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OLEARY 09-03-2011 06:06 PM

Trails of the West Lite 2011-CO, UT, WY
This is a ride report of a route ridden by myself and The Toyman and was originally laid out by my good friend 10Cup. The plan was for 10Cup, The Toyman and myself to all take off from Dillon, CO together, and after three days of riding The Toyman and I were going to split off from 10Cup and cut across from Flaming Gourge to the beginning of the Oregon Trail and The Toyman and I would ride from there back to Dillon. As it turns out, 10Cup had a schedule conflict and had to leave a week early by himself and The Toyman and I took off from Dillon on the originally scheduled date. The entire route can be seen on 10Cups ride report. Here is a link to that report. As it turns out, The Toyman (Bill) and I left Bills truck in Georgetown, CO with some friends of mine Keith and Sue. Keith was kind enough to take us up Guanella Pass South in his car the first day we got there. The following photos are of Georgetown and Guanella Pass.

This is Georgetown from Guanella Pass Road.

The summit of Guanella Pass.

A thunderstorm came thru while we were at the summit so we waited it out before starting back down. This would become the pattern of things in the days to come as far as afternoon showers. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees with the shower to about 46 degrees and the visibility to zero.

We spotted some mule deer on the way down. We actually spotted a nice buck up close to the summit with about a three foot high rack but he was so far away a photo would not show you much. We had a high powered binocular that we scoped it out with and it was a beauty.

Every stream we saw on our ride was running about like this one along the road coming down from the pass. There is still snow melting up at the higher elevations I am told which is the reason for the afternoon showers I believe.

This is South Clear Lake I believe.

This is Keith and Sues log home which Keith built himself. Really cool. Also Bills truck with our bikes in the back.

Spent the night at the Mountain Inn in Georgetown and headed out on our bikes first thing Sunday morning August 28th. I have included a few pics of our friend Keith and some of Bill and I as we get ready for the ride. Rode the slab up Hwy 40 over Berthoud Pass by Winter Park to a town called Fraser and headed west on the dirt.

Stopped to adjust our gear and take a bit of a break and shed some jackets as the day started pretty cool but warmed up quiickly.

As we rode on the road turned from a bit rutted to downright funky. As you will see from the following photos.

We were almost to our cutoff road and we run into a locked gate and had to backtrack. The road was so narrow and with deep ruts on the sides that we came across a four wheel pickup truck with hunters and they had to fourwheel over the deep ruts on the side so that we could get by them without dropping down into the deep muddy ruts. That was just before we hit the locked gate. Man, that was a workout. We finally got clear of that area and came out on the open range to get to Williams Fork Reservoir.


Then we rode along the Colorado River to Kremmerling where we stopped for fuel and a little food and drink. Met some fellow ADVers headed to the Rocky National Monument Park up by Grandby.

After leaving Kremmerling we headed up Cr-1 also known as the Trough Road. These next photos are of Gore Canyon off the Trough Road at a overlook and below is the Colorado River and the Union Pacific Railroad line.


There was a older gentleman on a bicycle trying to fix a flat. We offered our assistance but the tube he was trying to use had a hole in it and it would not take air. He had a hand pump and I pulled out my WalMart special 12V pump and he had a valve stem adapter but to no availe. We took a cell phone number to call his next of kin but about the time we were shoving off a family in a jeep pulled in to the overlook and I told them this guy really needed help. They agreed to haul him and his bike into Kremmerling which is where he was headed anyway.

Off we go on down and across the Colorado River toward Hwy 131.

Here is the start of the beatle infestation damage to the trees. Notice the dead trees. There are vast areas of trees destroyed because of the beatles. We are now starting up the other side of Gore Canyon.

Further on down the trail with the BRP in hot pursuit. We pass thru some areas where they are logging and then into the Aspens.

One of the few water crossings that we encountered. As fast as all the creeks were flowing I was a little concerned about water crossings that we might encounter but to my surprise there really weren't any.

