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Old 07-29-2008, 12:35 AM   #1
AZ-Twin OP
Dusty and Thirsty
 
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Oddometer: 1,313
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT

I have been hooked on ADV for almost a year now. Here is my first ride report.

-A little about me and my bike

I am 36 years old, like to ride dirt and street, and do all my own wrenching. Till now the longest ride I had been on was a multiday trip from Arizona to Arkansas in 1999. I was on a Ducati 900 Monster and the purpose of the trip was to visit family and attend a Rally in Eureka Springs AR. It was a good ride but the Ducati is not really a touring bike in my opinion. So I never went on any longer trips until I bought my R1200S last year. The R1200S in not really a touring bike either, but I find it to be comfortable and offer some wind protection. It works great for me.
This trip the BMW and I went to Paonia, Colorado to attend the Top of the Rockies rally. I would also meet my brother there, and some folks I have met through another board focusing on the BMW R1100S/R1200S.

-The Route

There are a few roads I wanted to ride from Sierra Vista to Paonia. One is HWY 180 up the western side of NM. I have ridden 191 in AZ a few times, and since I am trying to make time I decided to take the less twisty but still fun 180. I also wanted to ride the million dollar highway from Durango CO to Montrose. It is US 550 and is truly a wonderful ride. On the way home Moab and Monument Valley are on the list.

Day 1



So I made my way from Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO in 1.5 days. I spent the night at the Cottonwood campground near Farmington NM and the Navajo Dam.

I rolled out of Sierra Vista AZ early for me, about 0900. I am not a morning person so I don’t generally get on the road at the crack of dawn.



I took a few pictures along the way, here are some views of the desert southwest during monsoon season, note how green the desert is. This lasts till mid September, and then it dries out again.









Here is my camp site. The camping area was hard to find due to the lack of signs, but it was a nice place near the river.



The first day of riding was hot, I did not take a lot of pictures. I will post up more pictures of the rally, and sites around Paonia tomorrow. Paonia is in a beautiful part of the country.
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Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
2011 North up the CDR
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT


AZ-Twin screwed with this post 08-03-2008 at 12:00 PM
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:00 AM   #2
zadok
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Nice looking bike, Rob. I like those sweeping roads too.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:29 PM   #3
AZ-Twin OP
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Day 2



I made it from my camp site near Farmington NM to Paonia, CO. This was a pretty short ride, just a few hundred miles.
Here is a shot of the Navajo Dam


If you ever get the chance to ride from Durango to Ouray, CO on US 550, AKA the Million Dollar Highway then do it. It is a beautiful ride with lots of curves and great views. I must warn you, if you are afraid of heights, there are some large stretches of highway with no guardrail. If you fall, it will be a Long Way Down.









I stopped for lunch in Ouray, a nice little town in the mountains.


I snapped a shot of the restaurant and the meal but for some reason they did not come out.
After lunch I headed up the road to Paonia. Not much to mention except the final leg of the journey from US50 near the Blue Mesa Reservoir to Paonia is a wonderful road, CO hwy 92. Lots of wonderful views, nice curves, and more drop offs with no Armco barrier, so be careful. Unfortunately only one pic came out. Time for a new camera I guess.


I arrived at the rally and setup camp. This is the first time I attended this rally and it was a wonderful time. The nice lawn made camping good, lots of food, beverage (beer) and entertainment. I made some new friends and had a good time.











Top of the Rockies is a good party. I know some of you were there, I saw several ADV stickers while looking at the collection of bikes.
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Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
2011 North up the CDR
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT


AZ-Twin screwed with this post 08-03-2008 at 12:02 PM
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
lightfighter
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Sierra Vista AZ.
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how was the food in durango? should i listen to a local, or just go for the carne asada?
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:41 PM   #5
AZ-Twin OP
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Lightfighter

The only thing I did in Durango was buy a smoke visor for my Shoei. I am sure good food is to be had, but I zipped through.

I saw you started a thread, when are you off to Moab? 128 North out of Moab is wonderful for picture taking, and lots of dirt roads that looked interesting, you GS will be great. I wish I would have bought a Nikon for this trip. I look forward to your pictures.
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Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
2011 North up the CDR
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:03 AM   #6
lightfighter
where does this go?
 
Joined: Dec 2007
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im leaving in a couple hours... thanks for the inspiration.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
GB
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Gorgeous Colorado riding

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Old 08-03-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
AZ-Twin OP
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Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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Day 3


Friday was a good day. Instead of going on the group rides or canned entertainment of the rally I decided to go looking around on my own. I enjoy riding by myself because I can stop and take pictures, or look at sights and not worry about holding up a group. I rode North out of Paonia to Carbondale, then through Aspin over Independence Pass, which is a beautiful ride. The road had some chipseal and gravel on it west of the summit, but the east side was nice blacktop. Breathtaking views that my pictures do not adequately capture, but here is what I saw. The beauty of this area reminds me of when I lived in Bavaria in the mid 90s, and used to travel to the Austrian Alps to Ski.
Views from Carbondale, and over Independence Pass.





















I made a big loop back to Paoina through Monarch Pass. Unfortunately it was raining so the view was not very good at Monarch Pass. I will have to try again next time. I passed through Gunnison and rode 92 through black canyon again.
It was a great day of riding and beautiful sights even if I did get wet.

I have not mentioned it but I have been rained on and had water in my boots every day of this ride. My leather pants go inside my boots so as it rains my boots fill up. In the Southwest this time of year a little rain is expected. I usually ride through it, and then dry off quickly. I usually don’t bother to put my rain gear on but I may have to rethink this, or get some vented boots with drain holes.
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Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
97 M900, 07 G650 XChallenge,11 KTM 990 ADV R
2011 North up the CDR
Sierra Vista AZ to Paonia CO and Back through Moab UT

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