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The Great SW Colorado Mountain Pass Adventure of 2010

Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
158
Location
Baton Rouge
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Us four are approaching albuquerque, looks like we will be in Ouray around 3.

GHT. CAS. Myself and one other.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
4
Location
Yukon, OK
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Is there anyone who is in Ouray at this time that would have a 1/2" drive ratchet I could borrow?

DQ
(405) 642-6998
 

equipment junkie

My Email is Dead!
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Wimberley, Texas
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Craig
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Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Looks great guys! Green with envy as I type this :) Keep the reports coming in...:clap:
 

GHT

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Clear Lake City
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Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Had a really tough go this morning, woke up it was raining, looked at the radar, should clear in a couple of hours, planned to do an easy ride with Tourmiester and several other guys... Well the weather broke about 10AM, clear and cool, great riding weather, re thought our plans and decided to ride Imogene Pass into Telluride. We're OFF!!!! About 10 miles into the ride a flat tire, rain and sleet moved in, it was all around us, ride on we said, so that's what we did. A couple of creeks crossings later and on an incredibly difficult up hill section several riders, including myself went down!!! We gathered ourselves back up and BAM, down again!!! OK, maybe this wasn't such a grand idea? Got our stuff back together and stopped about a mile from the summit and the wind was blowing so hard it blew Chuck (Bouncingradical) off his bike! :eek2: OK enough is enough... NOOOOOOOOOOO we trudge on everyone else is at the summit, Chuck and I are clawing our way up, BAM Chuck goes down hard, after what seemed like an eternity Chuck comes back DOWN the mountain to where I am waiting, No he has not given up, he's gonna give it another SHOT! Second try fell in the same place, gathered it up again, by now almost everyone has braved the wind and sleet at the top of the mountain and made the short trek back down to watch Chuck and cheer him on!!! That's it, the KLX250 just doesn't have enough power at 13,000 ft. Chuck and I make some trial repairs, reinstalled the missing shift lever, gathered ourselves back up and headed down the mountain from whence we came, defeated and alone but knowing that we would be back in town warm and eating before the rest of the group got to Telluride... Got a call from CAS446 (Chris) while we ordering lunch, they were fixing another flat tire.................

I think this is what ADVENTURE RIDING is all about!!!!
 

equipment junkie

My Email is Dead!
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293
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Wimberley, Texas
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Craig
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Mooty
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Enjoying the reports...sitting here thinking...you know...I really ride to relax:zen:...just sayin'! Sounds like you guys are having FUN! (?):popcorn:
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
360
Location
Nevada, Tx
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Enjoying the ride reports, wish I were there, but Craig, explain retirement, with the 4:29AM post?
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
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League City, Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

To add something to the ride report that George was talking about. We left at 11:00 for a short ride we got to Telluride at 4:30 for lunch.....lol We left there and Terry wanted to go back over the pass but we thought it wouldn't be a good idea since we only had a couple of hours till dark and we didn't want to ride down the mountain in the dark...Today was a better day we made it down Black Bear Pass and man I can check that one off my bucket list and never have to do that again. You will have to see chucks video of it to believe it....We have one more day of riding then its back to the real world....
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Day 2

The folks here have had a LOT of rain in July and August. There's an article in the Ouray paper today about all the washouts and such from it. The guys that have ridden these trails in years past keep telling us that it was nothing like this last year. Places where the trails were like graded roads are now a freakin nightmare. Guess we be lucky?

Sorry for the delay folks. Got back in just before dark and was pretty well woopped...again. We got a late start because of the rain, spent a couple hours on flats as GHT described and finally made it down Imogene into Telluride.

The trail through Imogen pass is spectacularly beautiful, and in places, quite harsh. A rider from Kansas I visited with put it well..."it's like your in a movie setting or something." Pictures just don't work but that's all we've got to work with so...

At first the trail is forested Colorado. Old mines, cabins, water crossings. Very nice. Some of the morning rain was still around...just light stuff.

First flat...a nail. This team of riders are an awesome bunch.

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This old mine is big enough for everyone to duck into if the rain gets too heavy...it didn't. Probably a bear or panther in there anyway.

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The topography changes quick from forests to mountains. This is a pretty cool overhang to ride under...complete with cold dripping water. There's a shear drop of a thousand feet on one side. Remarkably, everyone went with the dripping water next to the wall.

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Going round the bend. The road is just a shelf between a mountain on one side and the abyss on the other.

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Interesting features along the way...

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As we clime the road turns to loose rocks. I just knew I had a flat tire from the wobble...so did everyone else. Just loose rocks.

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At around 11K feet the road turns to rough stuff. The bikes start losing power dramatically in the thin air. The trick in climbing this stuff is to pick the best line you can see, lay forward to keep the front end down, whack the throttle and do not let up unless a big rock throws the front wheel toward the edge of the world or the engine just simply dies...at which point gravity has it's way.

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If my camera worked well, you could see two bikes waaayyy down below. This was the worst of both times. Exceedingly rough trail with a rock wall in the trail and extreme incline. A couple of folks just had to call it a day and head back at this point. No power, no air, seemingly insurmountable obstacle...know when to fold em and run another day.

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The ones who somehow managed to coerce their machines up the way waited as others struggled down below. It's snowing at this point and the wind is bitterly strong. I was glad to have made it this far but I really just wanted to get down off that mountain.

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The pretty part of Colorado is now several thousand feet below. We're well above the treeline. Here, the view is beyond my limited words to describe. But, up here it's desolate rocks, snow, wind and cold.

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About the time that bikes are ready to just plain quit...the summit.

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Just as we make the turn to start coming down...

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Yes, that would be a snow/slush trail with a drop to the bottom unpleasantly close. Uncommon thoughts find their way into a fellows mind at times like this.

