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Second Annual Ouray, CO DS Ride

Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,303
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Since GHT has sore fingers, figured one of us better get this thread set up.

The drive from home to Ouray is mostly an exercise in perseverance. You know, west Texas and New Mexico have some interesting spots...but not many. :yawn: These dust devils went way up high. Hard to figure how energy for these is sustained for hours at a time.

P8200026.jpg


It's been so long since I've seen rain that this was worth a picture or two. The smell was magical.

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P8200028.jpg


Stan and I had coordinated the trip up and both arrived in Ouray about the same time. What, a nap after such a long drive? :ponder: Nooo! Stan says "Hey RG, you wanna go for a little shake-down ride?" You Bet! So, we headed out to the nearest trail we could think of...Yankee Boy - Governor Basin.

This trail starts out as a wide gravel road within a stones throw from Ouray. It gradually gets more narrow and a little rougher farther along. There's a split in the road that goes to Imogene pass and Telluride. Just past that the trail becomes a rough shelf road. Then it starts climbing and gets rather technical in a hurry. We made it to the last couple of switch-backs before I whimped out. :nono: Stan has riding skills that would have taken him on up and beyond but that's not how he works. If I was stopping then we were staying together. Some folks in a jeep were watching us climb and decided to turn around two switch-backs below. :shock: This picture is the smooth part.

P8220050.jpg


The trail to Imogene is one of the prettiest I know of. This is the first of dozens of waterfalls out here. With the heavy snowfall last winter, water is running out of the ground all over the mountains.

P8220045.jpg


We headed on back into town. We were hopping right along down to the better roads when I noticed a white jeep setting off the side of the road. Folks last year warned me about this. Sure enough, traffic ranger. We stopped to visit with him and turns out he was about as nice a fellow as we could ever hope to meet out here. He gave Stan a trail map that showed some single-track and less trod trails.

The crew had started gathering. Terry had some issue with his carb and was busy taking things apart...with ample good advice provided.

P8220031.jpg


Stan, GHT and Terry doing carb surgery on a KTM.

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Here's the view from the back porch. A feller could do worse. 8-)

P8220030.jpg


Tomorrow, let the riding begin! :rider:
 

GHT

Joined
Feb 5, 2008
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Clear Lake City
Thanks RG for getting this started!!! Fingers are fine, however I am finding lots of sore spots on my old body!!!! Terry and I got home this afternoon at about 3:30, temp was 104 :eek2::eek2::eek2:!!!! It's going to take a couple of days to get re-acclimated!!
 

Tourmeister

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Terry and I got home this afternoon at about 3:30, temp was 104 :eek2::eek2::eek2:!!!! It's going to take a couple of days to get re-acclimated!!
Ohhhh... let me see if I can work up some sympathy for you.....






Nope... not happening... :whatever:

Bring on the reports!! :popcorn:
 

Vinny

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:nana: . Keep the report coming.
I was there last summer. Got the v-strom way up Imogine. The bike wasn't as pretty when we where done.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
:rider::clap::eek2::giveup:!!!!
What an AWESOME trip! I've been riding since 1970, and this has to be in the top 5 of all my motorcycle adventures... the greatest scenery, riding bikes with some of the greatest people you could hope to meet! I think my son sees me in a different (hopefully better) light after meeting the great bunch of guys I have the privilege of riding bikes with; all the advice he got, that seemed like "YADDA YADDA YADDA" from dad, makes an entirely different impression when coming from concerned serious others... and I can't thank ya'll enough.

Will try to post up some of our more interesting vids to YouTube, and do a ride report later; had to drive up to OK today and try to make some money to pay for the trip...

Get Well Soon to Duane, and anyone else who is still healing up slowly(guilty!) from too much fun...:trust:

De

ADD: Ben does Hard Rock Boogie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lcSRnCNZDE
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
1,137
Location
League City, Texas
Since GHT has sore fingers, figured one of us better get this thread set up.

The drive from home to Ouray is mostly an exercise in perseverance. You know, west Texas and New Mexico have some interesting spots...but not many. :yawn: These dust devils went way up high. Hard to figure how energy for these is sustained for hours at a time.

P8200026.jpg


It's been so long since I've seen rain that this was worth a picture or two. The smell was magical.

P8200027.jpg


P8200028.jpg


Stan and I had coordinated the trip up and both arrived in Ouray about the same time. What, a nap after such a long drive? :ponder: Nooo! Stan says "Hey RG, you wanna go for a little shake-down ride?" You Bet! So, we headed out to the nearest trail we could think of...Yankee Boy - Governor Basin.

This trail starts out as a wide gravel road within a stones throw from Ouray. It gradually gets more narrow and a little rougher farther along. There's a split in the road that goes to Imogene pass and Telluride. Just past that the trail becomes a rough shelf road. Then it starts climbing and gets rather technical in a hurry. We made it to the last couple of switch-backs before I whimped out. :nono: Stan has riding skills that would have taken him on up and beyond but that's not how he works. If I was stopping then we were staying together. Some folks in a jeep were watching us climb and decided to turn around two switch-backs below. :shock: This picture is the smooth part.

P8220050.jpg


The trail to Imogene is one of the prettiest I know of. This is the first of dozens of waterfalls out here. With the heavy snowfall last winter, water is running out of the ground all over the mountains.

P8220045.jpg


We headed on back into town. We were hopping right along down to the better roads when I noticed a white jeep setting off the side of the road. Folks last year warned me about this. Sure enough, traffic ranger. We stopped to visit with him and turns out he was about as nice a fellow as we could ever hope to meet out here. He gave Stan a trail map that showed some single-track and less trod trails.

The crew had started gathering. Terry had some issue with his carb and was busy taking things apart...with ample good advice provided.

