Colorado to the Wyoming TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Blaise W, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    A couple of Dogs got me thinking about this trip: one Big and the other Hairlipped. Have to give credit where it is due. For various reasons my usual adventure ride for 2020 hadn't made it's appearance, and after several weeks on the big bike up in Montana, I was liking the "attitude" and atmosphere up north, but not the rain vortex that we encountered there. Time to think about returning for something with more dirt and gravel. BigDog's RR alerted me to the fact that Sam had a new TAT segment out, so I purchased same, and alerted my ride partners that something was up.

    So a package showed up !

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    #1
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  2. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Dan from Vermont had time and the desire to get away for a while, so we were on. There was a lot to do, as always to pull something like this together. I have bikes at my shop for guys who live overseas, or in other states, and a number of them needed to be relocated to Colorado, so out with the trailer and do some loading. Dan would fly to Denver to meet me at one of our other riders homes near Pueblo, CO. Before leaving I also needed to figure out how to pack my Mosko Moto Reckless 80 as that was going on my new CRF450L. A little welding project turned out to be needed to support the left side of the R80.

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    I wanted a stand-off bar to keep the R80 left side from pushing in on the electricals. They live in a box behind the number plate, but it's all plastic and pretty flexy. The bar worked great, but I will add a piece on the outermost curve to distribute the weight a bit better. Maybe some thick rubber (truck mud flap) attached with zip ties.

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    This looked like a big bike ride to me and I would usually have taken the Africa Twin, and I did just a few weeks ago up in Montana, but the 450 needed an easy trial run for starters.
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  3. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Dan would be on his BMW X-Challenge, which normally takes him to Mexico every Spring. Not in 2020! Since it just sits for most of the year, there is always something to do to get it ready; sometimes a LOT! Fortunately our CO headquarters comes with lifts and a very knowledgeable mechanic! My bike just needed an oil change, and packing.

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    #3
  4. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Dan needed new tires front and rear, and in the process some bad bearings were noticed. All bearings were replaced, and we were lucky to find them in Colorado Springs. Obviously all the running around delayed our start, but since none of us have regular day jobs, and no time pressure, all was OK. I discovered while making a mock pack out of the R80's that I was going to need some gear changes to get it all in. This was to be a camping trip! I was waiting and waiting on gear to arrive, but it wasn't and I had paid dearly to make it happen fast.

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  5. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    When all was set other than my lightweight sleeping gear, we said good enough, no camping, and lets roll! We rolled the bikes out of the shop and geared up to go. This was destined not to be a dirty trail ride, which Sam Correro does occasionally provide, but rather a tour of backroads. I had sketched out a route across Colorado, mainly on pavement, from near Pueblo to the Browns Park area, and from there up into Wyoming to the beginning of the WY TAT in Afton.
    First day to us to one of my favorites: Phantom Canyon.

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    Tunnels!
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  6. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    This ride was also to be a shake-down of my CRF450L, a replacement for my long standing favorite ride, a WR250R. I had made a lot of changes to the 450 over the previous year, but only ridden it semi-seriously out of Gunnison, CO, with no gear, and in completely stock form. Since then there was suspension work, including a rear spring change on the day before we rolled away from Pueblo. It was cram time for sure getting our stuff together. I was using untried luggage, untried Michelin Anakee Wilds (eveyone said NOT to use them), much higher gearing than normal along with a cush hub on new Warp 9 wheels, a Baja Works windscreen, and on and on. A big worry was MPG, and whether my 3 gallon IMS tank would be adequate. Look above and you might make out a 2L gas bottle in the lower left "holster". Never needed it and never put gas in it. Mileage on the CRF for the trip was phenomenal. Stock pipe, stock ECU, high gearing (45T) resulted in an average for the entire 2800 mile trip of 68.5 mpg.

    With no camping gear, there was ample space in the Reckless 80's.

