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

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    Yep that was my oil pan, I was very aware of burning up my engine stopped several times to check everything. On all the downhills I turned off my engine and coasted, walked all the longer climbs (only 2) to choose my line and not get hung up on a rock.
    Also this model has a rotax engine which I think are tough. I really like the bike and I think it was just bad luck. I do have a Ricochet skid plate that's 4 mm thick so it's not like I wasn't protected.
    #41
  2. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
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    So after my little adventure outside Grand Junction, I got my bike fixed up and installed an upgrade. I've been wanting to improve the suspension of the bike, it's ok but if you push the bike it's definitely lacking. So i ordered the Touratech long travel kit. So that installed I wanted to test it somewhere. I had a 5 day weekend so I was planning to spend a day out at the Floy exit and then drice down to Page AZ. Floy exit is the exit after C resent Junction (Moab turn off) and before Green River. But the latest video from the UDOT cameras were showing that area covered with snow. So a change of plans, drive down to Valley of the Gods to camp and take the bike for a spin. Then on to Page, AZ where I had a campsite reserved.

    Onion Creek on the way down.

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    Camp site at Valley of the Gods, I unloaded the bike and went for a ride. Then I set up camp.

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    Several pics from the ride and I also road up Moki Dugway

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    And top of Moki

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    And camp the next morning. Was nice to camp with a large tent and all the luxuries.

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    So far the suspension upgrade was nice. Didn't feel harsh or that is was bottoming out all the time. Very plush but kinda firm. The road thru the valley is really mellow with a few rough areas.

    I had a campsite reserved at Wahweap campground. My plan was to explore the area. One of the roads that I wanted to ride was the back country byway from Page to Escalate, Smokey Mountain Road about 75 miles.

    I will continue tomorrow, I also have some video of the ride going up the first climb which was awesome.
    #42
  3. LBW

    LBW Been here awhile

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    Please take some good pictures on smokey mountain road; it's on my list for the next year or two.
    #43
  4. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Got to Page early afternoon set up my tent had lunch and went for a ride. I didn't take any pictures just kinda road around town and check out a few side roads.

    Saturday morning i had planned to ride Smokey Mtn Rd to Escalate as an out an back, thinking I would grab some lunch while I was there. That didn't work out. Escalante sits on a higher plateau and still had a lot snow. About half way thru the ride I started to run into snow, not much just enough so that there was mud underneath the made everything really slick. Seemed mostly on the downhills so after a few hills that were going to be a real bitch on the return I decided to make a loop out of my ride.

    Up to Escalante over to Cannonville, then down thru Kodachrome basin back to Page.

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    Anyway Started around 11 and had a great ride. Smokey Mtn Rd was not difficult other than the snow and mud. I had to really slow down for those sections, than Utah mud that is even hard to walk across.

    Start of the ride, across the flats to the first climb was a nice day warming up quickly.

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    Very nice road fun to open it up and do a little sliding. I wouldn't be caught out here after a rain storm. Than grey soil turns to sticky clay and can really ruin you day - yes I do know thats my second front fender the other one is out in Utah around Roberts Bottom having been shattered and ripped off by that shit. I also smoked a clutch from that same ride.

    First climb.

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    #44
  5. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    More of the first climb

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    From here you ride across a plateau for about 10 miles
    #45
  6. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Looking Across the plateau, the road was really smooth and fast.

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    More of the ride going into Escalante.

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    Thats all the photos I took, was a nice ride would like to do it early summer when the road is dry. I hit Ecalante at around 2:30 so hauled ass over to Cannonville got gas and road across Kodachrome Basin. With the sun setting around 5 - 5:30 I didn't take any more pictures was just trying to make it back before dark not so much because of the light but the temperature was really dropping after dark.