P8220031.jpg


Stan, GHT and Terry doing carb surgery on a KTM.

P8220029.jpg


Here's the view from the back porch. A feller could do worse. 8-)

P8220030.jpg


Tomorrow, let the riding begin! :rider:
Man he had to do the same thing last year....lolMust be a KTM thing...
 

jfink

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Conroe, Tx
We left Ouray and crossed the Uncomphagre National Forest to Gunnison. I happened to snap this picture with my smart phone.



Notice the old man of the mountain. I didn't see that until I saw the picture.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Monday AM ---

This was our first day of riding in groups. FJRrider and a couple of chums had been abusing trails since the past Thursday but for the rest of the crew - we were just getting warmed up. We all met up each morning in front of the Timber Ridge to see who was going where and form up into groups...and wait for Mati. :scott:

IMG_0859.jpg


Terry was using GHT's fine 450EXC since his was convalescing from a recent carbectomy. One group of seven riders took off from Ouray up Corkscrew pass toward Animas Forks. AF is kind of the hub of a wagon wheel where several trails either go through or close by. We were going to pick up the Cinnamon Pass trail headed over to Lake City for lunch at Poker Alice and then come back over Engineer Pass.

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We took off in some cool morning air heading south out of Ouray on the Million Dollar highway to Ironton park. That's where we picked up the trail going east to California Pass. We stopped at the trail head to go over the usual rider rules and suggest that everyone give the rider in front of them some room. On steep rocky climbs, if the rider in front of you goes down then you have three options: Go around (not always easy), go over (does not win many friends), or stop. Stopping on a steep climb without telescopic legs usually means falling over. The first few miles are really great dirt trails through the forest that gradually turn to loose rock as we climbed. Many scenic water crossings and some football sized rock fields along the way. Everyone made it just fine. :rider:

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The first couple of switch-backs approaching the pass are not so bad and all was well...right up to where the last few switch-backs get really tight and awful rocky. The youngest of our crew managed to get a little too close to the really loose stuff coming around a turn and had to lay it down or go over the edge. No harm done and I believe that was the exact spot where several of us dropped bikes last year. Switch-backs require low end torq to make a slow turn but you still need HP to whack it as you immediately start up the next incline. Bikes jetted wrong, low on CC's or geared too tall are going to have a tough time. This is where mechanical limitations start to outweigh rider skill in a hurry. We lost a couple of our crew here who's bikes just weren't configured for this stuff. :nono:

The rest went on up to the pass. Cool air, spectacular views and the first spot where I think everyone decides this is just about how good life gets. :thumb:

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Here's yours truly thinking..."Gee, that sure seemed a whole lot easier than it did last year on my KLR." :scratch:

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Brother Rydah's wicked XR650L on the pass. Trust me on this, the feller can ride.

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Rydah and Terry on the pass working out some logistics.

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The trail to Lake City actually goes over several passes starting with California. Hurricane pass is another.

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Man, if that doesn't make you want to throw a leg over it and just ride! :dude:

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The mountains have geologic layers like any where else. Here, you just see a lot more of them. As we climbed higher the layers went from soil to small loose rock to large loose rock to solid rock. Solid rock can be a smooth and stable path...unless it's wet. More on that later... :flip:

Going off the trail in some places is no big issue.

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In others, it's the last thing you want to do...or will ever do. :nono:

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Near Animas Forks we decided to take the Placer gulch loop. Tourmeister and company took this last year which allowed the rest of us to be well fed and ready for a nap by the time they made it to lunch. I see why they spent time doing it...it's truly beautiful. :sun:

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Folks seem to park equipment out here where ever they used it last...or maybe where it happened to be when the snow melted. :shrug:

IMGP0456.jpg


Lunch was right on time and plenty good. :eat3: Now, it's time to make the afternoon run back to Ouray. However, there is Engineer mountain to deal with along the way. Exciting times to come...

IMGP0423.jpg
 

GHT

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Clear Lake City
RG, who knew that on top of being a heck of cobbler cook, you are a top notch story teller! Keep it coming!
 
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OK...Poker Alice's in Lake City was plenty good enough for lunch. The kitchen staff was made up of three young folks who were friendly as could be. I asked them what their most popular dish was. They all offered up suggestions but spoke with such an accent that I had a hard time understanding what they were saying. If it ain't English or Spanish then I'm lost. I asked the crew to name that accent but we were clearly stumped. So, I got up and went to find out. I asked what kind of accent they spoke with. They said I was the only one there with a funny accent and wondered if I'd ever darkened the door of any school room. Bulgarian... From what I could see, Bulgaria grows some right pretty girls. :trust:

Now we could stay there and nap ( very attractive option ) or saddle up and hit the trail. Takes a while to get over Engineer pass to Ouray. Not that far mileage wise...just takes a while. Running the last few miles down Engineer in the dark would be way more excitement than I could handle...let's ride! :rider:

IMGP0423.jpg


The trail to Engineer starts right in Lake City. You basically go to the middle of town and hang a left. Like so many trails, it starts out as a wide-smooth gravel road.

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Then you see a sign saying something about "county maintenance ends" and it's on! :thumb:

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You know, right after a good lunch, having to choose the smooth groove and not ride off the side of a mountain takes a little more focus than it did when we started out this morning. Mati looking way overdue for his afternoon nap. :yawn:

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Mati making it look easy...and, compared to where we were headed, it was.

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Seems like everything starts with a climb. Along the way are spots that'll focus your attention pretty quick. :eek2: Usually just as you top a hill or come around a corner. Even though school had started, there were still plenty of jeeps and four wheelers to watch out for...especially around the easy stuff.

