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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by moto.phil, Feb 2, 2017.
Good to see you too!
phil. glad to see your post and will be waiting for it daily. always learning from you guys riding solo on how you do it.
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Rundown 10, July 2016: Rocky Mountains, CO
So after doing our maintenance we head off the three of us. First we took parts of a BDR towards Buena Vista, we actually wanted to take a different Pass but just before heading up Janine's rear shock blew up and we had to go back to Woodland Park to have it replaced/fixed.
Beautiful Colorado Backcountry headed to Buenavista:
Did I tell you how much I like sand?
My magnetic closures on my gear caught some of the local metallic dust
It was great to see my friends from ERTW again after we split up after the flight to Toronto
Lily Pond... a beautiful natural spectacle!
First try at milkyway photography... gotta learn a lot here, but then, I don't have the best lens to really do that right.
On the way to Schofield Pass we discovered a mutligravity spot!
Schofield Pass... better make sure everyone gets the message, just missing the Audio message for the blind riders
It's alway a great experience to ride with Pascal. He's a very experienced Enduro rider and I have learned a lot of my offroad skills from him, he's a good and very patient teacher as well :)
Having a chat with some of the hikers... Schofield Pass is much more a hiking trail than a riding trail for me
One of the famous sights along Schofield Pass
The Rockies have a beautiful variety of flora... A great place for all nature lovers!
Pascal turning the DR into a log hauler :)
Hey! Glad you like it :) Riding solo has some great advantages for me, I can do whatever and whenever I want without any discussion and compromise... Most of the time I'm not really alone, I always meet people.
And I tend to say you meet more people when alone. You're more prone to talk to strangers and they are more prone to approach a lonely rider too. Sometimes when seeking alonetime I still ended up on the bonfire exchanging stories and sharing a drink! I also made some new and real good friends so far! On my early travels I learned quickly that travelling for me is much more about the people I meet than just go and see sights and the beautiful nature, though that is nice too It's certainly a reason why I'm advancing rather slowly.
But the biggest disadvantage is that I cannot share a great moment with buddies. You know, sitting somewhere and enjoying a great view it's just nice if you have a trusted person to say "isn't that really awesome?" And then you can think back together years after that.
Still, travelling solo is a cool experience! Compared to backpacking I have done before I feel that I make stronger connections to people, especially if the others are riders too.
The bike is truly a great way to travel! Feels easier to meet interesting people, independent of schedules and booking tours to go and see stuff, and sure it is fun to ride. You also get all your senses involved, heat, cold, being wet, smelling the good and bad stuff... while in a car the windscreen is more like a cinema screen being on the bike feels more being actually in the movie!
Also, I recently read an article from a "normal" backpacker seeking to be "off the beaten path" by finding a way to escaping the tourist trail. It then occured to me that as a rider this happens almost naturally since you can stop wherever you want.
phil. i like your perspective. well said.
i always enjoy the company of others, you'll see it if you read my ride reports. but, now i'm at a point to do it differently, not by choice. my friends and i are having difficulty aligning our planets. i want to give up my job and just ride. giving myself a year to pull the trigger.
count me in on your rides.
That sounds like a great plan! Just don't overplan whatever your "plan" is. That sounds a bit paradox bit well, no plan can also be a plan
SPECIAL EDITION February 2017
I have just had the most amazing experience of my life, so I don't wanna wait with sharing that with you guys. Will catch up on my journey so far later on
Beforehand: If you ever get the chance to do something like this, and yes you might be or not be lucky, all the pain and strain will be worth it!
I never wanted to go to Antigua Guatemala since I have been here in 2013 already, but since @goodcat wanted to go and the Volcán de Fuego was said to be active I did kind of wanna see that. After being here for a month and going through some sickness I made it finally happen to climb Volcan Acatenango last friday with a fellow moto traveller from Germany. Unfortunately @goodcat has problems with his knee so he could not join the hike.
Volcan de Fuego is 3763 masl and currently active. The sister volcano Acatenango rises up to 3976 masl and there are two campsites at around 3660 masl from where you can view Fuego from just 2.6 Km distance.