We made it down far enough to leave the ice behind.

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That's when we discover flat number two. I've learned a lot on this trip. For example, KTM bikes are solid equipment and in the hands of a skilled rider they'll climb like a goat. They also have rims that do not lend themselves to easy tire/tube repairs. Our high altitude version of a Colorado motorcycle jack.

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This kind worked a whole bunch better, though.

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After a lengthy repair...on the "road" again.

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We finally make it down into Telluride...an interesting anomaly among the mountains. Lunch was great...even at 4:30.

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After lunch we decided to take a chance on an obscure little map line called Last Dollar Road. It paid off well with an awesome (but way too short) ride. Very nice with a gradual transition from high mountain to dirt trail forests to beautiful ranch lands.

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Made it in just before dark. A few dings, some sore elbows, a few more badges of honor on the bikes. A great day of riding with an even better one tomorrow.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Messages
1,958
Location
La Porte, TX
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Wow, what a great ride! Nice report so far, fellers; keep it coming. Sombody list the type of bikes too. Is that a plated XR I see? Just curious as to what type of setup they were running, and how it faired at that altitude (just in case I ever get to make it up there).

Chuck, I laughed my *** off on your video, especially when I turned the sound up :rofl: What kinda camera do you have? Video looked pretty good.

Keep having fun guys, and come back safe. :clap:
 
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Joined
Feb 4, 2009
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Location
La Porte, TX
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

So, anybody make it home yet, or are you guys still enduring the pain and hardship of riding in CO?
 

GHT

Joined
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Clear Lake City
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George
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Touchton
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Got home about 3:45, the heat and humidity are killing me!!!!! Had a safe trip back and am already looking forward to next years trip!!!!
Thanks to those that made it... and Sorry to those that didn't!!!!​
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
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League City, Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

I made it back too. I'm trying to figure out why I came back to this Texas heat. I had a great time riding the mountains again and look forward to next year if I'm able to go again. It was nice riding with the group we had and look forward to the next one.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
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Location
La Porte, TX
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Good to know you guys made it home safe. Y'might want to get together before Wednesday though so you can get your stories straight before you meet the group again. :lol2:
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

On the way back from Moab...somewhere in the lost desolation of New Mexico between Albuquerque and Clovis. Man..this place just holds the rest of the world together.

The aircard is kinda slow out here so more later.

Had an outright ball in Colorado riding passes and trails with the group.

Did Moab solo and it just didn't seem to work as well.

The road goes on forever and the party never ends...

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Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
158
Location
Baton Rouge
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Ouray Colorado



Spent four days riding in Ouray, CO. We had a group of ~15 people on the first day, which grew and shrank through out the rest of the days. The riding was great and so was the great outdoors. No pictures or film can truly capture the beauty of Colorado, or the steepness of some of the climbs for that matter.

I am placing links to youtube within my ride report of some footage I shot with my helmet cam. This is my first attempt at making a movie, so some of the cuts my not be the cleanest.

We started the first day with some easy passes. First on the list was Corkscrew Pass.



It was a smooth ride to the top, starting in the trees, and proceeding to the barren top. It was a good place to learn how my KLX runs at altitude. I lost gears pretty quickly leaving me with only first for most of the time, though it took me a bit to learn how to adjust to the changes.

A shot I really like from the top of the pass.



Another



Following Corkscrew was another similar climb in California Pass.

A shot of the group on top California Pass





Follow the link to view the ride of Corkscrew and California.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBnnHWjZQ98

From California we took a loop around to Animus Forks. Which was a neat abondoned settlement.



The insides of the houses were a little worse for the wear. In the big one bellow, someone has recently tried to light a fire in the fireplace.



Before we were able to eat, we had to get up and over Cinnamon Pass before we reached Lake City, and the Tic Toc diner.



After lunch we headed up to Engineers pass. This was the more difficult of the passes today, and by far the funnest. We went down a long dirt road with some sites. A busted old dam, which made me wonder how difficult it would have been to build back in the day. Also was a cool waterfall, I had to walk down some steep stairs and a path to get the shot, I didn't think about how breathless I would be when I had to climb back up.








After the sites, the fun began. It was a rocky climb, that ended in a widing road to the top. I tried to get some video of the group coming up the road to the top, but my camera was full of dust from the dirt road before. This problem prompted some modifications at the campsite to reduce dust build up.

The road to the top.



The decent down engineer was some rocky/steppy switchbacks to keep you on your toes till you reach the bottom. It was a fun hill, I am just so upset my camera was full of dust.

Follow the link to see the Cinnamon and Engineer Pass footage.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSKbvcomkqs

Full album and access to full resolution pictures, pictures are in reverse chronological order.

http://bouncingradical.imgur.com/ouray_co_august_2010

GEAUX TIGERS!!
 

GHT

Joined
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Clear Lake City
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George
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Touchton
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Awesome work Chuck, you have just become the Official Videographer for our group!!!! I'm sure that this is the same from the whole group,
Way to go, You done good!!!!​
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
158
Location
Baton Rouge
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Day Two: Imogene Pass

To lean out my bike some more, I removed the airbox lid to increase the airflow through the engine, after yesterday's stalling experiences on hill climbs.

The day started off with nasty weather that broke around 10:00 am. We kicked off on a nice run through the woods, mostly puddles and flat rock. We stumbled upon an old open mine and a flat on one of the KLR's gave ample time to explorer and "vandalize" the nearby cabin and mine.







Back on the road during the switchbacks to the top RG took a bad spill. Luckily the KLR bounced left and he fell right. After getting him on his way up to the top, we resumed our climb. We stopped at a rocky ledge and a storm began to blow over Imogene, bringing with it icy wind and sleet (in Louisiana I would call it hail). The icy air would prove to be the downfall of my bike and myself.

