Roamin' The Rockies: a woman's solo adventure

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

  1. crazymactech

    crazymactech Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Michigan
    gypsyrr, maybe the photo is misleading, but it looks like there is almost no tread left on the 1150. Getting it replaced soon?
    #81
  2. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Texas
    Those are brand new Z6's I had put on right before i left. The photo must be misleading. -I checked them today. The tires on the 1150 are good. But...........

    Picked up a spare for the trailer today. But, the tire I was going to use for the new spare had a nail in it. I had noticed the air was low yesterday, so I added some, but didn't know about the nail, until I took the trailer in to get a spare for it. Whoa! But, a bad day with a flat and no spare was successfully diverted!!! Woo hoo! Still, I hate spending money on "just in case" items like spares, rather than fun items. I wish the "just in case" items came free.

    Okay - continuing.

    I bought some glove liners from the motorsport store there in Gunnison. I suspected that the weather, especially at the passes was going to be a little much for me. The wind was really raising a fuss already, so I knew this was going to be colder than the rides I take along the gulf coast of Texas in June!!!! :yikes Since I was in the presence of a couple of local riders at the store, i asked their opinion on roads. They said the loop would take me 5 hours probably, and since it was already late, and I was wanting to head east later in the afternoon, they suggested I ride 114 at least. They knew I was looking for the road with the least amount of traffic because nothing is more frustrating than being on a great road and not being able to ride it like you want because of slow cars or trucks ahead.

    8 miles east of Gunnison 114 heads south to Saguache, Colorado. For 60 miles, the landscape and geological structures were constantly changing. I don't know if I've seen that much change or different geological formations in that distance before. Perhaps, I have, but this was the first time it was so blatant that I made note of it.

    [​IMG]

    Besides the changing contour of the land, another great thing about this road was the condition of it. However, closer to Saguache, just before the road straightens into the long direct stretch into Saguache, which was a wind tunnel that day, there is some road work being done. Short wait, small area being surfaced at a given time. No big deal. This guy looked like family from my Native American side, so I snapped a photo when he wasn't looking.

    [​IMG]



    Other than that bit of road work, the road was perfect!!! Maybe 1-2 cars the whole way. Nice surface. Variation in altitude, twists, turns, sweepers, and landscape. Some blind curves, some tight curves, some off camber, some curves hard to judge, and yet mostly the road seemed like it was laid out and planned by a motorcyclist. This was a great road if you wanted to have a variety of riding experience all in one short ride. 60 miles of variance.

    Once I turned south onto 114 from US 50, there are two crossings. The Tomichi Creek and then Cochetopa Creek. About two miles from US 50 I entered a canyon with a lot of twisting mountain roads that followed the Cochetopa Creek.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Along the Cochetopa Creek, I noticed pull out areas that looked like public access areas to the creek for fishing. If the wind would die down, I thought it would be a great place to fish. Anyone know? It looked like nice trout water anyway.


    A little further down 114, the dark rocks I saw in the canyon were now turning more of a red hue. Probably some sort of granite, I would suppose.


    Nice blind curve up ahead:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After about 20 miles, the mourtains opened, the road straightened a bit, and a broad valley was exposed. This was a beautiful pastoral scene, imho

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    in some areas, the color of rock along the way, made me wonder if this might have be a caldera formed many years ago from a volcanic eruption.

    I kept riding and soon I was climbing out of this basin and back into hills with sweepers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Once out of the basin, I was ascending to the pass and getting colder.



    I did take a break at at the pass, but I was so cold, I only took one photo: my bike. I got some water from my tail bag, and was on my way again. I'm a wimp when it's cold. But cold and windy together, and I really am out of my 'element'.

    [​IMG]


    Once south of the pass, there are strange rock formations. I noticed them mostly on the eastern side of the road. They looked like gigantic mud pies stacked like pancakes. I never did get a good picture of them though. I had left my only point and shoot camera left back at the motel and only had a Canon XT with me. Shooting while rolling with a DSLR around your nect is not always the easiest, nor the best way to take photos.

