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Sam and friends take on the rain and rocks in Colorado

Vinny

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Ok, let's continue day four.
We worked on the bikes for a little while and had a late start. Off to Yankee Boy Basin. The trail start getting hard about 2/3 of the way and it started to rain. While we waited for 7 jeeps to come down from the steepest area the guys had a talk with me. Sam had a fall a few hundred yards back and we didn't know it. He was hurting. Shoulder and back pain. Bike was fine. He said the bike just went flying off the trail and he had to ride off trail to get it back to the area in which we waited. John said the trail was hard enough and he would wait for us to come back from the top of Yankee. So, it really looked like I could go on my own ( I have been there 6 times already) or we could just go back down and take the detour to Imogene. After waiting for the jeeps and telling them that they just had a couple of turns to get to the top, they seemed a little more open to it.

http://dcasler.com/2011/06/18/yankee-boy-basin-getting-there-from-ouray-colorado/

They did just fine. I do have to say that the trails are very eroded this year and are harder to navigate thru. The top of Yankee was beautiful. The clouds parted and the sun came out. Back down to the Imogene detour and...the bridge has yellow tape and rotten boards; not vehicle friendly. You know what else isn't vehicle friendly ? A river ! Sam took a walk over the rocks to see if we could make it. The river was running very strong due to the rains. We walked the bridge and decided that was the way to go. I wouldn't trust a jeep over it but a bike, no problem. We restored the tape once we passed over.
 
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denton, tx
i love that loop

YANKEE BOY is beautiful

IMOGENE is just a fun ride

LAST DOLLAR, up & around the air port to the top of DALLAS DIVIDE klicks along nicely

and top it off w/ a meal @ TRUE GRIT CAFE in RIDGEWAY

right across the street from the park where THE HANGING SCENE took place in THE MOVIE

pics please

sw
 
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Hello everyone!

Ok, sorry for the delay. I did spend an extra week on CO after Sam and Vinny headed home. I've got a few pics to share.

This pic was 1st day of our adventure, in Pagosa Springs. The plan was to meet in Pagosa Springs on Sat July 26. I got there earlier than Sam and Vinny, so I unloaded my 2014 XRF250L and rode all over the little town. The KLR was in the trailer, (and the 03 CRF230F was in the back of the truckl, for use the next week).

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Later in the day I meet up with Sam and Vinny. They had been in town only about an hour. Here are their bikes (well one is Sams and one is his wife's):

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We met at a restaurant in town. Vinny gets a sampler of 4 Craft Beers and has to make a choice where to start. It took him forever to choose. I would have had all 4 finished but he wanted to talk about them. You can see the server getting a little impatient. He's thinking, "just pick one and drink it!" (I'm just kidding here....but the guy does look a little annoyed!)

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I did not get many pics from Sunday July 27. But maybe Sam or Vinny can add some commentary:

Sam and I survived a gnarly hillclimb:

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Vinny survived, too:

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Happy day at edge of Silverton:

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Back in Ouray. We were ready for a break in Ouray, before camp, to celebrate our survival for Day 1!

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Vinny

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Knock, knock ; John? Dollar road, imogene pass, telluride pics? I know you got them, I was there.
 

Vinny

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On to Imogene. We had a great ride over the pass. A few hard riding areas but ok on our choice of bikes. I was surprised that John was concentrating so much on the road that he was missing the falls entering Telluride. Bridal Veil I think is their name. A lot of traffic once over the pass. Telluride seems to always be busy. The rain started when we got close to town. It was a scramble to find a parking place by the restaurant I wanted to show the guys. We payed on a meter close by and rushed into the restaurant while wet and dirty. We later found out that bikes don't have to pay on meters. The food, beer and service was fantastic at the Telluride Brewery. It also gave us a time to dry up and get some strength for the rest of the journey. Leaving town thru the airport road and into Dollar road is always beautiful but on this ride it was amazing. The rains just made all the colors pop and the grasses and trees just loved it. Do yourself a favor and ride that little road . It's around 40 miles of riding heaven. We did encounter a little mud here and there so be careful if it's wet, Sam found out the hard way.

http://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-hidden-gem-last-dollar-road

We made it to Ridgeway and headed south on 550 after getting some gas and Sam taking a dip on the town river for hygiene purposes.
Ouray waited for us with cloudy skies. Our camp showed signs that it didn't get spared the rains. Our camping equipment would have to wait another dayto dry or maybe another state, like Texas maybe.
 