On towards the final climb, I went to stop on a hill to the side of the trail when the wind gusted and blew my bike over. George came to help me and the wind was blowing so hard that it took both of us just to hold the bike up against the wind. On the third to last climb to the top, my bike drowned on gas and killed midway up.

On the next climb, which had a real steep section, my bike had some real trouble. On my first attempt, I didn't realize it's steepness and made it about halfway when the bike killed. After some struggle, I returned to the bottom for a second attempt. I gave it all I had and right before the top, the KLX gave up the ghost and send me rolling a little ways down the hill. Terry gave my bike a quick ride and gave the verdict that it did not have it today.

Imogene had defeated me today, but only hardened my reslove for later.

So with my parts that fell off in hand, I trudged to the bottom of the climb to my bike. George and I returned to town and had a late lunch at 3:00pm. As we were being served George recieved a call from Chris, who was reporting another flat at the peak of Imogene. **** the gyro was delicious!

Follow the link for video of the Imogene Pass ride.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSOENp0vtSE

Full album and access to full resolution pictures, pictures are in reverse chronological order.

http://bouncingradical.imgur.com/ouray_day_2
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Made it back about 3 this morning.

Awesome videos Chuck! I was trying to twist the chair handle like a throttle and stomping the floor looking for some brakes while watching them. :clap:
 
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Day 3 – The BEAR

We all knew it had to be done but didn’t really know what to expect. Stories were all over the field. Maybe if there had been a common theme. Being the biggest noob in this group I figured if the rest can do it…I’ll give it a whack too. Not sure I slept too well the night before.

Most rides start with a quick dash through the Million Dollar Highway twisties. This is where one side of the road is a solid rock wall and the other drops off a thousand feet or so – starting about a foot on the other side of the pavement.

There’s the tunnel…

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And this cement cover. Guess this spot had a bad habit of dropping rocks on folks as they drove past.

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The trail to Black Bear pass is a nice ride and doesn’t offer wheel bashing rocks or engine killing thin air like Imogene does. There’s something to challenge everyone sooner or later. You see, going up ain’t the problem…

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Once at the pass we get a glimpse of the other side. Very nice with Telluride in the distance…kind of like looking at the city through an airplane window.

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There is, however, the matter of getting down there. One perfectly reasonable option is turning around, going back the way you came and taking a nice road like Ophir pass to Telluride. Were such ideas even mentioned or considered? Noooo…

We came to ride motorcycles and here’s our chance to do just that. Gravity being the persistent helper that it is, we’ll get down one way or the other.

They say there used to be a sign at the trailhead reading “You don’t have to be crazy to drive this road…but it helps.” C.W. McCall even wrote a song about it.

Let’s see, solid jagged rock on the right side. Sheer drop to the bottom of a gorge on the left. Slick rock trail maybe five or six feet wide with gravel, big loose rocks and sand. Drops left toward the edge of the gorge. Bends out of sight around a corner while going downhill at an alarmingly steep angle. Oh, and there are all those bone jarring rock steps and drops along the way. Pucker factor? Off the scale…

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If anyone had suggested this was pure lunacy I’d have agreed without reservation. But, then again we did come here to ride motorcycles.

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We had some spills along the way. One rider did a superman-over-the-bars thing and stopped sliding with an arm dangling out over the edge of the gorge. That’s close enough. Riding gear is good.

This is where you really see the character of your team. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of men to ride with.

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The road on down has some tight switchbacks with loose rocks and gravel.

Tourmeister stopped for a closer look at Telluride and to give thanks for the joy of still breathing.

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This is called Bridal Veil Falls. It’s a power generating station way up on the mountain. It’s also where I started to realize that I’d probably live.

fall1.jpg


A nice view along the way.

DSCN0741.jpg
 
Joined
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Bryan-sort of-Texas
Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

Day 4

Ophir pass to Red Mountain Mining District

We've been very fortunate... weather couldn't have been custom ordered any better and our few mechanical issues have been routine. Best of all, no one has gotten hurt.

Today was a great ride with some challenges on the pass and lots of beautiful scenery along the way.

Got started early with the temp about 51...air's dried out and it feels cooler.

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The dash out Million Dollar Highway... no guardrails because they'd block snow removal. Wanna see how fast you can play run the twisties?

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Headed for the hills...

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Over the river and through the woods...

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Some of this is just plain easy to look at.

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Getting up there where trees start to thin out as does the air.

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Coming down from on high...pictures simply don't reveal the angles you see over your handlebars while both tires are sliding.

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There really is a "town" of Ophir...an eclectic collection of houses way out in the mountains...even has a U.S. Post Office.

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We stopped in Silverton for lunch. Many buildings there go back to the mining days of 18xx. The cafe was one of them and had lots of really cool antique features. I thought this old heater was a work of art. The bar is straight out of the wild west and is a woodworkers masterpiece. Only thing missing was William Bonney or Wyatt Earp perched near the end and a nervous piano player over by the door.

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The train was there.

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This was parked out front. Figured our own M38A1 could appreciate it.

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I made a sweep through the back streets while some of our group refueled. Ran across these...

Hot Rod snowmobile...hey, I'm from Texas. Such things rank as unusual around here.

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And an earlier version...

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Back on the trail toward Bolam pass. This was some really loose stuff and it was one place where crowding the feller in front of you resulted in getting blasted with all kinds of Colorado...all the way up. Fun...

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It's a rough trail and once committed...there's no slowing down till reaching the top. All the jarring had the back end of this KLX ready to fall off. Luckily, Bill1 carries a handy hardware store of fasteners with him.

