2021: 3 Months touring the American West

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jgalinis, May 2, 2021.

  1. 863nMe

    863nMe Adventurer

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    What are the blue containers on the sides of your bike?
    #81
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  2. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    Really enjoying this!
    #82
  3. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    They are 1.5 liter nalgene water bottles. I have them mounted horizontally to the crash bars with big hose clamps.
    #83
  4. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    June 1 2021

    Started this morning at an Airbnb just north of Taos. A short distance to the northwest is the Rio Grande gorge, which has a huge bridge that crosses over the river over 1000 ft below.

    Afterwards I backtracked to Taos for gas, then took the high road to taos scenic byway. It's a very pretty ride, with lots of changes of scenery throughout. One downside to the road is that there are some crazy low speed limits when going through some of the small towns along the way, just be aware.

    I then headed to bandelier national monument. I only hiked the main loop trail but it was beautiful, with lots of restored cliff dwellings to see.


    I backtracked to white rock and had lunch at a place called the pig and fig on a locals recommendation. It was pretty good!

    I headed west through Los Alamos, and had to go through some kind of security checkpoint where they checked my ID before passing through the national laboratory area, which seemed a bit strange to me.

    I picked up highway 4 and headed west into the mountains. It was a very pretty and fun ride. The Called Caldera is impressive to see.

    I made camp at Redondo campground, then set off to explore a little more.

    Nearby the campground is Jemez Falls, which is an easy hike in, and very scenic.

    I also checked out Spence hot springs. Also a short hike from the road. The hot springs there were really lukewarm, and due to the easy hike to the springs, they are very popular. There was a lot of trash strewn about the area unfortunately. The hike to the springs was very nice though.

    I'm told the San Antonio hot springs nearby area much nicer, but currently the road to get to them is closed, which turns a short hike into a ten mile round trip hike, more than I'm up for in this trip. PXL_20210601_132111230.MP.jpg PXL_20210601_134721226.jpg PXL_20210601_185627071.jpg PXL_20210601_174526107.jpg PXL_20210601_170207534.MP.jpg PXL_20210601_172654367.jpg PXL_20210601_204207219.jpg PXL_20210601_222527086.MP.jpg PXL_20210602_000106558.jpg
    #84
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  5. MrAndMrsZINC

    MrAndMrsZINC Snappin' necks and cashin' checks

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    Cool trip, man.
    Looks like you have a good spur through the sierra nevada's that will take you by our last home before we ventured out to tennessee.
    Will be following.
    Go titans.
    #85
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  6. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    Wednesday June 2nd

    Started off from my campground in Santa Fe national forest and headed northwest.

    First stop was the Aztec ruins national park near Aztec NM. These are not actually Aztec ruins, when first discovered they were believed to be Aztec, but were later found to be Chacoan.

    I continued north into Colorado. The stretch of road between Durango and Ouray is known as the million dollar highway. It is too much fun, with lots of sharp turns, epic views, and steep drop offs into the canyons below. Seriously the best road I have ridden on so far.

    I splurged on a hotel with hot spring fed soaking tubs for the evening in Ouray. PXL_20210602_171504624.jpg PXL_20210602_163659093.jpg PXL_20210602_173827981.jpg PXL_20210602_190626816.jpg PXL_20210602_193130259.jpg PXL_20210602_211905445.PANO.jpg PXL_20210602_212216725.MP.jpg PXL_20210602_205245730.jpg
    #86
  7. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    Friday was mostly a miles day. Went through Leadville towards Breckenridge, over Loveland pass, and through central city to the peak to peak highway to get to my cousin's house in Fort Collins to lay low for a few days to rest up and do some maintenance on the bike.

    My rear tire had a little life left in it but not much so I decided to get it replaced now. I had a Continental trail attack 3 on the bike. I had a Michelin road 5 installed, I wasn't too picky about what went on, the shop (tri city cycle) had it in stock and could install it that day. Also got the oil and filter changed for the next 5k miles.

    One of my fog lights decided it didn't want to live anymore. I didn't think I would find a replacement set locally, so I purchased an amber "accent light" from the local 4 wheel parts store here and installed it in place of the dead fog light. It looks a little jury rigged up close, but it throws about the same amount of light to driver level and the color is about right. It will do until I get home and get a replacement light set.

