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TX to CO, The Woodlands to Keystone

Duke

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DAY ONE – FRIDAY JULY 7, 2006 – The Woodlands, TX to Childress, TX.

I was able to leave the office around noon on Friday and get started on my little trip to Keystone, CO. By the time that I got back to the house, gathered those last minute almost-forgot-em’s, I am finally away at around 2:15 pm.

It has officially begun, I leave her place and get on 45N and am in instant grid lock that makes the ride from 45N @ 1488 to 45N @ 105 take over 45 min. I can’t believe that I was worried about rain earlier in the week, for I was wishing for it today in the traffic crawl… 90 degrees & 110% Humidity makes for a long trip.

Once I got through Conroe my ride turned decidedly better! I rode up 45 to HWY 7 in Centerville and then went west. Absolutely ZERO traffic on this leg.. for that matter traffic has been pretty much non existent all the way so far. Anyway, Nice, NICE Texas roads and quaint little towns with sign posts that either have no population posted or the population is less than 2000. In fact I did not go through a town where I had to stop at more than 1 blinking red light or stop sign all the way to Abilene. To top it off I have not even seen a cloud since I left Huntsville, and there were not too many there.

My goal was only to get about 350 or so miles behind me today as I was only going to drive a half day, but ended up making it a 500+ mile day! I called it a day in Childress, TX.

I should also say that about a month ago that I bought a Corbin seat for my new GS, and after trying it out for a ride to Nacogdoches a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I HATED IT! So Thursday morning I called a couple of places and located a AirHawk seat cushion, and I AM IN LOVE! My rump is extremely mad at me for not buying one years ago. I am serious this thing is OUTSTANDING and for less than 200 bucks it is not cheap but it is a lot cheaper than that off the shelf Corbin and 25% of the cost of a custom saddle.

So being a little ahead of schedule I am thinking that I may run over to Taos and see the Rio Grand gorge bridge and the pueblo. But it will depend on what time I get a move on tomorrow.

I am thinking that I will not be as lucky with the weather for the rest of my trip, but oh well, I will only be disappointed if it starts raining and KEEPS raining the entire ride tomorrow. I don’t mind getting wet, I just don’t like STAYING wet.

Pictures to come later, been taking a few on my ride so far as I have read too many times that threads are worthless with out pics!

Duke
 

Duke

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DAY 2, JULY 8, 2006 - Childress, TX to Walsenburg, CO

Boy what a morning! The sun is shining the birds are singing, and I promptly get up and close the curtains to the room as it is much to early to be getting up yet….:yawn:

I eventually do get up for good and get packed and finally hit the road around 10:30 (uggh). I make it to Amarillo for lunch time and make the obligatory stop at the buried Cadillac’s (if heading west on I40, get off at mile marker 60 and go under the big road and go east on the little road).

Road up to Dalhart and then motored into New Mexico… Then it gets interesting. The rain that I was worried about I found, and when I found it, man o man what a storm! I had my hands full keeping upright and between the lines with this one. I struggled on to Raton after running into this bear in Greenville and 60 miles earlier. I finally admit that I am no Hairsmith and pull off under a gas stations awning where there are about 10/12 fully dressed HD touring bikes. All of us pretty much kept each other company for close to an hour I guess, turns out that they are from Corpus Christi!!!!

I did have one of those feel good moments in a way that is going to sound like a braggart but I do not mean it too. Some of you know that I have a Garmin 376c GPS mounted to my bike, well while speaking to a couple of the Corpus Christi riders one of them spots it and immediately starts to ask questions. Before long I have 15 riders and a couple of spouses standing over my ride all complimenting my set up. I was gracious and demonstrated how it worked and told them all thank you. I guess why this strikes a nerve like it does is that any other time there would be a dozen HD’s and their brand identity clothed riders parked and I pull up on my NOW BMW or my old Honda I would have not even gotten a, hello, how do you do?... Even so far on this trip I bet I pass 20 HD riders for every 1 that will wave back. So with all that ranting over with, kudos to the Corpus Christi riders today for accepting me and my ride and enjoying some good conversation. Thank you for that, as you did not fit the sterotype that I associate with your crowd...

I ended up calling it a day in Walsenburg, CO at around 6pm (TX-Time). Been riding in the rain since 30 miles inside of New Mexico and to be honest was just plain tuckered out. Cold and Wet for hours on end is not enjoyable to me. OH… I ALMOST FORGOT…..

I fell in love with another thing this trip. I told you about the Air Hawk cushion, Have any of you ever road with Heated Grips? OMG! These things ROCK. I have never had them on any of my other rides, and I can promise you this, that they will forever be on any new ride that I get for the rest of my life!!!!

Well gang, more to come. I will get my pictures up soon. Tomorrow I am going to climb the 14,350’ Blanca Peak and go visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park. I should be in Keystone by 5pm or so.

Until next time,
Duke
 
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I'm glad to hear you decided to ride. Good on ya! If you get to Taos, (Although, if you're in Walsenburg, I'm betting you ruled that out.) you need to go to the Main Street Bakery and get a breakfast burrito smothered in green chili. :eat: Enjoy the trip. I'll be following along.

