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Author Topic: First long trip comin' up!  (Read 1171 times)

DanKearney

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 11:50:59 PM »
Better late than never.  It's been a week since the trip, but I finally got around to downloading a few pics from the old point-and-shoot.  The ride and the rally were excellent.  I won a free pair of tires as a door prize at the rally.  I opted for a new set of Winter skins for my Ural hack as the Enfield tires still have the rubber nubs on them.

Loveland Pass is the first crossing over the Continental Divide west of my home.







I took the curving and climbing service road of I-70 as much as possible, then headed south and west along Colorado Route 91 down to Leadville.  I think Leadville is Colorado's highest "city" at a little over 10,000'.  Then it was over Independence pass on Colorado Route 82.



Then down through Aspen, over to Carbondale, up and over lowly McClure Pass (8755') and down along lovely Colorado Route 133 that follows along the North Fork of the Gunnison River and down into Hotchkiss.  The rally is held each year at the Delta County Fairgrounds.  Nice grassy and shaded tent spaces and hot showers.





Of course, it is a BMW rally, so there were a lot of interesting bikes there.  I like the older model Beemers the best.





Next morning my buddy Don and I did a little 200 mile round-trip ride down along the edge of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, past Blue Mesa Reservior and down to scenic Lake City. 





It was a beautiful warm fall day.  The annual color change of the trees is late this year and we were treated only to a little color at the higher elevations.  This next photo is on the banks of Blue Mesa Reservior.



Overlooking Lake San Cristobal a few miles south of Lake City, Colorado.



Late that evening, we were treated to some spectacular lightning and thunder as a weather front moved into the area.  It was harsh for a few hours, but when morning came, we were treated with purple clouds on the western horizon (Coming our way) and low level sunlight from the sun peaking over the mountains to the east.

We packed fairly quickly that morning, hoping to stay in front of the weather, but were not so lucky.  We were mostly dry until we reach Carbondale, Colorado about an hour later.  Of course, this was the beginning of the dirt road portion of our ride that would take us up and over little Cottonwood Pass and down into Gypsum, Colorado.



This road is built on Bentonite, which is a clay rich soil that turns to grease when it gets wet.  We were committed however, and blissfully ignored the sign which read "Road impassible 3 miles ahead".  We hoped that the rain would take a little time to soak into the soil.  We were sort of lucky, but it became really slippery as we neared the top of the pass.  Although this pass is a low one and not real steep, there are some quite sharp curves in it.  Both myself and Don had a few close calls with the berm at the side of the road.

We managed to keep the rubber underneath us, and the eastern side of the pass is paved with the rotomilled remnants of the old runway from Eagle County Airport at the eastern end of the pass road.  I exhaled a great sigh of relief when my tires touched that rough pavement.

The rest of the ride home was alternately wonderful and miserable.  We followed U.S. Route 6 most of the way, which was the main east-west road in Colorado before Interstate 70 was completed in the 1970's.  It winds its way under the interstate in many places and is a very nice ride.  However, we were forced back onto the interstate as we got about 60 miles west of Denver.

All was fine until we started down the eastern flank of the Continental Divide just west of Georgetown, Colorado.  As is all to common here, the interstate was at a standstill as all of the weekend adventurers from Denver (Guess that includes me too) tried to get back home.  It took us nearly an hour to move the 7 miles or so from the pass down to Georgetown and our opportunity to get back off the interstate onto the service road.

We were cruising along fine once again for about 10 miles until we caught up with the tail end of the line of traffic composed of all the other folks who are savvy enough to get off of I-70 at Georgetown.  It was stop and go for another 3 miles and another 30 minutes until we finally reached Idaho Springs, Colorado.  Mercifully, this is where I am able to head north to my home and leave the traffic behind.  My poor riding buddy Don had to endure the traffic for another half hour until he was also able to get off that bloody road.

The remainder of my trip home was uneventful if not wet as the heavens had decided to open up once more to ensure I would be nice and wet and muddy as I pulled into my garage a half hour later.  My last 1/2 mile home is on a dirt road. . .

Cheers,

Dan K.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:59:36 PM by DanKearney »
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Dan Kearney - Black Hawk, Colorado, USA
Royal Enfield Bullet Classic, Yamaha XT225, Ural Gear Up, BMW R100R
http://dansmotorcycleblog.blogspot.com
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mattsz

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 12:14:03 AM »
Looks awesome, Dan!  What beautiful scenery - I'm envious, even though there are those who would argue that I live in a pretty nice place, too... and I do, of course!  But I'd love to tackle some of those mountain roads...

Thanks for the great report and pics!

DanKearney

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 03:58:00 AM »
Looks awesome, Dan!  What beautiful scenery - I'm envious, even though there are those who would argue that I live in a pretty nice place, too... and I do, of course!  But I'd love to tackle some of those mountain roads...

Thanks for the great report and pics!

Thanks Mattsz.  Where are you located?

Cheers,

Dan K.
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Dan Kearney - Black Hawk, Colorado, USA
Royal Enfield Bullet Classic, Yamaha XT225, Ural Gear Up, BMW R100R
http://dansmotorcycleblog.blogspot.com
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baird4444

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 04:07:02 AM »
what a great trip!!  you were in my back yard,
next time your over Montrose way, give me a shout- Mike
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 but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly'
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mattsz

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2013, 09:11:57 AM »

High On Octane

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2013, 01:24:43 PM »
Great pics Dan!  Sounds like you had a good ride.  :)

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rvcycleguy

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2013, 03:29:01 PM »
Thanks for sharing the ride and pic report. Excellent ride. I was out that way last summer myself on a much bigger v twin 800 Boulevard.  To get across those divides is a workout with a constant pull on the throttle.  Nice ride. 
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Arizoni

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2013, 09:49:31 PM »
Thanks for the great write up and pictures. :)
Jim
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AussieDave

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Re: First long trip comin' up!
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2013, 02:10:57 AM »
Great pictures and magnificent country. I've always wondered what John Denver was so exited about and now I see!  A Rocky Mountain high . :)
"Glorious,stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! ... O bliss ! O poop poop ! Oh my! Oh my!" - Toad of Toad Hall.