    My Sargent heated seat also quit working. I traced the wiring down to make sure everything was still intact, but it appears to be a controller failure. I just pulled the fuse for now and will have to get a replacement controller at some point in the future.

    PXL_20210604_182131287.jpg PXL_20210605_181933981.jpg PXL_20210605_194411924.jpg PXL_20210605_231827726.MP.jpg PXL_20210605_232149886.jpg PXL_20210604_182131287.jpg PXL_20210605_181933981.jpg PXL_20210605_194411924.jpg PXL_20210605_231827726.MP.jpg PXL_20210605_232149886.jpg
    #87
  8. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    GPS track from the last few days.

    Taking a final rest day today, tomorrow I'm going to go over trail ridge road and into steamboat springs, I want to try and get to strawberry park hot springs and find a spot to camp nearby.

    Afterwards, I want to go over independence pass, see the Colorado national monument, and cross into Utah by the end of the week. Screenshot_20210607-084941.jpg
    #88
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  9. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows Supporter

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    Looks like you did the million dollar highway out and back, then 160 over Wolf Creek Pass before heading north through my neck of the woods. When you come back south to go over Independence Pass may I suggest you head southwest at Carbondale over McClure Pass then, depending on your plans, do Hwy 141 one direction or the other. It will be an excellent preview of the Southwest with little traffic on a kickass road. Heck do an out and back from either end if you’ve got the time. Have fun.
    #89
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  10. stravis

    stravis Adventurer Supporter

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    Enjoying the report. Looks like a great time.
    #90
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  11. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    Sounds like a plan. I saw another recommendation for 141 above as well.

    Thank you for the suggestions!
    #91
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  12. ScottFree

    ScottFree Long timer

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    Probably too late to make this suggestion, but... in Rocky Mountain National Park, consider Fall River Road from Estes Park rather than Trail Ridge. Trail Ridge is nice, but Fall River is nicer: unpaved, with some really interesting switchbacks, some great views and a waterfall along the way. It's one-way, east to west, so you have to start in Estes Park to ride up it.

    I will add a third second to Colorado 141. Be sure to stop and check out the Hanging Flume!

    Also, if you're going to Moab, you should at least check out the Shafer Switchbacks in Canyonlands National Park.

    And if you are planning to visit Capitol Reef National Park (which you should, because it's at the northern end of Utah 12, which is arguably the finest piece of motorcycle road in the state), try the NPS campground at Fruita. It is a wonderful little oasis in the middle of the red-rock desert.
    #92
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  13. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    second to Scott free's advice. I made that trip in 2016 and it was the trip of a lifetime for me.
    #93
  14. ScottFree

    ScottFree Long timer

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    I am enjoying the hell out of this RR, in part because I can say, "I was there... in 1983," or "I was there... in 1997," or "I recognize that place... from two years ago." You are visiting a whole lot of places I have been, but you are doing in one summer what has taken me 44 years (so far)!
    #94
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  15. jgalinis

    jgalinis Adventurer

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    Well, I fell behind on the RR again due to lack of cell service the past 2 nights.

    I think I may just go through this RR at the end of the trip to add photos, it is such a pain to do it on mobile. We'll see how I feel about it when I stop for camp tonight, assuming I have service.

    Currently in grand junction CO, will be heading down 141 today and crossing into Utah. Not super sure the plan after that, I'm inclined to avoid moab for the weekend, maybe try to find someplace to lay low.
    #95
  16. pratered

    pratered Jackpiner Supporter

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    #96
  17. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

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    Lots to explore in that region. Great motorcycle camp south of Moab....3 step Hideaway. https://3stephideaway.com

    they can help you plan rides from there so you don't miss anything good. You could unload some gear and do day rides. Moki Dugway, Muley point, Valley of the Gods, so many places, House on Fire, Arches, Canyonlands...on and on...
    #97
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  18. Soil Sample

    Soil Sample Adventurer

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    Avoiding Moab on the weekend is a solid choice!
    #98
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  19. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows Supporter

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    I agree about Three Step Hideaway as a base for a few days.
    Also understand trying to keep a full on RR going on the road with only a phone and spotty service. Add photos later if that works better, but keep posting your whereabouts and plans so inmates can give you some local recommendations as you travel.
    Most of all have fun and enjoy your adventure.
    #99
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  20. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Crested Butte CO has some BLM land right outside of town. Free for 14 days. Good base camp. Can go hike the 401 and have beers in town.
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