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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MotoPet, Jan 15, 2019.
San Isabel NF is particular nice. That's the kind of trail I like. The Aspen are also nice.
Thanks for the updates.
The GPS is not very accurate and I have to alter the route
a little. It runs through this gate and there on the post it says 'no motor vehicles'.
At one stage there was a young brown bear running across the road, but so fast that there is no chance to take a picture. On the other side it is good that there are no others are coming.
Leaving the mountains.
It's 4.30pm and I check if it makes sense to continue for some more time, but than I figured here is a campground, shops and restaurants.
So I stay and relax a bit. Just buying a beer was difficult. I didn't take my drivers license with me and the lady in the store did not want to sell me one without.
She insisted tat she has to enter the data in their system. ? Really?! I thought that I'm in the US and not in a country where everything is watched. No, thanks!
Despite that unpleasant experience it was a nice evening and relaxing.
So tomorrow can come!
Fantastic! So many of the Oklahoma shots look like eastern Alberta. I just didn't see the cattle or the grain.
Very nice RR so far! You're about to get into some great territory can't wait to see it!
The night was cool and even when I left at 9.30 am the temp where still low.
First the road runs through farm roads and than into the woods and up the mountains.
High elevated farmland.
In Salida I refueled the bike and is starts to drizzle. Not too bad and I'm eager to leave this town.
Too many Hippster and safe the world people for me.
Up towards Marshall Pass.
Marshal Pass was no problem and I understand that everybody says that big bike friendly. Still nice.
On the other side of Marshall Pass the weather looks even worse.
Another small Pass (Black Sage Pass) just past Tomichi Gas Station.
The Crossing of the 114 seems to be a big problem for many TAT riders and they end up on private land.
This applies to Kevins and Sams route. It is very simple, just stay for about 1,5miles on the 114 and do not enter the Farm entrance. Just watch out for the overhead farm sign.
Then turn on the County Road NN14. Voila, no problems.
Interesting Landscape, and
There seem to be hunters.
In the mountains I met a guy with a bicycle pumping up the tire. So I stop and ask if he needs any help.
No, he just increases the pressure for the coming section. He was already several days in the mountains and obviously a minimalistic traveler. No tent no bags just a small backpack.
No fear of bears? I ask and he just replies no, never had a problem so far.
Towards Lake City there are many campgrounds along the river. Nice location but most of them are empty.
I have no supplies so I need to go to town anyway and stay there.
My camp spot for the coming nights. The Elkhorn Resort.
The hosts are very nice and for the moderate fee you are not only getting a very clean place, no, you also have towels and breakfast coffee included.
Sometimes they even throw a barbecue for their guests and I'm lucky it happens tonight.
The plan is to stay here for 2 nights and do some riding around the area. The forecast for tomorrow is not good and I just hope for the best.
I'm swapping out the front gear to a 14 teeth for some red routes (Alpine Trail, not the Alpine loop) from Kevins map.
Nice chatting with the other guest and free dinner. What can you more ask for. Well maybe please no visit from the bears.
The hosts mentioned they are regular visitors here.
The morning starts better than expected and I have planned to do the Alpine trail. It Is marked as difficult so I unload my bike except spares and tools and head north.
first the track follows the main road.
Than it goes up the mountain on a well maintained gravel road.
Nice view down the valley.
Soon I arrived at a campground where the trail starts. It is a single trail flowing nicely along the valley.
In the beginning it is good and I'm not concerned at all, but that shall change quickly.
The trail is getting rougher and steeper until I came to a step in the trail which was just too high for me and I got stuck.
I rethink my options. Going back I though was not one of it as turning around would be difficult and I have passed already difficult places.
After several attempts to get over the step I finally was clever enough to build a little ramp and than it was no problem.
But more of steep and loose sections where following.
The pictures are not doing any justice but man I was sweating while struggling forward.
Past this section I looked on the GPS to see if there was a way out as I realized this was more than I can chew.
The next road exiting the woods was on the other side of the hillside and goin down in Zig Zag single trail through steep aspen woods.
This Pic is not the actual place but it looked similar, just even steeper.
I basically walked the bike down. If I drop the bike here it will stay. No chance to recover it by myself.
When I made it without any incident to the road I was very much relieved. The trail would go on the other side up the mountain again. Even that I have to go a long way north before I can turn west to Montrose is not making me rethink my decision to take this exit option.
In Montrose I refuel the bike and have a bite to eat before riding south to Ouray.
It is starting to rain again and my attempt to go over Imogene Pass to Telluride is cancelled after talking to a couple with their Jeep.
They just came down and said that there have bikes slipped off the road and they have used their winch on time themselves.
So I listen to them and head back towards the campground. At the entrance to the Engineer Pass are construction worker busy. They suggest to go via Corkscrew Pass back to Lake City and as I want to came back tomorrow up the Engineer Pass anyway I follow their advice.
The Mountain around the Corkscrew Pass are very colourful and despite the rain still an experience. Note to myself I have to come back when the weather is better.
The higher I get the closer I get to the clouds.
At this elevation my trusted Bike is struggling.
Next is California Pass. Not much to see with all the fog.
Heading towards Animas Forks the weather improves and there is even a bit of sunshine.
From Animas Forks it goes to Cinnamon Pass before a long valley heads to Lake City.
The sun comes out and there is even a rainbow.
What a day! A lesson was learned to be more cautious with route selection and I'm looking forward to come back some time to see this area again. This is a very interesting place and even I'm coming from the mountains as well, here they are different and lots of fun. I would stay longer if the forecast didn't say rain for the next week after a good day tomorrow.
My goal is the TAT so I will continue tomorrow on the route and hope for the best.
Definitely some tense times on that ride.
Epic trip, thanks