    I'm happy with the suspension upgrade, a few adjustments to make but the bike is really nice to ride over rough terrain, no more tensing up or looking for the smoothest line. Even jumping was very controlled. Now I just need to pay that shit off. The only other problem with the 800gs is the rear wheel size - I would like it to be 18" so I could have a better range of tires to choose from. But now with the tall seat and long suspension upgrade (20mm higher on both ends) the bike is getting tall, kinda at the limits of how high I can go and touch the ground.

    Next day I rode over to Lees Ferry and back. Beautiful area really cool beach might come back here with the family.

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    Monday I headed back home. I turned off at Monticello and drove into Gateway. I've never taken this road I wasn't in a rush so it was a nice way to get back home.

    That's Lone Cone in the background.

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    I plan on doing Utah BDR late this spring or early summer. Probably break it up into 2 parts. And I'll drive this way down to the start, much more entertaining road that 191 down from Moab.

    That's it I'll post a video of the first climb up Smokey Mtn Rd as soon as I stitch it together. I wanted to use my drone for a few shots but my son is using it. But I got a Runcam 5 for X-mas and I'm learning how to use it - nice little camera.
    #46
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  7. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Here is my video going up the first climb on Smokey Mtn Rd. Didn't do any editing no music just 22 1/2 minutes of me riding and a stop half way up to take pictures. Enjoy

    #47
  8. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
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    New Castle, CO
    Haven't posted in a while, not much riding except to run some errands around the valley. Well thats going to change. I have 3 weeks off and I'm riding to Florida to meet up with my family who have been working on an organic farm since January.

    I have 10 days to get to Pananma City where we will be staying by the beach for a week. My family will remain out east till June and I'll be riding back after the beach week.

    Since I don't have to rush to get to Florida I'm going to cover some roads that I've read about on ADV rider.
    1. Corinado Trail in Eastern Arizona
    2. Bid Bend - and do the River Road
    3. The 3 Twisted Sisters Loop West of San Antonio

    I've rented a cabin in Bandero, Tx for 2 nights So I could enjoy the 3 Sisters without being loaded up.

    This past weekend I spent all my time in the garage going through the bike and getting her ready. Engine, Tranny, Rear Diff oil change. Flush all the brake lines ( on a 2004 GSA with syncro brakes its a long job).
    Adjust the valves, and balance the throttle bodies. And lastly flush the clutch. Whew but it needed to be done.

    Anyway I leave tomorrow around noon and hopefully make it to Cortez by 5 or 6. Trying to get around some weather that is heading this way.

    The Bike, she is really loaded down!!

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    Anyway I will post some pictures as I can, video also if I have a good internet connection.
    #48
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  9. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok I promised to post as I was doing my trip, I didn't so shame on me. But hey it's not like I'm making money at this .

    My bike loaded up, 3 weeks on the road that's a lot of stuff.

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    I gad planned to leave on Friday, March 26. But looking at the weather a front was heading down and was going to pass thru western Colorado on Friday. So I could leavfe on Thursday or wait and head out on Saturday. I had some overtime so my boos let me trade that out and leave at noon Thursday. I booked a room at a Hotel in Cortez - Glad I did!!
    My route on Thursday.
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    I didn't take any pictures, was riding thru light rain and snow. There is a section between Gateway and Cortez where you leave the canyon and pop up onto the plateau by Monticello and it's always a windy area and seems that weather is usually moving thru this area. Anyway got to the holtal and had a hot shower, went and got some dinner. Put a cover on my bike and watched a movie in my hotel room. Next morning:
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    I knew this was coming - so glad I got a hotel!! About 2-3 inches on wet snow. I waited until 10AM, the roads were clearing saw some patches blue sky around.
    Day 2 route
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    The first half of the day was getting thru snow squalls and dealing with wind. Between Shiprock and Gallup I hit a blizzard, I was seriously questioning my intelligence on starting this trip. For about and hour I was riding at 35 mph and was watching the road to make sure the snow wasn't sticking visibility was down to about 100 yds . Glad I had heated grips!! My toes not so much. The closer I got to Alpine, AZ the better it got. By the time I got to the start of the Coronado Trail - one of three roads / trails I planned my route to Florida around. The Coronado trail runs between Alpine, AZ to Clifton, AZ also know as the Devils Highway it was # as Highway 666 but was changed to 191. I tried to ride this road 2 years ago but a bridge was washed out.
    This road also goes thru the Morenci Mine it's a huge open pit copper mine. The mining company will move the road as they access areas the highway goes thru.
    I will continue in a few hours.

