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Discussion in 'Americas' started by Terry & Janelle, Feb 4, 2017.
Where in New Mexico?
We're in Clayton.
I finally got around to reducing the res of our Tail of the Dragon pics.
So much fun!
Might be too late for you, but due west of Clayton, NM is Angle Fire, and Cimarron, NM home to Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, one of the famous high adventure scout camps. They are both in beautiful country, and likely you've not had much country like it recently, coming through OK and TX.
From there you can take Interstate 25 (yuck) to Colorado Springs for Pike's Peak, and then to Denver, or instead head a bit west and find secondary highways that run through the mountains somewhat. You'll still have some high plains to ride through, but it will be much more scenic than I-25.
Near Pike's Peak is a great little town of Woodland Park, CO. I love this town, and where it sits in the midst of overwhelming beauty. You can head north from there on US 67, which I recall has some well-packed dirt road surface - your WeeStroms will be perfect for it, OR, you can take Rampart Range Road north out of Woodland Park, a dirt road that may be a well-traveled fire road. I've not taken it, but Google street view shows it as well maintained. Both of these roads will get you to the south side of Denver by way of remarkable beauty.
One other thing, if time allows, Cripple Creek, CO is a historic mining town southwest a bit of Woodland Park. Easy drive other than the altitude. They now survive on casino gambling, but they have a very interesting museum of mining, and maybe the best pizza I've ever had at an unexpected place: The Crippled Cow in the Bronco Billy's Casino. While recent Yelp reviews suggest poor service, the pizza itself is still great.
Finally, for this post anyway, try to get a Butler Map for CO. They are specialized maps for motorcyclists, ranking the best paved roads and listing them by colors. They are a CO company, and a rep often posts here on ADVRider. A brief search of the site will likely uncover him and how to get their map. You won't likely find it at a gas station.
Thanks. We're in Colorado Springs now and will see what time allows after PP in the morning.
And then we'll investigate your suggestions for Denver.
We'll look for a Butler map.
Hey mates, What are your plans for crossing Utah? I recently drove UT12 through Grand Staircase Escalante National Park and it is BEAUTIFUL and not to be missed. It should only add a couple of hours. Some of the routes westbound from the end of 12 take you up in elevation to get away from the heat for a while.
Not sure of our route but that sure sounds like a plan.
Currently holed up in Denver while this weather sorts itself out.
2 days ago we crossed Texas in 95 deg and a wind spawned from hell. Wake up next morning in 44 deg and it's no better now. They wouldn't let us climb Pikes Peak today cause of wind.
Just can't get a break with the weather.
You could backtrack south if weather breaks and ride Mt Evans, only 60 ft lower than PP.
Crossing diagonally across Colorado will take you thru the amazing scenery of the towns of Ouray & Teluride.
Then head to Mexican Hat to pick up the route for Monument Valley, Gooseneck, Valley of the Gods and the Mokie Dugway.
Then take Hwy 276 at Natural Bridgfes NP to the Ferry across Lake Powell to the Burr Trail (cr1668) to Boulder and Hwy 12 to Bryce and Zion NP.
We'll sit here in Denver, wait it out and see what route the weather gods allow us. Janelle is keen on Rimrock Drive at Grand Junction, it it may be we just need to get out of the mountains. A few days will tell.
If it's 44° in Denver, I doubt they'll thank either of us for recommending a ride through high passes! The forecast looks like crap, mates! It's been quite a year for strange weather.
Sorry T&J, I left for a two day ride before you responded.
If still in Colorado Springs, when you head south, Great Sand Dunes NP may be of interest. I liked it.
Sorry Doug, but you've got it a bit backwards.
Mt Evans is about 60 miles north of Pikes Peak, and the road summit of Evans is 10 feet higher (the mountain summit is about 120 feet higher IIRC)
But I'll second and third your Bryce and Zion NP suggestions. Together with the Grand Canyon, it's hard to imagine a more varied trio of canyons, yet they are all spectacular in their own right.
Bryce and Zion were on the agenda before we even left home. They are a must.
But we now have a bigger problem.
The weather forecast has changed again. If we don't get the f*** down off these mountains tomorrow were stuck here till next week.
So unless anyone has any better suggestions were going to ditch the Rocky Mountains and slab it to Utah tomorrow.
And hope we don't freeze to death on the way.
Once again welcome to America
Freezing to death in the high mountains is part of our lore. Stay warm!
Looks like we missed the weather window.
Good thing we made a "what if it snows before we escape Denver" kit for our hands.
The bike wants to go sledding and make snowmen!
We got down safely.
In Grand Junction tonight.
Lost in translation. lol
I meant backtrack from Denver.
Sorry about the weather.
Check 191 south thru Moab to 163 to Mexican Hat.
If you get back to the west coast where the riding weather is always great (except when it NOT) you're welcome to use your 1st campsite again and you can ride and see the stuff you missed on your first time thru Nor Cal.
I was in Grand Junction a few months ago. Lovely town. Octopus Coffee served excellent brew, and I enjoyed meals at Enzo's and Kannah Creek Brewing Company. If your sleeping bags are not cutting it, Wiggy's is awesome, and the nearby Sportsmen's Warehouse is full of excellent supplies for camping.
Doubtless you're already on the road today. Enjoy the ride through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the American Southwest! If you have any questions, text me, call me, whatever you need, mates!