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Snowpack 19

Joined
Oct 9, 2009
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2,445
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
When 150 hp just isn't enough. Took the better part of the morning getting it all put back together. Then the test ride sort of stretched out way longer than planned. Came back missing some rear tire.

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Always enjoy Hartman Rock but the west wind was sandblasting the hide off one side of me for the last couple of days. Locals say that means winter is on it's way.

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Loaded up and moved east over Monarch pass to Salida. Seems like it always takes forever to get over that mountain. 66 at the pass bout 2 pm. Passed through Sargents on the way. Several RVs there at Tomichi creek with a sprinkling of motorcycles.

Camping beside the Arkansas river for the next few days.

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bwdmax

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Wow hope you can stand to look at that while you have your morning coffee.
 

kubotamiketx

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Austin
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Really, you already go crazy fast on the beast, as if you need more power!

Hope winter waits for me to get up there for a few days at least...





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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,445
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Moved deeper into the mountains on Thursday. Way too many RV's buzzing around and with the Labor Day weekend about to get rolling ... it was clearly time for a change of venue. Headed out toward Poncha Springs and then deep into the BLM near O'Haver lake area.

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This location makes the Rainbow trail easily accessible... and a bunch of other stuff too. Got settled into a spectacular campsite beside Tent Creek by late afternoon.

Marshall Pass is just up the hill (OK...mountain) and makes for a good warm up ride.

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First trip was on the Evil Twins along the easy route. There are two ways up to the pass on the Salida side. Rd. 200 and 203. The first route (rd.200) is essentially a dirt road and can be done on a loaded KLR - unless it's wet.

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There are a couple of bumpy stretches and rocky switchbacks where somebody needs to ride but mostly it's just keeping your eyes looking ahead.

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I met a couple of young riders from Germany on their way to California - both on overloaded KLR's (ammo cans and ratchet straps). They were pondering going up the hard way just before dark. For whatever reason they stopped in my camp and asked what I thought. I guess an old guy with two KTM's sitting there and who doesn't walk with a limp must seem like a source of reasonable riding advice. Go figure... I sent them along the easy route.

The west side of the pass leads down into Sargents and the Tomichi Creek Inn.

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This is a wonderful dual sport route for pretty much anything that can handle the altitude. Only issue would be mud. The road is dark dirt and, judging by the ruts, doesn't do well with wet weather. It would be a slippery affair.

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You find these hiker cabins along some trails. The Colorado Tr. crosses here.

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The other road up is 203. I use the term road in it's mountain sense here. It starts out gentle enough but devolves into a chunky quad trail along the creek pretty quick.

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There are several stretches of melon size loose angular rock fields, stepping solid rock switchbacks and lots of powdery gullies to go with several creek crossings.

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Near the top is whooped out but you can run their edges well enough provided being inches from the drop off isn't an issue.

It's a hoot going up or down. I ran it both directions on the 530 and the Evil Twins. A loaded R1200 wouldn't be much fun but it could be done... just awful hard on the equipment as it gets narrow and some necessary lines are pretty rugged. There are several way off camber loose gullies where heavy side cases would give gravity the decisive hand.

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As you near the pass there is a road going south to Starvation Creek. It gets a little technical but nothing too crazy. I recommend this little side trip... but stop at the edge. This picture comes nowhere near what your eyes see.

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So I wanted to go check on an old friend the next day. We spent some great times together several years ago.

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It's in great shape but I can only speak for a small section I rode starting at Hwy. 285 and going west toward the Hayden CG. The riding clubs in Salida have done a splendid job of keeping the trail in good shape. Both off-road motorcyclists and mountain bikers deserve a great thanks. The Rainbow trail is long and you can spend a couple of days getting from one end to the other. It changes personalities in drastic ways along the route. Starting with beautiful alpine meadows and rich mountain forests to desert sands, rocky climbs and spectacular views. It's a Colorado gem.

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*This is not a trail to bring a new rider to. It is technical in just about every possible aspect and there are many edge trails (extreme) that anyone with height issues does not want be on. There are so many other great trails. Nobody needs to try to prove anything on this one.

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Soon as you go through the gate and clear this switchback - IT'S ON! If you can ride the first quarter mile, you should be OK for the rest of it. I have no pictures of the edge trails cause I was squeezing juice out of the bars with both hands and whining like a whipped pup... didn't even consider stopping for pictures... just take my word for it on this one.

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Yesterday was great morning. All the Labor Day hubbub has gone home and I can again listen to the stream running by and watch deer and mountain sheep walk past in the evening. Very pleasant.

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Next move is to Leadville later this week. It'll be cold there as I'll be camping near the Turquoise reservoir at 10,000 feet. Lows in the mornings will be just above freezing and at that elevation, these mountains do make their own weather. Stay tuned...

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bwdmax

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Beautiful country for sure. Keep us posted...:coffee:
 

Tourmeister

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Saw 100 F again while out riding today... :sun: Had to stop every 30 minutes or so for drinks and to cool off. Sure wish I was in the mountains right now :zen:
 
Joined
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It's 38 in Leadville this morning but doesn't feel all that cold... sitting still. On the motorcycle, pretty doggone chilly. I'm not seeing any colors changing in the Aspen trees...yet. But like the guy on the radio said the other day... when the weather changes - and it will...
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
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Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Up in the mountains near Fairplay and pretty much isolated from the world.

The clouds turn to gold each evening here. Just above 10K elevation. Aspens are turning gold and the stars and Milky Way are beyond description. Never seen anything like it before.

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An old riding chum from Ft. Worth came up to stir some dirt with me. We hit the single track for a full day of rompin and stompin.

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This is on the side of Sheep Mt. Yep, that's the "trail" in front of my 530. Just kind of a flat line of loose rocks along the side. Way best if I fall to the right. Left would make for a very bad day.

This was as far a I could go. When you can't get traction... turn around...carefully. You can imagine the actual view up here.

Riding bud dropped his 350 here and his knee went "POP" just about the time he got it lifted. Not real easy to do...these rocks are just stacked on each other. Slip and slide stuff in every direction but down. And down is really not good here. He screamed and fell to the ground motionless for a little bit. Said it hurt.

This is trying to connect the two sides of the mountain from the opposite side. This is as far as I was willing to go from this side. Again... no traction and it got kind of ugly up ahead. Yeah...much steeper than the camera makes it look.

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The big view from this side of the mountain. Supposed to be one of those 360 pics.

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The knee wasn't doing so great even with copious vitamin A but that didn't slow this guy at all. He shredded a stretch of flowing single track down below while I tried to keep the video camera close enough to see more than his dust. That was one of those rides I'll lay in bed at night remembering. Just splendid.

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A little ragged around the edges but still in the mountains and on the gas.

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Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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I would soooo love to be up there right now instead of down here in East Texas... Oh well. Keep posting the pics because they are as close I am going to get this year.
 
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