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Crossing enumerable streams becomes second nature after a few dozen. The really nice part is they're usually gin clear so the first guy can *sort of* see the big rocks and the rocks aren't teflon on a doorknob slick like our own hill country. Rydah having fun with it.

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The scenery is spectacular and pictures don't even begin to show the actual experience. It's way beyond what I can describe. Problem is...you still hafta ride that bike and do it mostly through stuff that can be challenging. Gandering at the beauty of the Rockys can be hazardous. :wary:

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The remains of old mines and hammer mills are everywhere. The books say they mostly date back to the late 1800's. At one time, there were actually more mules in Ouray than there were people. How folks managed to bring in supplies and materials to these places is just astonishing. Silver and gold had their place but many of the mines were digging for minerals too. The antique mining equipment scattered around is like riding through a mechanical museum. See the old house beside the waterfall?

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With abundant moisture this year came flowers...everywhere. Truly beautiful to look at but then again...you have to ride.

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I'd always heard stock KTM seats were like riding on a 2X4. I have to disagree. After several days I can say that they're really much closer to riding on a treated 2X6. The bike may have been made for this kind of stuff but that so-called seat has gotta go! :shock: Breaks happen...thank goodness. Mostly for resting up or tightening things down.

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Some for discussing trivial things like "Which road do we take here? Didn't we come through here about an hour ago? :scratch: Who cares? We got gas, it's incredibly beautiful...let's ride!"

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Not many pictures of the descent...for good reason. It's a tough ride along loose rock shelf trails and down some solid rock steps mixed with tight switch-backs. Fun stuff to be sure but not while holding a camera. :nono:

Rydah comes down from the mountain. This smooth stretch is at the very end of the trail just before it hits the highway. Just behind those bushes is outright brutality.

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While we were waiting for everyone to pick their way down those last few miles, I spotted this under the bridge. Not sure what it means but I think I saw it mentioned in Backpacker magazine. CDT hikers...

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Tomorrow...Ophir Pass, Telluride and beautiful Last Dollar road.
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
:rider::clap::eek2::giveup:!!!!
What an AWESOME trip! I've been riding since 1970, and this has to be in the top 5 of all my motorcycle adventures... the greatest scenery, riding bikes with some of the greatest people you could hope to meet! I think my son sees me in a different (hopefully better) light after meeting the great bunch of guys I have the privilege of riding bikes with; all the advice he got, that seemed like "YADDA YADDA YADDA" from dad, makes an entirely different impression when coming from concerned serious others... and I can't thank ya'll enough.

Will try to post up some of our more interesting vids to YouTube, and do a ride report later; had to drive up to OK today and try to make some money to pay for the trip...

Get Well Soon to Duane, and anyone else who is still healing up slowly(guilty!) from too much fun...:trust:

De

ADD: Ben does Hard Rock Boogie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lcSRnCNZDE
Since Benjamin only fell once, and Gary once, I felt it was only fair to make a video of my KLR drops; once a day for 4 of the 5 days we rode (there must have been an anomaly in Earths gravitational field that one day;-)). Meanwhile, after seeing RG's ride report, there's a high standard to meet and I'll be working on one that all my (me) fans will find acceptable....

KLR vs. Gravity here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Own3t3nqJq8
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
147
Location
Oklahoma
Great vid Dewayne!:clap: I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with.:mrgreen: I only wish I had gone down 4 times. I had over 4 drops on pole creek alone. One was more of a launch when I wasn't on the bike to get up a gnarly, rutted, uphill section between two trees. Another was kind of like a nice cooling off period in a stream.:rofl: I also fell in a stream on the two track. Yes, yes, I'm definitely laughing with you.

Rg, great ride reporting! You are Doing a terrific job with the pics and the writing is even better. BTW u must do pole creek with us next year. The scenery is amazing and it's very remote.

Talked w okdq a few days ago and he's doing good. Will be back to work in a few days to a week. Should be riding again by Christmas if not sooner. Thanks again to everybody who helped us out.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
That's good stuff Dewayne! I expect almost everyone up there managed to go horizontal at one time or another. I was trying to cut the butter on Stan coming down the Engineer steps in the rain. Thought I'd just ease through a switch-back by going over the solid rock on the inside. The world tilted sideways so fast my feet never even got off the pegs. :rofl:

Thanks for the update on OKDQ, Chad. Good to know. Tell him we'll be looking for him on the trails. :thumb:
 

Tourmeister

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RG, who's bike are you riding?

KLR's are MUCH easier to ride there with a 14 tooth front sprocket ;-) Still a LOT of work though!
 

Tourmeister

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What did he get? And when did YOU drink the Koolaid!? Geez... am I the only one not finding the punch bowl? :doh:
 

GHT

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Feb 5, 2008
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Clear Lake City
RG got a '07 530 exc "The Beast", I picked up an '03 450 exc in April! They are out there, you must seek them out! Great bikes, plenty of power, and the suspension, WOW!!!! Gotta get a seat, or reconstruct the one that's on it!!!! Mines not street legal yet, just needs a few things, horn, hi/lo headlight, brake light, DOT tires, you know the normal stuff!:rider::rider::rider:
 
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Tuesday AM -

Alright! Tuesday morning started as another awesome day with a clear sky and cool temps in Ouray. :thumb:

CIMG0028.jpg


We needed a good "Welcome to Colorado" kind of ride that everyone could make and maybe see some variations in elevation and land types.

The *Ophir pass - lunch in Telluride - Last Dollar Road* loop sounded pretty good. Ouray sits down in a valley surrounded by mountains. Going south, east or north just goes into more mountains. But west of Ouray is only one mountain range and then flat lands. When you come out on the back of those mountains...it's quite a view.

