guy on a cycle there. I just shake my head so all are aware I’'m NOT cool with this display either.

    He’s revving the living crap out of it. Why, why, why? He sees a gap > guns it > with all the blaaaaaaaaaat sounds echoing through the woods. Soon, the radio and exhaust sound pollution drift off. I hate to hate. But I hate.

    I feel as though I hogging my good spot too long. I start it up, and finish my journey down the mountain. What a week. I stop at a small pizza/deli in Estes Park near a stream, and enjoy my last peaceful moments before I’'m back on the big roads.

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    So, I’'m heading East out toward the highway, and see a sign for Fort Collins. Hmmm. Why does that city sound familiar? YES! That’s where New Belgium Brewery is! Side Trip!

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    I remount, and accept my fate. It’'s off to Fort Morgan for the night. And then the obligatory 2 day slog back home on the interstate.

    Almost done. Just a few last details to bring your way. Thanks for hanging out with me so far.
    #45
  6. Thermos

    Thermos Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Gray, Maine
    I am really digging this report!:deal

    -T
    #46
  7. ts3doug

    ts3doug Long timer

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    1,160
    Yup, great write up sir.
    #47
  8. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Thank you kind sirs!
    #48
  9. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Odd and Ends

    First off....

    BUSTED!

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    I think this was Nebraska, eta lunchtime.

    Stopped off at Taco John's (meh) for some cheap, fast eats - and busted these guys trailering it! Couple of KLR's, a 1150GS, and some other stuff headed for where I just came from. Nice guys, but shame, shame, shame.... :lol3

    And

    My last gas stop was in Ohio, on the Turnpike. It was Sunday of Labor Day weekend, so the parking area of the food court was Harl-tastic. I bet there were at least 50 bikes there, and the whole crew of riders and passengers. The bikes were parked right in front, out in the sun. I roll past them, nod, and pull around the corner to park in the shade. It's hot as hell still, full sun.

    A little party of them came over (I was shocked by this BTW) 3 guys, 2 women. I was friendly, said hello and asked where they were headed, etc. The conversation quickly retarded into some whys and hows of my riding gear on a day like this, etc. I tried to explain how yes, I'm sweating, but the wind then cools you off and it feels like you are in the shade - - but I realized they were in vests, t-shirts, with some raw looking sunburns as trophies. This was going nowhere. The conversation died awkwardly.

    Their goal was to ride East across Ohio to the PA line - and then back. Today. On the Turnpike. :puke2

    We live in a strange world.

    Thanks all for reading and taking the time to comment!

    p.s. Sorry for the Harley bashin' if it reads that way. Free country and all, do what makes you happy. Peace.
    #49
  10. Longbow

    Longbow Vroooom

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Billings, Montana USA
    Thanks for a great RR ! Give me the back roads and dirt any day ! :beer
    #50
  11. Shooby

    Shooby Anti-Cager

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    Location:
    San Diego
    +1

    Thanks, that was fun (even from my desk, now what am I supposed to do until lunch ?)
    #51
  12. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    7,967
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Great report!

    I was at an open house for a race shop a few weeks ago here by the beach. As i stood around inside the cooler race shop taking photos of the CRT bike they built, my friend asks me if I am hot. I replied yes.
    We laughed. :lol3

    As in: Does this gear make me look hot? It's a problem all adventure types have to bear. :poser
    #52
  13. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

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    NE Ohio
    Yep. I got asked that a lot during the week, cause it was a steamer for sure.

    I just say "yes" and point to my Camelbak hose. "it's a lot easier to replenish water than blood" is my usual answer.

    I should add that the massive crew from the Turnpike passed me before too long. I wave as always - and probably 20% returned the gesture.

    It wasn't long until we caught up to a big line of rain showers coming off the lake. The group was now huddled under a series of bridges in a construction zone.

    Not even slowing - I zipped up my vents and continued on past unaffected.

    I hate riding in the rain. But that was pretty fun :D
    #53
  14. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
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    Charleston, SC
    I stopped giving more than a simple 'yes' answer to the all-too-frequent question: "Aren't you hot?". :D
    #54
  15. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    NE Ohio
    My personal favorite is at the gas or food stop:

    "How do ya like that thing?" - in reference to the bike.

    Ummm - I hate it - it's a piece of shit. That's why I rode it into the boonies for a week of my life!
    #55
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
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    Location:
    San Antonio
    You missed an opportunity

    Next time in response to that question, deadpan:

    "Aw, thank you!"
    #56
  17. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    The contents of your junk drawer are mighty fine. Thanks for sharing. :clap
    #57
  18. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
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    NE Ohio
    Hey thanks! I missed this before. I was in here fixing all the wonkiness after the update and saw it.

    #58
    Ladybug0048 likes this.