Owen
 

Duke

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Thanks guys, yeah I wimped out on riding to Taos, it was only 100 miles away but figured that I have been there once before already and I was getting fed up with the extreme weather.

If any of you have ever driven HWY 87 to Raton, you know that there is absolutely nothing in way of cover from Des Moines to Raton (+/- 60 miles), and I was stuck to just ride it out. I had hail bouncing off the visor and arms, I am glad that I have armor on my knees and shoulders. I saw a 40 degree temp drop 94 to 52, wind in excess of 40 mph (per local weather station) blowing left to right. It was a duesy! and the lighting was IMAX worthy!

looks like it will be wet for a couple of more days, but the major storms have moved out (hopefully).
 

Tourmeister

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:tab CO 165 NorthWest of Walsenburg rocks! Hit 96 and go East to 69, then North to US 50. The run up Hwy 9 is really nice. If you have time, Royal Gorge is just East of Hwy 9 at US 50. Fun to see and you can ride across the bridge! If you turn South on CR-3 just before the Arkansas River, it loops around to the park. If you go through the park, it comes back out on US 50 and you can head back West to Hwy 9.

:tab How long will you be in the area around Keystone? There is so much good riding in that area!! Just thinking about it really makes me want to head out there... :rider:
 

Yeeha! Stephen

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R1200GSA said:
I guess why this strikes a nerve like it does is that any other time there would be a dozen HD’s and their brand identity clothed riders parked and I pull up on my NOW BMW or my old Honda I would have not even gotten a, hello, how do you do?... Duke
My last trip out... to Colo as a matter of fact... ALL the HD types and their uniformed were outstanding about waving and greeting.

Think maybe it's the atmosphere up there?

I usually don't get the attitude when I'm on the Beemer, but usually more so when I'm on my Metric Cruiser. Even from other metric cruisers, maybe because I wear the Gear. Hmmmmm...

Don't want to start a HD rant/hyjack, just that when I read your comments, I started thinking maybe it the Mountains that make us all feel Good! :sun:


Another thing... It's usually out of the way for most people going on into Colorado, but very near Walsenburg, there's another very scenic loop to try. The Highway of Legends, Colo 12, loops out of Trinidad to the West and ends on US 160, 11 miles Weat of Walsenburg.

Goes around to the Cuchara Ski area and you can actually see a 14-er that far South. Great little lunch stop in Cuchara... The Dog Bar. Also on the loop, La Veta, has some nice stops & the like and there's also Gas stations.

If you ever have the time, give it a try.
 

Duke

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Day 3, July 9th, 2006, Walsenburg, CO to Keystone, CO.

Well I woke up early today, I guess it is because I was because I called it quits early yesterday.

I left the Roach motel at around 7am and made my way out 160 toward Mt. Blanca and evenutaly to the Great Sand Dunes N.P.....

As I neared Mt. Blanca and started to climb the mountian I was having a Dual Sport Adventures dream of a ride. Lite mud to gravel and hard pack unpaved roads. It was great until around the 10k mark when the road became a memory and even though I was feeling pretty confident, and then I remember the upside down GS pics that our gracious host has put up from a Colorado trip in the past. (wait until you see the pictures you will understand). The recent severe rains that this area had experienced was too much for the roads to take. For the curious, google CO HWY 65 and see what the storms did to it.

I eventually turned around with out reaching the summit which would have otherwise been achievable but for the recent weather. And to be honest is still probably achievable for those more adventurous than I.

So I head out to the Sand Dunes, I get there and find out that the park road is closed due to recent weather.... oh well, onward and upward.

So I head out to HWY 50 and I must say that this truly is a fun road to ride. I eventually get to CR3 and plan on riding the Royal Gorge loop. But allas I am stoped by a volunteer/worker type person guarding the road who informs me that CR3 is closed to traffic due to a bicycle rally and if I am wanting to see the bridge I am to head up to the north entrance of the park. He did give me a coupon for half off admission to the Royal Gorge park though so it is not a total loss.

I eventually get the park and for the first time since The Woodlands and cussing the traffic infront of me. I end up getting free admisson to the park (thank you V-Storm Rider) and ride across the bridge. I do not know just how tall this suspension bridge is but take my word, IT IS TALL! I parked the bike in the center of the bridge and mingled with the pedestrians and was really taken by the amount of harmonic rise and fall this bridge would expend with just foot traffic. Really quite motion sickness inducing, but was able to get over it.

I leave the park and head back towards HWY 9 and head north for the last 100 miles of my jorney to Keystone. The weather has been absolutely flawless thus far and partly cloudy and 65 degrees, great riding weather for those of us that ride ATTGATT. About the town of Fairplay I run into a bit of rain and also the local LEO. I was 100% in the wrong and should have been ticketed and but for a easy going LEO I was let go with a verbal warning. I was heading north on HWY 9 in the town of ALMA when while following a 1970's vintage chevy pickup doing 12 MPH (GPS regisitered) in a 30 MPH zone I made the choice to pass in a no passing zone. Mind you that at no time did I ever exceed the posted speed limit, but I was wrong and deserved to pulled over. I can go on and explain that I could see for better than a mile on a straight away, but it makes no difference I was wrong and passed in a no passing zone. I was pulled over and and got of the bike, and before I could even get my DL pulled out the LEO told me to relax, and asked if I knew why I was pulled over? When I answered in the affirmative he proceeded to just give me my warning and we spend the next several minutes talking about bikes and the weather and the my ride from Houston to to Alma.