Riding this country takes it's toll and bike maintenance is just part of it. Doesn't seem to matter much whether they're blue, green, red or orange. :argh:

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There's a small loop south of Ouray called the Red Mountain Mining District. The locals restored some old mines and you can

walk around in them. This is the Yankee Girl mine. The loop through here is some pretty good dirt riding too.

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I hoped to avoid pavement altogether by taking a much bigger loop from there called U.S. Brooklins. We poked and prodded all

over and kept running into locked gates or cables. Rather than have folks turning around all morning, we slabbed it on down the

road to pick up the trail to Ophir pass. :shrug:

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This trail is fairly mild compared to some others. It's a climb, there are switchbacks, rocks are plentiful, you cross some streams,

and it gets a little bit tough near the top but it's a lot of fun and really scenic along the way.

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Dewayne and Benjamin are ready to ride. :pirate:

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Starting off seems like you'll be climbing this mountain all day.

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The road on the east side of the mountain is really pretty good until you get up near the pass. Then it turns to solid rock and there are a few places

where staying on the road is mostly a function of hope...or just following the rider ahead. One big rock dome looks pretty much like the one

beside it and finding which one is supposed to be part of the road can be mostly a matter of luck.

The pass basically turns to a tall pile of jagged rocks that you ride through. Here's Dewayn on his KLR cruising on down like it was easy.

P8230031.jpg


After making the pass there's a pretty good stretch of rocky shelf road headed down toward the big city of Ophir. That's the little clear

spot way down there in the valley.

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Yes, there are actually motorcycles above these labels. Some scale for perspective you see. :wave:

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As you descend into Ophir the last couple of miles are some really fun dirt. It goes back down into the trees and streams with

several choice whoops to help air things out and shake some dirt loose. Benjamin splashing on through with some of the crew following his lead.

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Buelligan comes wheeling in from the pass. He was catching some pretty good air on those whoops coming down.

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Far as we could gather, Aspen trees like to live around the 9K feet level. Watching their leaves dance and break the

sunlight into colors could be an entire afternoon's project. ;)

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We're greeted by the Ophir city limits sign spelling out their municipal ordinances in some detail. :deal:

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It doesn't take long to cross the metroplex. You can see the pass - where we came from - in the background.

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We stopped down near the pavement to regroup and plan our next move. It was just about lunch time. Some folks were getting hungry and Joe's foot hurt. :eat3:

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We had only five or six

miles to go into Telluride so I asked the crew if they wanted to take a little dirt diversion instead of just slabbing it on into town.

They all looked at me like I'd just asked if they were wearing pink underwear. Of course we took the dirt. Dumb question with this bunch. :loco:

We went up to Alta Lakes. These are three small lakes in the mountains that are really something to see. :photo:

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We made it into Telluride and managed to find the blue house restaurant on our first try. It's kind of off the beaten path and has a pretty good daily special at remarkably reasonable prices for Telluride...or most anywhere else. I think it's actually named the Grey Goose but everyone agreed that the blue house was a much better name.

Found out that bike parking is free. One of the locals doing the "Y'all just rode where on these things?!" :eek2: session with Larry, Joe and

myself.

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We met a lot of friendly folks there...just about all from Texas. There must be some real Coloradoans somewhere...

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***After lunch...Last Dollar Road and back side of the Rockys.***
 

greeneggs&ham

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KYLE, TX
Hey, RG. I heard you had changed sides. Is this just a Colo. bike, or do you still have a KLR still in the garage. Nice ride report. Looks like a good time. Sam
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
67
Location
Portland, OR
Good to see there is some traffic on this thread finally ;-)

I didn't get much vid, and even less pictures, but I have some time today so...

Dewayne, Ben and I truck/trailer-pooled up to Ouray and got there Saturday afternoon. We took our time getting accomodations figured out and such, and by Sunday mid-morning we were ready for a shakedown ride. We ran into WR-Jeff (nick?) and came up with a nice day 1 ride.

Day 1, Sunday - Silverton->Animas Forks->Engineer->mineral creek->back:

That was a nice casual ride down to Silverton and up co rd 2 to Animas Forks.

All-in-all it was a good shakedown. Jeff had a get-off that I didn't see and tweaked his foot a bit, so he waited for us at the base of Engineer pass while we went up for an obligatory pic.
IMG_20110821_122226.jpg


Dewayne dropped his bike for the camera on the way back down, just for fun I think. A nice primer for the days to come.


Day 2 I let myself be talked into Pole Creek. I was itching to do some riding and they were the first to roll.

Day 2, Monday - mineral creek -> Cinammon -> Carson Ghost town -> ?two track? -> Pole creek :pray:

Scott, oilfieldtrash, Duane, MedicJeff, Stan, and myself set out blasting up mineral creek. There were three different groups of bikers and since most of us had just met we couldn't tell anybody apart from each other all geared up. One of the groups must have been running from the cops or something - they were setting a real breakneck pace.

I thought it was our group so I hung with them most of the way up mineral creek but eventually backed off since the pace was pretty near my limits. MedicJeff and Scott did likewise and were mingled with the group up ahead. Eventually everybody stopped and waited to sort out who was with who and where everybody was headed. It was actually pretty funny. Twenty or so guys on bikes all geared up and trying in vain to figure out who their leaders were and/or where their followers had gone :rofl:

So about 20 minutes later, a mile or so before the Y between Engineer and Cinnamon pass, we regrouped. I took stock of everybody's bike and gear so I could pick them out of a crowd, and we were off. Scott set a brisk pace, and we made good time over to the cutoff for the Carson ghost town.

