September 1st, Day 11, today's GPX Upload is skewed because it is accurate for our day but it is Alpine Loop + our night drive to Colorado Springs on our way back home. Day Riding - Alpine Loop: Full day of riding / driving: There were a lot of internal emotions this day because I was bummed the trip was over and I really had to get back to work...like really couldn't be away much longer but I also was so happy today was full of great memories and just exceptional riding. We did: Alpine Loop Cinnamon Pass Engineer Pass (the easy way) Animas Forks We started our day with snow....seriously: Jeez. Like some travel ad or something. it really is times like this that I'm so happy that I have the ability to own a full-frame camera even if I don't really know how to use it to its fullest potential. I just LOVE how these photos came out. If you can go to my Flickr page and open these full size, they're truly extraordinary. We did go into town and got some breakfast and I took a photo of a dog on a quad and of some very unique snack food: The breakfast spot was pretty good. Food was great, just no one was in town. Turns out the town's tourists were clearing out! The restaurant I went to later in the day said they were closing in a week until next Summer. The population of the town goes down to I think they said 800 people in the Winter time. That's gotta get pretty lonely depending on what kind of personality you have. Oh...I forgot to mention I took a few drone photos too: --- Then we headed off for the Alpine Loop. Freaking gorgeous! Every shot was just so great today. I'm really impressed I was able to capture everything so well. Must be all of the snow photos I take in New Hampshire We came across a man living at the top of the mountain with a small Hutt surrounded by 250 sheep, 2 horses and a momma and puppy sheep dog: Climbing Engineer pass: ...and we freaking make it! the trail started getting pretty slushy. Turns out this was their first snow of the season and the ATVs did us a favor by breaking up the ice and making the climb easier: A few photos from the Drone: We make our way now down the mountain to Animas Forks. I completely agree with some advice we heard before our trip that riding Engineer pass from Lake city is way easier than from the other direction. there are some pretty technical shelves you'll need to navigate and then immediate switch backs that require some momentum with loose dirt. Going down the hard side was much easier on a big R1200GSA: Animas Forks: Then, while the guys were peeing, I started heading up cinnamon pass thinking they'd catch up but I actually beat them there by about a minute which made for some good photos: The guys playing with a snowball: My last photo of the guys as they look over American Gulch: This day was so memorable. Just thinking about me makes me want to close my eyes and replay the ride all over again. ----- I get to enjoy this delicious BBQ sandwich and sweet tea after our awesome ride: Red Card got this great photo of me: We get back to camp and Red Card tells us he's going to stay another night and enjoy some quiet solitude. I don't blame him. Moxom and I load up and started to head back east first dropping by Colorado Springs to stay in the cheapest hotel of the trip but also one where we were concerned about the trailer getting broken into. On the way out of there, we did have a slow leak on the Tacoma and the Moto Pumps took a long time but it got the job done! No other photos or videos that night. We got a bit of sleep then we got up to continue our journey.