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Old 08-09-2017, 11:45 PM   #21
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

It is amazing how many downed trees there are! Are they having Pine Beetle issues in that area? Parts of Colorado are seeing whole mountains worth of trees wiped out by them.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:13 PM   #22
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Next day was a solo expedition. The plan: to map out a loop over to Weed and head back running through some southern canyons that are really great rides but farther from Cloudcroft.




Care must be taken to avoid hitting rocks. Pinch flats and all...




Some canyons are way more scenic and stopping just to listen to the silence can be pretty cool.




Made it to the Weed cafe just in time to take shelter. It came a frog strangler that went on for a good while. During the downpour several local folks came by for their mail (the cafe doubles as the Weed post office). Each one stopped to tell me about an old motorcycle they have in their barn or the one their Dad restored or whatever. One lady ran home to print off a picture of an older Honda from a vintage way before my time. The thing looked brand new.


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Old 08-10-2017, 08:36 PM   #23
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Day 4 - Thursday, August 3, 2017.
Temperature range 47-71

We rode:
Pines North Trail (T5688)
Little Apache Trail (T124)
FSR223
Benson Canyon Trail (T5005)
Willie White Trail (T113)
Hubbell Canyon Trail (T9277)
FSR64
FSR257
Prestridge Hill



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Old 08-11-2017, 05:26 PM   #24
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

So, two days in a row there had been parts of me wet and freezing that don't take well to such harsh treatment. This day looked to be entirely more accommodating. The sky was blue, JBay was ready for adventure and off we went.

We rode some of the usual Cloudcroft suspects such as Benson canyon and Willie White trails with JBay piloting his 500 like a true champ.




After getting gas and some lunch (green chili cheese burgers at the Weed café) we headed for the hills again.




The afternoon part of this loop starts out in a gentle, soothing kind of way. Sort of gives one’s lunch time to settle. But, things do change and so they did.





Rocky Hill is a lot of fun but as cameras tend to flatten out the image, you can expect this hill is a good deal steeper than it appears.




And then there are some rocks. JBay shed gear and took some time to scope this one before saddling up for the run.




After surviving Rocky Hill, the trail took us through some shaded wet low lands that had seen a lot of quad damage and erosion. Slick spots were pretty common and blow-down trees added to the challenge.




Eventually this ends at a private property sign where a wee bit of bushwhacking is in order to connect with the next trail.




The trip down Scott Able is always a gentle treat. We ran across the rest of the crew taking a break beside the river.




The clock was ticking so after briefly stopping to visit, we headed off toward the southern canyons.

First up was Apple Tree canyon. You know, sometimes trails change from season to season. I didn’t remember this one being nearly so technical but what the heck. It could only throw us down and make me cry.

This trail is a multi-mile steep climb on softball sized loose rocks where staying on the gas and keeping momentum is remarkably important. There are some other entertaining features along the way like big honkin roots sticking out of the wall right in the bend of a tight uphill switchback. It’s a real hoot!

There’s a small spot to stop (sort of) at a switchback about halfway up and JBay came tooling along shortly - doing just fine. By now, all the day’s jostling and bouncing around began to take some toll. Of course, the high altitude gets in its licks, too. This isn’t a trail that supports a “stop and go” kind of approach so I mentioned that I’d go on up and wait at the top.

The top has a shady spot to sit down and some really nice views.




Once at the top, I kicked off my gear and snacked on some yummy crackers as I admired the view and waited… and waited… and waited. Hmmm… no engine noise from below… been quite a while now, too. No more yummy crackers. Guess I’d better go back down and see if JBay is still alive.
To be continued…
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:41 PM   #25
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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Rocky Hill is a lot of fun but as cameras tend to flatten out the image, you can expect this hill is a good deal steeper than it appears.

That still looks tough, but your are correct, not anywhere close to what it's like looking over the handlebars instead of looking at my computer screen!