As we got closer to the cutoff, I began to notice a new sound - a periodic metal grinding noise. Rather than stop to check, I varied the revs, the speed, brakes, clutch, etc - I eventually determined it was strictly speed related and I stopped worrying too much about it. When we stopped for the cutoff I jumped off the bike to locate the source. It didn't take long - my speedo cable had begun to self destruct. It looked like it had kinked at some point and the heat and friction caused it to fray and start to come apart. Somebody, I think MedicJeff, was quick with a pair of sturdy dikes and we just cut it off to prevent it getting tangled in the wheel or worse. Worse was still coming.

So we high tailed it along Wager Gulch road out to Carson and stopped there for photos and a look around. I had never been to Carson so I took a few arty shots:

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After a nice long tool around the town, we headed out - Scott reminded us we still had a long ride ahead of us and we needed to get moving. Wager gulch above Carson was a real blast. One short and mostly vertical red-dirt climb was particularly fun - if we hadn't been in a hurry I'd have liked to do that one a few times and get some good pics.

Anyway, this is where it gets fuzzy for me in terms of where we were exactly. Somewhere along the trail we picked up a two track that went through a high plain area and up into some piney woods. The plains area was a lot of fun, with lots of little whoops and creek crossings. But the woods area is where my gearing started giving me issues. On a lot of the slippery muddy declines I had to use brakes b/c even in first I had no compression braking - bike was just geared way too high. In any case, we trekked on and found pole creek trail. It had a skinny odd cattle guard that would prevent anything larger than a dirt bike from getting through it. I found out why pretty quickly :eek2:

The track wound through a plains area briefly and crossed a wide creek filled with big loose rocks. The tracks got tighter and tighter and the consequences for not holding your line became more and more severe. It didn't take long for me to run out of steam wrestling with the drz through these sections. One tight and muddy uphill S-curve was my first drop. Scott knew (albeit roughly) how far we still had to go and reminded us we had to push on. He might have been the fastest rider in the group, and being in the lead, he usually got a five or ten minute break every now and again waiting of the rest of us to catch up, so he was pretty much perpetually fresh. Whereas the rest of us rode pretty much non-stop :lol2: At this point the 'guesstimate' was another 25 miles of single track. I asked incredulously, "25 miles of this STUFF??" Although stuff was not the exact word I used. And we pushed on.

Somewhere else along the way I had to pick it up for some other reason I don't recall - but I was getting tired and I remember very specifically the 3rd drop. In a boulder-y section approaching a rocky dry creek bed, I got off balance and the bike fell downhill, and landed the radiator fan squarely on a rock that really did a number on both the motor and the housing.

At this point, Duane was suffering a bit also and he and I agreed we were either going to turn back or camp :lol2:. Scott doubled back to check on us and we told him we were heading back to the 2 track and he gave us some quick route tips for getting to Silverton.

By this time I had lost interest in taking photos so I don't have anything from the half hour or so that I tried in vain to fix the radiator fan housing. After a clif bar break, we headed back to the two track. The two track trail was once again fun, so that put smiles back on our faces. The trail dumped out at lost creek trail, and we had to decide which way to go. Here Duane's GPS started doing us wrong and suggested the shortest route to Lake City. Duane had faith in his GPS so we followed the suggestion, but long story short - we ended up just outside of Creede at about 3:30pm - many hours from Ouray by any route other than helicopter.

I'll keep it brief because I don't have any pics or vid, but suffice it to say - we hauled butt on 149 and made it to Lake City by 4pm. We filled up with gasoline and after a brief discussion decided to head over Engineer and down to Ouray. We were both dead tired by then, but with the help of some sugar and caffeine we did the pass in record time and were back in Ouray by chow. :eat:

What did I learn?

Gearing. 16/41 is a *horrible* combo for single track.

Cooling. The radiator fan on the DRZ is nice, but not absolutely necessary in a pinch.

Thinking about it, it was a hard day, but I'd rather be there than here most days of the week :rider:

Next year...
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,880
Location
Bryan, TX
Gearing. 16/41 is a *horrible* combo for single track.

Yuck!! I use 12/46 or 47 while riding double on my SM. Slows me down on the pavement but I can putt putt up hills and through the rough stuff. The first part of Pole Creek, with all the boggy stuff must have been tough with 16/41.
 

aa5ib

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 21, 2004
Messages
81
Location
Cypress Mill, TX
My friend Terry and I were up there at the same time. I'm sure we crossed paths with some of you all. I was on the HP2 and Terry was on a blue KLR 650. Next time I'd rather be on a 250.

Randy
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
2,860
Location
McKinney, Texas
I am going to commit suicide!! All you guys going for great rides in Colorado and I am stuck here in Texas with no vacation and no money!! Next year I will have to join one of the groups going to Colorado for a week..

Thanks for posting all the pictures, looks amazing.

Gary
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
Great vids & pics, Mati!:clap: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, anyway.

Since Gary beat me to the punch on the write-up, I thought I'd add a pic here to prove he WAS up on Engineer Pass with me and Ben...
 
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Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
de Great Coon*** (Temporary) Migration to de Rockies!



The plan was to leave home (Carencro, LA) on Thursday and travel to Austin to meet Gary; we would spend the night, work on his DRZ (get
the forks back on), load his bike on the trailer Friday morning and his gear in the truck. We headed out of Austin at about 12:30 Friday
afternoon, taking the most direct route (per Google Maps, anyway) up 183 to 84 through Abilene, Lubbock, Clovis to hit I-40 at Santa
Rosa, New Mexico. We tossed aound the idea of driving non-stop (Gary being young and full of energy) but since I had beaucoup Priority
Club points, and am an old fart now, we stopped at the Holiday Inn Express in Clovis at about 10:00. After a good nights rest and a pig-
out breakfast, we left Clovis at 7 am, feeling smarter (I need all the help I can get!). We continued up 84 to I-40, then north around
Albuquerque on I-25 to Bernalillo and 550 north toward Ouray. We stopped in Bloomfield at the Triangle Cafe; saw a police car and several
company cars in the lot and figured it must be ok. Great service, great home-style meals, excellent salsa! Now we're ready for the last
blast up the road to Ouray...