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    No, Sams TAT sticker isn't on upside down. The TAT, in what ever form or segment, it Forward!
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  7. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    We had general directions in mind, but nothing hard and fast, which was just as well as fires in CO had a vote. After Phantom Canyon, Victor and Divide, we drifted north and over Guanella Pass. This is on top of Guanella, always a great ride. From the south it is a steady and beautiful climb, but on the north it is an elevator! Down down down, one switchback after another and in short order you arrive in Georgetown. As turned out to be normal for this entire ride, we stopped early, sometimes very early, grabbed a good room and looked for good food. Normally we found it, but not always.

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    Our digs for the night. Overpriced, but the Vietnamese place across the street made up for it with great Pho Noodles.

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    Noodles were to be along side a rushing stream. Snow melt still on the way down the mountains. Dan working on the umbrella but we ultimately did without.

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  8. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Our second day, Wednesday the 19th of August, was supposed to be a zig zag up thru Winter Park and Granby, over to Kremmling, down to near Glenwood Springs and then up to Meeker. A very nice route, including mile and miles of gravel on the Colorado River Road. That was a new one for me. When we arrived at I 70 just east of Glenwood Springs we found the road closed. Fire!

    This was part of the problem; fires in California, from the best office anywhere (from a friend).

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    We just reversed course and backed up to the nearest pavement, then headed straight north toward Steamboat Springs. Lunch found us at Yampa, and Penny's Diner. My son and I had breakfast there one cold cold morning on the Heart of the West route, several years ago. Presently it's take-out only but we made do. Also met another rider here and we traded lies across the only outside dining table.

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    We stopped to look at the scenery along "Moffat's Road", a crazy railroad route thru the mountains.

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  9. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    After Yampa and lunch, we cut the corner at Oak Creek and, I believe, grabbed a room in Craig. Day 3 was to Browns Park and a look at the Swinging Bridge, maybe the Gates of Lodore.

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    Some local humor along the way...

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    You can see where the Gates are in the pic below. The sun is on one side of the canyon. We thought about riding over to the river and the campground but the road in is particularly nasty. Gravel on top of several inches of sand and I never enjoy that stretch.

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    After a few miles we decided not to continue this time, and headed instead to the Swinging Bridge. Same kind of road surface to that too, so just crank it up to 40mph minimum and surf your way along.

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    A few years ago someone tried the bridge with his tractor. Fail! The tractor broke thru, but didn't go into the Green River. After that the bridge was rebuilt, again, and stronger, but I still wouldn't put my tractor across. Once across the bridge, from this point, there is a great route to Vernal, UT, but we weren't going that way this time.

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  10. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    I meant to stop at the Jarvie Ranch as it has some great history, but there was no sign marking the turn and I had neglected to waypoint on my Garmin. Next time. Butch Cassidy and Sundance spent some time in a dugout there. Jarvie came to a bad end and they found his body floating down the Green. Last time thru here the road was miles and miles of gravel, but wouldn't you know it, all paved now other than a few hundred yards somewhere in the middle. Maybe the counties couldn't decide on who owned what.... Anyway, it was into Utah, and out of Colorado.
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    Encountered a big burn area along the way to Flaming Gorge.

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  11. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Some of the pics in the first several posts are not showing up for me. Firefox/Chrome,
    #11
  12. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Hmmm, I'm doing a copy and paste this time using Firefox. I'll try using a different browser. Downloading, transferring to SmugMug, then loading into the report is a pain.
    #12
  13. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Swimmer, let me know if any change to the first post.
    #13
  14. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    upload_2020-9-1_21-20-38.png
    #14
  15. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    None of the pics are working...
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  16. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Nope, no pics :(
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  17. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    OK, have a bit of work to do. I'll repost pics when I get them into the proper que.
    #17
  18. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Didn't see this until now, but I guess the others have answered the question.
    #18
  19. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Looking forward to your trip story,
    I loved that ride so much I'd almost do it again--which I rarely do.
    Hope that one section in the Medicine Bow forest is open soon.
    As loggers got the road officially closed while they worked----about a 20 mile section.
    BD
    #19
  20. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    I got started but with computer issues I'm delayed in getting the photo thing sorted. Grrrr. Likely late the weekend before I can get back to it.

    Attached Files:

    #20
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