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Vinny

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I think the last night in Ouray we ate at camp. Everything bagels and salmon. A little fire and to bed. In the morning we thought we would go get rained on further north. Taylor reservoir or Leadville area.
In the morning we would meet an angel that would tell us of a "Disneyland" for dirt biking and camping. It would set forth a new adventure. Riding and riding for all. All that love dirt that is :rider:
 

Vinny

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Coming up in our next episode : sheriff is called , ADV post starts a wild scramble and a rescue mission is started for 2 riders :doh:
 
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Hi Everyone,

Here are some pics from Monday July 28:

Breakfast:

Sam Crabtree, boiling water:

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Me, John Murphy:

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Our home away from home, up the mountain about 10 mins from Ouray :

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We went, way, way up and came to a dead end and had to turn around. I think this was about 13,200 ft.

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Pic from same spot, slightly different angle:


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Sam and Vinny wanted to go higher, so Sam started running up the nearby hill. I really wanted to go up there, but I volunteered to guard the bikes and take this pic of Sam and Vinny:

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WoodButcher

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Can't wait for the next segment. I've only done Last Dollar highway twice. Both times on the BMW. The first time was the first real offroad I'd ever done on it and the second time was two up with my wife on the back. And it was her first time offload. :eek2: That time there was water in the typical puddle areas and one soft area.
 
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On our way to Engineer Pass we stopped at this old mine, and hiked all around and through it. Vinny posted some very nice pics of the interior, above.

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This was the view down the valley from the mine (pretty awesome!)

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Engineer Pass:

That's me, but, Look at that view!

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Sam:

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A few shots of the view from the top:

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A few a short distance away, down the other side:

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Sam approaching the bottom:

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We came thru some very steep, difficult (Class 4 I think) roads/riding on the way down, (which Sam and Vinny always make look easy). The KLR is as agile as riding a wet walrus. (It's hard to imagine riding a dry walrus).


Sam stops to admire the view, and is deep in thought. I wonder what he's thinking?

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I'm thinking, "Sam, take my pic. I'm beat! Put Vinny in the background over my shoulder...". Just ignore me - and look at that view!

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We had the choice to add a few more miles of unknown Class 4 kinda stuff, beat up our bodies more, or more chances of falling downhill and having my KLR roll on me and crush me....or, take a shorter route. We opted to take the shorter route and try to get back. The horses wanted to get back to the barn.
 
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And the road we chose was spectacular!

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These are my last 2 riding pics of the day, both of Vinny:

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After returning to camp we rode into town to the public hot springs pool, where we got a nice hot shower at this place:

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Coming up in our next episode : sheriff is called , ADV post starts a wild scramble and a rescue mission is started for 2 riders :doh:
Ok I've done my postings for a day or two.... Give me a little time to catch up, there Vinny. I'm not as fast as you... And, when I go to work, my clients are not sleeping half the time (unlike your job). :-P

Also, friends, Vinny and Sam were the tour guides and navigators on the trip. I was mainly the photographer. We covered a LOT of ground while we were up there. If we had to rely on me to find the way around, we may still be up there, lost. So I'm hoping (need) Vinny and Sam to add some commentary about the locations.

(I'm sure Green Eggs and Ham will be joining the party very soon. He may be at breakfast).
 
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Tyler TX
Love all the great pics and stories! :clap: Thanks for taking us along. I really miss being up there again this year. Feels good to see the familiar sights, and reminisce as I read all the tales of Rocky Mountain riding bliss. Great ride guys! :rider:
 
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Tuesday July 29, Sam's bike was a bit moody. It had a Thottle Position Sensor problem, possible caused by rain the previous night. The bike did not respond to the throttle. After Sam trouble-shooted everything, he disconnected the battery and it apparently re-set the problem:

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Vinny assists:

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We rode up to Yankee Boy Basin, Ranked #3 of 15 attactions in Ouray:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33581-d640977-Reviews-Yankee_Boy_Basin-Ouray_Colorado.html

As Vinny mentioned above, Sam went down and got slightly hurt on the way. It was raining, the rocks were all wet and slippery, which gives every surface a new element of surprise. And, we had just started our day, and had a big plans to go thru Imogene Pass and Silverton next...so at first me and Sam voted to just turn around. Vinny persuaded us to continue up to the top. He won. Sam went 1st and had no problem.