I caught up to more rain as I came into Breckenridge, but this time it was a nice soaking as opposed to the treacherous downpour of yesterday. In fact it was a nice ride in the wet all the way to Keystone.

After I got checked into the Condo, it turns out that this is the weekend of the Keystone Blues Festival, so the rest of today was spent with friends and coworkers listening to live music and enjoying some good food.

Welll I arrived no worse to wear than when I left Houston, and am looking forward to the ride back home Thursday, which will most likely be after touring the Colorado National Monument, Telluride, ???Ouray???, and down through Roswell, NM and home via west Texas.

PICTURES ARE COMING, I JUST NEED TO BORROW A USB CABLE TO HOOK MY CAMERA UP.

And even though I did not see any Bears, I did see alot of Dear and Buffalo! (thanks Rebecca!).

Until next time,
Duke
 
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Tourmeister

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:tab So you are planning to head over to Grand Junction? If so, are you planning on running I-70? I would normally steer people away from a freeway, however, the stretch of I-70 between Keystone and Grand Junction is a fantastic ride, especially in the Glenwood Springs Canyon area!

:tab If you do the Colorado National Monument, run it North to South. Then hop on US 50 South out of Grand Junction. Get gas before leaving town, even if you have more than half a tank ;-) Just South of town, hit Hwy 141 and run this to Naturita. I promise it will be a ride you remember for a looong time. Keep South to Hwy 145 and run this to Telluride and then down to Cortez. If you have time, the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings just East of Cortez are really cool and the road going back into the park is a blast. From Cortez, you can run US 160 over to Pagosa Springs and then down US 84 into NM for your run down to Roswell. As an alternate, you could run 141 down to 145 and then 62 over to Ridgeway on US 550, then 550 down through Ouray, Silverton, and Durango to US 160. While at Silverton, it might be fun to wander back up towards Engineer Pass a ways on Hwy 110. Until you reach the actual climb, it is pretty mellow gravel and there will be cars so you should not have a problem. There are several mining ghost towns to see and the scenery is awesome! I would not attempt the climb to the summit on your loaded GSA...

:tab US 64 East from Tierra Amarilla, NM is a really good ride as well. I would avoid going South on US 550 from Durango into NM. The Highway Patrol is heavy handed in that area. It is also just flat open desert and liable to be hot if it is not raining. Was around 105 F when we came through in June a few years back.
 

Yeeha! Stephen

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R1200GSA said:
Day 3, July 9th, 2006, Walsenburg, CO to Keystone, CO.


Welll I arrived no worse to wear than when I left Houston, and am looking forward to the ride back home Thursday, which will most likely be after touring the Colorado National Monument, Telluride, ???Ouray???, and down through Roswell, NM and home via west Texas...

Duke
DUKE!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you know one of the best BMW Rallies on the planet is right in your path this week??
Top O' the Rockies Rally in Paonia starts Thursday to Sunday, with early birds arriving Wednesday afternoon. From I-70 in Glenwood Springs take 82 South and then turn right on 133 thru Carbondale. When you get to Paonia, stop and ask for the rally, which is in the City Park. The locals love this event and will be glad to see ya'!
Just after Paonia on 133 turn left on 92 and ride down the edge of the Black Canyon of Gunnison. Plenty of places to overnight in Gunny.
From Gunny it's any direction for fun roads... West on 50 to 550 if you're wanting to run to Telluride or Ouray, and/or down 550 the Million Dollar Hwy to Durango.
Heck, you may get wound up at the rally and have to Hot Shot it back home like we do!!!!!! :rider:
 

Tourmeister

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133 is a blast. Beautiful canyon run with awesome views and corners!

92 is good as well. Last time out there, we had to sit and wait while they were chip sealing it!! The good thing about Colorado is that they repave all the mountain roads every few years. So if it is bad one year, it is likely to be perfect the next ;-)

From Paonia, he could also hit Kebler Pass over towards Crested Butte and then Cottonwood Pass back over to US 285. All that is easily done on a GSA or even a street bike (unless the rains have really torn up those roads as well).

From Gunnison, the run down Hwy 149 through Lake City, Creede and to South Fork is one of my favorites in the area. Seldom any traffic and a fantastic road! The run over Slumgullion Pass is great. There is also a really cool water fall near the top, North Creek Falls I think it is called. Worth a stop and free.

US 160 Down from South Fork to Pagosa Springs over Wolf Creek Pass is great also. Might be a bit more traffic than some of the other roads though. That would put you on track to head down US 84 into NM.
 

