07-05-2013, 04:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Day 15- Rico- ~80 miles
Welcome to the Rockies
We tried to make it to Dove Creek today. We lost. The Rockies won. After four or five mountain passes we were toast. Breathing and picking up 400 pound bikes at 12,000 plus feet is tiring.
Our first pass was Cinnamon Pass
Did I mention the crowds? The Fourth of July is no time to try these passes. There are jeeps, quads, dirt bikes, and UTV’s everywhere.
We can move faster than anything other than dirt bikes. It’s obvious a lot of the people we passed never “four wheeled”. They always waved you by in the worst places. Kirk stopped with no place to put a foot down during a pass and got a helping hand picking up the bike from the one of the biggest 4x4’s we saw.
Yup, that is an old Chevy Suburban. Imagine taking that around switchbacks. That guy is the man of the mountain!
After summiting Cinnamon, we go down. Down is much worse than up. We spent most of the day in 1st gear. We used it for brakes. We also used our regular brakes. We still slid in many areas
Next we summit and go down California Pass at 12,960 ft
Along the way we see this. I have no idea what mining equipment this is, but it is perched on top of the mountain all by itself now.
Two more pics of the road up
BTW: Here is what July 5th snow looks like
Next up Hurricane Pass at 12,730 ft
And back down
Somewhere along the way we go over Corkscrew Pass. We take a break at the top and Kirkster tightens up some loose bolts on the KTM. I wisely keep my distance and talk to some locals.
As Karma will have it, on the way down from the Corkscrew I bit it on a steep, baby powder dirt covered rocky, switchback. At first I could not pick up the bike because it was facing downhill and the front brake was in the dirt. Kirkster could not help because there was no place to hold his bike. When you are tired and winded, things you know don’t come easily to mind. Finally I remembered the trick. Drag the rear wheel down the slope so the front wheel faces the hill. Pick up the bike and the hill stops it. Easy once you remember.
Onward to Ophir Pass at 11,789 ft
More of the Rockies to admire on the way
We then went down. Finally Tarmac. We slabbed it over Lizard something Pass. We were tired. But not to tired to stop and get a picture of a nice town down the mountain.
We were way short of our destination and we had no reservations if we even made it there. So Kirkster zoomed out on the GPS. Found a good sized town about 6 miles off the TAT. We went there and grabbed some rooms for the night.
2006 Husqvarna TE610- TAT 2013 survivor!
2008 KTM 300 XCW-e
1993 Harley Heritage Classic