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Colorado in July… Crowds, Construction, Cool weather and Cool riding.

Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#1
Every since my trip to The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and just a bit of Colorado I’ve been wanting to return to the Rocky Mountain State for a further exploration.

Colorado in July seemed like a good vacation spot, 2 days there, find a cheapish place to stay, make a few day loops, two days home and back to the real world.



I convinced a couple of friends Wayne and Don to ride with me to Abilene for lunch as both are retired and have plenty time to do domestic duties during the week unlike working folk.

About 45 minutes into the ride we saw an abandoned Goldwing 1500 that looked a lot like Waynes’ bike on the side of the road. He exclaimed over the CB that he was riding on borrowed time as he had 80k on his wing and alternators usually needed replacing after 60k.

He should have not tempted the karma gods.

And few miles outside of Cross Plains his bike coasted to a stop and was DOSR.



We messed with it for a while and they convinced me to push on as I had Tucumcari as my goal by the end of the day.

Wanye called a local Wing Rider listed in the GWRRA member book that help him trailer his bike back to Waco. Kudos to the man that helped.

I burned through the lunch stop at Abliene to regain some of the time lost trying to fiddle with Wayne’s bike and did a rest stop lunch near Post, Texas.

To be continued...
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#2
Second gas stop Lubbock Texas.



Kept pushing after Clovis and turned north at Melrose toward Tucumcari.



Official placard. Black Jack Ketchum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Ketchum



Selfie.



Cheap motel in Tucumcari on Route 66. BTW no ATT service even along IH40. And avoid the Lotaburger on the way into town, poor service, poor food.



To be continued...
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#3
Up and riding early the next morning headed to Ponca Springs.
Two more placards and a decent into the valley.







Climbing out of the valley and heading toward the Rio Grande.



Along the Rio Grande in Arroyo Hondo.

[IMGhttp://www.jsbcycle.com/2015_Colorado/colotrip12.jpg[/IMG]

That road in the pic was my shortcut back to 64 and pavement.



Once I climbed to switchback rock road out of the canyon I found myself up on the flat lands and looked down and saw a trail on my GPS. I was crossing the CDR trial according to some of the GPX files I uploaded for the trip.

The sign in the distance said HWY285 was 33 miles but I was taking the quick route back to the pavement as I was riding alone.



Stopped for lunch along Hwy 64 leaving Carson National Forest.



Another couple stops after crossing the Colorado State line on Hwy 17.





Made it into Poncha Springs and checked into the motel small room but clean and the wifi was good and the ATT service was 4 bars. I walked next door and had a expensive burger that looked delicious but made the Lotaburger from yesterday almost decent.

To be continued...
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#4
Slept in a bit a headed down to fill up and head to Gunnison. Wrong.

The bike wah wah / clock reset and would not start. I figured I could get one more trip out of the 4 year 3 month old PC680 but I was proven wrong.

I pushed the bike under some shade to figure out my next plan of action. After a few minutes I turned the key hit the button and it started up rather weakly.

I headed back to the hotel to do some investigation.

The voltage was less than 14 but the alternator seemed to be pushing some into the battery so I headed into Salida to find a battery.

One O’Reilly’s later I headed back to the hotel with a battery but realized I had just topped off with fuel. I needed to put about 200 miles to get some of the fuel out so I headed towards Cottonwood pass (the paved side from Buena Vista). I have started the GS before by rolling down a hill on pavement so I only stopped when I had this as an option.



The other side was unpaved and with a suspect starting system I was not going to chance it.



Back toward town.



And another county road explore.



Back at the motel the owners said it was fine to work on my bike in the parking lot.

I pulled the GS tank and broke one of the plastic QD’S in the process.
Luckily I had a new one in my spares. I mangled my existing battery box pretty good to get the odd sized AGM to fit in there but everything hooked up and it spun the engine pretty good.

A close by test ride then a further test ride and I was set for a good day of riding on Tuesday.



A deer cut in front on a country road I was exploring.



Found a nice little free camping spot in the NF along the same country road alond side a running creek with little traffic.