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Are you starting to get the feeling that there really aren't many bad places to ride in SW Colorado...? :-P
 

Yeeha! Stephen

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Tourmeister said:
Are you starting to get the feeling that there really aren't many bad places to ride in SW Colorado...? :-P
10-4 Scott!!!!

Just got back from a Colo ride with another Net group www.bmwsporttouring.com :rider: We spent 9 days on those very roads you mentioned above.
Funny though, one man's "Pass" is another man's "Stop". Someone posted on the Hotel message board that Kebler wasn't passable for bodywork bikes... Dual Sports only. So we opted out. The last day, a group of BMW RT's came back and said it was perfect. Too late for us to go... Rats! :doh:

Well, I've got a Kitchen Pass from Miss Vicki to go back this week to TOR! Hee Hee! Kebler is just outside of town... I get a second chance this year. :trust:

Since I like to ride a little spirited when I'm by myself (or like minded folks) 149, Gunnison to South Fork is high on my list and probably my fav traffic wise.
I ran 145 on the backside of the San Juan range for the first time this year and it's high on my list now. Been going to TOR for a while now and have never been over there. The list... with "high" roads on it... is getting pretty big.
Yeeeehaaaaa!!!!!
 

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Stephen, if you have not done it yet, Hwy 141 between Naturita and Grand Junction rocks. It doesn't really go anywhere in particular so there is little traffic on it. Very desolate and spectacular scenery!
 

Duke

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Thanks guys! I mean it. I don't know if I will be able to stop off at the ralley or not, I must be at one of my rig sites north of Rifle, and then wave the corporate flag at my office in Fruita (just north of Grand Junction).

I will most likely leave my office in Fruita and head out over the Colorado National Monument Park and make my way back to 50, then to 550 to 160 try to follow the Rio Grande River south..... and just kinda make it up as I go.

My last meeting here is Keystone is over tomorrow at 1400 and I will be heading towards Rifle on I70 then.

TM you are correct in this section of the interstate is a beautiful ride. I have done it many times in a rented cage up here during business trips.

You know I may just end up following HWY 6 and and make my way to Moab and then onwards to home...

I don't have to be anywhere until 8am Monday morning where I am on a plane to Cali, so I really may just make the return up as I go. I can pretty much assure all of those reading this that I will only be on interstates as a last resort all the way back home.

I will keep you all posted.

Duke
 
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If you are on 141, and you have the time, and you want to ride some gravel, you should check out Divide Road. It turns to the south off of 141 up the canyon from Whitewater and heads up and across the Uncompaghre Plateau. There are a million very cool roads up there that range from easy dirt to old cattle trails. You could make your way south along this road and connect with 141, 62, or 145 depending on where you want to go and you navigation skills. (A GPS helps up there a lot.) 141 through Dolores Canyon is absolutely beautiful. Check out the hanging flume if you go that way. My father-in-law spent his life running cattle in that area. I can't wait to get out there with my KLR.
 

Duke

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Well I made it home Saturday around 5.30 or so. Full ride report to follow.

But I made it from Keystone to my rigs in western CO, Colorado National Monument, the ralley, rode HWY 133 & 92, many DS Roads. Played with an old train in Antonio, rode the Texas Hill Country, Visited Luckenbach (realized that if you don't have tattoos and chrome, you shouldn't go there), and also realized that the rudest drivers in 2800 miles are in Magnoila, TX... YES YOU, THE DRIVER OF THE WHITE GMC DUALLY, ARE ONE OF THEM!!!!!...

It is good to be home, well almost, I am in Los Angles right now (rented cage) and will provide a full ride report soon.

Some things of interest.

1. I LOVE THIS BIKE
2. Fuel economy stinks when riding at greater than 5k rpm for 100+ miles straight
3. Stock seat is lousy after 300 miles.
4. Colorado rocks and some great roads (ds & street) are only a days ride form houston.
5. I LOVE THIS BIKE!!!!!

Later,
Duke
 

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4. Colorado rocks and some great roads (ds & street) are only a days ride form houston.
:tab If you are referring to roads in Colorado, that is one heck of a "Days' ride" !!

:tab Glad you had a great time and I look forward to the final report... with pics :-P
 
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Tourmeister said:
:tab If you are referring to roads in Colorado, that is one heck of a "Days' ride" !!

That is a fantastic state. I have tried to ride as many Colorado roads as possible. I am planning on going to the IBA Convention in August in Denver and can't wait to get off the beaten path with my GSA for the first time! Love the Mom & Pop restaurants in the small towns! :eat: Delores Canyon in a bad rain storm is a real experience with cantelope-sized rocks running across the road in 14" of water! :clap:
Utah (Moab) and Colorado will always be my favorites!:rider:
 

Duke

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Took A While But Here Is The Full Ride Report!

Friday July 7, 2006 14:00(ish) It Begins!

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As mentioned earlier on I was able to get out of my office around noon on that Friday and I beat it back to the house to load out the bike and hit the road. .:rider:

I rode, although I could have walked:yawn:, north on I-45 to Conroe where the traffic finally found the big pedal on the right :clap:, and was able to finally do the speed limit all the way to my first turn. Centerville... I turned west on Hwy 7 and it was a treat to finally get off the interstate.