Caught up with some rain in Durango and stopped for some supplies at Wally-world there; seen one, seen 'em all, eh? But they had some 20
-penny tent pegs that would be invaluble later... got gas and firewood (?) at the service(?) station and headed north. We had sorta
planned to stay at the Ampitheater Campground, so we turned in and crawled up the scenic road to the campground...that was full. Time for
plan B; crawled back down the scenic road and into Ouray, to the Timber Ridge Lodge to see if they had a room. Not too many bikes around,
or people for that matter... we ARE supposed to meet in Ouray? Colorado?? After checking into a room, we meet up with Jeff, and find that
those who are already here are riding...WHEW! So the rest of the evening is for drinking and socializing and planning. Next morning, we
decide to stay at the 4J Campground in Ouray to be near the action... then we begin planning a ride, deciding to make an easy ride before
we even set up camp... like, 20 miles down to Silverado then 20 miles up to Engineer Pass, then down 20 miles back to Ouray... piece of
cake...it was a beeuutiful day...



Jeff and I are entranced...



"Is that ROCK? Mais, how dey got ROCKS way de **** up HERE?" (Coon***** don't know rock...)



After Gary explained the geology of the situation, we made our way back down the mountain...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96JKNKrekcA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrMmAmri3PM

We then had to go to the campground, check in, and set up camp. Being the frugal bikers that we are, we were gonna camp in a tent; but
not just ANY tent... we use a 3 room grand BALLROOM of a tent! Air mattress, folding chairs, 1500 watt light bar, Coon***-come-to-TOWN
tent!!! Gary had started to set up his itty-bitty biker midget tent, but when he saw the Hotel Blanco going up...well, he had his own
ROOM; so he picked up the IBBMT and moved in to his room. No pics of this, we don't want anyone to feel left out.
So dat got us to day 5 of de Great Coon*** (Temporary) Migration to de Rockies... we's jus' gettin' warmed up, cher!

 
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Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
de Great Coon*** (Temporary) Migration to de Rockies! (Part two):rider:

Days 1 through 4 went so well, we decided to stay a few more; got up early on Monday and had a fine coffee, oatmeal, and cocoa breakfast;then headed over to the de facto headquarters of the TWT, the Timber Ridge Lodge.There we met up with some old friends and made some newfriends, drank more coffee, and decided what groups were going where that day. Benjamin and I decided to go with Terry and RG and about 6 or 7 others over Corkscrew, etc., while Gary decided to go with the single-track kamikazes. After a short safety meeting, we headed offsouth through Ouray on the Million Dollar Highway toward the trail up to Corkscrew. This vid has some nice views of the trip up to the point where we had to wait for construction...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He4ylcbmhrs

Unfortunately, both cameras were off from there to the bottom of the Corkscrew; it was great riding on the road with fantastic scenery, which we got to see (and film) several times on later rides. The trail up to Corkscrew was really great, but there were a couple of sections where I had to slip the clutch pretty hard; I had tried to replace the 16 tooth CS sprocket prior to leaving home, but gave up on the nut after deciding I was gonna cause damage trying to get it off with my rustic tools... next time, a 14 will be on it!!!

At the first sharp uphill turn in the loose stuff, Benjamin slid down on the inside of the turn; I tried to stop on the outside to help him and promptly fell over and rolled down the trail... Thanks again to the 2 Fred's from Missouri; they quickly picked up the KLR and rolled it down to where I was gasping for air. After recovering somewhat, and surveying the climb ahead, I decided that the combination of the altitude, 16 tooth CS sprocket, and my AARP body was not conducive to a safe trip up the Corkscrew. Terry came back to check on us, and I let him know Benjamin and I were gonna head back down; I didn't wanna fry my clutch on the second day... and I'm still second-guessing THAT decision! After some discussion the Missouri Fred's decided to try it on their KLRs; at least they had 15 tooth CS's. With a bit of wheelspin and clutch slippin' they headed on up. Ben got some pics of the infamous corner after they left...





...and a forlorn me, already second-guessing my decision...



He also got some nice pics of the valley...







We finally got ready to head back; got on the bike and went to pull in the clutch, and it only moved halfway before jamming on the Barkbuster!! I guess it was a good thing we decided to go back; we'd a held up the convoy making repairs... so here's a training video on straightening out a Barkbuster with no tools...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2naFdI_CkM

The trip back to Ouray was nice and un-eventful; spent the rest of the day kicking myself, hammering on the Barkbuster, and enjoying Ouray. One last short vid of our fancy digs in Ouray:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KruphLQUtzU

Tuesday, it's Ophir- Alta Lakes - Telluride - Last Dollar - Ouray!!!
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,755
Location
Huntsville
:tab Wow... I thought Corkscrew was a challenge on my KLR with a 14 tooth front sprocket! I cannot imagine trying to do it with the 16!! :eek2: I think you made a good decision...
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
Whenever that macho dude in my head says "Go on, you can do it!!!:flip:" I hear Dirty Harry saying "A good man knows his limitations..." :biggun:
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Messages
1,945
Location
La Porte, TX
Riding this country takes it's toll and bike maintenance is just part of it. Doesn't seem to matter much whether they're blue, green, red or orange. :argh:

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Okay, before you Koolaid drinkers start nodding your heads saying "see, Hondas break too", that was my CLARK plastic tank that developed a leak in it. Honda ran beautifully and reliablly all week (as usual). :thumb:

Just FYI for others with plastic tanks; found this product at the local hardware store in Ouray, and it works:

http://www.eclecticproducts.com/sealall.htm

Drained the tank to below the level of the crack, cleaned the area best I could, applied a light coat of this stuff, let dry for 10 minutes, then repeated three more times, spreading it thinly each time. Final dry for about 15mins, and no more leak! :clap:

I'll be adding this to my tool kit for long rides.
 