A storm moved through that evening and mule deer doe spooked from across the highway and ran right into the motel parking lot but she was too quick for me to get a pic though.

To be continued...
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#5
Up and out early I was headed toward the northern rim of the Black Canyon as suggested by the motel owners.



I really like where the mountains meet the water.



Small animal crossing



And another placard.



Most of my trip documentation was passed to my new action camera but a card formatting error caused a loss in over an hour of footage.

https://youtu.be/gMJp_G7oS8M

The stuff that survived was decent but it was not in the prime riding parts of the trip.

From the Black Canyon I took the highway through the mining area headed to Carbondale , down Hwy 82 to Aspen.

I have to give props to the city planners in Aspen. Deadhead a 4 lane highway into a 40’s era traffic circle. Great idea. /sarc

Hwy 82 on the other side of Aspen was a great ride and worth the hassle of going through town.



Near the twin lakes headed back into Buena Vista.



Another placard along Hwy 285



I was 8-10 miles from the motel at this point a rain clouds were building as they did every afternoon so I was going to call it a day.

The bike fussed again about starting but this time it was not the battery; it took several cycles for the engine to finally catch.

Back at the motel the battery voltage was down from the excessive revs it took for the motor to finally catch so I hooked up the tender to top it off.

To be continued...
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2006
Messages
2,237
Location
Waco, Texas USA
#6
After a few hours the solid green on the tender and I gave it a try. It started but once again it took several revs to get it to catch.

I got the thinking about all the things working against me…11 years old bike with almost 80k miles. I’ve never replaced or even cleaned the starter or the alternator.

Now here in the remoteness of Colorado 1100 miles from my recovery team I decided to cut my trip short. With a suspect starting system I could not explore like I have planned.

I decided to head back a day early in case other issues arose I would have extra time to facilitate a recovery hopefully closer to home.

The plan was top off the battery overnight leave early and burn through to Roswell stopping only for gas in Santa Fe. The bike took many revs to get started cold but seemed to start fine once warm.

Dropping in the valley approaching Santa Fe.



And burning down Hwy 285 towards Roswell and I do mean burning. After a few days of the coolness of Colorado this was a hot and exhausting part of the ride.



The room is Roswell was the cheapest I could find but a real nice big room that had been recently renovated. Don’t let them tell you the Budget Inn is a bad place to stay. No pool though.

Last day headed home the bike barely started again but I made it home without issue.

I underestimated a lot of things about this trip.

The effects of the altitude resulted in headaches.

It was cool but I never had to resort to heated gear.

The rain turned out to be a non issue… just keep moving and you are through the rain and drying out in 5-10 minutes most of the time.

In Colorado the crowds and the road construction delays are a given in July. Anywhere near any size town it was crowded.

From Roswell it’s 175 miles from the stateline to IH 20 and at least half of that was zoned road construction.

On the bike starting issue I had that fixed after one hour research.

The last time I swapped the battery I was in and out in no time. This time because of the delay in fitting the odd size AGM the motronic lost its TPS setting.

A 30 second fix in the field would have saved me a lot of worrying about my bike on the return trip.

Well, live and learn and hopefully remember that particular tidbit of info for future reference.

Just in case the procedure is going to be printed out on a label a fixed to my new PC680 and battery box replacement ordered this week.
 
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Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
Location
Huntsville
#7
Nice report.

I find that staying WELL hydrated helps with the headaches. Now I rarely get headaches even when playing up around the 12-14K zone.

The unpaved side of Cottonwood is easy. It is well graded and maintained. You could ride sport bikes down it, at reasonable speeds of course.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,907
Location
Bryan, TX
#9
While that is technically the north rim, this is what you see from the "actual" north rim. There's approximately 15 miles of dirt road to get there.


Nice report. You take good pictures!!
 

h2000fb

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
2,323
Location
Crawford, TX
#10
Second gas stop Lubbock Texas.




Selfie.

Is that a CB antenna I see on your bike? And, in the second pic, is that a mic I see in your helmet?

If YES, would like to see some pics and info on what you are using. Been looking at easy options to add CB to my RT.

Interesting trip, enjoy the pics and story!
 
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