Old Apple Tree...For me it Old Ouch Tree.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:11 PM   #26
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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Old 08-11-2017, 08:41 PM   #27
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Earlier this year I went up Apple Tree on my 950. Lots of blow down on the lower section.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:56 PM   #28
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Day 5 - Friday, August 4, 2017.
Temperature range 52-70

We rode:
Bailey Canyon
La Luz Canyon
Fresnal Canyon
West Side Road
Alamo Peak Trail
Rio Penasco Road
Old Sunspot Highway
Willie White Trail
Prestridge Hill
FSR551
FSR257
FSR64
Rim Trail - parking area 2 to 1

Another great year, the weather reports even as late as Monday night were forecasting Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to be rainouts. My group only really got wet once, Monday afternoon at the end of the day. The only other time we encountered rain in the woods was late Thursday and we took shelter under a tree on Pumphouse Ridge while a shower quickly passed by. We discovered some new to us roads and trails but missed some of our favorites, next time.

Good to see, talk, kick tires, eat and ride with everyone. The dinners starting with Big Daddy's on Sunday night, to Taco Tuesday at the Western Bar to the unofficial banquet on Friday at Ski Cloudcroft allowed us to get to know each other and hear some GREAT stories like the Father and Son group that rode from daylight to dark and covered big miles (their enthusiasm was FANTASTIC!), or the rider that rode from San Antonio on his WR250R, yes RODE IH10 to US285 on his WR loaded with camping gear. Many more stories for the DOers to tell...GREAT YEAR and GREAT GROUP!







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And that's a wrap for me for the 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:14 PM   #29
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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That's the trail I was expecting. Beautiful, flowing forested trail. It's seen some serious washing. Just rocks now.




And yes, those cross trail angled limbs - like in your video - can drop me quicker than anything else out there. Don't like em one little bit...
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:58 PM   #30
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?



Apple sauce canyon


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Old 08-12-2017, 03:09 PM   #31
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

So, the views on top were really spectacular and a cool breeze was feeling so very fine after a long hard run up that mountain. Legs were still doing some of that tingly/shaky stuff but improving nicely by the minute. This was surely a happy place.




BUT – Jbay was AWOL and looonnnggg overdue. As I sat there almost content, a bad feeling suddenly reminded me of another time in another place when a very competent rider had gotten deflected running a particularly rocky hill climb on a trail near Talihina.

Several of us had passed him as he was climbing back on his bike about halfway up. Some had offered sage wisdom about gravity, manhood and riding lessons as we went by.

We had all stopped after topping the hill and could hear his engine down below. The ragging and bragging among friends out on the trail was in full swing. But then, no more engine sounds. We waited. We all agreed he had to be on his way up. We waited way too long.

The guy collected some very high priced hardware in his leg after that day. The worst part of it all was getting him down off that trail without hurting him any more than he already was. Honestly, I still don’t know how it happened - just one of those off-road motorcycle things. We ride.




And now JBay has suddenly gone quiet somewhere down below. I thought back to a tight and especially steep switchback with a pretty big step-up over some leg sized tree roots right about where his engine quit making noise.

I hollered down the hill several times – no response.

He was looking pretty tired when we stopped earlier. I shouldn’t have put him on this trail. I hate rolling up on folks lying near the trail next to a busted motorcycle. Man, it’s happened way too many times.

Aaaarrrggghh! Only one dang way to find out - gear up and go back down. Much as I didn’t want to, it had to be done.

Crap! This is an insane and stupid sport. We’re like a bunch of junkies always looking for our next fix…and hopefully finding something just a little more challenging. Little bit more danger involved - takes us just a shade past good reason and ability.

To be continued…
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:43 PM   #32
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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Crap! This is an insane and stupid sport. We’re like a bunch of junkies always looking for our next fix…and hopefully finding something just a little more challenging. Little bit more danger involved - takes us just a shade past good reason and ability.
Very well said! I can't wait for the next one!!!!
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:48 AM   #33
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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That's the trail I was expecting. Beautiful, flowing forested trail. It's seen some serious washing. Just rocks now.
That's too bad, the last time time I rode any portion of it was two years ago.


