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]I)Money 07-08-2010 04:46 PM

Motorcycles aren't dangerous...
 
...Camping in Idyllic settings is dangerous.:deal

This is a semi-brief trip report of my and my buddy Ron's trip to Colorado this past weekend. Posted here, because, though I was on my F800, Ron is a newly-minted Jeep nut.

The trip was planned as a dual-purpose trip: we would go to just South of Rye on Thursday, see friends there, then bust out on Sunday and spend a couple days touring before blasting back on Tuesday.

The plan was for me to meet Ron in KC early on Thursday, crossload my sleeping bag (just because it's bulky) into the Jeep and head out. As timing would have it, my front TKC reached the point of cuppage that meant it was time for a new one, so KC meant a trip to Engle Motors, who hooked me up with fresh rubber for the trip.

Then it was down to Emporia, and across the vastness of KS.

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...71_sDUUk-M.jpg

The wheat harvest was in full swing: Luckily you can still (just) fit by a combine going the other direction on the hwy.
We made it to our campsite too late to get any good pics. Here's a daytime shot:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...22_r8khV-M.jpg
Like I said, the original plan was to hang out there, and roll out on Sunday. However, as soon as we woke up on Friday, the mountains started taunting us with their proximity.
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...23_h3SZn-M.jpg
We hung through Friday, then Saturday saw us packing up first thing.
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...08_z6gjJ-M.jpg
Our tentative plan was to go south through Medano to the dunes, camping whenever it got late. We'e then work our way back around, Hit Hayden, then work our way North toward CO Springs, our eventual destination.
As it turns out, We then decided to go hit Hermit Pass first. We headed North toward Rye, past the tiny burb of Apache something:

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...51_RKcq2-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...64_x8jTZ-M.jpg

More later, going to take the boy to see The Last Airbender...

]I)Money 07-08-2010 08:59 PM

So after grabbing a few more supplies,
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...73_6VP5N-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...37_KcpK9-M.jpg

We headed north.
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...61_ESuoj-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...42_qZbWp-M.jpg

And stumbled across this:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...50_HBQrC-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...55_dAFmu-M.jpg
Which I had heard of, but never seen.
I think he would fit right in downstairs in CS&M:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...13_9m3bo-M.jpg
:deal :lol3
That wasn't planned, and we did spend a bit of time poking around there, so it was already midafternoon by the time we hit Silver City/Westcliffe. An awesome burrito (which I failed to photograph), and we were headed up Hermit Road:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...27_qM9cq-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...62_uPELK-M.jpg

Piece of cake...
ish.

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...26_36k9p-M.jpg
It got steeper and rockier fast. Not terrible, but about as much as I wanted with the 800 fully loaded. It was certainly enough to confirm my opinion that I need a suspension upgrade; it was very choppy over the rocks.

Before long we had our first bit of foreshadowing:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...64_x3MJn-M.jpg

Range Motorsport 07-08-2010 09:03 PM

I hope by foreshadowing you mean snow...

]I)Money 07-08-2010 09:24 PM

More up, up, up
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...53_ZB2eS-M.jpg
and more beautiful scenery
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...39_Cw9Ha-M.jpg
Stopping occasionally because my forearms were tired (yeah, I'm a flatlander)
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...65_L9qaD-M.jpg

Finally got to the trailhead for Hermit Lake. It is about a half mile walk, which is relatively flat for where it is:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...72_K3qMm-M.jpg

but well worth it (Note to self: add an inflatable boat or at least a fishing rod to the packing list)
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...93_NtE4t-M.jpg

Robb Mc 07-08-2010 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ]I)Money

Sweet jacket.

Tim McKittrick 07-09-2010 09:47 AM

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...73_6VP5N-M.jpg

MMMMM! Worms with soda and chips!

Sniper X 07-09-2010 02:59 PM

Yeah, that's all nice and all but...your chase vehicle is a Olds Aroura?

]I)Money 07-12-2010 05:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robb McElroy
Sweet jacket.

Yeah, it really is.