    I'll continue my post in a few hours.
    #49
  10. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    When I got to ST Johns, I filled up and had a snack. I was nice to be in the sun again and warming up. The next few pictures are from the ride down to Clifton, AZ along the Coronado Trail. I read some reports about the road being extremely twisty with really tight turns. Was it ever!! Some of the turns were so tight I was down to 10mph and feeling like I was standing on my front wheel, I think the trail was around 80 miles and was super fun to ride.
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    Once I hit Clifton, I stopped for a late lunch at a roadside taco stand - very good

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    From here I road out to a campsite by the Gila River that I had researched online, really nice - and it was warming up.

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    For this trip I decided to use my 3 person tent encase the weather turned bad and I had to live in it for a day or two. I also can bring all my equipment inside, cook etc.

    I'll continue my post in a little while.
    #50
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  11. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok the next section

    My route from outside Clifton to Marfa, Tx. Mostly highway, I really like my GSA except on the highway it's tall so if the wind is coming from the side you get pushed around, not a large fairing so you suffer from buffeting. But anywhere else she is fun. I know she will do 80 / 85 all day long no problem but it's not really what this bike is about. I couldn't wait to get to a 2 lane road and slow down and look around.

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    Not really too much to show for the day, very flat and boring. I did take a few pictures from the camp site. On the south side of Marfa is the Tumble in RV park that has tent sites. https://www.tumbleinmarfa.com/. Tent site are $10 and they have free showers!! And a communal kitchen for use. Not much to look at but for me it checked all the right boxes.

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    And some artwork out front , these posts had really cool cutouts that were lighted at night. IMG_2330.JPG
    Crappy nite pic.
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    And a short video of the artwork

    https://youtu.be/P8PDMRotcwE


    I will post the ride from Marfa to Presideo then on to Terlingua and around Big Bend River Road. That will have a lot of pictures.

    Attached Files:

    #51
  12. MEDIC-0372

    MEDIC-0372 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sandusky, Ohio
    Nice pictures.
    #52
  13. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok next day. It ended up being a long day I was really enjoying myself and didn't realize this time until I finished riding the River Road.

    A map of the beginning of the day. From Castolon I road the River Road around to turn off for Rio Grand Village and then headed north out of the park.

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    From Marfa I headed to Presidio pretty much a straight shot. This is dropping into Presidio.

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    Got gas in Presidio, and headed out to FM 170. Great road and it was freshly paved.

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    Got to Terlingua and had lunch - first place that I came across, awesome BBQ, it was really quiet and the owner came out and sat with me asked about my trip. When I'm on my bike I really like these road side food trucks. Especially when it's nice out.

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    Stomach full I headed into the park. So I was planning to camp in the park, so when I was paying my entrance fee I asked for a backcountry permint which costs $10 no bi deal. I was told I had to go to Panther Junction to get that!! WTF like 40 miles round trip. I asked the guy is I could pay him $10 and he could write something on my reciept - nope no can do. Well fuckit we will see where I end up when I need to camp.

    I did stop by the Santa Elena Canyon trailhead but it was a crazy crowded. I road up the the overlook and took a break and a few pictures.

    River Road was very easy I was fully loaded and had no problems. Very scenic, not very many people on it I did pass 3 people bike backing. And maybe 5 cars / trucks.

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    #53
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  14. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ooops reach my 10 photo limit with my previos post.

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    Elephant Tusk in the background
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    East end of the River Road. From here I headed north and found a campsite just inside the park boundary. I did pas by Panther Junction to try and get a permit but they were closed. When I'm in a park I don't mind paying the fees I'm grateful our park service is trying to preserve these great places.