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I had to fight traffic like this....

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And like this.....

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Took a rest stop in this town.....

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Duke

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Oops... hit the wrong button... now where was I...

Oh Yeah.. taking a monkey butt break in Rising Star, TX. Now some of you may have read that I was really debating on heading off for this trip during, what at the time had been many consecutive days of very heavy rains and some pretty bad storms... But I realized while in sitting under a tree on the front steps to the school in Rising Star... the weather has been absolutely outstanding thus far...:sun:

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I finish my Gatorade and hit the road trying to put as many miles behind me on this first day as I can.

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I have been on the road now for just a bit over 5 hours with a couple of fuel stops and rest stops behind me... I am just about to I-20 east of Abilene

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I get off the interstate as fast as I can and keep moving north....

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The sun is starting to set as I pull into the nice little town of Anson, just north of Abilene. The main road heading into town and out of town has you fixated on the Courthouse for miles....

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This is a very nice county square with lots of historical markers... I think I read them all, a lot of history way out here. The county and town were named after the last President of the Republic of Texas, (who knew that?)

Kept making my way north and in this town (Aspermount I think???) if you look real close you can actually see the maintenance men rolling up the sidewalks:-P

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I have now made it to Childress and decided to call it a day.

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I made better time and got more miles behind me than I planned on and enjoyed every bit of it.

On to day 2!
 

Duke

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I hit the wrong button again...:doh: sorry!

Ok back to the story!

Day 2... I ended up staying bed much later than I thought I would. Guess I was more tired that I thought... or is it lazy??? Any way, I get the bike packed up again (have I mentioned that I LOVE THIS BIKE) and head out.

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OH.. By The Way... this is an ugly butt pad, but IT WORKS and I highly recommend it to anyone not ready to pull the trigger on a custom saddle.

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Now where was I.... Oh yeah leaving the Best Western in Childress. I hit the road at a bright and early time of 10:30...:rider:, and start to make it up to Amarillo for lunch. Drove through a couple more nice older towns that time seems to move slower in.

Hall County Courthouse - Memphis, TX

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This is the towns square on a Saturday... can only imagine what rush hour must be like!

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Kept on 287 north...

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Then came to the town of Clarendon.

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Donely County Courthouse..

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In Clarendon there is also this HUGE Methodist Church, which is larger than the courthouse. I actually thought this was the court house when I saw it in the distance and started to navigate my way to it...

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Then on to Claude in Armstrong County... where there was a gathering at the county square, arts and crafts stuff it looked like, I just kept riding.

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I stop for lunch and then make my out to the buried Caddy's!

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I get back off of the interstate at the town of Vega and point the bike towards Dalhart...

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Oldham County Courthouse

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While in Vega though I saw this nice little bit of history preserved from Historic Route 66.

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I quit playing tourist in Vega and get back on the hard stuff and I wish that I could say that it was an interesting ride up to Dalhart... but... judge for your self...

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What I can say that was interesting or at least entertaining was that the clouds were starting to get closer together and when I looked the the GPS... it was clear that I was going to get wet this day... But little did I know (more on that later).

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I make it to Dalhart! First time I have ever been here...

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XIT Ranch Memorial / Historical marker for the open range Cowboys... 3,000,000 Acres... geez this ranch was big!

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And then on to ....

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Where it appears that my GPS is going to be correct.. I am going to get wet!

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Y'all it was nasty out.. the temp fell QUICKLY and the wind was gusting terribly but there was no where to go, and then the hail started to fall...and the lighting flashing in the distance (well not that far away) and the thunder so loud that your heart skipped a beat when it clapped, that was fun! I know I should have just stopped but I was in a way having fun doing something that I knew I shouldn't have been doing! I eventually make it to Raton Pass, NM where I take shelter and meet up with a bunch of riders from Corpus Christi... a real nice bunch of riders at that!

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The weather lets up to just a steady / medium rain and I continue on to Walsenburg, CO where I found this quaint little motel.

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Where I park the bike for the day and take a much needed WARM shower and a HEATER! Going from 90+ degree weather to being in the 40's and soaking wet makes this guy pretty cold. I love my heated grips but I needed a heated body suit after being soaked to the core! Man I am Having Fun!

Route for this day.... So far, just under a thousand miles since I left home.

 

Duke

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Day 3!



I woke up early this morning as I had a couple of objectives to complete prior to making my destination of Keystone. I was going to climb a mountain, and play on sand dunes... sounds like fun right?

Anyway, I left my hotel for the night after having a cup of coffee with the owner of the place and his little house dog.. where we watched the news and learned of all the flooding that had taken place in south eastern colorado the past 24 hours... some of it very severe.

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And made my way southwest towards Mt. Blanca....

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It was still pretty overcast which made mountain veiwing difficult but it was fun to be on roads that actually changed elevations. I turn off of hwy 160 onto county roads that would take me up the hill and had an blast.. sorry not many pictures I was having fun, having traveled over 1000 miles on the pavement to be able to get to play on dirt roads in the morning after a rain... FUN!

