Roamin' The Rockies: a woman's solo adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gypsyrr, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Hot Dog Stu

    Hot Dog Stu I like pig anus.

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    Thanks for the report! Great pictures and story telling.
    #41
  2. dougs650

    dougs650 Long timer

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    gypsrr,

    A fantastic report, I enjoyed reading it.
    Also, you are a great photographer, well done !

    Doug...
    #42
  3. RaY YreKa

    RaY YreKa Palanquins RTW

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    Top class first RR. I enjoyed it immensely. Well done that lady :thumb
    #43
  4. Dru

    Dru Hardly an Adventurer

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    Great ride report!
    #44
  5. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    :lurk

    Colorado is a fun place to explore.
    #45
  6. lmitch6

    lmitch6 Traveler

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    I know all to well how you felt when first seeing the canyon, and you're feelings about photographing it! As a landscape photographer, I've had that same feeling countless times, and never think my photos do the places I visit justice.

    Looking forward to reading more about your journey, ride safe and enjoy!

    If you're interested in seeing some of my photos, feel free to visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lmitch
    #46
  7. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    Thank you very much for the kind words and for the encouragement.

    I'm a bit late in getting these reports rolled out. I am about a week behind and still have a few more to finish. Traveling and not having access to internet or electricity, makes it difficult to write while on the road.


    In the meantime, I had to return to Texas to take care of some matters briefly, but will be back on the road within 6-7 days. Hopefully, while taking care of these issues, I'll also have time to finish writing about the first section of my trip through Colorado.

    My somewhat loose plans to criss cross Colorado and Wyoming on my way to northwest WY area will change somewhat now, because I'll be in Arizona first - then working my way north. But this change now gives me a chance to see the Grand Canyon if time allows, so that's a plus.

    Can't wait to get back on the road. My route home around the second week of August is still unplanned and unknown. I'll think about that after I get to Wyoming.
    #47
  8. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    Beautiful pictures!!! Makes me wish I was there with you...!

    :lurk
    #48
  9. California

    California Motorcyclist

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    fabulous report, great photos!

    If you get a chance, do the north rim of the Grand Canyon, much prettier and a lot less people. Also, if you're up to a overnight adventure, ride to Toroweap point and the north west rim, about 60 miles of dirt road to get there, beautiful views, and almost total solitude!

    btw; Where in Texas do you call home, it's a big damn state!
    #49
  10. klrmtn

    klrmtn Been here awhile

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    :clap Great pictures and prose. Makes for an excellent report, I am subscribed till the end!
    #50
  11. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    Drinking from the Stanley Cup!
    If you are going anywhere near Jackson Hole Wyoming send me a PM... I lived there for a few years adn can point you to some amazing sights...
    #51
  12. Newner

    Newner Buffering

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    WOW, Good stuff:lurk , its chicks like you that make me feel like I am a big sissy! After reading this I may need to go drink beer and shoot my gun and maybe I can feel like a man again.

    :lol3 :lol3 :slurp :gun2 :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #52
  13. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    :lurk
    #53
  14. infoatnmmoto

    infoatnmmoto with the band

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    Calm your fears and write on.
    We are an esoteric cult. :lol3
    #54
  15. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    Great idea to combine both bike types with the pickup and trailer. I have a 1150GS and a KLR:evil . And I'm always debating with myself as to which bike to take on a trip...the answers is always both. This afternoon I popped out my Honda Element's 2 rear seats (in less than 2 minutes), hooked up the landscape trailer, and getting it ready for a "gypsy trip" to Montana.

    Please keep your report and pictures coming !
    #55
  16. SteveRed

    SteveRed Adventure Moto

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    YOU GO GIRL!... I think I say it for a lot of us here on the ADV site.. We love a woman with a real sensa of adventure and the ability to put that adventure into action. Your photo's are awesome as well Kristi.. Thanks for sharing.

    Steve
    #56
  17. mlund

    mlund Adventurer

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    I'm jealous!
    You're a pretty gifted photographer.
    #57
  18. r-u-n-n-o-f-t

    r-u-n-n-o-f-t Hit by a Train

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    Vegas, Baby!
    good eye. Nice rides, not too many people, but the ones that are there are all good folks... What more can you wish for.

    Ride on.
    #58
  19. kluts

    kluts The Lost Tourguide

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    You have a crowd of fans. Justifiably so. Very good phtography and a nice story flow. :D

    Can't wait for the next chapters....

    Meanwhile I know what you mean about trying to capture and comprehend the Black Canyon. I saw it 34 years ago and the memory is still one of the freshest in my skull.

    All: Put it into your Colorado travel plans. You'll not regret it.
    #59
  20. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    Thanks for reading, and thank you mostly for the encouragement. I have still more from my time in Colorado. I'm sure this is not new territory to many of you, but it certainly was for me. After I left Gunnison (report below), it was back to camping, exploring, and fishing - those reports, yet to come.

