Denver to Portland on dirt

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jhax, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Back at it. Well have to put in a plug to Gunnison Motor Sports in Gunny. They fixed my bike up for me, new back tire, and discovered that I was missing the spacer on my front wheel. They theorized that is was one reason I was having problems controlling the bike in the rally rocky stuff in Hancock. Without the spacer my front wheel was only being guided by the brake. I'll take that as an excuse. Also had my holding bar on my panniered rebuilt at a machine shop beside GMS. Had to get a bracket fixed to hold the panniered on since the bolt holes had been ripped up in my crash.
    So head up hwy 135 towards Crested Butte, then hang a left up Ohio Creek. Phenomenal paved road for about 20 miles and then it turns to dirt. Beautiful riding as you head up over the pass.

    Attached Files:

    #21
  2. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Ohio Peek

    Attached Files:

    #22
  3. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    There are a ton of routes to take up on to Grand Mesa. I think Stevens Gulch is the worst. 35 miles of the worst washboard I have ever been on.:puke1 Actually had my panniered s fall off 3 times. The riding was pretty but would recommend a different route and staying further west on Grand Mesa. In addition to the washboards was nearly run over a few times by people barreling around blind turns in their trucks. On the plus side the ride in to Collbran is a blast.

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Last of the mountains for a while.

    Attached Files:

    #24
  5. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Sorry for the long delay on my update.
    One of the best parts of this ride, and one I would encourage anybody to take, is Baxter Pass. Where is Baxter Pass you ask? Head NW out of Mack, Colorado. Mack is about 10 miles fro the CO UT border on I-70. If you follow the frontage road you will see a small sign indicating the road to Baxter Pass. The pass itself sits almost on the border and is 40 miles NW of Mack. It was about 107 degrees heading up the dirt road. I can't say the ride up from Mack has any redeeming qualities. Sagebrush, low hills, and heat. Oh, and silt! 12 inches deep in the middle of the road. Cruising along about 50 with Bob Marley, Stir It Up, in my ear. See a slight undulation in the road and end up buried in silt. Think of grey flour except really slippery. At least the landing was really soft.:D So with my touring bags I could only get the bike part way up before my feet would slide out and I would be on my knees, buried to the waist, trying to stand my bike up. It occurred to me that the previous evening, while drinking a margarita at a bar in Fruita, CO, that a oil field worker had warned me of silt in the road.:1drink. Removed all luggage, riding clothes and managed to drag the bike to terra firma. What a mess:) I was loving it. Last mishap and I avoided the next 3-4 silt holes. I'll get to the pics now with one last thought: I ran in to a environmental assessment crew on the west side of the pass. They told me that the road was going to be widened for pipeline work. Some folks on thread have said no way a road can be built over the pass. The road over the pass is very unstable, and washed out in spots. However, the survey guys seemed pretty confident that the road would be widened. I would ride it while you can. Enjoy the pics.

    Attached Files:

    #25
  6. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Old Railway Repair Depot

    Attached Files:

    #26
  7. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    The Road Up. Good stuff:D

    Attached Files:

    #27
  8. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Anybody still reading this? Doesn't matter. I'm finishing this Ride Report no matter the readership. The west side of Baxter Pass is great riding!:D At the top I had an option of west or northwest. No GPS so went NW. Figured I needed to start gaining latitudes.) So far I had gained none. So now you have the view from the top. I have seen a few posts by riders who take the west route and head over towards Green River, UT.

    Attached Files:

    #28
  9. Colorado Uli

    Colorado Uli Must I?

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,038
    Location:
    Ze Western Slope
    Yep. I'm reading and following your journey.
    Thanks for sharing it.
    #29
  10. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Only 400 miles and 4 days of riding I finally leave Colorado. Friends have since had great fun with the fact that I took 4 days to do what could be done in 5.5 hours on the highway. Poor souls, they will never understand.

    Attached Files:

    #30
  11. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    West side of Baxter Pass. Headed up towards Vernal and Roosevelt.

    Attached Files:

    #31
  12. dutchjohn

    dutchjohn Adventure Touring

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Just a Plain City in Utah
    will have to go look around over in that area :lurk
    #32
  13. j2beers

    j2beers Taxpayer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Gutsy ride. I can't wait to hear how it ends.
    #33
  14. fasterlaster

    fasterlaster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    Cedar Park, Tejas
    I'm certainly in and reading it, however it's pretty darn mean to post this when I am itching to get out during the winter time. Keep it up.
    #34
  15. CO-or-bust

    CO-or-bust Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Temporary: Jersey (long story...), Goal: 'rado
    I get it...

    Rode from NJ to Bloomsburg, PA this past July for the BMW National Rally. It took me 1 1/2 hours to get there. Met a guy on the last morning of the Rally as we were packing up our tents. We decided that neither one of us was in any particular hurry and we just started heading north/northwest towards some of PA's State Forests --- got home about 12 hours later...

    VERY much looking forward to a solo, rambling trip around Colorado and some of Utah this coming summer --- after slogging my way through a recent divorce, I've decided that not only do I deserve it, but that I NEED it.

    ((Also took 4 days to ride (and camp, and explore) up and down Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway --- about a 5 hour car ride on the highway running parallel... So, I'm glad to say, "I get it."))
    #35
  16. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,234
    Location:
    Prince George, BC Canada
    Yep. Still here too....

    :lurk
    #36
  17. McB

    McB Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,498
    Location:
    LFK
    3 pages and no pics of your bike. I'm thinking you took one of those open bus tours in your riding gear.
    #37
  18. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,207
    Location:
    Golden (Showers), Colorado
    This is EXACTLY the kind of riding I want to do this season! And, this is my backyard (live in Golden, CO), so really looking forward to putting my new KTM 990 Adventure through its paces on these great Colorado back roads.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    #38
  19. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,207
    Location:
    Golden (Showers), Colorado

    Was thinking the SAME thing. :D I can't go more than 200 miles without pulling over to get a shot of my bike with some gorgeous vista in the background.
    #39
  20. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    Thanks for the support:nod On as side note: for anyone reassessing their marriage, this is the way to do it.
    And this terrain is perfect for riding and thinking. The one picture gives a good idea. The area south of Vernal is mainly industrial oil and gas development. But you can still catch dirt to Roosevelt. Ahh, Roosevelt, the gem of Utah.:rofl
    Spent the night at a dingy hotel and left as early as possible. Of course it was raining but after 6 days of sun it was good to get the gear out. Nice riding especially for the road brethren west of Roosevelt. Altamont, Hanna, Francis was all really nice riding.

    Attached Files:

    #40