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With repairs made it's back in the saddle again...

Why stop here?

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Cause some spots just need to be stopped at.

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Pictures fall pitifully short... When I wake up on the other side, this'll work.

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Headed on down the mountain...

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The mining district has some restored and very well preserved relics of the past. We stopped to explore a bit in all this.

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A sign explains how the lift inside was used to carry miners down into the mine and bring ore back up. Umm...but what about the miners? OSHA inspectors didn't have issues? :mrgreen:

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What a day! Not sure how it can get any better than this...but we'll surely give it an honest try tomorrow.

What more can be said with such candor and eloquence?

DSCN0770.jpg


:rider::rider::rider:
 

Tourmeister

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Re: Ouray, CO Dual Sport Ride, Aug 27 - Sept 2

:tab We got back about 7:45am Sunday morning after driving 21 hours straight through. I have TONS of pictures... so it will take me some time to get them up. The riding was okay I guess... ;-)
 
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Texarkana
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Scott
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Tipton
I took a ton of pictures, I'll only post a few, hopefully good ones!
Took a little ride by myself Saturday morning, eventually ran across Chad and Dewain over on Yankee Boy Basin

The first day we all rode together, it was a bunch of us, and we all stayed together till about lunch time.



Not sure what were talking about here, probably, Why is this KLR so dang heavy?
Up Corkscrew Gulch


Heading east towards Animas Forks and Placer Gulch




I think this guy is lost!

He turned around, maybe he's not lost.

Come on big boy, you can do it!




A few TWT'ers close to Lake Como

Lunch in Lake City at the TIC TOC

Got seperated from Chad and Dewain over on Poughkeepsie so I headed to Black Bear to check it out. It was cold and it has snowed the night before.


Telluride way down there!

The next day all the boys on Black Bear coming down the steps!







Lunch in Telluride, some BBQ place


Social Tunnel going up to Imogene Pass.




From Imogene Pass

Brown Mountain, Looks easy dont it!
 

Rsquared

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Tx
I had a great time in Ouray. We stayed a couple of extra days after the main group left and I ended up with six full days of riding, for a total of 603 miles on my bike. This was my first Dual Sport trip to Colorado and hopefully won't be my last.

George, thanks for organizing the ride, and hopefully you’ve already started looking at dates for next year. The timing for this years ride was perfect, right after schools started back and finishing before a holiday weekend was perfect. We saw very few OHVers during the week compared to what we saw Friday before the holiday weekend.

I’ve been on numerous group rides, both on and off road, through the years and the larger group rides can be like herding cats. This was a larger group ride compared to most and it went impressibly well, in large part due to our ride leader Terry. Good job Terry, thanks.

Also, I could’nt have asked for a better group of guys to ride with, I really enjoyed it, thanks for letting me ride along.

As far as video coverage/entertainment, excellent job Chuck, that is one cool camera.

And there was also the marathon 21 hour drive (each way), thanks for the ride Scott.

Anyway, I took a bunch of pictures and these were some of my favorites

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A few of the Passes.

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Tourmeister

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:tab I would really appreciate it if someone that saved a GPS track from Sunday could send me a copy of the track. This is when we did Corkscrew, California, Cinnamon, and Engineer (the big group of people, not those whackos that went off on the shortcut :-P). I was tooling along near the back of the pack and not really paying much attention to where we were going and I forgot to save the track :doh:
 
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Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
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Bruce
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:tab I would really appreciate it if someone that saved a GPS track from Sunday could send me a copy of the track. This is when we did Corkscrew, California, Cinnamon, and Engineer (the big group of people, not those whackos that went off on the shortcut :-P). I was tooling along near the back of the pack and not really paying much attention to where we were going and I forgot to save the track :doh:
Post it so we can all share. :trust:
 

Tourmeister

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:tab Originally, I had planned on spending a week in the mountains of North Carolina riding with some other TWT folks. Unfortunately, one of them had a minor accident at the end of May that resulted in a broken collar bone, surgery and time off work. Because of the time off work, he was unable to take off again so soon for the trip and it had to be postponed to October. Normally, that would have been fine, but I already have a family vacation planned for October and there is no way I can get another week off so close to that vacation. So... I am out... :tears:

:tab What to do... :ponder: Back in May I made a trip to Cloudcroft with Rsquared and Wasabi. They mentioned something about an Ouray Dualsport ride, which I promptly wrote off because of the then planned trip to NC. However, with that trip no longer in the works and with a week off from work already planned... The gears go to grinding, a few short order invitations go out to find trailer buddies, and things just kind of fall into place. Rsquared, BEEMIN, and Desmo will trailer with me, leaving from my place Friday the 27th as close to 6:00pm as possible. Nothing to do now but wait...:twitch:

:tab And finally...

Roger "Rsquared" and Bob "BEEMIN" ready to roll...


Because of a last minute decision to take my R1200GS as well as the KLR 650, we have to do some unorthodox trailer loading. Daniel (my 4 year old son) gives the straps a final inspection.


:tab Amazingly, we get away almost right at 6:00pm and we're on the road. Somewhere around Madisonville we hit a pretty good bump going over one of the overpasses on the freeway. I notice the KLR leaps up and moves more than it should. When we get pulled over, we find that the strap on the front of the bike that pulls it back into the trailer has snapped!! :shock: Only the strap on the rear and the tie down securing the front wheel rim to the trailer side keeps everything from going over board. We get out some more straps and this time even throw on a few extra straps to make sure the bike can't go anywhere. Then it is back on the road.

:tab We stop once for a sit down meal at an I-HOP in Weatherford, but otherwise keep the stops to fueling and snacks only. Twenty hours later we are heading through Durango and into the mountains on US 550, the Million Dollar highway. The weather does not look promising... :-?