We decided to do the hike withouth any tour operator and without any guide. After I packed my backpack on Thursday I thought "damn, that is so heavy". I had my tent, sleeping mat, clothing for the cold, camera gear and food in it. But I was just not sure if I could make the 1200m hike which is supposed to take 5 hours in average myself with such a heavy backpack. For the time of my journey (more than 300 days) I have not done any exercise. I said I could still hire a porter to free my back from the load to do the hike. But I was really nervous probably because of my lack of shape.
But when me and my german buddy arrived at the trailhead our egos were saying hello and we decided to carry it up all by ourselves. So we just had to pay for the parking of the bikes, renting some walking sticks and the park entrance fee.
The hike was really tough. Already the first hour went straight up the hill and it was quite sandy. While the trail for most of the time didn't get much flatter at least the materials on the ground got less sandy. When we made it up above the clouds we had a nice view. We could already hear Fuego erupting but could not see it yet.
After pretty exactly five hours we made it to 3600 masl and we could first see Fuego above the clouds throwing out some lava, although you cannot see any of the red-yellow colors during the day.
We made it to the camp site around 3:30pm. After the streneous hike we first sat down for a while and watched Fuego. It started to pick up the pace and strenght of throwing out materials from it's crater.
Around sunset finally the red color of the lava could be seen for the first time. Ever since we arrived Fuego was constantly errupting, though it did "cool down" a bit around sunset.
Now look at this... a tiny bit of light from the sunset was left to be seen, but the lava was beautiful, this is already more than I expected...
8pm, could you ever wish for more? A lonely campsite (it was just the two of us there), a bonfire, a clear night sky and an active volcano at the same time?
BUT... what followed during the evening and the night was something exceeded my wildest expectations. Look at the following graph, around 10pm Fuego started to go ballistic and kept that level non-stop until 5am. The time on the graph is in UTC so we arrived at the top of Acatenango just around the first small peak happened (21:00 UTC) to cool down a bit around 23:00 UTC. At 03:00 UTC it just happened, and Fuego was unleashed!
10:30pm here it comes!!!
At 11pm Fuego was really going crazy... Throwing out incandescent lava meterials up to 300m above the crater while the lava is accompanied by flames shooting from the crater as high as skycrapers and black smoke rising from the crater and slopes to cover part of the clear night sky. It really looked like hellfire was unleashed. Simply beautiful, simply spectacular, simply mindblowing...
I almost regret going to sleep at one of Fuego's most active nights in the recent times... but I was really exhausted from the hike and really tired too. But then, isn't that a nice view to wake up to:
Looking in the other there are more Volcanoes to be spotted around Lago di Attitlan:
I am so happy I made it up there... and I can't believe the luck with picking the ONE night where Fuego was active like that. It was simply a undescribable experience and the best I have ever had. I have seen many things that have blown my mind but this was like no other! I simply cannot describe the feeling that this left with me and sometimes I could almost start to cry just thinking about it...
Grateful for seeing mother earth alive!
Here is a video I put together with timestamps where you can see how Fuego picked it up during the evening. Magical!
And there it is!!!!
Absolutely fantastic post and I am so happy you got to see this Epic and rare event.
That is amazing!
Love the trip so far, safe travels
Very cool......................, er hot and fiery................. I think I would have been a bit frightened.
Amazing pictures, and I'm sure an incredible experience you'll always treasure.
Wowser's, big boulders shooting up then rolling down, amazing, was it loud? Thanks!
It doesn't get any better than that. Thank you for sharing that great documentation. Woo hoo!
Thanks @goodcat for the pointer.
Best. Camping. Pics.Ever.
Thanks buddy! It was truly the most epic night for me!
Thanks! It was more than amazing!
Haha Actualy for a moment I thought what if Fuego can't keep up to the pressure and Acatenango (which I was on) starts spitting as well... Luckily it didn't!
This will certainly a special memory I will carry to grave with me
You're welcome! Yes, the rumbling and hissing could be heard clearly. Around midnight the rumbling stopped and you could hear very loud bubbling for a half an hour, while it was still spitting out lava like crazy!