We rode into Phippsburg to get a motel room at the Black Dog Inn but it was closed for the season so we went on to Meeker. Meeker was our intended destination for the end of the first day but our ride west of Fraser took a lot longer just because of the technical nature of the riding. We rode along the North Fork of the White and Fawn Rivers and then the White River. This is a really beautiful area. So lush and green along the river.

We finally arrive at Meeker and have supper at a Mexican Restaurant. Got a room at the Blue Spruce Inn and the accomodations were really good. The place looked like it was pretty new. That is the end of day one and we are pretty bushed with the early morning workout and having put in about 230 miles. It was about 7 pm when we arrived at Meeker so by the time we ate and go a room and cleaned up it was getting late and we were ready to catch some zzzzz's. Stay tuned for The Toymans description of events and his photos. Day two to follow. :norton

10Cup 09-04-2011 07:03 AM

Cool! Great start Oleary! It will be interesting to see the differences in our reports and to get the Toymans perspective as well! Great quality on the pictures too.

Copperjohn1962 09-04-2011 07:16 AM


Ford_Prefect 09-04-2011 11:24 AM

Love co!
I love going through Colorado! It is the most beautiful state in my opinion, so much to see, and so many wonderful back roads to enjoy!

I used to live in Keystone, and Aspen, so I know many of the areas you will travel through, what a wonderful place.

Hey if you get through Utah County in Utah let me know, you can stop in and was your cloths and such!

Regards, and safe travels!


OLEARY 09-04-2011 11:38 AM

I agree that Coloroado is a great place to ride. What we saw of Utah was pretty awesome as well. I am not sure where Utah County is but we came thru Dinasour Park to Vernal and then up the eastern side of Utah thru Marshals Draw to Flaming Gourge. That was really a great route. :norton

OLEARY 09-04-2011 03:02 PM

Day 2
I thought I would get started on Day 2. Left Meeker about 7:30 am and it had rained during the night so it was cool and clear. A beautiful day for riding. Like I said the Blue Spruce Inn had good accommodations so I have to give them a plug. Every room has an inside and outside door. That is sort of a nice feature. First time I had ever stayed in a motel like that. I guess I don't get out much.

Started out of town traveling west on Hwy 64. Bill had some issues with water in his fuel after we departed and had to stop and drain his carburetor so I had to backtrack to see what the holdup was. He got it drained and dried out so we were good to go. We crossed the White River and headed south on the dirt.

Bill got up close and personal with a pickup truck rounding this bend as the pickup was in the middle of the road and driving way over the speed limit. We were doing the speed limit of course, which is? You can see Bill in the distance if you look closely.

Looking down onto Calamity Ridge in the valley below from the high road..

Stopped in Rangely for fuel. On our way into Rangely we passed Kenney Reservoir which the White River runs into.

This is the dam. Hard to see very well from this photo. Rangely is about 90 miles north of Grand Junction.

From Rangely we cross some open range again that was somewhat soft and powdery.

We came across this really muddy spot that was long and mucky where there was a stream that ran across the road. As you can see a vehicle had gone around it on the high side but we were not having any of that. We scouted out a way around it which is in the background. I took the photo once we had gotten around it.

This is Bill down the road from the muddy spot coming back after realizing he had left a glove back there so he went back to retrieve it.

These are photos of right after we entered Dinasour National Monument. I could not believe the tree devastation the beatles had caused. Check out all the holes in the closeup of one of the dead trees. I am told that they have destroyed thousands of acres of trees and they cannot stop them. One person told me that 72 hours of 40 below zero weather will kill them.

We came up on this really deep gourge right next to the road which I had to get a couple of photos of.

Then we came up on the edge of the Yampa River. It is truly amazing how the river has cut its way thru this canyon. Where the photos are taken is about 1000 feet above the canyon floor.

From that point we are enroute to Echo Park. We had planned on camping there but the place was completely deserted and it is kind of a low area. There was weather moving in so we decided to mosey on out of there and camp further west.

On our way out of Echo Park to the Park Service Road.