GHT

Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,051
Location
Clear Lake City
Just got a Winter Weather Advisory notice for the mountains of SW Colorado, 2 - 6 inches of snow tonight down to an elevation of 9000 ft. That means the passes that we did will be covered with the white stuff in the morning! And it's going to be how HOT here!:eek2:
 

medicjeff

Forum Supporter
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
324
Location
Austin
Just wanted to add a few more pics and most importantly the videos I shot on the Pole Creek trail. Yes I was one of those guys that heard the talk of single track and thought count me in.

My time in Ouray was short due to a stop off in Manitou Springs on the front end of the trip. This was added when my wife, who came with, mentioned 3 friends had the hair brained idea to run the Pikes Peak ascent... a half marathon all the way up the peak.

We rolled out of Austin on August 18 late afternoon with the intent of driving till Raton NM for a little nap.

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Drive was uneventful and made it to Raton, found a dark quiet spot in the parking lot and managed a good 3 hour nap. Woke up with the sun starting to come up, pretty much how I always plan my drives into CO. Grabbed some coffee and hit the road.

We arrived in Manitou Springs just after 0800 and pulled into Pikes Peak RV park where we were greeted by a very nice gentleman (the owner I think) who told us check in wasn't till noon but he would check to see where they had us. He came out of the office and told me the spot they have me in is open and he would help me get backed into the spot... sweet. We got the trailer backed in and in no time we were set up ready to go find some breakfast.

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We also brought the smallest of our 3 dogs, a blue healer mix. It was her first road / camping trip and I think shes hooked. The other two are Great Danes, at 150 lbs each they don't make very good travelers.

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We wandered into town and found some breakfast and came back to the camp site to enjoy the weather and company of our neighbors, retired couple from Dallas on one side, and a retired gentleman from Oregon and his dog on the other side.

We made the short trip into Garden of the Gods park for the obligatory pics of balance rock.


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Walked around some of the trails for a while but it was actually getting kind of warm so we set off back to the campground.

Friends that were there to run came by to chat and hang out for a bit, then we grilled up our dinner then off to bed early.

Up early to go see friends off to run up Pikes Peak, grabbed some breakfast then packed up to head out to Ouray.


We made our way to 50 to get across CO. I love this drive especially along the Arkansas river.

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Got into Ouray early afternoon and set everything up at the 4J RV park.

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Had a nice cool evening with a good campfire, grilled up some steaks then hit the bed for our first full day in the San Juans.

Sunday morning woke up and made some breakfast then set our itinerary for the day. Last year we drove the Alpine Loop in my H3 which was a blast but we opted for a low key easy day and chose to drive the Red Mountain Mining area, hit Silverton for lunch, then Ophir pass to Telluride.

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So nice to see live vegetation.

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Up pretty high here. Took a little break to just sit and take it all in.

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The dog in this pic was wandering around up there and came up to us reluctantly and had a collar on with tag riveted to it that said Colorado Sheep Dog and a phone number. Since we saw some sheep just a few minutes before arriving we deduced she belonged there. I called the number just to be sure but it was hooked up to a fax.

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We set off and not 2 minutes down the road we saw a rather permanent looking tent complete with a wood burning stove that had a plume of smoke bellowing form the chimney, and another dog sat down in the grass. We also noticed a cot inside with someone sleeping on it. There was no vehicle up there so not sure if this guy just watches over the dogs watching over the sheep?? Anyhow we felt better about that dog being up there.

We got into Silverton and walked around a bit till we found a restaurant with a dog friendly patio. Had a beer and a burger and just enjoyed being outside.

Walked around a little more then headed on over to Ophir.

Saw this on the way... I want one.

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A few shots from the drive...

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We ended our day with a little walk around Telluride. Went down to the ski base and walked along the stream there. Very nice relaxing day.

Drove back to Ouray and got back to our camp site only to see a compound set up two sites over with 3 DS bikes. Recognized a bike from the forums as smegheads. Walked over and started chatting to get the scoop on the riding plans for Monday. Gary hung out with us by the fire getting acquainted and talking about the days of riding ahead.

Off to bed with the excitement of the day to come.

Up early to the sound of 4 strokes. Made some coffee and breakfast then headed out to Timber Ridge. There was a small congregation of bikes, did some meet n greet and started trying to figure out the plans for the day. While the group that was there was getting there route / day planned Scott, Stan, Chad and Duane rolled up. I had met Chad and Duane last year in Big Bend so we talked for a few minutes and were invited to tag along with them. Not the exact conversation but the jist of it, "hey were doing blah blah blah blah a single track trail blah blah blah" I looked at Gary and we both nodded Yes we are in.

Scott laid out the general plan and said its going to be a long day. Perfect that's why I'm here.

Gary has already made mention of our initial trek off of 550 heading up to Engineer, getting mixed up with another very large group of riders thinking we were all together. We weren't... this is where we stopped to get a head count and sort out the groups.

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We continued up to Engineer and enjoyed the view and saw a few more riders up there doing the same.

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We went back down the way we came to connect with Cinnamon Pass to his some double track trail Scott knew of.

We hit the double track trail that ended up being loads of fun. Rolling smooth dirt through the forest. It was a blast.

