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Old 07-17-2010, 06:29 PM   #1
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Central WV
Oddometer: 548
An "Almost Heaven" DR gets "Rocky Mountain High"

Since I bought my DR a year ago, I have wanted to take a trip on it. I have also wanted to see the Rocky Mountains for quite a while, so I thought I would put the two together. I got a chance to take my vacation early and a friend of mine was going to Oklahoma and agreed to haul me and the DR with him to give me around a thousand mile head start on my trip. Not an idea start, but it left me with no excuse not to go.

We left West Virginia just before 5:00am with each of us having about three hours sleep. After 17 hours we arrived at Mark and Jennifer's, his daughter and son in law, in south east Oklahoma just before dark.

After a good nights sleep, I still had some maintenance to do and pack everything on the bike.

I got started just before noon. I was talking to Mark about my choices on local roads and he made a couple suggestions.
Leaving from Nashoba, I could either go west a few miles and hit the slab north to Tulsa, or I could backtrack a few miles east and take some two lanes north through the mountains.

Easy choice

Curvy mountain roads are always a good choice.

I took Indian Trail road through the Kiamichi Mountains. Some nice sweeping mountain roads for the most part. Beautiful scenery, great riding roads. Very little traffic. Also followed Rt. 82 through the San Boise Mountains. In some areas similar to parts of WV but a lot more evergreens and the hills not as steep and close together. A big part of the economy in this area is logging. The will clear cut some areas and plant back rows of evergreens. Or leave some native ones to repopulate.

I started running out of mountains, and patients. Even the flat land is interesting and offers sights to see, but after my late start I was getting anxious to put some mileage towards Colorado so I hit the slab to Tulsa. Stopped at Bass Pro to pick up some gear, then headed northwest and ended up stopping in Ponca City for the night. 278 miles closer to my goal.

Next, farther west. I had the maps to run the Trans America Trail through Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado, but I didn't have time to program them into my GPS, so in the morning I had to decide whether to try it or not. I also decided I had too much with me, so stopped at a Bass Pro shop along the way and bought a smaller tent and sleeping pad. The next morning I repacked everything and found a post office to ship some things home to make more room for me on the bike.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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Location: Central WV
Oddometer: 548
After finding a post office and lightening my load, things packed up much better.

My decision was made early about the TAT.

It rained most of the day. I got a late start because of the re-packing so was anxious to make some miles. Also I have read some ride reports on the TAT in Oklahoma that showed some nasty mud in the rain, and wasn't interested in getting messed up in any of it.

Lots of flat land heading across northern Oklahoma. In the rain most of the day, the wind was pretty steady as well. I normally get in the mid forties per gallon on my DR, but in this wind I got around 32 to 34 all day.

Lots of straight roads as well.

I had to throw this one in for Pnoman

Oklahoma has historical markers too.

Think we should start another thread

Except for the rain, this was still an interesting area. Not much to show up in photos, but still plenty to see. I wouldn't mind running the TAT through here sometime.

Everything wasn't flat.

I saw a sign for another historical maker coming up. From the road I had been on that day, I assumed it was going to say "First curve in 50 miles"

Surprisingly, that wasn't what it was.

I got up in the north west corner of the state and decided to explore a little bit.

I thought for a minute I was almost home.

I found this next one interesting.

I had always wondered about the panhandle of Oklahoma. Turns out, no one else wanted it

OOHHH, Oklahoma twisties...

Lots of nice welcome signs out in this area.

Hey, some wildlife.

He posed so nicely for the camera.

Another day, very wet day, but a little closer to my goal.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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Location: Central WV
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Third day on the road and at least things look dryer.

I tried to figure out how to get a photo of a large one of these

I couldn't get a good one, so this is the best I got. I couldn't believe how long they make these. Wish I had a lawn mower like this.

I can't imagine how long it took to plow these fields by horse. Would have been rough enough with this.

Somewhere in this area I saw a very nice mule deer buck, but he was too quick for me to get a picture.

One more state.
I talked to some locals and was told the most scenic route from where I was went across northern New Mexico. Sounded OK to me.

New Mexico has them too...

They could use a little refurbishing though.

They even sent out the welcoming committee for me.

These two fellas did not like me being between them.

There was one on each side of the road, and they didn't appreciate the fact I stopped between them.

This is what I was looking for

Things are looking up.

There are some beautiful areas here.

I was riding across this wide flat valley and the speed limit dropped. I couldn't figure out what it was. I came across a hump, and there sit tour buses and cars. I still couldn't see anything, then this showed up.


This gorge running through, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

With a beautiful bridge that barely shows from the road.

More beautiful places, still in New Mexico.

This is part of the San Juan mountains and was a great start in seeing the Rockies.

I got into Chama NM at dark. They were just starting their fireworks. I didn't get any photos of them, but it was a pretty nice show. I couldn't believe how many people were in this little town for the show, it was packed on both sides of the road.

Tomorrow Colorado.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Location: Central WV
Oddometer: 548
Three days and a thousand miles and I'm finally moving up into Colorado.

I wanted to see some of the area before I settled in to camp.

I ran 84 up into Pagosa Springs then took 160 up to South Fork.

Much of the land in this area is National Forest. Also because of the mining, there are roads everywhere.
A view of Treasure Falls

And just across the road.

I decided I should start getting acclimated, so I took a walk up to see the falls.

I saw quite a bit of this the next few days.

At South Fork, I took 149 up past Lake City.

Lots of abandoned mine structures.

Heading over towards Montrose and decided I would take a shortcut. First dirt in Colorado.

Before I headed out here I asked if there were particular roads I should be sure and hit. I was told that any road west of I25 would be worth taking. This one was proving that to be true.

My first camping spot in Ridgeway State Park.

Unfortunately I could only get a spot for two days. This was a nice camp and could have worked for most of the week.

Not a bad view.

Next day.... how about a pass or two??
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:22 PM   #5
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Albemarle N.C.
Oddometer: 1,378
Thumb Lookin' Good

That ain't WV is it Duck?
I'm enjoying your pics and report, thanks for posting.
650 VStrom 2011
750 Ural Gobi 2013
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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a pass or two or three

ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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