The Last Mountain Ride (first post)

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by StmbtDave, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    Saturday dawned clear and cold in Ski Town USA. The forecast was for major mountain snows on Sunday so I knew it was now or wait until next year. I had purchased my '01 Dakar three weeks ago and I was looking forward to some back road exploration.

    I bundled up in all my winter gear and headed up Rabbit Ears Pass on US40. Just before hitting the east summit, I took FS100 going south towards Gore Pass.

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    This is also known as the Buffalo Park Road.

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    I started to wonder about this ride as I began to encounter snow on the road.

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    FS100 drops off the east side of the mountains and joins the Gore Pass road (CO134) at the bottom of the pass. This would mean riding the slab up the pass to continue my route so I chose to turn off FS100 onto FS250 which was more of a 4wd road with even more snow to deal with. This brought me out on CO134 at the summit. I turned west on CO134 to pick up FS206. I came across the Rock Creek Stage House which was built in 1880 as stage stop, hotel, and post office. It's unique because it is a two story log cabin, rather large for its day. The National Historical Site was refurbished in 2000.

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    Just past the stage stop the road has a water crossing that was the deepest I had encountered. It must have been axle deep and I could only think, don't drop it. FS206 loops back to CO134 and FS212 heads south from there. This road has some beautiful vistas.

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    It drops out of the mountains down to the Colorado River at Radium, just downstream from the Gore Canyon.

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    At Radium I took the Trough Road east, around Gore Canyon, to CO9 then north to Kremmling. It was quite a feat to build the railroad through Gore Canyon as the canyon sides are almost vertical. There are more than one set of class V rapids in the canyon.

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    I filled up with gas in Kremmling and ate my lunch in the city park. I then backtracked down CO9 to the Colorado River bridge and took Grand CoRd 33 east, around Williams Fork Reservoir, to Parshall. Just west of Parshall on US40 the Corral Peaks Rd (Grand CoRd 21, FS112) heads north into the mountains. The Corral Peaks are right at the top of the climb.

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    The climb from the south was pretty much free of snow but once I started dropping down the north side the conditions changed. This was one of those moments that you have to ask if you really want to continue down this road by yourself. Of course the answer was yes as the conditions were bound to get better and besides, I had a good cell signal at the summit.

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    FS112 joins CO125 between Granby and Walden. From here I headed north to Jackson CoRd 21 to visit Teller City.

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    This was a thriving town of 1,300 miners in the mid 1800's. There were no major strikes and the story goes that people left town so fast they left dinner on the table. The climb over Calamity Pass to Gould (CO14) was the roughest road of the day but being right on the edge of Rocky Mtn Nat Park, the views were fantastic.

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    The day was getting short so I had to dispense with the picture stops and head for home. From Gould it was a fast ride over to Rand then Hebron where I started over the east side of Buffalo Pass. I had been over Buff Pass last weekend and the road was dry but a mid-week storm left snow in places 6"-8" deep. The switchbacks were especially tricky as I had to make the steep, up hill turn without losing traction. My Dunlop 606's saved the day.

    I called the wife from the summit to let her know I was OK and would be home in 30 mins. The west side of Buff Pass is very rocky and I figured the road would be dry. Wrong. The top section had turned to gumbo and my quick trip down took almost an hour. I did stop to take a picture of the approaching storm as it blocked out the setting sun.

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    This is the storm that hit Denver and the foothills on Sunday. It was an epic ride and I can safely say I was the last bike over some of those roads until next summer.

    Thanks to Wayne Weber for the backbone of the route as he layed it out for the Z Burger III ride a month ago. I couldn't complete the ride then on my XR280 but my Dakar had no problems.

    Dave
    #1
  2. Wayne Weber

    Wayne Weber why are we stopping?

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    Nice report Dave, and nice to meet you on the Z burger ride! I sure like that area around Steamboat.
    #2
  3. DA KLIXTER

    DA KLIXTER old and slow

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    I'll bet you looked down that snowy road and thought "Oh,I don't know,how tough could it be?"
    Looks like a proper advrider response-on a Dakar,no less.

    Good report :D
    #3
  4. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

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    Beautiful ride & photos. How long is that loop you rode? The wife and I trailered our KLRs up to Steamboat last year. Mostly road rides and some playing up around Hahn's Peak. Your route looks much nicer than anything we found to try (but I'm not complaining - every where we rode was beautiful). I'd like to ride this route of yours next summer.

    I ask about the distance as my wife rides a KLR250. 135 miles, inclusive of reserve, is about max on a tank of gas for her bike at these altitudes.
    #4
  5. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    Total ride was 270 miles. From Steamboat to Kremmling was 100 miles even. There are no other gas options on that leg. Kremmling back to Steamboat was 170 miles but I could have come back by way of Walden for gas. That would have made the Kremmling to Walden leg about 100-125 miles. The Dakar get great mileage. I suppose the trip was 90% on dirt/gravel and I got 65mpg.

    Dave
    #5
  6. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, old & slow

    Joined:
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    Dave:
    Thanks for getting back to me. I'll have to look into the distances, or find a way to carry gas for her bike. 125 miles leaves less than 10 miles of safety for her tank. I guess I could always keep my KLR filled up and take gas from it for her bike. That looks like too pretty a ride to let something like gas capacity/mileage get in the way. I'll figure something out.
    Thanks again,
    Dave
    #6
  7. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    "You would be stupid not to"...
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  8. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    :lol3

    :thumb
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  9. Thinc2

    Thinc2 Paciugo

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    That ride from Teller City to Gould is great. i found that road by accident earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Highly recommended
    #9