Friday, our last day to play in Colorado:
Once again, there was heavy frost on the bikes in the morning. The lows were in the upper 20's or very low 30's for the night. Instead of riding the bikes to get breakfast like we ORIGINALLY thought, we decided to take the Blazer.
Good decision! By the time we finished breakfast and had returned to the motel... the bikes were thawed and it was time to suit-up and hit the road!
We started by riding our first planned route: Kebler Pass up to Ohio Pass, then start the descent from Ohio Pass toward Gunnison.
However, once down from Ohio Pass, we begin to notice several buttes off to our right (southwest).
Here's a distant pic of the top of one of the buttes...
Soon, we arrived at the junction with the road we were looking for. Turning off the pavement onto a Forest Road, we were now on one of Fritz's routes. This was an "added-value" route!
We hadn't gone very far at all and we were entering that really neat looking butte area. The road that we were on was definitely getting to be less and less maintained. For dual sport dirt riders, that's a good thing!
Here's a better look at some of the buttes we were seeing...
As per Fritz's instructions, we turned off the road less traveled... and got on a road even less traveled! Very soon after turning, the road simply became a farm trail/road and we started really getting into some remote feeling areas. There were also some neat aspen groves along the way. We loved it immediately!
Somehow, we were back into black sage country. Also, the mountains and nearby hills were very different than what we had been seeing. We really begin to enjoy this new looking territory!
This picture helps to illustrate that by this time we were essentially riding a farm trail...
It just kept getting better and more remote! Like I said, the hills and mountains were TOTALLY different than what we had been exploring the past several days. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed the change.
Here we are just simply soaking up the atmosphere and scene before us...
From this point, we knew we were in for a great experience and, kicking back, simply rode and savored the day.
Eventually, we rejoined the Ohio Pass road near Gunnison... and bee-lined over to the Tic Toc for another great lunch. This time, I ordered the Philly Steak, but opted for their version with green chili's instead of green peppers. This version also came with a bowl of Salsa Verde to pour on it. It was great!
Following a lead from some of my dual sport/adventure riding online friends... here's a pic of the food!!!
We were now going to ride the same route in reverse. Amazingly, on almost any mountain-type trail, when doing this you get to see things going the opposite way that you didn't see when riding from the other direction. This proved to be no exception as we saw vistas that had eluded us coming the other direction.
OH... forgot to mention, it was on this road that we noticed very distant mountains (the San Juan's over toward Lake City) that were completely snow capped. It had indeed snowed in the upper elevations the other night! My oh my, we love Colorado!
Here's a pic of some of one of the rock formations among the black sage along the way...
Some very odd rock formations were seen all along this route that Fritz shared with us. If you look real close, you should be able to detect that there are CONE shaped rock formations along this particular outcropping!
I tried to stop and take a picture that captured the absolute back road feel this section had. This road had that "islolation" feel to it that I was telling you about earlier! Loved it!
Getting ready to enter another of the aspen groves that were sprinkled along the way...
Here and there, we saw several side roads that meandered off toward the ridges... but I didn't want to get Honey Buns into a trail situation she would be uncomfortable with (i.e. like rocks and ruts, steep uphills, etc), so we stayed with the farm road.
However, we espied this one that led off into an aspen grove... and it looked smooth enough... so we went for it! We were rewarded by being able to be up in an aspen grove that was fully bedecked in autumn foliage. It was serene being there!
Another view of the same trail...
Eventually, we neared the exit point of this fantastic farm trail we had been riding for 20 or so miles. As we did, an entirely new view of that butte scene opened up before us! Here's a pic of it...
Heading back up Ohio Pass toward Kebler Pass... the sun was brilliant up above and the aspens were splendid!
Along the way back to Crested Butte, I stopped and tried to shoot a few pictures in the attempt to take a bit of Colorado back home with is. Alas, though you can capture some images that help stir your memories... there is simply NO WAY to capture the imensity of Colorado, nor the breath-taking scenes!
One final pic as I aimed the camera toward the sun to try to capture an image illustrating the way the aspens glow when backlit by the sun. Nowhere near as gorgeous as in person... but perhaps you can get a glimpse of the splendor we got to enjoy together during our 2012 Colorado Trip.
I hope you enjoyed our trip with us!
At the beginning of this epic journey, only one week ago on a Friday night, the bikes were loaded and strapped down tightly on the trailer, and we were struggling to sleep in anticipation of our Great Adventure beginning. Now, one week later, all of our riding gear was packed and in the Blazer. Only the essentials were with us up in our motel room.
Our 2012 Colorado vacation was drawing to a close... quickly. That following morning, we would have to say goodbye to Colorado once more and start the long trip home to eastern Oklahoma.
We hate to leave everytime. However, our roots are in eastern Oklahoma for now... so leave we must. Our trip home was safe and without incident.
Given the small taste of Colorado I have shared with you in this mini-series, it should be easier for many of you to understand why it is so easy to be consumed with Colorado.
Like the Ozarks and Ouachitas... Colorado runs very deep in not only me, but also Honey Buns.
Thanks again for reading this and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did reliving it!!
P.S. As of this posting, Honey Buns and I are already planning another dual sport adventure in Colorado for September of 2013. I've already marked-off the time at the company calender!