I hope to ride all of next year, even as is. The whole junkie thing...
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:48 PM   #34
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Wow, looks like a great getaway! Thanks for sharing the pics & video for those who could not attend in person. Someone may have greased that hazard limb crossing Sander. I am looking forward to hearing more about it next Sat during breakfast.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:47 PM   #35
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

OK, my imagination mixed with memories of past disasters and a hefty dab of fatigue was clearly starting to overcome reason.

I saddled up and pointed the front tire back down the mountain to see what was going on with JBay.

Maybe he’d stopped to take some picture… a whole lot of em - real slowly. Or, maybe he stopped to have a lengthy trailside picnic.

Yeah, right!

My biggest fear? How am I going to explain this to his wife without having her skin me alive?

It didn’t take long and, happily, I didn’t have to ride very far down before hearing his engine getting louder. Soon enough, here comes JBay cruising along. I looked for obvious leaks as he neared ( oil, coolant, blood ) - none to be seen. Bike’s still running about the same, handlebars still pointed well, helmet has no recent decorations added. He stops…

Yo! JBay, where you been? “I got tired so I stopped to lie down for a while.” Ahh… yes, of course. Could you pass me that stick over there, please?




Well, he was OK. Nobody got hurt and all equipment was still intact. You have to admire someone who knows himself well enough and has the discipline to stop for a breather when the time comes. Probably would be a lot fewer bits of plastic left along the trail if we all did such things.

Moral of the story: cheap GMRS radios should be required equipment.

I went on back up to the top and found my shady spot once again. After another stop to rest, JBay finally came popping along.




The trail splits – sort of – at the top with one well used track going left and another not so well used track straight ahead. Tripping the road less travelled seemed like way more fun.




Problem was, the GPS track had a turn up the way that simply doesn’t exist and without any sign nor suggestion that it ever has. So, we just kept riding.




Although the route has some spectacular views along the rim of this mountain, the trail became fainter and eventually disappeared altogether and we’d come a long way from that last trail split.




This looked alot like one of those “just as far in as you are from far out” kinds of situations.

To be continued…
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:23 PM   #36
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

See RG you had time to smell the roses
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:25 PM   #37
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?



Up on Alamo Peak


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Old 08-14-2017, 07:27 PM   #38
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?







Hiking the Rim Trail


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Old 08-15-2017, 05:35 PM   #39
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

Here we are on the top of this mountain at around 9300 feet. We’re getting kind of tired and thin air isn’t helping with that. Seems like each new trail is taking just a little longer to complete than the last one did.

But, we had made it up to the top of Apple Tree canyon and now we needed to link up with the rest of this trail. At this point we’ve rounded the southern end of the loop and should start heading back northward.

Problem is, there ain’t a bloomin trail to follow nor a line on the GPS to guide us toward one. So, what do you do?

A. Admit defeat, turn around and backtrack to the last known trail?

B. Stop and explain to fellow riders that we’re hopelessly lost and ask for any ideas?

C. Surreptitiously glance at the GPS topo and continue following its contour line around the mountain (bushwhack) until you (hopefully) see your track show up on the screen somewhere up ahead?


Looking at the track record below, you can see for yourself which option our hero chose to follow.




Yep, good ole fashioned cross-country bushwhacking. We rode through a beautiful forested meadow with all sorts of downed trees to go around. Luckily they were separated just enough that log hopping wasn’t needed.

Right around the time I was beginning to feel genuinely anxious about getting seriously lost, sure enough, the GPS track pops up and I can see a thin row of bare rocks in the distance suggesting an actual trail might exist.

YES!

We still had to navigate our way over to it but with only that small spark of hope, the job now seemed effortless.

What we found wasn’t much of a trail but it was headed in the right direction and would eventually lead us to the GPS track.




It’s hard to verbalize the supreme ecstasy one feels in reuniting the little blue triangle (where you are) with our big fat Barney purple track line (where you wanted to be). As Yogi Bara once said “We’re still lost but making really great time.”




The path became more obvious as we rode along until we were finally back on bonafide trail leading to an intersection with FR64. This would take us northwest to the trailhead of 1000 Mile canyon.




1000 Mile canyon was beautiful flowing dirt two track the last time I had ridden it. Well, turns out, it no longer resembles that at all. Our greatest test of the day, and perhaps of the entire trip, would be 1000 Mile canyon.




