Going local (and beyond) in Central Colorado

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by rrittner, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Back in January i decided to take 4 days off and do some glamping in Moab with my motorcycle and ride some of the trails that I've haven't ridden before. Well with Covid that isn't going to happen.

    I live in central Colorado outside of Glenwood. After working from home for the past month I need to get out. I'm not used to being parked in front of a desk full time - its making me wacko. Do me and my family some good if I go impact test my body from my motorcycle :lol3. I wish I could ride like Chris Birch but my skill level is way lower that his.
    :muutt

    So I thought I would share my day rides from the next 4 days.

    Bikes are ready to go!! Today I'm going to ride up to Baxter pass. I rode this several years ago on my Honda XR650l. Then try to get from Baxter over to Douglas pass and then home. Baxter should be clear of snow on the Southern side not sure of the north.


    My Rides: 2004 1150gsa & 2015 f800gs

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    Today I'll take the 800, I've done a few things I want to try out today:

    I made a guard to protect the front of the engine above the skid plate. This area packs full of dirt and rocks, if its muddy it takes a lot of effort to clean. I've had rocks packed down in there that I had to remove the skid plate to get out.

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    The other thing I'm trying is carrying extra gas. I've used the old plastic skid plate as a support for my saddle bags. Since the 800 has a 4 gallon fuel tank I've always wanted to carry a little extra fuel just incase I need it. I wanted something I remove easily and not too bulky. Yes I know there is an external tank that can be mounted but at $400 its a little much, I was considering a giant loop gas bag 1 gallon and I still might. So after looking around and searching online I came across this, US Army 2 liter canteen, did a little research and the plastic should be ok with gasoline.

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    So I have that mounted behind the skid plate, if it doesn't work I'm only out $15 so no big deal. And it is protected & tucks in very nice. IMG_1570 - 2.jpg

    Post more pictures after the ride.
    #1
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  2. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Ok on with the ride.

    After a few miles on the highway stopped where the pavement ends. IMG_1572.JPG

    I just love that floating feeling you get on roads that got new pea gravel laid on them!! :p3rry
    Anyway this is where the road turns to go up Baxter pass. If you look closely there is a radio tower on the far ridge above my bike. That is the top of the pass. Seeing the snow from this point I knew that this was going to be an out and back.
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    This is what is left of Atchee.

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    The road was in great shape, a few snow patches a little mud but no real difficulty. The road that takes you up the ridge past the radio tower was blocked with snow and so was the other side of the pass. No worry, try to do a loop thru to Rangley later this summer.

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    A few shots on the way down.

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    Stopped and had some lunch, pulled out the spare fuel canteen and added that to the gas tank. The canteen worked well. From there I had a coffee in Grand Junction and road home.

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    Next ride I'm going over McClure pass down to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. For that I'll be riding my 1150. Should have that posted in the next day or two.

    Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
    #2
  3. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    A few photos of my ride from yesterday. Around 330 miles on one tank gotta love that GSA. Of course my back and ass didn't like is as much.

    Ok after getting thru Glenwood, took a quick stop outside Carbondale, that's Mt Sopris

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    Redstone Coke ovens

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    Top of McClure Pass First is looking toward Redstone the other is towards Marble

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    These next two are above the dam at Blue Mesa Reservoir First is looking back the way I came and the other is back at the lake. 30 years ago I spent a lot of time in this area. I went to Western Colorado University and graduated in 1990. I almost turned and rode into Gunnison just to ride thru the campus. Some other day.

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    I took a few photos of the Black Canyon. I'm only posting one, They all look the same you can't really get the scale of the canyon from the photos. I also had a drone with me so I pulled it out and flew it for little while. Part of my responsibilities at work are to inspect our tower sites. I'm currently studying to get my drone pilot license so I was using our work drone and practicing.

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    Quick shot on the way down Telluride is over there somewhere.

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    Be back in a few
    #3
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  4. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    On with the report.
    From here I took a dirt cutoff from Montrose to just outside of Delta. This road put me close to the bottom of Grand Mesa where I could hop over the pass and onto I-70 and then home. The road behind me take you up to the top of the northern end of Black Canyon. Did that last year on my 800 made a loop out of it going along the ridge.
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    Just looking North & South IMG_1613.JPG IMG_1612.JPG

    And one final pic from halfway up Grand Mesa looking South, you can see the road in the background.

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    My route

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    Thats it for now. Going to check out some of the dirt roads in the neighborhood today. See whats melted and open.
    #4
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  5. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Ended up just linking two short roads. The first one is just down the road from my house. A little technical but not to hard. Picture is from the top looking towards the next trail. I forgot what this is call there was a mine up top on the ridge.
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    Just a shot from halfway down

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    This next trail is more of a quad track, tight and rocky the 800 works well on this I would like to try a smaller bike 250 to 450 because choosing a line on the larger bike can be a handful. I only took two photos on this trail I was having fun and keeping my momentum up. IMG_1622.JPG
    A shot from halfway up

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    That's it thanks for following along. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
    #5
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  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    ^^^^ Yep.

