As I was sitting in my room after my shower, I was of course route planning. I had quite the route laid out through Southern Utah and then up and over two passes in the San Juans of Colorado that I have wanted to do for a long time. The problem was, I started adding up the mileage and my route would have to get trimmed if I wanted to make it home tomorrow night. I had decided that it would be best to get home on Saturday night and have Sunday to relax before I had to get back to my crazy work schedule.
I had "get-home-itis" at this point. I don't think it matters weather it's a day trip, weekend trip, month trip, or year long trip, at some point you just wanna get home. That's where I was at. So, I made the sacrifice and cut out my Southern Utah stuff. It was a tough choice, but the San Juans were a higher priority.
I ate my free continental breakfast and was on the road at 7:15. When you leave Salina, it's 110 miles til the next services on I-70. That's a long time on the interstate without a gas station. I remembered this section of the highway was really pretty and I would at least get a dose of the Utah desert.
I was following this storm through the desert. It's always really cool to see a rain storm in the desert. But this did make me wonder about some of the dirt I had planned for this morning. I know the desert is nearly impassable when it gets wet. Especially with the tires I have on. We'll just have to see how this one plays out.
So as it turned out, the storm went off to the North and I took the Blue Hills road to the South after I got gas in Green River.
Once again I had my normal feeling of excitement as I headed into the unknown.
Back on the highway and heading towards Moab.
I didn't stop for anything in Moab, I just rolled right on through.
I made a left onto 46 which bent around the southern edge of the La Sal mountains. A really beautiful range that is on my list of mountains to climb someday. I'll bet there is one awesome view across the unique canyons and plateaus of Utah.
Sometimes you really should remember to turn around and look where you just came from. An awesome shot looking back at Utah and the La Sals.
The beautiful San Juans are coming into view. It's getting to be late morning now. I know that T-storms like to brew in the high elevations in the early afternoon. And they were starting already. I got shut down for these passes earlier in the summer by my job and I was determined not to let that happen today. Even if it meant a questionable decision heading into a high elevation T-storm!
Telluride has been on my list of place to see since the early 2000's when I was living in Breckenridge. I finally made it in 2011! Let me just get this out of the way; Telluride is quite possibly the most beautiful mountain town I have ever been to. Period. There, I said it.
There's also a number of people that live there or go there that have great taste in enduro bikes. I got two thumbs up from two different groups of pedestrians for my Tiger and I saw my first Super Ten in person parked on the side of the road. There was also a KTM 950SE parked next to it.
I'm hungry. Telluride would be a great place to stop and soak in the beauty for awhile. The problem is, those clouds are getting darker right over the pass I am headed for. I tell my stomach to shut up and I press on.
Finally I make my left onto Ophir Pass. I need to learn some photo finishing, cause these shots could be way better. But, even with the photos being raw, I'm sure you'll get the idea why I was so determined to make it over this pass and see it in person.
Ophir Pass can be seen in the pic below heading through the crotch of that mountain.
The storm I was successfully avoiding.
Looking back to the West
The top of the pass and looking down the other side for the first time.
Yes.....I took a shit ton of pics.
These are an interesting few shots. It took just a brief second to figure out what I was looking at. Colorado had a retarded amount of snow this year. And hence, there were probably a lot of avalanches. Like this one that came down from here...
And took out all these trees here.
Pretty cool. That'd be awesome to see and feel from barely a safe distance.
Ophir Pass is in the books!! On to Silverton and the start the pass I've really really been wanting to do!
Ophir pass is up there somewhere
I got behind a group of 3 Harley riders all on the same model and wearing the same leather coming into Siverton. Then, there's me. I couldn't help thinking in my head, "One of these does not belong." A guy on a GS passed going the other way. He picked out the one. Didn't wave to single Harley, got to me, pointed, and gave a salute.
Going up Engineer Pass! Finally!! And the weather appears to be holding.
Everywhere you look here, there are old mines. Literally everywhere.
Now is good time to sate that this place was a ZOO on a Saturday! Quad-tards and jeepers all over the place clogging the road. This place is so beautiful, it is very understandable there are so many that want to come see this.
Animas Forks was decent sized town and huge mining operation back in the day. Much of it is still intact. This place was really only inhabitied during the summer months due to the very harsh winters at this altitude.
The really pretty stuff is coming up! I'm gonna take a break and go do a ride. Kingston Peak is calling me!