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You can see where water ran across the road which in this spot wasn't that bad, but as I went further up the road, believe me it got much worse and the road got alot more muddy and it was work to keep the bike upright... but it was FUN. I eventually turn around and make my way towards the Sand Dune park where there too the park service had closed the park road due to weather conditions.... I was kinda miffed at that and left without the obligatory picture of the bike infrom the the sign, oh well NEXT TRIP!.

Thanks to yall that posted in this thread earlier, I decided to head over to the Royal Gorge Park...

Made my way back across county roads WHICH WAS FUN... Muddy... Dirt Roads, I had a ball..., Back over to Hwy 69, came out in the town of Gardner... not much here, but did see this interesting old building. And got into another brief rain that washed the bike off for me:rider:

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The scenery from Hwy 69 was really enjoyable.

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I even saw this funny looking cow..:lol2:

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Anyway I keep heading up CO 69 trying to get to CO 50....

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Which I eventually achieve. Directly across from the intersection of CO69 & CO50 is this place

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Where I eat this

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And meet this couple

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Yep you are not seeing things.. that is a Husband and Wife riding two up on a KLR 650... from eastern Oklahoma! Nice couple, we chatted a bit and then went on our way, they were heading to Leadville me... The Royal Gorge Bridge!

I ride CO50 (great road!) and turn on CR3 where I am promptly stopped and told that the road is closed to through traffic... If am wanting to see the bridge please go to other entrance and am give a coupon for $7.00 off admission... I say thank you and back track to CO50 and go east. I turn on CR3 again and make my way towards the park where the traffic is terrible... but at least we are moving. I pull up to the park and as I was preparing to take a picture of the entrance a rider on a VSTORM waves me forward and I follow him through the gate... not sure what just happened but neither he or I paid a penny to get in, we both head out onto the bridge where I stop and he rode off... Never did get to thank him!

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This is a really neat bridge... the harmonics that is created by the wind and the pedestrian traffic is a ride all by itself. Thanks for the tip for the side trip it was really worth it!

So I leave the park and make my way back a couple of miles to CO9 and head north. I am nearing the end of my destination leg of this trip and of course what was worrying me prior to leaving Houston has found me. At least I only have a 100 or so miles to go to my stopping point.

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I am officially riding in the mountains now and even though it is a little wet for last few miles to Keystone (ok some hard rains but they didn't last long) I am seeing some beautiful scenes...

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Shameless photo op...

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That was the last picture for Sunday as it was pouring buckets when I got to the condo's... But this is where I ended up having to work the next 3 days.... The great towns of Keystone & Breckenridge, CO

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I left Keystone Wednesday afternoon to head over to my office and to play at some of our worksites in the western part of the state.... Which I will call my return leg... Check back later for it.

Thanks for taking a look!

Duke
 

Tourmeister

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Great pics. Love all the courthouse shots. Seeing the mountains really gets me worked up to go back...
 

Duke

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Thanks Scott...

Putting it all together as a ride report is taking longer than I expected... I am still organizing the pics that I took of the return leg through the Colorado National Monument, The BMW Ralley, and the ride home.....

Hope to have it up before the weekend.

Cheers!
 
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Duke looks like you had a great trip! We went last summer. I would like to talk Rita into an Adventure so we could hit some fire roads and some of the none paved passes. It is hard to take a bad picture up there.
Steve
 

Duke

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Well back to the ride report...

I had to spend a couple of days in meetings before I could hit the road again. I ended up leaving early out of our afternoon meeting Wednesday July 12th.

So i leave Keystone around 3pm and hit the big road west bound to go act like I work for a living...

Here is my route for this afternoon.



My goal this day was to get to a hotel on Parachute, CO after making a couple of stops off at a few of my Drilling Rigs working in the area.

Just a couple of scenic pics from west bound I-70.

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Getting close to the canyon around Glenwood Springs, CO

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Entering the canyon....

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Just having fun in the multiple tunnels along this route...

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I eventually make it to Rifle and Silt and visit a couple of rigs... Had a nice ride up lease roads to our rigs locations...Finally my Recreation gets to meet my Vocation!

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That is pretty much how I ended my day Wednesday. I visited 3 of our rigs and made it to the hotel in Parachute around 10pm or so.

On to Thursday, July 13!



I awoke this morning and after a couple of cups of coffee and phone calls as I am back being a work again, I hit the road. I went up to a Rig for a little while and then decided to head over to my office in Fruita. Got a little side tracked along the way and took a left turn up to the Grand Mesa....

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This is the begining of HWY 65 south of I-70 heading towards Snowmass and the Grand Mesa... The cliffs are huge and the road is full of hair pins and sweepers, what a treat.

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It was so much fun that I went back all the way to I-70 the way I came. Passed and got passed by many sport bikes that were out having some fun to.