:tab As we approach Silverton, we spot the narrow gauge steam train chuffing into town in the valley below. I pull over into a pull out so we can take in the view. As the truck comes to a stop, a big cloud of what I first think is dust blows by the truck cab. Then we catch a whiff of what smells like heavily cooked brakes! :shock: It is then that I realize the cloud is not dust but heavy white smoke pouring from the right rear wheel of the truck!! The smoke is so heavy I fear we may soon be facing a fire, but it starts to let up in a few moments. I climb down under the truck for a look and there is fluid all over the under side of the brakes. It seems odd that just one brake would have an issue and I had not been doing any heavy braking up till this point, instead using engine braking and just taking it easy.

The view of Silverton below


Checking the brake fluid reservoir, everything looks fine here :shrug:


:tab We limp the truck down into Silverton hoping to find a shop that can check things over for us, but no luck. It seems the nearest place will be Ouray. Nothing to do but go real slow. The trailer has electric brakes so I crank up the gain on them to take some of the load off the truck brakes.

The ride between Silverton and Ouray is steep and twisty




You don't want to be blowing any corners here... :brainsnap


And not just because of the lack of guard rails! There is an abundance of heavy truck traffic on this stretch of highway!


What's that!? Blue sky!? :dude:


But it is short lived...




:tab None too soon we roll into Ouray and set to finding our hotel. It seems we are arriving at about the same time as several other groups of folks that are part of our larger group.

The Timber Ridge Lodge, not fancy, but for $100/night, not bad either.


RG's spotless (for now) KLR 650. Notice that temperature!! :hail:


Folks collect outside our hotel room to get acquainted... Roger, Bob, Bill, RG and Steve.


:tab Steve and Bob get settled into some cool little cabins on the river at a campground immediately behind our hotel. The owner is a KTM rider from Texas and allows us to park the trailer down at the end of his campground with some other trailers. With the bikes unloaded and everyone situated, I get started on trying to figure out what to do about the truck. As luck would have it, there is a shop right next door to the hotel and they do brakes! I talk to the owner and agree to drop off the truck Monday morning when they open. So for now, it is time to explore Ouray and think about something to eat.

An interesting building in the campground behind our hotel


:tab Several of us walk toward town and find some kind of festival. Of peculiar interest is a blasting hole drilling competition. There is a crowd gathered around a large piece of granite rock and some guys standing around flexing their muscles to impress folks. One guy carefully lays out five or six steel drill bits on the rock face, each an inch or so longer than the previous one. Then the audio system starts blasting Back in Black by AC/DC and the guys beings WAILING on the drill bits with what looks like a four pound sledge, pounding with all his might in time with the music. After each impact, he rotates the bit forty-five degrees. Another fellow is holding a water hose that pours water into the hole. With each impact, the water carries out the debris from the previous impact. When the bit bottoms out, the guy tosses it and grabs the next longer one. This goes on for TEN minutes!! The guy is a machine and scarcely lets up in his rhythm. The goal is to get the deepest hole in a ten minute period. I am winded just from walking a few hundred yards and here this guy is going all out for ten minutes... :brainsnap It really makes me appreciate what it must have been like to be working in the mines here back in the late 1800's and early 1900's. "Hard" labor hardly seems to begin to capture the reality...

:tab Well, one can only watch someone pound mercilessly on a rock for so long, so we get back to the business of finding food. We find a tent with folks selling pulled pork sandwiches for $5. From the smell alone, I am ready to stop and eat but the other guys want to see what other options there might be. Then one of the people working the booth offers free samples... Moments later we are sitting down to enjoy delicious pulled pork sandwiches, Bob even going back for seconds! No sooner than we finish eating, it starts to rain pretty good, so we work our way back to the hotel. We take a nice path along the Uncompaghre River which runs through town and right behind the hotel.

I don't know what causes this, but I would be wary of drinking or swimming in this water...:brainsnap




Some cool plants along the banks




The view across the river...


:tab In need of some supplies for the week, we head up the road to Montrose to one of the biggest Wal-Marts I think I have ever seen!! Then it is back to the hotel for the evening and to eagerly await the morning and the start of the riding :rider:

Click here to skip to next section of report.
 
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I have some of those vines growing on my fence row here in Alto. If you find out what they are please let me know,

DSC01309.jpg
 
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Day three BB and Imogene

On day three we set out to conquer Black Bear before lunch. It was a nice ride up, it was brisk and just some puddles. Going down was the big trick!





After some rocky switchbacks we came to the steps. It is a blind corner with a drop off at the end and on the left side. The video doesn't really capture it, and had it not been on the side of a cliff, it wouldn't be so bad. This being my first time on a mountain, and all the hype built around it, it sure had me nervous.

Here is a shot looking back towards the steps.



The rest of the way down were long switchbacks, in the middle there was a cool waterfall with a house built at the top.



Follow the link to view footage of Black Bear Pass.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTtMqW5sb_0

After a nice lunch in Teluride, BBQ by some ex-Austinites, I was ready for Imogene again. This side was not as steep and the air was ALOT warmer. It was the recipe for success. Aside from falling victim to some loose rocks, I had no trouble making it to the top. It sure felt good to see that sign after my earlier attempts!

Footage follows
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO-UpimA8sw

Full res albums at the link bellow. As before, pictures are in reverse chronological order

http://bouncingradical.imgur.com/ouray_day_3
 
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Arrrrhhgghh..

Man that brings back memories... I been outta here too long.

Had I known I would have tossed another ghost town side route off the side of the road between Lake City and cinnamon pass. I took my nephews up there last time I went, met an old codger on a 4 wheeler who pointed me at some more trails I'd like to go back and find, passes S of Cinnamon..
 