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    My camp spot.

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    So that was day 4 from here I go up to Banderos TX to ride the 3 Twisted Sisters.
    #54
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  15. black 8

    black 8 Long timer

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    Nice photos and updates with BBNP.

    I just got back a week ago from BB and the Texas Hill Country... great place to explore.

    Looking forward to the next segment.
    #55
  16. Grasshopper's Ride

    Grasshopper's Ride Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2020
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    Location:
    Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
    Such interesting landscape you ride in, so different from where I live.

    I am enjoying your photos and ride reports. :-)
    #56
  17. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok I took the weekend and put my 800gs on a trailer and Drove out past Glade Park which is back behind the Colorado National Monument by Grand Junction. Did a lot of riding and some glamping.
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    Ok On with it.
    My route to Banderos, TX. I had 2 days to get there so stopped at a really nice campground on the edge of Amistad Resevoir outside Del Rio.

    Day 5 & 6 route.png My Camp site. Got there early and walked around. Would be nice to kayak or paddle board during the summer.
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    I had reserved a cabin for 2 nights in Bandera. After 6 days on the bike it was nice to unload the bike, have a bed and shower.
    My Cabin at the River Front Motel. Very nice this was really a treat to do a ride I'd been planning without any of my kit.
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    Start of my ride I didn't take too many pictures, I did record my ride so I will post up that video later when I can edit all that I shot. A write up of the ride https://ridermagazine.com/2013/07/08/twisted-sisters-the-texas-hill-countrys-most-famous-trio/
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    Very fun set of roads super twisty in very good condition. A lot of places were closed, I seem to be in the off season or due to covid. I had the route to myself. Being from Colorado I kept thinking that I would get to a higher viewpoint to take a picture of the road. Just twisty up one side of the ridge and then down the other Fun Fun Fun!!.
    Bandera in the evening was nice to walk to a restaurant from my cabin.

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    The Texas hill country was fun to ride thru. As I left and headed toward San Antonio I tried to stay on secondary roads so I could enjoy more of it. I will continue tomorrow.

    Thanks for following along
    #57
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  18. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

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    Ok I need continue.

    From Banderos, I took 3 days to get to Indian Pass. Where I was going to meet up with my family and spend a week on the beach.

    My route for the next 3 days

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    Everything up till now I had planned out, so i could link the 3 rides this part of the trip included. From here my goal was to get down to the coast and follow it around to Indian pass. I tried to stay off major highways, and then around 3/4 in the afternoon I would stop and try to find a campground. Funny how I feel in the west we have more open land and finding a place to set up your tent out of the way is generally easy.

    Also coming from a central state seeing the destruction of homes and small towns by hurricanes was a real eye opener. It also felt strange not to have hills or mountains around. I am a Colorado boy l need to have my mountains - my sense of direction was way off!!

    Awesome food truck in Surfside - fish tacos

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    Galviston

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    I like all the oil spots on my jacket from a blown fork seal on the GSA last summer - The air comes up thru the fairing an sprayed me with the oil

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    Seawolf park, thought it was free but it was $15 and I needed to catch the ferry over to Fort Travis

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    The Ferry XOPL0169.JPG
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    Fort Travis on the other side, nicely maintained old fort. Was nice to lay out and take a nap.

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    USS Alabama Battleship Memorial

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    Ooops too many uploads next post
    #58
  19. rrittner

    rrittner Racing for not last

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New Castle, CO
    Indian Pass right on the beach, Paddle Board everyday go explore the island across the channel - had to pay attention to the tide.

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    And my Family

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    I'll post the ride home later - not really a lot of interesting riding. I did go up to the Barber Motorcycle museum, that was really cool and over whelming
    #59
  20. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Not yet far enough away from town
    You're welcome. Perhaps my favorite Jerry Jeff tune. Well, OK, tied with Mr. Bojangles.

    #60
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