    Heading into Saguache, you cover maybe 5 miles of very straight flat land. and since it was very windy the day I rode to Saguache, it was a fight to keep the RR upright against the wind. The sights are really beautiful entering Saguache though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    After arriving in Saguache, I stopped at a station and got a Hot chocolate. I stood in the parking lot while drinking it and saw 2 other BMW bikes pull up. One was another R1150R, and the other was a 1150 GS from California. As I stood and sipped the hot chocolate, I saw a somewhat comicial scene unfold. I can only guess at what was actually being said since I was a distance away, but it appeared that there was a man there with his ~ 2 year old son with him. The little guy was dressed in a t-shirt and diaper. No pants. No shoes. Having talked to them earlier, I knew they were on their way home to New Mexico. It was later that the fact dawned on me that this child was dressed only in a diaper and t-shirt, while I was wearing at least 2 shirts, one of which was fleece, one BMW transition Jacket, and a motorcycle jacket, and gloves, while I sipped hot chocolate. He did not look cold at all. I on the other hand was giving in to the cold and surrendering the rest of the ride through Creede and Lake City, because I was too cold to continue. I am such a wimp!!!

    But, the funny part, to me anyway, was when I could tell the father was asking the owner of the 1150R if his kid could sit on his bike.......diapered, no pants. Hahahah. The look on the bike owner's face was priceless. I almost spewed my hot chocolate, when I saw the father dangle the kid inches from the seat, about to set that sagging diaper down, when all of a sudden the kid started kicking and the dad relented. I bet the guy who owned that bike breathed a sigh of relief!!! I still laugh about that when I think about it.

    I finished my hot chocolate, put all my gear back on, and admitted defeat. I would not ride the remaining 150 miles through Del Norte and then Creede and the mountain pass. I was turning around. I was too cold.

    When I returned, it was still cold in Gunnison and I was tired of being cold. So I packed up my gear, loaded up the truck with the R1150R, secured everything and headed back east. I was going to try to find Eleven Mile Canyon, where I had fished a few years earlier with my friend Justin.

    Here's a teaser photo: - from the Eleven Mile/Spinney Area west of Colorado Springs. I have this rainbow on my fly line with a hopper still in his mouth.

    [​IMG]
    #82
  3. gigmike

    gigmike Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tacomaroma, WA
    Alright, I was a little jealous you were on the road, I was a little jealous of the awesome scenery, and I was more than a little jealous at your photography skills... But now I'm really jealous seeing that photos of the rainbow! If it were me there'd be fly boxes floating next to it as I fumbled for my camera.

    Good job on getting out there and many thanks for the most enjoyable report! If I may make one request it's for more flyfishing photos in yours and everyone else's report!:clap
    #83
  4. Wind-venture

    Wind-venture Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,902
    Make sure you go up Pikes Peak. Think of the annual race they hold rather than the tourists. Then go up Mt Edwards. Then from there go up past Winterpark and see the Rocky Mountain National park. All big tourist stops, and all well worth the time.

    Ride Easy
    #84
  5. Cubdriver

    Cubdriver Stampede Swimmer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    776
    Location:
    Palmer, Alaska
    Great story. Great Photos. Great attitude. You go Girl! Ride safely and keep the story coming.
    #85
  6. MGB

    MGB ex. BmwDuc

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Hampton, Lexington, and Forks of Buffalo, VA
    My exact thoughts. I was just out in CO on my VStrom and regret not taking my fly fishing gear (which I do carry on the bike usually). Next year for sure. But probably later in the year - June water looked very high everywhere last week.

    Marc
    VA
    #86
  7. dillinger09

    dillinger09 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    Richmond, Va physically. Mentally still in CO
    Gunnison and surrounding areas are some of the coldest in Co. I think Maybell holds the record for lowest recorded temp, but Gunni is always cooler...........and gorgeous. Nice report and amazing pics
    #87
  8. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    19,099
    Location:
    North Carrollton, MS - Traveling on the Moto
    Hi!

    I'm really enjoying your ride! Maybe you need to get a Gerbing or similar electric heated jacket liner. That along with a varible temp contriller will keep you warm and toasty. Cost is about $300. Also, Tour Master has an electric that comes with a three position temp controller for around $150.