]I)Money 07-12-2010 05:26 AM

Back up the hiking trail
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...09_RQGEQ-L.jpg

Past these guys, who weren't impressed by us at all:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...81_rex6e-L.jpg

Uh oh:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...90_MCzdK-L.jpg

It was too narrow for the Olds:lol3... and it was already starting to get dark. So, we started back down the mountain to find a decent campsite.
It was also starting to sprinkle.:puke1
We drove a bit down the mountain, til we came to this campsite:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...55_qaLRV-L.jpg

Beautiful spot. There is are two wooden beams that works as a bridge across the upper and lower falls:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...14_VJLJe-L.jpg

This was not the dangerous part. I gathered a little bit of deadfall to start the fire with, but we needed a little bit of bigger stuff. We found a couple of pieces of leftover firewood, and I noticed that someone had chucked a couple of pieces into the stream, and they were lodged against one of the bridge beams. So, just walk on out there and pick them up:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...05_demTb-L.jpg

I was originally standing on just the beam. I thought I would be "safer" and get a wider support by stepping out onto the rocks....bad plan. Rocks were a bit slick:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...14_x64M4-L.jpg

Buzzez 07-12-2010 08:14 PM

That looks like a nasty gash!

]I)Money 07-13-2010 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzez
That looks like a nasty gash!

That's what she...

Never mind.

It almost certainly would have gotten stitches, had I not been on top of a rain-slicked mountain in the dark.

As it is, I'm just glad the big one mostly covered by hair (for now:bluduh )

]I)Money 07-13-2010 10:47 AM

The next morning (which is actually from when the wound picture was taken; we were both too freaked to get one that night), we loaded up and headed back down to Westcliffe for gas and to head across the mountains to the dunes.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the wet rocks that I neglected to shut off my ABS for:eek1

Closer to the bottom:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...59_Fz8pq-L.jpg

and a shot of Ron's Jeep:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...90_ya326-L.jpg

They were having a car show downtown:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...06_Xeo2p-L.jpg

We gassed up, and noticed there were several BLM firetrucks gassing and heading south as well.
The nice lady at the gas station told us we were out of luck, as they had just closed Medano pass due to a large fire in the area. So, one pass down due to ice, one due to fire.
The next part of our trip revolved around the Springs area, so we plotted a course North on back roads
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...47_3UVEA-L.jpg
that took us into the back side of, as the locals put it, "a big damn hole in the ground:"
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...05_4daTV-L.jpg

which is all touristy, certainly, but neiter of us had ever been, and it is impressive.
I did neither this:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...07_FtBhA-L.jpg

or this:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...00_eHrH2-L.jpg

Funniest sign of the whole trip:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...31_SUiXS-L.jpg

and across the big hole:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...91_CedhL-L.jpg

And North, to the next leg of our tour...
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...25_r43RB-L.jpg

]I)Money 07-17-2010 05:34 AM

The next destination was Cripple Creek, via phantom Canyon. It is a very well-groomed old railbed.
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...43_Hy9eH-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...7_F3Q7C-Ti.jpg
The biggest challenge was avoiding the oncoming vehicles that were driving like they were practicing for the Pike's Peak climb.

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...43_SVggX-M.jpg

Although it is well-groomed, it is certainly very narrow and twisty:

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...96_VCqqi-M.jpg

Tunnels are cool:deal
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...40_QSZyb-M.jpg

A quick stop in Adelaide, to check out the old hot tub:lol3

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...14_rKWEN-M.jpg

This is a really neat old bridge. It is a single I beam, with the roadbed on top like a tee:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...75_bnYzZ-M.jpg

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...35_MtALY-M.jpg

Welcome to Victor:
http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...17_5xAyd-M.jpg

Then a short jaunt up the highway to Cripple Creek:

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...13_zYpgM-M.jpg

Which apparently now consists of wall-to-wall casinos:huh

They were having some kind of celebration of Jurgen becoming a MOD...

http://dongalus.smugmug.com/Travel/C...54_9SyYm-M.jpg
:lol3

Since it was now midafternoon, we decided to take Gold Camp road through the Pike NF to CO Springs, and grab a hotel room so we could get cleaned up.


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