06-06-2013, 11:20 AM
2 scoops of stupid
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Slept ok but realized in the middle of the night I might need a warmer sleeping bag. My BigAgnes is rated for 15 degrees, but judging by the shrinkage in my business, I think they might be making an overly optimistic estimation. Pack up camp, blast the heated grips and hit the road. Today I'm headed to Ouray to see what all the hubbub is about.
Ouray. Pronounced Your-aye.
Love this little town. Steep mountain/cliffs on all sides, waterfall in the back ground and everybody has dirt on everybody. I stopped off and talked to the gals in the information booth about where to access the Alpine Loop. They told me the closest place was a trail called Corkscrew a couple miles up. The said she heard it was pretty rocky but should be ok on a motorcycle. ;) What's the worst that can happen?
Views from the trail
Corkscrew trail is a jeep trail that connects Hwy 550 to the Alpine Loop. Alpine Loop is a network of old mining trails, all dirt, mud, gravel and some snow. Corkscrew on the other hand was gravel, rock, switchbacks and rocky sections not necessarily cut out for big bikes. I think I dumped my bike 2 or 3 times on the way up and wound up sucking wind pretty hard with a helmet full of sweat by the time I got to the top of the trail. My knee is still bruised and swollen from one of the oopsies.
Periodically, along the trail there are old huts, antique remnants of mining equipment, marmots and the occasional bigfoot sighting. At times the drop off off the side of the trail is pretty impressive, a little spooky but gorgeous.
At the top of Corkscrew is an old abandoned house with another mining dig behind it. Ran into some people in jeeps out exploring. Had to take them up on taking picture as it's a rare opportunity for those of us who ride solo. Just wish I knew when he was taking the picture so I didn't look like a mouth-breather.
Shortly after the abandoned house, the treeline stops, the wind becomes absurd and the temperature drops like a rock. You instantly become acutely aware of every single drop of sweat in your gear as it turns to ice.
Bout damn time...
Like an idiot
The wind is a little brutal and I don't want my nipples to tear my Bandlands, on to Lake City..
Hit Lake city, North back to Hwy 50, West to Montrose. Met up with my bestfriend and his firefighter buddies, got drunk, fell out of the golf cart at full speed while getting a tour of the RV/camping park while being driven around by the owner who was also drunk, drank with an old wirey SR-71 pilot who I think could have kicked all our asses, stumbled back to the cabin and stuffed my face with cold stale spaghetti without a utensil... and the night fades to black. Solid day.
Tomorrow... Telluride, Last dollar, Ophir pass and back to Ouray pronounced Your-aye(get it yet?)