We hightailed it south on the Park Service Road to Cr-16 or Miners Draw Road running west to Hwy 40 and the weather caught up to us on Cr-16 and we got drenched. That rain didn't look like much but it was cold and it was raining so hard at times you could not see the road in front of you. The road got wet in a hurry so needless to say we were glad when we got clear of it about the time we hit Hwy 40. Stopped at a rest sight to warm up and put on some dry gloves.

We slabbed it into Vernal about 6 miles away and spend the night in a Motel 6. It's funny how getting all wet and cold will dampen the enthusiasm for camping. That is the end of Day 2. Stay tuned for Day 3 and beyond. :norton

Ford_Prefect 09-04-2011 03:26 PM

I guess you must have completed your ride by now then, oh well.

I am about 45 min south of Salt Lake City.

Anyhow, thanks for the report, very nice photos etc.

OLEARY 09-04-2011 04:23 PM

Yes, we returned this past Friday. My buddy 10Cup rode thru your area south of Salt Lake City tho. Check out his ride report if you haven't already. Here is a link to it. :norton

Copperjohn1962 09-04-2011 08:35 PM

Very nice Tim! I'll bet some of those step grades really made you pucker up!

OLEARY 09-04-2011 08:40 PM

Day 3
Day 3 is a route from Vernal, UT to Flaming Gourge, UT with a bit of a meander thru a part of Colorado. Started out about 7:30 am and had to get a photo of Vernal from Diamond Mountain Road heading north to Diamond Valley since I had not taken any in town.

Stopped along the road and a couple of salty older dudes stopped and asked where we were going. They asked what our route was and if we were going to the swinging bridge. I told them that we were and they said "Good for you. Just take off and go like hell". They were a couple of good old boys driving a flatbed truck with a couple of dogs chained on the flatbed. We saw them further down the trail later in the day.

Saw this old building off the road. I am not sure what it is but I had to get a photo of it. I presumed it to be a cabin for cow punchers out in the open range.

Kept on truckin on the way to Marshalls Draw.

This is the beginnings of Marshalls Draw. This is a really cool draw thru rock faced walls on either side about 800 feet or more high.

We stopped at the end of the draw and took a break. Had a bit of a lunch and rode on.

Then we headed out for the swinging bridge on the Green River.

And there she be, the swinging bridge. Pretty cool!

Then it is off to Flaming Gourge and looking back on the Green River. Stopped on the top of the hill at a roadside overlook.

We finally have arrived at our destination for the day, Flaming Gourge and the Flaming Gourge Reservoir.

We drove past the dam to the Red Canyon Lodge and had lunch. There was afternoon weather moving in and it rained while we were there so we waited for it to pass then we rode back across the dam to Mustang Ridge and camped for the night. The first pics are of the Red Canyon Lodge Gift Shop and Restaurant. There was a pond there as well that you could paddle out onto. We talked the waitress into taking our photo. Then we moved inside when the rains came.

As we drove back to the dam we took some photos of the dam and the bridge on the west side of the dam. It was raining on us a bit when we came across it the first time so we were bookin it to get west of it and to Red Canyon Lodge.

Next stop, Mustang Ridge Campground. This is the only campground in the area that had a shower. It is located about a mile north of Dutch Johns Convenience Store across the reservoir from the dam. We could walk right down to the waters edge. There were people fishing and swimming right at the shoreline below us. The water was crystal clear. This reservoir has produced record size trout. Keith was telling me some old timer has the record and he would go out in an inner tube at night and fish on the reservoir. We saw some pictures at the convenience store of some large trout that it took two people to hold.

Bill got some wood from the front gate keeper and we had a nice sized fire. Sat around and shot the bull for a while until the wood had about burned out and we hit the rack. We had a long day planned tomorrow so we needed to get up early. Slept great except for the foreigners in the next campsite jabbering late into the night. We gave them a good wakeup calll the next morning bright and early when we cranked up our bikes on the way out. The one thing I failed to bring was my Ipod. Oh well, no big thing. That is it for day three. More to come. :norton

OLEARY 09-04-2011 10:09 PM


Originally Posted by Copperjohn1962 (Post 16785130)
Very nice Tim! I'll bet some of those step grades really made you pucker up!