    Appreciate you taking the time to get out, take some pics, and post 'em. It's great to see the sun shining and blue skies, even if you were stymied by snow. I'm with you on being stuck in front of screens and losing a bit of sanity, be incredibly glad when we're able to get back to something akin to normal.

    Keep 'em coming if you get out there, haven't ridden CO, but plan to. Beautiful country.
    #6
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  7. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    24,831
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    you got out and enjoyed the freedom.....i meant the needed therapy...:thumb

    that dirt on the bike is precious. yeah...envious here! been to CO 3x and still tons of places to see. lots of good folks out there and love to meet them.

    thanks for doing the riding for us.
    #7
  8. LBW

    LBW Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Montrose
    I want to do that ride over Baxter pass and back over Douglas pass later this summer, possibly including an overnight at echo park if it's open by then. Thought about going that way today, but with 30 MPH winds forecast I figured it wouldn't be as enjoyable so I just rode the Gateway loop.
    #8
  9. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    So with Moab relaxing the restrictions I decided to do an overnighter. Pack light and do two rides I've been wanting to do for a while. Top of the World & Lockhart Basin.

    So 1st up Top of the World: This was difficult but fun. I did get to top and took a lot of pictures - then lost my phone coming down or going over to Yellow Cat mine. I did backtrack but no luck. I do carry and old phone I have set up to use as a gps, pictures aren't as nice but not too bad.

    The first three are form Yellow Cat mine road. I took this up to a loop that would wrap around to Thompson,(the town / exit before Crescent junction on I-70)

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    Yellow cat road crosses I-70. This in the start of the road that will take you up to ghost town of Sego the road is not difficult just winding and several cool views .

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    From here I hopped onto 191 down to Moad it was getting late and I wanted to see if Milt's was open so I could get dinner.
    Most of the campgrounds were still closed, but way out at the bottom of Hurrah pass there were 2 areas open I ended up camping out there. I didn't take any pictures. I'll post Lockhart Basin in a little while
    #9
  10. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Yea I was up there way too early, I might try around mid june.
    #10
  11. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    I always like going up to the top of Hurrah Pass, it's an easy pass to climb. I've even done this in my Volvo with the family.

    2 pictures from the top

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    Another from wind cave. This is a great stop if you have kids, this rock is full of interconnected tunnels and caves. Just bring a headlamp!!

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    Intersection of Lockhart Basin Rd & Chicken Corners. IMG_1473.JPG

    I did this ride about 8 to 10 years ago on my XR650l but from South to North. I can tell you now that was the easy way.
    I didn't take too many pictures of the small canyon you have to go thru to get up to the plateau where the road starts to head south. This section is the what I belive is the whole crux of the ride. There are a few sections that are technical like getting around a boulder or a step. But the end is the Motherfucker!! about 50 to 100 foot climb that is steep,
    loose at the bottom with two large boulders that you go around or thru. I walked this and decided to go straight up, you can kinda see my tracks.
    I gave it gas - got the fuck you attitude and made it!! :happay woohoo. But I smacked my balls against the front of the seat not so woohoo. and i left and O-ring mark on my seat :D.
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    The rest of the ride was twisty and fun, a couple of sections that small stair steps or rocky climbs. The next 4 pictures are shots along the way.

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    On the top of the cliff behind me is the Needles overlook

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    Then a short stop at the creek that marks the end of the ride. Have some lunch, rinse the dirt off and cool down. From, here its 3 1/2 hours home. stop in Moab for gas and in Grand Junction at Starbucks for coffee and a brownie (because I ride a BMW and that's what we do right??)

    All I can say is that my f800gs totally rocks. I could have had an easier time on the two trails with a 450 but the highway to and from Moab would have sucked. After the weekend all I had problems with were my hand guards being bend to shit.

    Thanks for looking at my ride report - till next ride
    #11
  12. Emb120

    Emb120 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2019
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Utah
    Epic!
    I cant wait to head to Moab the 1st of June.
    #12
  13. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Got out and did a nice Memorial Day loop through Grand Junction with a short hop on some dirt from Paonia to Silt, CO. I enjoy riding this shortcut over to Paonia to eat at Big B's (one of my Favorite's)

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    Picture of my 1100Gs from around 3 years ago.

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    And yesterday

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    Was a nice day and ride. Some snow still around, nothing on the road. I'm thinking of riding the Rimrocker trail from Montrose to Moab in two weeks, and coming back on the cutoff from La Sal loop road over to Gateway, CO. After looking at the website, https://rimrockertrail.org rimrocker is open with only one area that might be a problem, a crossing at Tabeguache creek. Not too worried there is an easy reroute if it's too deep.