    But for now, let me continue where I left off:


    This day, on the eve of my XXth birthday, :? I was heading to Gunnison after being transformed by a marvelous canyon, to spend a night and day just resting and making the day wait on me. I was still nursing a migraine somewhat, and yet I was anxious to see in daylight all I had seen in silhouette against the moonlit night when I passed this way less than 24 hours earlier.

    I took US 50 back to Gunnison. I had passed through Gunnison the night before and thought it looked like a comfortable town and probably a good place to spend the day catching up on rest and just sitting back and enjoying growing another year older. Yeah, right!!! It’s funny how we grow a year older all in one day! That’s how it feels to me, anyway. I’ve tried to ignore my birthday annually since I turned 16. I remember crying on that birthday because it seemed life was fleeting and I was not ready for days to pass so quickly. I guess a sense of urgency for living has always been with me. It’s a gift, really. No day slips by me without an awareness that it is packed with possibilities. And so I live expectantly.


    The road from Montrose to Gunnison was full of contrasts and breathtakingly beautiful.
    US 50 winds through landscapes of buttes, woodlands, grasslands, and reservoirs in the 64 miles between the two cities. There is a steady flow of traffic, but not to a point of hindrance and it was quickly dismissed when I saw sights like this

    [​IMG]


    In this interactive map, the varied terrain is clearly seen as US 50 passes by both Morrow Point Reservoir and Blue Mesa Reservoir following the Gunnison River. The link is here: US 50 between Montrose and Gunnison

    Here’s some of the varied and colorful landscape along the way:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Somewhere along this road, I lost one of my point and shoot cameras. It didn't have a strap on it, and I was just hand holding it. A gust of wind, or perhaps just weakened a bit by the migraine, but the camera left my hand and I watched it bounce down US 50, intact, and then over a cliff. I'm down to 1 point and shoot that has to be repaired (by me) almost weekly. I removed some parts this week that were non-essential and have it working again now. But I still have 2 DSLR's that travel with me. A Canon XT and a Canon 40D and 4-5 lenses.


    I pulled into the first motel I saw in Gunnison, the Roadway Inn on the west side of town, and after getting my key, I was in a room on the far south end and collapsed on the bed. Migraines wipe me out. Plus the hurried pace I kept while in the canyon, and the limited sleep from the night before contributed to my desire to do nothing more than stay in bed the rest of the day. Perhaps I’d at least look at the map again to see the big loop south of Gunnison that I had my heart set on riding the next day. But for now - I was just going to take something for my headache and enjoy the rest of my day and night doing nothing but relaxing, knowing there was no place I had to be, no tent that needed to be set up, not bike to load or unload, no camp to strike, no emails to send, no work to finish, not even photos to download. I was totally carefree for the rest of the day and night, and it felt great!!! Really great!

    I woke the next morning at ??:?? o’clock. I have no idea. I unplugged the clock, and left the curtains drawn. I just woke when I was done sleeping. But when I walked outside, it was cold. This side of Colorado seemed colder to me. I liked this side of the divide best, but it seemed to be cooler in the mornings than on the eastern side. Perhaps it was just a weather pattern for that week, but the cool air kept me from riding early in the mornings since I did not have adequate gear for weather below 50 degrees. In actuality, I probably did have adequate gear, but not for a body that is not use to weather below 70 degrees!!!


    Here is the loop I wanted to ride today:

    [​IMG]


    Or here is an interactive map of the same area: 114/149 Gunnison Loop

    250 miles of smiles, I’m sure. Gradually, as the sun started to warm things to 50 degrees, I started to move about. I’m just not use to weather this cold!!! I was interested in this route because it went through the town of Creede, Colorado. The last vacation I took with my parents and grandparents was to a cabin in that area. I think I had a cousin who owned the grocery store and a couple of other stores in Creede back then. I had good memories of the big cabin we stayed in, and of catching rainbow trout on gold spoons in the waters just west of Creede. Although everyone else tried, I was the only one catching fish!!! Even when I stopped fishing and gave my rod/reel to another family member, they could not catch the fish! I knew then I was destined to fish the rest of my life!!! So I was anxious to see the area again and perhaps try fly fishing those same waters. That’s not my earliest memory of fishing, but it is certainly close!

    I loaded up my bike with the usual - camera, water, snacks, extra fleece if needed, rain gear, weapon, couple of extra lenses, and SPOT .......................

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    .........................and headed first to a motorcycle dealership I had seen on my way through the night before. KTM, Yamaha, Kawa, Honda, etc - on the west side of town on the north side of US 50. I needed warmer gloves than what I had brought or perhaps some glove liners. As usual, the stock for women my size was nil. I ended up just buying a pair of liners - the smallest they had (M), and hoped my heated grips along with these liners would help on this cool cloudy morning in the Rockies.

    I had lost most of the morning just chillin’ (literally), and I was cold, so I thought maybe only part of the 5-6 hour loop would be feasible for today.


    gotta quit now (i’m tired).
    #60