To be continued…
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:08 AM   #40
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Re: 9th Annual Smokey Bear Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride 2017 - What Happened?

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Yo! JBay, where you been? “I got tired so I stopped to lie down for a while.” Ahh… yes, of course. Could you pass me that stick over there, please?
Been there, done that, one multiple occasions! One of them was the first time I topped Willie White Trail on a KLR... after a couple of drops on the way up. When I got there, I barely had the strength and time to get the kickstand down before I fell off the bike and just laid on the ground waiting for my heart to stop pounding like crazy! After about 15 minutes I was able to stand and look back down the trail... wondering where Rsquared and Wasabi might be...? We wound up having to back track and call it a day. On the next trip out there, when I was on my 530 EXC, we found out that we were fortunate to have backtracked before because the path forward and back down the mountain was MUCH worse! On that second trip, we did that last three miles on the South end of the Rim Trail... At one point all I could do was sit on my bike and hug the tree next to me because I was almost spent. Fortunately, we just had one more short descent before reaching the highway and I was able to just coast down. We both spent a while laying on the rock wall waiting for our hands to quit shaking

A few years back, Rsquared and I were exploring up in Montana, having broken off from the main group to potentially do some more technical riding. I was on my 530 EXC and he was on his 450 EXC. For much of the day, it seemed we would not be doing any really technical stuff... until we found the road from hades... We kept thinking, "Surely it can't go on like this much further...!?" By the time we realized it could, we were saying, "There's no way in the world I am going back through that! It has to end soon!!" We were fully loaded with camping gear and had just recently topped off our 6.6 gallon tanks! We eventually topped it and stopped. I lay on the ground trying to focus on my breathing until I could no longer count my pulse by watching the edges of my vision move in and out in time with it... The good thing was that Roger was laying on the ground not far from me so we could communicate We eventually made it down off the mountain and headed straight for a hotel with a hot shower and soft bed!!

On a trip to Arizona with Gotdurt back in 2007, I laid under a SKINNY cactus praying for shade and someone to save us from ourselves. Jeepers came to the rescue with A/C and ice cold Gatorade. The next day was spent laying in the shade next to the Gila river rehydrating and waiting for Gotdurt to return from Mesa/Gilbert with a friend that could get our bikes across the flooding Gila River. It was a good 24 hours before I felt right again. Rsquared and I went back with him in 2014. About three days in, we mutinied and refused to go further on one particular trail because just getting to where we were had almost wiped us out and we were barely an hour into the day!! After a nice long rest in the shade, we backtracked and took a less severe route.

Fatigue is no laughing matter, especially when it is hot and/or the air is thin! Most all of my "get offs" over the years have been fatigue related. I try hard to stay hydrated, take regular breaks, eat enough, go EASY on the booze (at the end of the day), and pace myself when doing multi day rides. I just returned a few weeks ago from 8 days of 250-275 miles/day riding/camping in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. I was GLAD to be off the bike at the end of day 8!! I don't sleep real well when camping so that just adds to the cumulative fatigue effect. Fortunately, we did do a cabin/motel a few nights along the way so I could get in some decent sleep! I blew the rule about going easy on the booze the night we stopped in Ten Sleep and visited Justin's brewery... but not as bad as the other guys!! We got a pretty late start the next morning...

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But, we had made it up to the top of Apple Tree canyon and now we needed to link up with the rest of this trail. At this point we’ve rounded the southern end of the loop and should start heading back northward. ...
Too funny! On that first trip out there with my 530, I was leading a good sized group toward Apple Tree Canyon from the other direction. We bushwhacked and backtracked a couple of times before we managed to make the connection and then continue on down Apple Tree Canyon. I think I have many of the same pictures you do of that spot where the trail picks up again! The actual trail was in pretty good shape when we did it, but there were a lot of big branches and some trees because of a storm that had come through in March and done a LOT of damage. We were there in late May and there were many trails that were closed because they had not yet been cleared or were in the process of being cleared.

The thread is REALLY making me want to do another trip out there!!
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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

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"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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