After one corner (no make that every corner), you have to pick a line and hit the gas and hold on and pray (esp when rocks are wet). There is too much gradient and not enough traction for indecision. Vinny was behind me. On one corner I hit the gas, did not pick the best line; the one I picked had some big rocks. Vinny said I did a "Superman" stunt. But I did not crash; I stayed on the bike and we got to the top.

Here are a few pics at the top:

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[URL=http://s198.photobucket.com/user/jamaustin/media/2014%2007%2029%20Yankee%20Boy%20Basin%20and%20Imogene%20Pass/IMG_6621.jpg.html]

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We got a bit of blue Sky breaking thru!

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I know more pics were taken, but they are on Sam and Vinny's camera.
 
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We rode up toward Imogene Pass. Here we stopped for pics, snacks and to watch Jeeps go down.

Sam:

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Me, (Murf):

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The road we just came up:

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A group of six jeeps came down:

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The summit was not much farther. Weather was threatening rain:

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I'm sure Sam and Vinny got more pics, too, at the summit.

Just a short distance down, I stopped to shoot this:

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The road down:
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we passed Bridal Veil Falls, and got this pic from a distance:

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I did not realize it was such an epic view, but this distant pic does not do it justice:

"These stunning waterfalls, at 365 feet in length, are the tallest free falling falls in Colorado, and they entice many people to hike, bike or four-wheel drive up the road.
From Pandora Mill to Bridal Veil Falls and the power plant, it is a 1.8 miles and a 1,200 foot elevation gain on a rocky road. You can also bike to the bottom of the falls and get energized in the midst of the mist."
http://www.visittelluride.com/things-to-do/trails-huts/bridal-veil-falls
 
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I paused here to get a few pics. Here's Sam, going pretty fast, but he's got style:


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Vinny is out way ahead and usually has to wait for the older 2 brethern:

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Sam:
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Possible rain ahead:

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We stopped for lunch and a brew in Telluride. I don't have any pics to show.

Vinny led us on a amaznig ride out of Telluride up by the small airport; it was beautiful!

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Time and Temp (time was still Central time).

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Sam and I strike a pose:

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Maybe Sam or Vinny will add some commentary....
 
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Well, now I have a surprise. I forgot I had more pics on a small point and shoot.

So, now we go back to day 1 for more the story.

Here's where we spent our first night about 20 miles west of Pagosa Springs. It was a privately owned residence and Sam knew someone who knew the owner. We packed up and left our trucks there for the week.

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Sam and Vinny studying the menu:

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We headed west on hwy 160 and went north at Bayfield on hwy 501. Vinny wanted to see if we could go around and north of Vallecito Reservoir, shown here:

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This points was about as far north as we got. The trail on the map was not marked well. It turned out to be a hiking trail:

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We did not find any route around the Vallectio reservior. We decided to ride to Telluride. On the way we saw rain and pulled over here to put on rain gear:

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We arrived in Telluride just in time to eat lunch - and avoid a light rain:

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From Telluride we rode to Ouray and Vinny showed us our campsite a few miles South of town up road 361, Angel Creek Campground, on "Camp Bird Road".

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Sam:

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My KLR:

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Vinny continues to take us to some amazing places. I am pretty sure this was the best offroad riding I have ever done, mainly due to the views:

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On a past trip Vinny was able to get to the closed mine in this pic. But today it was blocked by a gate:

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We saw very few people in this area.
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We head back down to set up camp:

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We then blasted into town for a burger and a beer. This pic shows up earlier in the ride report. It is my last pic of the day:

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and that's pretty much the end of our first full day of riding, 3 weeks ago today, Sunday July 27. Many thanks to Vinny for the tour guide work! :clap:
 
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Thanks to both of you for the compliments. I'm glad you like it. It's not my writing for sure; its the pics! And, I have more!
 
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The reason my pics got a little out of order is that my little Poin and Shoot Camera broke, so I started taking all my pics using my iPhone.

The is the corner where I dropped my bike (shown in a pic above that Vinny took):

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Planning the next step:

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Quite a view!
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On this route, we went quite a bit higher than the 13,154 shown here, maybe 200 or 300 more feet:
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Vinny checking his GPS:

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On the road again!
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I took a sequence of pics as the guys rode away:
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.....and away...
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