There's a lot of Color Between Phoenix & Aspen

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by dave6253, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    McClure Pass Sunset Panorama

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    #41
  2. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

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    #42
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Thanks for coming along, Terry.

    I've got a couple more days worth coming. Thanks!

    The aspens are my favorite as well. We've got them here in Arizona as well, but I was also searching more twisties. The combinations of fun roads and aspens of Colorado made it a wonderful trip. I've been to the Ozarks plenty, but have never ridden there... yet. Thanks!
    #43
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Thanks for the info. I found this quote from the Wiki article the most helpful.
    The photo you were referring to.
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    I should have known the Navajo Sandstone is sedimentary rock from the old sea bed. My initial thought of the small round balls were that they were similar to the volcanic hailstones that are found in places such as the Chiricahua Mountains of Southeastern Arizona. Since these were not very far from the volcanic areas of Northern Arizona I thought they must be volcanic. Thanks for finding the real explanation of these things.
    #44
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Thanks brother! I am pretty lucky, huh? I didn't move to the Southwest until I was an adult, so these landscapes are still the stuff of childhood dreams.

    Grand Junction, huh? That would be a sweet place to live. I passed through there this summer. Check this out just outside of town...
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    Thanks, Buddy!
    #45
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    I'm using 3 cameras and 6 lenses. The look of my photos has more to do with the post-processing than the camera used. I am using an old Panasonic ZS5 point-n-shoot for shots on the move. The second camera is an Olympus EPL-1 micro-four-thirds with a 17mm Pancake lens. I am trying this camera out hoping to replace the point-n-shoot with it, but used it for a lot of the off-bike photos as well. My DSLR is a Pentax K-5 with the primary lens being a Pentax DA*16-50. I also used a 55-300mm zoom lens, an 8mm fisheye lens, and a 90mm macro lens. The photos in this report are a pretty equal mix from all 3 cameras.

    Thanks for the commpliments, Dieselpwr!
    #46
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    The Day 2 Map
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    The light was fading as I topped out on McClure Pass and headed down the other side. I saw some dispersed camping opportunities near the summit, but I wanted to get to lower elevations. It is gonna be cold tonight. 30s is better than 20s. Once down in the canyon and following the river there were all of these signs forbidding camping anywhere except the campgrounds. I found only one campground open. It was getting close to dark when I pulled in resigned to just pay for a campsite, even though I only needed it for a few hours.

    WTF! THIRTY-SIX DOLLARS FOR A CAMPSITE IN MY NATIONAL FOREST!

    Now I HATE running around after dark looking for a campsite, but there is no way I'm paying $36 to sleep on the ground. I can afford it, but on principle-no way! So I continue on my way. Soon I pass through Carbondale. I could just get a motel room, but I'd rather not waste the money for just a few hours of sleep. I'm hoping to get to the Maroon Bells for sunrise. The closer I get to Aspen the less optomistic for finding a place to hide and sleep I become.

    I turn off the highway down a couple different roads with no suitable spot found. Finally I turn off some paved road along a river. There were several pullouts along the river bank. I chose one that seemed reasonably secluded and pulled as far off the road as possible. I had no idea where I really was, but I decide to just sleep on the ground next to the bike, without the tent. I wanted an early start in the morning and I wasn't sure if I was breaking any laws "camping" here.

    About 10 minutes after laying down, here comes the law. A local sheriff deputy stops to check me out. I didn't mind so much, because she was plenty cute. She didn't think I was breaking any laws, so I insisted I was just going to sleep right here.

    And I did... lightly. There was way to much traffic. Looking at the map later I found I was just outside of Basalt. After about 5 hours of restless sleep, I jump up to face the cold ride to the Maroon Bells.
    #47
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Day 3 Map
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    BTW, I edited the full route map. There were errors in the first one I posted.
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    #48
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    The Maroon Bells are considered one of the most photographed sites in Colorado, especially in fall.
    I knew I was probably about one week late for peak color, but I was optomistic it might still be colorful.
    It was about 35 degrees when I started riding, but by time I reached the parking lot near Maroon Lake
    it was 27 degrees. It was a little chilly, but I was excited as this was by main objective of this trip.
    Even in the dark, I could tell I was riding through spectacular scenery. It was still dark when
    I reached the parking lot, but while hiking to the lake I was able to put away the flashlight.​


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    Most of the aspens had been stripped by the winds.​

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    I was struck by the fact these mountains appear much smaller in photographs.
    While standing in their shadows, they tower over you.

    I ate my cereal bar and watched the light slowly change.​

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    Finally, the sun reaches the Maroon Bells.​

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    Let's go check out Indepedence Pass.​
    #49
  10. IDRider

    IDRider Been here awhile

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    Back to God's Country - nurturing my soul!
    All I have is WOW!
    #50
  11. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

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    Very nice mixture of black and white and color, HDR and standard photos. Thanks for taking the time to share.
    #51
  12. rhlrdr

    rhlrdr Adventurer

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    Oh my word, I just don't know quite what to say Dave those are fantastic photos, :clap :clap :clap
    #52
  13. Caymen8

    Caymen8 Been here awhile

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    Wow! I've lived in Colorado my whole life and have ridden all of the Colorado roads you covered. Your photos do a fantastic job of displaying just what a pretty area this is! Great photography and a very nice, concise report style. Well done! :clap
    #53
  14. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

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    SO SO SO Great!!! As always.

    I also enjoy your brevity with words. Being dyslexic, I often tire quickly reading too much. :cry It certainly makes images more important to me, THANKS> :lol3
    #54
  15. Oli-San

    Oli-San Adventurer

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    These are amazing pictures! Very nice road trip too.

    :lurk
    This is very inspiring!
    #55
  16. long distance rider

    long distance rider Adventurer

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    I've ridden, hunted and fished all the country you are photographing ever since I lived in Colorado Springs back in the early 70's. As I now sit in Northern Arizona, in the butt ugly mohave desert, I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed your trip. I'm heading for Elk camp next week but by the time I get to the Stone Cellar Guard station cabin, southeast of Gunnison, the color will mostly be gone....still a great place to be but the color sure makes a big difference.

    At my advanced state of decay I probably only have 15 or 20 years of fall riding left, you can bet that I will not miss another fall ride in my beloved Colorado mountains. Your pictures have inspired me to get off my A$$ and get out on the bike for the best riding time and place of the year, fall in Colorado.

    Thanks for a great ride report,

    Mike
    #56
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    I rolled through the ritzy town of Aspen without stopping and headed up Independence Pass.
    Most of the aspens up here are stripped naked.

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    I found that each of the passes ridden on this trip have completely different personalities or feelings.
    Independence Pass seemed to change character around every bend.

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    The Aprilia was definitely in her element. The big V-twin had no problem powering me up, up, up...

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    We got high. 12,095 feet up. I was happy the road was clear this late in the season. Denver had already seen a few inches of snow a couple days ago.

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    Down the other side. Oh Man! I'm having fun now!

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    The road does a 180 down in this little valley...

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    ...and heads back in this direction...

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    ...like this.

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    All to quickly I am in Twin Lakes looking back to where I've just ridden.

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    #57
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    That's enough. Thanks!

    Thanks! I do like to mix it up.

    Thanks again.
    #58
  19. eddyturn

    eddyturn Wannabe

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    I like your reports Dave as I get a new background for my computer with every trip report. Thanks for the great reports!
    #59
  20. peejay3206

    peejay3206 Adventurer

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    Truly stunning pictures Dave.

    Thanks.:clap
    #60