Tourmeister

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Arrrrhhgghh..

Man that brings back memories... I been outta here too long.

Had I known I would have tossed another ghost town side route off the side of the road between Lake City and cinnamon pass. I took my nephews up there last time I went, met an old codger on a 4 wheeler who pointed me at some more trails I'd like to go back and find, passes S of Cinnamon..
:tab I thought about contacting you, but based on your comments from May when I asked about you going to Cloudcroft with us, I figured you were still swamped with work. Most of the folks on this trip were eagerly talking of making some kind of pilgrimage to Colorado an annual event :trust: So I am sure there will be more opportunities. By the way, go update your restoration thread :-P
 
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:tab I thought about contacting you, but based on your comments from May when I asked about you going to Cloudcroft with us, I figured you were still swamped with work. Most of the folks on this trip were eagerly talking of making some kind of pilgrimage to Colorado an annual event :trust: So I am sure there will be more opportunities. By the way, go update your restoration thread :-P
Yeah I would have had to pass..

Bought some property in Bastrop I have to work into shape so 2 mortgages now, too many projects, and severe lack of free cash these days..

On the plus side I got a nice camping spot with a cabin with lights hot/cold water and AC and acres to camp now.. ;)
 

TNC

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Arrrrhhgghh..

Man that brings back memories... I been outta here too long.

Had I known I would have tossed another ghost town side route off the side of the road between Lake City and cinnamon pass. I took my nephews up there last time I went, met an old codger on a 4 wheeler who pointed me at some more trails I'd like to go back and find, passes S of Cinnamon..
TR, your description sounds like the turnoff at Wager Gulch to the Carson ghost town. From there you have some really great single track trails...about the only measureable amount of singletrack in the Silverton area...Lost Creek, Trail Creek, Pole Creek, and some of the Colorado Trail. In fact you can make a neat loop over to Stony Pass trail/road. I didn't do it this year, because I ran into a couple of riders who reported to me that they had just come from there, but the forest service had Lost Creek closed because of washout. Rain, erosion, mud, and washouts were sure more common this year than just about any year I'd seen in 30 years.
 
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TR, your description sounds like the turnoff at Wager Gulch to the Carson ghost town. From there you have some really great single track trails...about the only measureable amount of singletrack in the Silverton area...Lost Creek, Trail Creek, Pole Creek, and some of the Colorado Trail. In fact you can make a neat loop over to Stony Pass trail/road. I didn't do it this year, because I ran into a couple of riders who reported to me that they had just come from there, but the forest service had Lost Creek closed because of washout. Rain, erosion, mud, and washouts were sure more common this year than just about any year I'd seen in 30 years.
Yeah that would be it, from talking to the old timer up there it sounded like it was worth exploring. I was up there in my 4-runner with kids so I just made a note for future reference.

The Carson ghost town is pretty neat too.
 

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:tab Okay, time for day one of the riding. I never got a GPS track from anyone so this will be mostly from my shaky memory... We had been concerned about the prospect of rain, but this morning looks good.

Everyone gathers out front of the Timber Ridge Lodge


:tab Once everyone is gassed and we realize we're going to be riding in one big group, we head South on US 550 to the start of Corkscrew Gulch.

Stopped at the turn off so the whole group can regather


:tab It seems Terry's KTM was over heating and puking out some radiator fluid. This prompts a quick mini maintenance session. Then we are back to riding in short order.



:tab Right off the bat, the riding gets fun! We start a long climb that seems to just keep going and going and going... I don't realize it at the time, but this will become a theme for the whole week of riding. I am a tad concerned about how the KLR will run. It does not have stock jetting and I think it is jetted a tad rich even for sea level. However, other than a low idle, which is cured with a few twists of the idle screw, it seems to be doing just fine. This is a good thing because losing power in these climbs would not be pretty!

One of the less steep sections of the climb


:tab Chuck's KLX (?) 200 is having some breathing issues and he stalls in the middle of a short steep section. Nothing to do for the moment but chug on by until I can find a semi level spot to stop. Those of us at the rear stop to help him get it sorted out. The scenery immediate reminds me of why I love it here so much, as does the cool dry air!

George's DRZ


George (walking) and RG, the stalled bike is back behind them on the hill


The view


Chuck tries to fire it up after getting a push to the top of the hill


They just never look as steep in the pics... :shrug: :doh:


:tab While I am taking pics, I think the other guys decide a few twists of the idle screw is all Chuck's bike needs. He fires it up and we are off and running again. It is not long before we reach some steep and tight switchbacks that get the best of a few riders. Nothing to do but stop below and walk up to assist or chug on around and try to stop before the next switchback and walk back down. I chug around this time but see that they have it in hand so I keep going instead of killing my momentum.

The view from above... Look steep now? :-P


and a close up from above


Looking up to the next switchback, which comes back over me just below that ridge


Looking back down toward the previous switchback, which can't be seen here


:tab The trick to all this riding is momentum. The road looks nice and smooth, but it has lots of embedded rocks to bounce off of and loose rocks to cause the rear tire to lose traction and spin. Standing really helps for those of us riding the tankers. The KTM guys make it look effortless :roll: Fortunately, I am geared down to a 14 tooth sprocket on the front which lets me run in 1st and second gear without too much trouble. RG is running a stock sprocket and I think this may be causing him to lug down the motor a bit. Eventually though, we reach the top and the views are great. Then it is on to the next section of riding. Here is where my memory gets a little fuzzy. We wind up on a pass above what I think is Lake Como and then drop down into California Gulch.