    Donnie
    #88
  9. HPJeep

    HPJeep Owner of a pig iron bike

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Austin, TX aka Capitol of the World
    :vardy Cold are you? :lol3

    I took those same mountain passes over the Continental Divide through Gunnison in the middle of winter during the middle of the night. Don't ask! I was trying to get home back to TX after visiting MT and WY and I had to get back to work. I never drove so slow on snow and ice on the twisties as that night.
    #89
  10. NDEBT

    NDEBT Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,351
    Location:
    Poteau Oklahoma
    WOW!!!! Great ride report. Hmmm, A beautiful adventurous Lady who likes to camp,fish,ride,photography and is obviously very intelligent.......Will you mary me:raabia . Ride safe and have fun.
    #90
  11. Rainbow007

    Rainbow007 Boldly going Nowhere

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    Awesome ride report. Enjoying the reading material:clap :lurk
    #91
  12. Flaco

    Flaco Zombie Holocaust

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,363
    Location:
    Historic Montrose CO
    Yes. There is good fishing in the Cochetopa...but we don't really talk about it.

    Flaco
    #92
  13. Norhasken

    Norhasken Tryin' to find my way

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    32,539
    Location:
    On the couch
    Don't forget Alamosa, at least for the cold part.
    #93
  14. Kim F

    Kim F Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Canberra, Aus
    What an inspirational report ! Thanks for sharing your free spirit !
    #94
  15. RoughRider

    RoughRider elderly windbreaker

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    122
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #95
  16. Buffalo Bill

    Buffalo Bill kickthetire.litethefire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    North Idaho
    You don't need all that stuff....A buffalo robe is all you need....:D


    #96
  17. SteveRed

    SteveRed Adventure Moto

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,794
    Location:
    Sydney Hills - Australia
    I'll say it nobody else will Kristi...

    A girl that rides road and off road, drives a pick up truck (SUV) loves camping, fly fishes like a champion and look great! WOW!! :clap

    When you come to Australia I will take you Barramundi fishing up North.. http://www.nativefish.asn.au/barramundi.html

    I might divorce my wife first just in case you're single :lol3
    #97
  18. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,563
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Fantastic Pictures and narration of your travels. Love the way you put your thoughts into words.
    I've often thought of hooking up my trailer and bringing both bikes with me on some travels. I do take the KLR behind the truck on some ventures and just sleep in the back of the truck.
    The west is so amazing. Enjoy your journeys.
    #98
  19. lucky_strike

    lucky_strike whose flux?

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,992
    Location:
    the americas
    DAMN. i envy you. that about sums it up
    #99
  20. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the advice on different places to visit and ride and fish. I'm adding them to my list of places to go. However, I think I'll run out of days, before I run out of dreams. :cry I bet if I ever stop dreaming though, I'd run out of days sooner.

    Alamosa - been there. That's coming up in a report. (Kind of a creepy town when I got there.) But it wasn't cold, just creepy. The Gunnison area seemed to be the coldest so far. Maybe just a weather pattern, but I sensed it was always probably cooler there. I kind of like the "open carry" law you have in Colorado. I believe it came in handy in Alamosa. I'm unharmed and still alive anyway. But there's no way to say for certain if the 'open carry' was a deterrent in that case or not, I guess.

    Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans - I'll have to try to hit those on my way back south from Montana and Wyoming.

    Ourey/Silverton - If I have extra days after Moab, then I'll try to go by that area and western Colorado again before heading up to Wyoming.

    For sure I'm adding the Grand Canyon, Moab, Flaming Gorge in Wyoming, Thermopolis, the annual Pow Wow south of Billings, MT, and possibly Big Falls, Idaho.

    Any suggestions for places to fish/camp/ride dirt or street around those areas would be appreciated.


    Someone asked about the camera I'm using. I started with 4 cameras. 2 point and shoot Nikon cool pix cameras (under $150) and 2 Canon DSLR's (XT, and 40D and 5 lenses). The newest (and least favored) Nikon Cool Pix is gone. It accidentally went over the mountain on US 50 between Montrose and Gunnison. The other Nikon Cool Pix has lens trouble periodically and I end up having to take an hour or so at some point and work on it. BUT, it takes better pictures than the newer one did. The tripod mount for it is shot, so I handhold it while riding to take the road pictures. I just fixed it again this past Monday, but had to remove some non-essential, but useful parts to get it to work properly. I don't know how long it will last me. Which bike I'm riding, road conditions, weather, and what I think I'll be seeing, determines whether or not I take the XT or the 40D as well as which lens(es) I take with me.


    Found this one while culling photos recently:

    [​IMG]
    RevyRider likes this.