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I have some helmet cam video but still haven't uploaded it yet. Will try to get that done soon.

Some pics from Carson City too...

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Ok now is where the party gets started. Scott had been cutting the "stop and chat" breaks shorter and shorter. Hmmm does he know something we dont?
Well he says we need to get moving we still have a lot of trail to ride. Cool lets roll. Here is the start of the trail. Quick apology for the downward camera angle. I wish I would have double checked it but you can still get an idea of the trail.

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I had been shooting video intermittently all day not really knowing what to expect from this trail. I managed to get 3 clips from starting the trail.





I know nice dismount at the end there. We ended up there for a few minutes as everyone had a little trouble getting up it. None had any issues with the tree like I did though. Surprisingly my headlight was fine other than letting go of the rubber mount that straps to the fork tube. It was super hard to get it back onto the mount so a few zip ties and I'm good to go. We pushed on...



After this section is where some important questions began to surface, most importantly "so how long is this trail?" The only person that had ridden it was Chad and that was 13 years ago, and he rode it the other direction. So Chad says he seems to remember it was something like 21, 23, or 25 miles. :eek2:

Oh my....Scott again pointed out we should get rolling. Well yes we should so we did.



At this stopping point you can see the trail does seem to ease up a bit. We stopped to get the group together and after a what seemed to be a bit too long to be waiting for Greg and Duane, Scott backtracked to check on their progress. Scott returned by himself and as Gary had posted up earlier he and Duane were getting beat up pretty bad and chose to turn around and deal with what was know rather than press on to the unknown. Scott filled us in on their decision and we all thought well there's 2 of them, Duane has a SPOT and GPS and Gary also had a GPS. We all felt ok with the decision so we pressed on.

I turned my camera on and found that the battery had died. I had two spares in my back pack but couldn't be asked to stop and change it out at the moment. Few photos from the trail.

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Here we found ourselves having a tough time getting up this muddy root filled hill climb. Chad's method was the most entertaining. Gas it and jump off, see what happens.

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Some trail markers with some discussion as to which direction to go. Maybe we should consult a map? Nah... lets go that way.

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This is the last photo from the trail. You can see the clouds rolling in and the day was going by despite our slow progress. We really need to push on and get to the exit at Stony Pass.

I was getting pretty tired and the trail continued to get very technical with short sections where I could hit 2nd gear for a very short time. The fatigue was causing stupid mistakes so I slowed down a bit even though the speed was relatively slow already. I ended up being the 4th in line out of the 4 of us and was pretty happy to see sections of smooth trail. We were riding along a ridge with a small stream about 25 or so feel down to the left when I bounced off a rock and dropped the bike... again. Picked it up and watched Chad disappear around a curve. No worries we had a good system going of keeping everyone together. I get on the bike get moving and not even 20 feet down the tail I fell over again. This time would prove to be a bit more of a problem. The bike fell off the trail about 2 feet down the hill. When I stepped down to pick it up i noticed the dirt was very soft and loose and had trouble getting a good footing. I righted the bike, started it, and thought I would walk it up to the trail. Wrong... bike fell over again and slid down even farther. By the time I righted it again I was not about 6 feet down the hill off the trail. Again, started the bike and started to try to walk it out but the soft dirt just consumed the rear tire all the way to the swing arm. I let the bike go and there it stood on its own, nearly pointing straight up. I failed to get any photos mostly due to the exhaustion and the realization that there were only 3 people on the whole planet that knew my general location. I walked back up to the trail and sat on a rock to catch my breath and wait for someone to hopefully come back to help.

As I sat I did think about changing the video camera battery but again couldn't be asked to bother with it. I sat for what seemed a lot longer than I'm sure it was, then I heard a bike in the distance then Chad appeared coming up the trail.

He looked at me and my bike and asked if I was ok. Yes just tired and ready to get rolling again. He apologized for taking so long but he couldn't find a good spot to turn around. We talked about how to get the bike out and his fresh perspective on the situation proved to be beneficial. He suggested we push it over and drag it down toward the stream where there was a rideable line going back toward the way we came and then a very gradual incline back up to the trail. It worked just as planned and I back on my way follow close behind Chad. Thanks again mate, I still owe you.

We caught up to Scott and Stan and just about that time the rain started coming down. Everyone donned rain gear and we set off again.

Oh and just to make things more interesting I had just switched to reserve. :lol2:

I let them know my fuel situation, I was carrying a 1 liter MSR bottle and both Scott and Stan had larger tanks and I was carrying a siphon hose so we were hopeful we could all make it out of here. I added the fuel I had and we set off.

As we rode I was trying to be mindful of being over zealous with the throttle and then it seems as if it came out of nowhere I could see a proper road down the mountain to our right. I know we were going to have to cross Pole Creek at the exit and sure enough I could see that too.

We finally crossed the creek and hopped onto Stony Pass and started riding toward Silverton.

All told the Pole Creek trail was about 21 miles for anyone planning on riding it in the future.

I would definitely do it again, especially knowing what I know now.

We rolled into Silverton ~ 1600 and I was on fumes. I sputtered to the fuel pumps and relaxed a bit. There was talk of getting some food in Silverton but I was pretty tired and really just wanted to get back to the camp site and sit down with a cold Shiner. After some discussion Chad and I hit 550 for the ride back into Ouray.

I rolled into our camp site, got out of my gear, hugged the wife and dog and had a nice relaxing evening.

Wow, that was day one on the bike. What a great day.....
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Loosiana
Great pics and vids, Jeff! :rider:
Really enjoyed meeting you and Jane, and (can't remember your dogs name).
After watching the Pole Creek vids, I think the KLR could make it with a 14 tooth CS....
...Naaah...:lol2:
 
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