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Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Esteban, Jun 18, 2010.
Is where you'll find me...
Steve, just heard from our mutual friend Lee G. ADV "Overlander" as he was traveling thru Canon City. He's keen to ride with you again but did mention something about forest fires down south on RBT. :huh
I'll PM you his phone #, Dean in KC.
I see. Dancing around in those tight shorts again, eh?
I had recently been able to purge the sight of him in his tutu and you had to bring up something like that?
pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
joining the rainbow family
or key west for gay pride week?
Just back from one long day of mostly single track. Dan and I put our new singles through their paces. Photos to come later. Good night.
Dan and I set out for a day of fast fun, just the two of us simple and light.
The plan was to ride the RBT single track from Hayden Creek to Silver Creek.
side sloping the narrow trail, if you go over the edge its a bear getting back up - that's the RBT
Lots of little rivers descending the folds and chutes of the Sangres
For Colorado that's a big tree - I'd guess 400+ years old judging by the 150 yo ones I have cut down on my property.
...and more crystal clear creeks
Clinging to the sides of the Blood of Christ mountain range the RBT goes from dark shady forest to hot southern slopes covered in scrub oak which form a tunnel. You have to be redy if you meet someone head on in here.
Rounding the northern hook of the trail the town of Salida lays on the valley floor below. In case you did not know the name of this town means exit. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, days of Spanish colonial rule you could exit the central Colorado mountains to the south via Poncha Pass and onwards to the relative safety of Ute country and the Spanish frontier outposts of Ojo Caliente and Taos, or you could follow the Nepestle River into the unconquered and hostile Comanche country to try your luck with Cuerno Verde.
The beauty of the northern aspen portion of the trail is outstanding. Its a good thing that the price of admission is steep.
Once in the Poncha Pass canyon we headed to town for some gas and ice cream. While there we ran into Knarly Carly and Dirty Santana.
After our gas break we continued N on the RBT towards Silver Creek.
looking SE towards the west side of the Sangres and Hunt's Peak.
Somewhere in south end of this photo is Music Pass (to be mentioned again later).
By 3PM we had only done 45 miles of single track at of average of about 14 mph and we were going fast most everywhere.
This speaks for the slow going and difficulty of singletrack compared to dirt roads.
Whenever I ride these areas my mind is constantly thinking of the adventurers who came before us. It was not all that long ago that a French group of miners are rumored to have come from New Orleans to this country exploring. They did so under the noses of the Spanish (allies against the English at that time) and were most probably the first to mine the exceedingly rich gold deposits at Summitville. To this day whispers about gold ingots and the lost French Mine near Elwood Pass persist. I heard that last summer more gold ingots were found down near the Conejo River. This is no bull btw. If you found gold ingots in a rotten leather satchel who would you tell ?
Ever heard of Spanish Cave ? It is located in the Sangres near Music Pass (see previous photo) and steeped in mystery. On the outside is painted a red maltese cross and within was found spanish armor, shackles on the walls and human skeletons.
This entire area was well known to the original inhabitants too as they came and went over the low continental divide and to the hot springs near Poncha and Princeton for good medicine. These lands were a cross roads of cultures.
Once over the Rainbow we headed past the old train depot site of Shirley and up Poncha Creek to Marshall Pass.
Dan with Chief Ouray (mountain that is) over his shoulder.
To the south in the Cochetopa Hills lies the old Los Pinos Agency and was once the center of the southern Ute tribe. Through broken treaty after broken treaty they were moved progressively to the NW. Then after the 1879 Meeker Massacre they were finally all moved to the barren wasteland reservation at Ouray, Utah.
Was Chief Ouray a pragmatic chief who saw the unstoppable power of Western culture, or was he a traitor to his tribe who sold them out for a government stipend ? The more I read about this the more I wonder.
Onwards we rode up the Continental Divide Trail to Agate Creek and down down down to Lime Creek.
In the background (open snow covered flats) is Sargents Mesa and the Cochetopa Hills. Through there is one of the easiest sections in all of Colorado to get over the continental divide - thus lots of travel throughout history went this way.
We played around the Pinnacle Mine for a bit before descending back to the Marshall Pass RR grade.
By now it was nearly 1900 and we decided to bee-line it back over Marshall Pass to Villa Grove for dinner.
When we got there Amber's little cafe was closed and the sun was very low. Just as well I though as the prospect of going up the west side of Hayden in the dark gave me trepidation. As it was the daylight was waning fast.
West side of Sangres looking across the valley towards Hayden Pass
Stopping for a bit we contemplated the loose rocks ahead.
The west side is the worst ever (which actually means the best ever).
The rocks were looser, bigger and longer than I have ever seen. And to think I've gone up this on my fully loaded KLR and Dan has taken his 1150 GS up this once !!!!!!
It was a real bitch geting up and we were on "dirtbikes." If you lost your momentum there was hell to pay to get it back.
It took us 25 minutes from Villa Grove to the summit of Hayden and another 20 minutes down the other side.
We were loaded and on our way to Canyon City by 2130.
An interesting encounter:
Your Forest ranger hard at work. Check out how he has is axe mounted!
I took the liberty to use some of your photos in the sequence I posted where they were needed. I hope you don't mind. Are you going to post up a piece of the single track video ?
Great time yesterday.
Surprised i didnt see you guys up there! A buddy and i rode from hayden to the end and back friday, then we went from hayden 30 miles the other way and back on saturday, what a great trail!
His job does not suck
Looks like you guys had an epic ride!
I love the irony of Estaban meeting up with a smiling, moto-friendly, dirt biker Forest Service employee in the middle of nowhere!
You suppose Christine grabs an axe, hops on her dirt bike, and clears out single track for the moto riders very often? :huh
Did you ask him his opinion on Rollins Pass?
Your ride reports always make me want to go to the library.
San Isabel and Rio Grande National Forests have always demonstrated a different attitude towards motorized recreation in comparison to White River and Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests. Go figure.. ?!