The lake is just over the top of that pass in the distance


See the two bikes, one being right in that left hand corner in the road


Zoomed out, the left hand corner in the above pic is in the upper right corner of this pic


The whole view with a big mine in the foreground


What a beautiful site! :-P We came down the upper road


What...!? It's not like you can have too many pics of a great looking bike :mrgreen:


George, RG and Terry(?) bringing up the rear?


George


RG


Terry


Duane "OKDQ"


And off they go to start the climb...


That must be a seriously big mountain goat or Sasquatch up there on top of that right side peak! :brainsnap


And then comes Roger


and Chris


:tab After everyone has gone by, I remount and head for the top! It is a great run and starts getting pretty steep and rough the higher I go. Soon I can see the top and everyone is waiting, cameras pointing, which always makes me kind of nervous... :wary: I don't see anything particularly challenging or tough between me and the top so I just keep on chugging until I reach the crest and join the others in appreciating yet another spectacular view!!

Duane and Chad "OilFieldTrash" taking in the view


If this doesn't give you an itch to go riding... well... you just ain't right in the head! :lol2:


Lake Como?


Cloudy, but still fantastic riding weather!


Looking back down the last bit of the climb to the top


:tab We head off to the South and run around the Northern side of California mountain down into California Gulch. I presume this was California Pass? Anyway, we reach the bottom of the Gulch and stop to confer about which way to go and just to take a break.

Beauty every where you look...


I remember seeing a sign here that said Placer Gulch :shrug:


:tab At one point, several guys take off heading East toward Animas Forks. I'm thinking they are scouting and will be right back. But they never come back :ponder: After a while, the rest of the group is motioning for me to follow them and we are going the other direction, straight South. It looks like we are taking the long way to get to Animas Forks. Fine with me...

The mountains are just covered with abandoned mines, and fun switchbacks :rider:


This is looking down on the mine to the right in the above pic


I think that might be Hanson peak in the background. We are currently right around 12,500 feet. Bike is still running great!!


A typical "day at the office" must have been brutal here! :shock:


Heading East down the South side of Treasure Mountain


I swear it just makes me want to ride, ride, RIDE!!!


:tab Soon we reach another intersection and turn back to the North and find ourselves at Animas Forks, a former bustling mining town, now a derelict ghost town haunted by tourists... At one time, they actually had regular postal service here, electricity year round, and even a train I think. If you've ever been here and seen the place, you'd realize how incredible that was for the late 1800's!



The Duncan house, a private residence noted for its big bay window


A little info and shot of the town in its heyday


:tab No sign of the guys that split off from us earlier. The original plan was to head over Cinammon Pass to Lake City for lunch. So that is what we do. As we are starting up the pass we get stuck behind some whacko trying to do the pass in a Cadillac Escalade :brainsnap I guess they missed the notices about high ground clearance and four wheel drive being HIGHLY recommended for this route :doh: Fortunately, they do move over and let all of us get around them. Then we just start climbing again... We reach the actual pass pretty quick as it is not far from Animas Forks.

I wonder where that little road over my right shoulder goes... :ponder:


:tab Once over the pass, the road drops down into the Lake Fork Gunnison River valley which flows East into Lake San Cristobol. It is just a great ride!

Chris


Looking West back up through the valley, maybe stopped at Cleveland Gulch?


Looking East




Stan


Roger


Yeah yeah... I know... you get tired of seeing yet another valley... :-P


You REALLY don't want to be blowing corners around here... :huh2:


Duane across the way, long way down...


A close up, notice the supports for the road bed!


:tab The last bit of the ride down to Hwy 149 is paved and I happen to be leading for some reason at this point... so... :twisted: It's fun :trust: When I reach Hwy 149 I wait for some other riders to show up, George and Chuck, before I take off for Lake City, also on some REALLY fun pavement!! When I used to bring tour groups out here I would always make a point of stopping in Lake City to eat at Poker Alice's. Of course that was usually on a weekday and they are not open on Sundays... which is what day it is :doh: So I scoot down the road and find the Tic Toc Diner, park the bike and wait for the group. I spot a few other familiar looking bikes and sure enough, we find our errant riders hanging out on the back porch finishing up their lunches. The rest of the group rolls in and we pretty much take over the back porch. Chad is struggling to finish half of a MASSIVE club sandwhich and very graciously offers me the other half and then refused to let me pay for that or even my drink! It was delicious! Thanks dude! :thumb: We do our best to make the other guys feel like they missed out on the adventure of a lifetime. After everyone is done, with there being no good places for a nap, we head back to the bikes. We still have to get over Engineer's Pass and back to Ouray.



Stan contemplating the riding to come, or just digesting lunch...


:tab The start of Engineer Pass is right in the middle of town. It is a wide well maintained gravel road that runs up the Alpine Gulch, formed by Henson Creek flowing down out of the mountains. I drop to the back of the pack so I can enjoy the views and take pics.

There are lots of sheer massive walls of rock


Stan


Same shot but cropped differently (I think I like this one better).


Stopped for pics at Capitol City (?)


What is left of a dam used in a mining operation. I wonder how much damage the water did downstream when it broke through?




The groups stops to check out a waterfall whose name eludes me... :ponder:


Just looking up the road from the falls


:tab While the group hangs out, I decide to head out and take the lead to get out of the dust for a bit. Terry takes off with me. Five years ago I was out here riding my R 1150GS, a BIG heavy dualsport bike. I don't really remember having many issues getting to the top or that the road was exceptionally rough. However, this time the road bed seems pretty rough in places. We were told there has been a LOT of rain up here in the last few months, so I guess that has washed away all the small stuff that would fill in between the big rocks. So I spend a good bit of time standing and picking lines through some decent rocks. It's good fun though.