I make it to my office and wave the corporate flag a then take some of my team to lunch and then head out to here;

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I played tourist quite a bit and while riding the rim road through the park I came upon a dirt road... to I turned right and followed it a little ways and then turned into what appeared to be a parking area to get a bottle of water out of my cooler... While taking a look around I was really tempted to take the beast off down this trail,

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but being that NOBODY knew where I was and not really sure just how EXTREME the trail would become I decided against it. The comment about Steep Grades and Rocky Terrain made me question my ability. But I will be back and ride it on a smaller bike some day. The rattle snake arches is something that I would like to take a look at.

From there I proceeded to leave the park and I am now officially starting to head back towards the house, having reached my furthest point away at this parking lot. Its all down hill from here!

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The last tunnel I will see this trip, this was kind of a surprise, as I rounded one of the many hair pin turns going down from the monument you litterally exit the turn into the entrance of the tunnel.

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I leave Grand Junction an start making my way to Delta where I plan on turning east and head towards the BMW Ralley in Paonia.

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I make to Paonia and the Rally, but as this is Thursday, I am thinking that I am arriving with the Early Birds...

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I hang out a little and checked out some of the vendors and then pulled the GPS off the bike and tried to figure out just where I am going to call it a night at tonight..... hmmmm... couldn't make my mind up so I just start to drive in a south west fashion and figured when I get tired I find a spot.

I head east on HWY 92 (I Highly recommend it!) towards CR12 where I will head south.

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I thought that I took more pictures of HWY92, but I guess I was having too much fun. Here is where I turned off onto CR12

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Which quickly turns to dirt...

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This is a beautiful hard packed well maintained road with NO traffic on it and the views are stunning everywhere you look.

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While riding along I passed a little National Forest sign pointing down a little road to "Lost Lake". This was a Bonus! Even if there were some road hazards along the way...

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While coming down from the nice mountain lake I took to exploring some of the smaller roads/trails just to see where they went.







Check out this cabins view...



I head back to CR12 and start to make my way off the mountain.







I eventually ended up in this little town...







I leave Crested Butte and take 135 south down towards Gunnison



I get back on HWY 50 for a little ways and then turn right onto HWY 114 where I am greated to this sign which did not accurately display the truth...



It should have said the next 75 miles!



It is along this road that I get to see this fine pair of Elk





When I get to Saguache, CO I pick up HWY 285 which outside of it running straight through this really big rock,



was by far one of the most boring, staightest roads that I have ever driven, but I have been in the saddle for a while this day and was determined to get to Monte Vista to call it a night, which I eventually did.

This was actually my favorite ride day of the entire trip, I think next year I am going to bring my tent with me and camp in the BLM land or National Forest land only CR12 or HWY 114, beautiful scenery and perfect temps!

Even though I put a lot of miles under me this day and did not stay in 1 place too long, I still think that I got to see alot and experience the pleasures that riding a bike in the mountains offers. The rest of my ride home the scenery is not nearly as spectacular but I did get to see some pretty neat stuff. Check back as I still want to share my visit with an old steam train and a really big bridge.

Duke
 
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Duke

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It has taken me much longer than I wished to get this ride report finished, back to it....

It is now Friday, July 14th and I am on my return home. I called it quits Thursday in Monte Vista, CO after several hours in the saddle and seeing some beautiful country side from high desert canyons to alpine forests, it was a great ride. Today I planned on getting to I-20 somewhere in Texas, I ended up making it a fair bit further, San Angelo.



The drive south out of Monte Vista was really uneventful, I took 160 to 285 and I think that the only turn I took in 100 miles was the turn off of 160 to 285. However when I was coming into the little community of Antonio, CO just north of the NM border I was in for a treat, these were right next to the road and you could walk up and touch em and the conductor was even letting kids hop up to blow the whistle.... I really wanted to to that but I am a 30 something and couldn't stand myself to cut in line with all the 10 year olds. Did I say that I really want to pull the string????

 

Duke

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Dang'it... hit the wrong button again, allow me to continue...

This train had the fires stoked with coal and was pressured up... I was really impressed by the heat that was coming off of it, not sure how the engineer is able to stand being in the cab all day, it was HOT!



All you hear while you standing near it is the sound of steam releasing from different relief valves and alot of hissing! It was great. I must have taken 50 pictures while I was standing around it.















They had this other one stacked out on the other side of the road....









I think the stencil on this box car sums it up pretty good.



I know where the Royal Gorge is, but what is the tunnel that is also mentioned?

I got back onto 285 and kept heading south, it is somewhere between the train station and the NM border that I decide to venture off on some trails on BLM land...





Happened upon this old Cemetary with dates from the mid 1800's on the head stones...



and just beyond the rise behind the Cemetary is this surprise..



I make my way back to the big road again and keep rolling, and it is not too long before I find NM...



And since it was pooring buckets when I entered CO, I had to get this shot...



Not too much to brag on for several miles, and I see a sign for Taos, so I turn left for a little detour, as I remember from that last time I was up this way I did not make it to the Rio Grand Bridge near Taos...

For those that like bridges...













I make it to Taos and head over to the Pueblo...





But unfortunately they were filming a movie or something and for this day tours were closed, but I could come back tomorrow???? Oh well... It is lunch time anyway time to keep heading south.

I head down to the town square...





