Awake by 7AM. I complain about waking up early for work but when I'm not at work I wake up even earlier. I unzip my tent to reveal paradise. The sun partially striking the snow capped mountains taller than this Arkansas boy had ever seen. Clouds littering the sky, green fields and clear creek flowing next to our tents. That'll make a fella not want to go home.
We start breaking camp and we have this younger fella walk into camp. "Can one of you guys give me a ride into town? I need to call a tow truck" After listening to his accent we ask the fella where he's from. He replies New Orleans and Dogjaw excalims "Coonass!" The fella looked confused so we left it be. Dogjaw obliges and says hop on. Its only 2 miles. No sissy bar or passenger pegs. This ought to be fun. The young guy was apprehensive and asked if he could borrow a helmet. Dogjaw scoffawed its only 2 miles down the way. As the young man saddled up I heard a squeaking sound coming from his butt squeezing a hiccy on the seat.
We continue to break camp and we Dogjaw zoom by without a Cajun riding behind him. I reckon he's just going to check out whats down the road. He returns in a few more minutes and told us that we need to get our boots on so we can help some cute researchers get their car unstuck. Cute Researchers? An outlet to show our manly aptitude? We all retrieved our boots in a hasty fashion and zoomed off to the rescue.
Turns out they were stuck on a rock and with the 3 of us and Dogjaw orchestrating we managed to get the VW off the rock. So of course we have pictures.
From here we headed to Gothic all loaded up and decided to stop at the General store and refill our camel backs. The researchers brought their kids to work and had 2 other researchers watching their children and teaching them about the outdoors. My kind of daycare.
We get some petrol in Crested Butte. I see Jaw sending a text before he pulls out of the pump. No biggie. I'll just sort out my tank bag.
BANG! EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE. I whip my head around so fast my eyes about came out of socket. A white truck is backing into Jaws bike and Jaw is on it! Holy moly. The bike goes down as the truck pulls forward. My little short fanny runs over to see if everything is okay. One Taco'd front wheel and this trip is ova. We get the bike up and get it moved while Jaw is embraced by a shaken older women. She had a death grip on him and wouldn't let him go. I've never seen a woman so relieved a stranger was okay. Her friend with her Manuel didn't speak a lick of English but he helped moved the bike so he was alright I reckon. We inspect the damage. A bent shifter. God I love indestructible bikes. Straighten it out calmed down granny and as soon as she was done shaking we zoomed off to our new destination. She said next time we were in Crested Butte find her and she would get us dinner. You never pass up on a free meal.
From here we headed towards Coebbler Pass. Half paved and half dirt it twas a good mixture with lots of vistas.
Met this guy on the side of the road. He lived in Crested Butte where his paintings fetched a few thousand dollars a pop. I can draw a stick man does that count?
One of the places I've been hearing about for the last year was North Rim of the Black so we incoporated that into our route.
2 words to describe it. GOOD LARD!!! The roads were perfect with fantastic scenery and beautiful curves. I think I may need to dig a thesaurus out to find more adjectives for this ride report.
The amazing thing about North Rim of the Black and most of Colorado is how out of scale things are. You don't realize how far down it is until you see a little boat down there that turns out to be a yacht.
We begin our way down to Cimmaron to take Owl Creek Pass over to Ridgeway where we would camp for the next few days. After going through some construction We came across Little Cimmaron Rd. Out come the GPS's and maps. It looks like it but not completely sure. We see a sign that says "dead end" but signs are usually not right, right?
Dogjaw says this has to be it lets go.
So we hippity hop back on the bikes and motor on down the dirt. I was skeptical at first its just a dirt road. Then it started to get windy and I saw more hills. Okay this looks promising. Dirt road turns into double track. Double track turns into single track. Single track turns into single track with cows littering the trail. And single track with bovines grazing turns into no track with a barbed wire fence and rushing Cimmaron River on the other side. Hrm. Skepticism sets in once again. I guess the sign was correct. Its starting to get dark so we start heading back to the main road 14 miles away. We were going to try and make it to Ridgeway tonight. Key word "were"
I'm riding behind Fletcher the "Flex" and I hear a BAM CLINCK CLINCK CLINCK (the sound effects sound much better when I say them than when you read them on here) I thought the chain came off the sprocket. So Flex, Bryan and I stop to see assess the sititation. Its a flat tire. No problemo I've gotten pretty good at changing tires and I have a cool set of Bead breakers from Motion Pro. I was just bragging to Flex how good they are. Time to try them out.
NOT. We look down and there's a bolt extending from the sidewall to the top of tire. No patching that bad boy or even a tube would help. So Bryan rips down the road to catch up with The Jaw to tell him whats going on while Flex and I try to limp towards the main road. We catch up to Jaw and he says lets try and get to the main road and go from there. So Bryan and he go ahead and I stay behind Flex for encouragement. We get a few miles down the road and tire just comes off the rim. If your looking for a good way to break the bead thats always a good way.
Hmmmmmm what to do what to do. We could borrow Bryans wheel put it on Flex's bike and get him to a campground where we could go get a new tire tomorrow? Or push it. I go looking for a suitable place to set up camp for the night and get to the main road where I find Bryan and Jaw. Jaw has a friend in Montrose whom he called and had just bought a new truck and was on the way to our rescue. I go back down the road to courier the news.
Insert new charactar in our story. Kyle. The Fun Pig. He lived in Arkansas for years and at some point came out to Colorado to live up life. He and Dogjaw have been good friends and running buddies for years. If you want to see a good time get Jaw and Kyle together you can close down a restaurant. Ask me how I know.
Look Ma I bagged a KLR. Should I get it mounted.
From her Flex rode Jaws bike home while Jaw and Kyle caught up with each other. This is where I saw the prettiest skys on the trip. Just absolutely jaw dropping.
We arrive at Kyles house where we would be staying until we got everthing situated where we meet Kyles lovely girlfriend, Linda. Who treated us like kings. Big shout out to Kyle and Linda for bailing us out especially on such short notice.
Tomorrow we would go to Davis and pick out a new tire for Flex. Nice thick carpet to sleep on. A vagrant owns the vast entire earth so anywhere to lay my head is good enough for me.
“Live through it," Call said. "That's all we can do.”