The grades aren't any steeper than we ride around here in Arkansas, maybe not as steep. What makes you pucker is when you are looking over a cliff that is 1000 feet high. The knees tend to get a little weak! :norton

Bob 09-04-2011 10:45 PM

Another great Utah report!

10Cup 09-05-2011 07:31 AM

Awesolme Oleary! You guys look like you are taking it all in. Enjoyed the different angles and some new pictures too. Great job.

OLEARY 09-05-2011 08:23 AM

Day 4
Day 4 is a route up north along the Flaming Gourge Reservoir to Rock Springs, WY and on to Farson, WY across the Immigrant Trail and the Big Empty with our final destination of Rawlins, WY. We woke early and packed up our camping gear, hit the showers on our way out and headed for Green River Outfitters for fuel and a breakfast biscuit.

Then we are off heading north along the Flaming Gourge Reservoir.

We stopped and I took a photo of a outlying little ranch.

We stopped along this gourge to take a break and Bill saw this blue sled at the bottom. How far is it to the bottom anyway?

We come up Green River and Rock Springs sometime before lunch. We just pass thru and head on to Farson.

This is Chiltons Cutoff on the way to Chiltons Road just off Hwy 191.

We are headed to the Hwy 191 Short Loop. Pretty desolate country out this way. Not much vegitation or habitation.

Stop at this convenience store in Farson to get fuel and get a bite to eat. This next leg was the longest leg for fuel consumption. It was about 180 miles.

From Farson we rode the slab up Hwy 28 and turned off on the dirt and the Immigrant Trail. This is what that looked like. Not much out there exceot a few cows.

Then our route joined the Continental Divide Route.

We came up on a couple of DS riders and then there were four. Stopped and talked with them for a few. The were from Iowa. Asked them if they knew JDUB but they said that they didn't. They started in Canada and were on a 16 day ride with some Colorado loops included. Good bunch of guys. BumpBump was the only handle we got. I will send him a PM and check out his RR as well.

Off again enroute to Rawlins. There was weather moving in and rapidly so we jumped on our horses and tried to make haste.

We rode the CDR most of the way to Rawlins. We did not beat the weather. Got caught in a horrendous gust front with rain, hail, lighting, and about 60 MPH winds. It was already windy with about 40-50 MPH winds. The lady at the counter in Farson told us there were wind advisories for this day and the next. That would prove to be true. Ended up riding with a pretty good lean when traveling south. We liked to have gotten blown off the road in that gust front with the rain and hail. We finally arrived in Rawlins about 6 pm. Saw the ADV foursome that we met on the road pull in to the fueling station across from where we were eating about an hour later. Thats it for day four and we were glad to find a motel and clean up. It was too windy to be able to pitch a tent so camping was out of the question. Tomorrow we are going to try to get back to Georgetown if possible. Later. :norton

The Toyman 09-05-2011 06:45 PM

Day 1 Toymans View
As Oleary has told, we left Georgetown early Sunday morning, Keith guided us out of town on his KLR

This is after we go west from Fraser

Man it warmed up fast that morning, took off some outer layers and a good thing as if we new what was coming up.

We rode thru some whoop de doos and mud holes for about 6 plus miles and come to this locked gate, we were only 3 tenths of a mile from our next turn, only a short reroute.

Finally we are out of the woods!

Just to the south east of Kremmling

We fueled in Kremmling and meet some other DS riders heading for the Rockie National Park areaThen we went down into Gore Cannon and looking down on the river and the railroad, what a view. As we pulled in there was a gentleman trying to repair a flat on his bicycle, Oleary and I tried to help him but his luck had run out. We took his info and was going to call for help when we got cell service and just as we were leaving a Int. Scout pulls up with a group and offered him a ride to Kremmling.

This phot is looking back on Gore Cannon where we met the bicyclist

Oleary leadin the way

Break time

heading down to the White river

We finally arrive at Meeker and find a place to eat, Little mexican place,this is whats left of Olearys meal

We settle down for the night in the motel as rain is brewing for an overnight rainstorm. Day 2 to come.

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