A nice water fall along the way to the top


a close up


:tab There really is VERY little snow in the mountains this year. On my last trip, which was in the middle of July 05, there was still a good bit of snow up in the passes. Thus the waterfalls and creeks were all running full. As we get closer to the top, the road gets rougher and we have to manage some steep switchbacks.

Finally at the top - contrast with the shot below from the previous trip




And several gratuitous shots of me, the bike and the scenery ;-)






Bill coming up the last climb to the top


RG seems to be getting comfy with standing on the bike, something he was not doing earlier in the day


Most of the group


:tab Once we reach the top and start taking pics, Terry decides he is going to go on ahead and just make for town without any more stops. We'll be taking the same route so if he has trouble we should find him, so I say goodbye and he heads off down the mountain. After a short break, I start down as well. Now a few years ago, this was a full on white knuckle butt puckering ride on the big heavy GS. It simply was a handful to keep the speed in check because it REALLY wanted to go down fast!! However with the lower gearing and lighter weight of the KLR, it is not too bad. That is not to say it is a piece of cake either though. There are some nasty ledges, steep drops, tight switchbacks, and traffic. Unfortunately, I don't stop to get any pics along the way :doh: I alternate between engine braking, front braking and rear braking to keep my speed sane. In many places it is real easy to lock the rear brake and start sliding. I eventually make it down to the bottom and relax a bit. At this point last time, we turned South and headed back towards Animas Forks and eventually Silverton. I did not realize then that there was still a good bit left of Engineer Pass by turning North. I had no idea what fun I had missed!! Although... I am not so sure it would have been fun on the GS, but I get ahead of myself...

Fortunately, there was a REALLY nice clean restroom out here in the middle of nowhere, right where I needed it :clap:


:tab Relieved, we start down the rest of the pass, which is supposed to eventually drop us out on US 550 just South of Ouray. At first, the going is relatively mild and easy, then it starts to get fun and challenging. When climbing, it is all about keeping your momentum up. When descending, it is all about keeping your speed in check, but not going so slow you lose the gyroscopic balancing effect of spinning wheels. It can be real easy to let the bike start getting away from you and then it can be hard to bring the speed back down, whereas when you are going up, about all you have to worry about is letting off the gas to slow, or perhaps sliding backward if you stop... :eek2: So both have their sets of challenges!

Things get REAL interesting right after the road disappears into the woods down below... (see the rider right there in the middle of the upper road?)


Those are riders making that little dust cloud in the upper right corner


Now you can see the riders a little better


Yeah, another insufferable view... Riding is torture here :mrgreen:


A nice smooth easy section of the road


It doesn't look to bad unless you look over the edge :eek2:


Stan provides a reference for scale


Still Stan


I like these two pics alone, but they also form a good panorama if left uncropped






:tab From this point, the road really starts to descend pretty good, with lots of rough spots, ledges, tight turns, etc,... It is really awesome. It is down in the trees and feels like riding in a tunnel. I was too busy hanging on to worry about getting any pictures. In the space of about 2 miles, we dropped about 2500 feet before coming out on US 550. After making sure everyone is accounted for, we hit the pavement for the short run into town.

:tab Today was the "easy" day according to Scott and Terry, intended to let us see how everyone could handle the riding. A few folks had some very minor drops in the switchbacks, most of the bikes ran fine, and in general we all had an incredible time. It makes me wonder that the non easy days will be like, especially since it is threatening rain again...

:tab Later in the evening I eventually try to go to sleep. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see are rocks coming at me and I HAVE to find the right line!! And this has only been the first of six days of planned riding!! :dude:

Click here to skip to next section of report.
 
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"Later in the evening I eventually try to go to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, all I can see are rocks coming at me and I HAVE to find the right line!!"

Thought I was the only one twisting the pillow and stomping the mattress for throttle and brakes that night. I was suffering sensory overload and still feel the adrenaline rush just looking at those pictures.

Nice picts. Thanks.
 

TNC

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Abilene, TX
"Later in the evening I eventually try to go to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, all I can see are rocks coming at me and I HAVE to find the right line!!"

Thought I was the only one twisting the pillow and stomping the mattress for throttle and brakes that night. I was suffering sensory overload and still feel the adrenaline rush just looking at those pictures.

Nice picts. Thanks.
LOL!...that's funny. I used to do stuff like the night after a big enduro. I'd sometimes wake up jerking and twisting in the bed, apparently still bombing down the trail. My wife was not amused.:lol2:
 
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Great pics guys...next time you go to Ouray...stay in The Hot Springs Inn. Its nicer than the place you were at and "CHEAPER". The old house that has the bay window in front at Anamas Forks was the "WALSH" house...one of the few that had a 3 hole privy, but its main function was a whore house for the miners in the area. If you ever stay in Lake City, I would suggest staying at The Texan Lodge...cabin #13 was $95.00 per night. My friend, Steve Merridith, in Lake City use to own it, but sold it to retire a few years back and the new owner has added many new cabins. The other place to stay inLake City would be Vickers Dude Ranch...also a pretty nice place.
 

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Tourmeister

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The old house that has the bay window in front at Anamas Forks was the "WALSH" house...one of the few that had a 3 hole privy, but its main function was a whore house for the miners in the area.
This is from the park sign on the location:


and this was just from a quick Google, which explains the two names associated with the house,

The most well preserved and most photographed building in Animas Forks is the Duncan/Walsh House. Built in 1879 by William Duncan, a postman and miner who struck it rich in the surrounding mountains.

This three story mansion was the largest building in town. It's most prominent feature was the large bay window on the front of the house, facing the Columbus Mill. Guess ole William wanted to keep an eye on his Gold!

It was purchased some years later by Tom Walsh, discoverer of the famous Campbird Mine in Telluride Colorado.
Source
 
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