    Anyway till next time.
    #13
  14. black 8

    black 8 motographer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
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    Location:
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    seeing your ride report about Moab has me wanting to chew up some of that red dirt...

    thanks...
    #14
  15. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Had a great 3 day weekend riding the Rimrocker Trail from Montrose, CO to Moab UT.
    Details and GPS route can be found at https://rimrockertrail.org/.

    The fisrt part of the ride goes over the Uncompadre plateau from Montrose to Nucla. This part of the is a backcountry byway and is really tame with great views.

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    Got a drink and some gas in Nucla, only one place to get gas and Ace Hardware. This is the only gas for the rest of the trip. A few pictures above Highway 141 that runs between Gateway CO to Naturita CO. I'll be on that road on the last day on my way home.
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    The trail crosses Hwy 141 and the riding gets more entertaining. I didn't take too many pictures on this section of the trail. The trail climbs up to the plateau around the La Sals.

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    I'll post the rest of the ride tomorrow.
    #15
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  16. Jackalay23

    Jackalay23 Adventurer

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    Feb 2, 2019
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    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for sharing. You live in ADV paradise.
    #16
  17. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Ok let pick up where I left off.
    So as predicted the weather was changing and thunderstorms were moving. it was getting late so I started to look for a protected place I could set up my tent. Where I'm riding in this picture is above a cliff band and was really exposed. Wind was picking up I ended up finding a spot just in time for me to setup my tent and grab a few things and crawl inside.

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    I ended up not being able to cook dinner. On this trip I brought my 1 person tent that has a small vestibule. As the rain and storms moved thru I tried to setup and get some dinner going, then rain and wind would kick in. I ended up stuck in my tent till 9 the folloowing morning. The next couple of pictures I was dodging a few storms, tucking in under a tree here and there.

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    This was actually the final storm that came thru, all hell broke loose. I had to grab my tent footprint wrap myself in it and tuck under a tree. Heavy rain , serious hail for about 45 minutes then Sun!! Totally clear behind the storm. WTF. Got my shit back together and got on with it. The road dried out quickly with the sun warming everything nicely and the wind blowing.
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    From here is was easy riding really nice scenery. The route takes you around the southern edge og the La Sals.

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    Other than a few mud patches this section was really enjoyable, especially after dealing with storms earlier.
    From here the route goes over La Sal pass. More technical riding tight in a few places. Here having some kind of gps device really helped me. I missed a few turns, there are a lot of roads in this area. This picture is on La Sal pass looking towards the Colorado River. The confluence of the Colorado and Green is out there somewhere. The mountain on left hand edge of the picture is the west edge of the Abajo Mtns south of Moab.

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    From here you drop down onto Black Ridge Road that takes you to Hwy 191 and then into Moab. I ended up camping at Kens Lake.

    I will post my ride home in a few hours.
    #17
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  18. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    So I was going to ride the road that goes from Castle Valley over to Gateway, I've done this road several times, but after looking at hwy 141 from above that looked like a good road to ride into Gateway. I've never ridden this way home, I'm always going north towards I-70 then take other secondary roads if I have the time. Below was my route. Moab to Gateway.PNG

    Very scenic, mostly pavement except for the cutoff, River Road that goes between Hwy 90 and 141. Couple of pictures below.

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    Yes I did cross the bridge

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    And then 141 up to Gateway then Grand Junction and home.

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    That's it, good 3 day weekend. Funny thing tho I just got my drone license for work and after flying our Mavic Pro Zoom I started to understand how some of the videos I've been watching here are created and how easy the nice drones are to fly. So I had a few funds from some overtime this past year and bought a drone. Been practicing having fun with it letting my son fly it and checking out the different features. So I brought it along with me but the whole time I was riding the wind was blowing too hard to do anything with it. Oh well next time.

    Thanks for following along. See ya out there.
    #18
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  19. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    As a side note, I really like my F800gs all this hoopla about the Yamaha T7 and KTM 790. The Yamaha is 10 lbs lighter and the suspension is an inch shorter on each end, and 100cc less. The KTM is nicer, more dirt focused and the suspension is also better. I do wish that the F800GS had a 18" rear wheel.
    I bought mine used with 1200 miles on it, for $9800. I did have to get progressive springs for the front and rear, and I blew the seals on the forks, so it's not perfect but it took everything I thru at it with no problems. I also think mine is the last year BMW used the Rotax engine, even better!!

    And honestly if I was going to look for a replacement it would be the T7 or a Husky 701.

    Just sayin'
    #19
  20. capulin overdrive

    capulin overdrive Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    kolorado
    790 is 10 or 15 lbs lighter than a 1290, i just don't see the point?

    So yeah, 701 or 500, until somebody builds the unicorn.

    Nice to see that side, Gunni is about as far as i get coming from the east.
    #20