Did the Griswald thing and then left.

After a quick bite on the south side of town I plot out a route to Roswell, NM. I end up taking a fantastic road, HWY 518!









I find myself for a brief while on Route 66,




and it is starting to get warm... not scratch that... HOT!



Go even further south it gets hotter...



And when I finally get into Roswell, it is time to get off the bike and take a break for a while, as this was the temp...



This was my first trip to Roswell... For some reason or another I was thinking that it was just a little bitty town, but it is a thriving city. Yes there were many little trinket shops that were selling alien stickers and stuffed creatures. I even hung out in there musuem (psuedo musem at that) on thier main street to enjoy some air conditioning. After a couple bottles of water and a sweet snack I head out on HWY 380 where I enjoy a brief sand storm.... I know others say this all the time, but these pictures don't do this justice.





Eventually I see a friendly sign!



By this time I have already ridden over 500 miles today and it appears that I did not take any pictures from the state line to San Angelo, total miles today was just a little over 700, the longest that I have ridden on the new bike yet. I got a room a the Hampton Inn around 930pm which had a IHOP in its parking lot practially. I went over for a late dinner where I think that I drank 8 tall glasses of water! I was still thirsty when when I went to bed finally.

I am now on the last day of my ride. San Angelo - The Woodlands!



This is the Mcculloch County Courthouse and historic jail which I think was in Brady, TX....





And Mason's County Courthouse in Mason, TX



I then head on into Fredricksberg....along with everybody else..







I make the obligated stop in Luckenbach, TX. Where they say everybody is somebody... I have since made my own opinion:thumbd:



I then ride FM 1888 (I think) to Blanco where I stop for lunch.



Made a couple of stops along the way...





Blanco's Court House



LUNCH:eat:



I road along from Blanco on FM Roads to San Marcos where I picked up HWY 21 to HWY 290... getting close to home now!

I couldn't pass up the photo op that the Court House in Giddings provided...



When I got to Brenham I thought I would stop here to get a free sample... but unfortunately they were closed...



I end up riding 290 to Hempsted then make my way over 1488 to The Woodlands... (man this road is bad in the afternoons). I think that it would have been easier if I went on 2920 into Tomball... The cage traffic really scared me this Saturday afternoon, and being so close to home I was really stressed for this last few miles.

But alas, I make it to the house no worse for wear....



Having driven 2865.9 miles per my speedo, and 2884 per the GPS....



This was a great warm up ride for my trip starting Aug 25th this year which will be in excess of 7000 miles.

I learned that the GS is not as comfortable as my old GL1800/Wing, but it is fine for 300/400 miles. It is the last 300 miles of a day that start to get to me, but I think that I can mitigate that to my satisfaction.

Although this bike will never be a "dirt bike", it is exactly what I wanted, it is a bike that lets me take the road less traveled to see just what is over the next rise, be it a gravel road, twin path trail, or super slap.

I LOVE THIS BIKE:rider:

Thanks to all that take the time to read my long posts.. but I have throughly enjoyed reading all of y'alls and want to contribute as well.

Cheers
Duke
 
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Duke

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donroger1 said:
The railcar "logo" shows:

Royal Gorge and the Moffat Tunnel

http://colorado.railfan.net/moffat/moff1.html

Incredible photos and great ride report...... :rider:
Thanks!

I wonder if this tunnel if viewable from a bike or if it is just a memory now an days?

I am going to go read your link now...

Thanks for the kind words.. I enjoyed putting them up, but not as much as taking them!
 
Joined
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Duke! It wouldn't be a ride report from you if it didn't include TRAINS!, he, he.
Hey, I still want to go to Woodville with you, but it's too hot now...when it cools off this Fall maybe? Save me a dance.
 

Gilk51

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R1200GSA said:
Thanks!I wonder if this tunnel if viewable from a bike or if it is just a memory now an days?
I believe it is still in use - western portal is just outside the Winterpark ski area & on the main line line from Denver to san Fransisco. It is on my "must ride" list for someday (the train, of course). :mrgreen:

great report and photos! :clap:
 

Duke

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Georgia... Its a Date! I too am wanting to ride the ghost towns that you plotted, just don't lead me into any speed traps:rofl:

Thanks for the info on the Tunnel, Chuck... I also did a google search on the train that I saw and it turns out that it runs daily between Antonio, CO and Champa, NM... If y'all have MS Streets and Trips zoom in on the rail line, it looks fantastic.

Copied from thier web site...
http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/

Built 126 years ago and little changed since, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a 64-mile, fully operational steam railroad jointly owned by the states of Colorado and New Mexico. The railroad operates passenger trains seven days a week from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, October 15.

The C&TS is recognized around the world for its spectacular scenery and unspoiled vistas, as well as the historic rolling stock and railroad structures that are preserved on the line. Many of the buildings and railroad equipment date to the turn of the twentieth century or earlier, making the C&TS the best preserved steam era railroad in North America.

“One of the best 20 railway experiences
in the world”
 
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Great Report ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

And to think you were worried about a little rain, and almost did not ride the bike!:trust: Rain is only wet.
 
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