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Old 09-26-2012, 09:30 PM   #31
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After looking at the Map we were hoping to get something to eat in Cathedral CO. No luck with that, Cathedral is an intersection, no houses or businesses.

We set up camp in the rain at Hidden Valley Campground. My tent was just a few feet away from the rushing creek, ah, the best white noise you could ask for. The rain stopped and the sun came out just after we got the tents up. We screwed up not buying any food earlier in the day, beef jerky, trail mix and granola bars for supper this night.





Just shy of 220 miles, good run on this day.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:35 AM   #32
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Wednesday

If we could get to Dove Creek this evening we would be back on schedule. I told the guys if we make it to Dove Creek tonight there would be a nice motel room waiting for them. It should be easy enough but we were getting a late start and we had 2 mountain passes to cross. Crossing Marshall pass the day before was a little tricky, I think we were all wondering what Cinnamon and Ophir passes would be like.

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Old 09-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #33
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There were some nice views around the campground and we spent about an hour taken it all in. We also used this time to let the tents and tarps dry out. I mentioned before Alex likes his rocks, he could resist this one either. Mike and I decided to join him and we were able to get some nice photos of the area.





A gentleman that we met at the campsite with his dog.



The road we came in on the night before

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:03 AM   #34
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After packing up camp it was onto Lake City to get something to eat. It was just before 11:00 when we got to Lake City we saw 2 restaurants in town, the first one we stopped at was kinda of an artsy fartsy type place that was transitioning between breakfast and lunch and didn't seem to interested in serving some dirty bikers. We went across the street to Sportsman's BBQ Station, this stop was much more to our liking. Pulled pork sandwiches, old wood floors with wide cracks and 40 year old beer signs, this is more like it. Friendly people running the place too. While we were eating our sandwiches Mike announced that he was going to take the main highways to Dove Creek and not ride the passes, he told Alex and I to go ahead on the planned route. So now it was decision time, do we all stick together and take the highway and skip one of the highlights of the trip or do we split up as Mike suggests? I am not thrilled about Mike riding by himself, but damn this is why we came out here. Alex wants nothing to do with the highway and is ready for some challenging riding. I don't want to talk Mike into riding the passes because he got pissed off at me yesterday for talking him up Marshall pass.

We decided to split up and meet in Dove Creek at 8:00 pm. It was a stand up move by Mike to offer going alone and I appreciated it, he knew how much Alex and I wanted to ride the passes.



Alex and I leaving Sportsman's, while Mike breaks away on his own.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #35
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Enjoying reading this one, bookmarked... Gives me more chops to finally do the dual sport swap to my Ninja 650R...
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #36
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Great ride report. I've enjoyed many of those same roads...so I know how fantastic your ride must have been

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Originally Posted by McRuss
As a native of Colorado, I'm enjoying your ride a great deal. But the closest I've come to riding the CD is from the top of Monarch Pass to the top of Marshall on single track. It follows the Divide along the ridge and was a blast! Keep up the good report!
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That sounds like fun. Do you have any pictures?
He's referring to the Monarch Crest Trail. Incredible views. I loved riding it on a mountain bike this past August...but I sure would think twice before trying it on a 650cc dual-sport. . Better riders have and will continue to ride it:
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:21 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by smash81 View Post
Enjoying reading this one, bookmarked... Gives me more chops to finally do the dual sport swap to my Ninja 650R...
DO IT, DO IT

The Ninja makes an excellent DS bike when set up correctly. I swapped bikes with Alex a couple times on this ride, the mutant ninja feels simply amazing when compared to the KLR. The inner fender and swing arm changes transformed this bike from what it was a year ago.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Hakatan View Post
Great ride report. I've enjoyed many of those same roads...so I know how fantastic your ride must have been



He's referring to the Monarch Crest Trail. Incredible views. I loved riding it on a mountain bike this past August...but I sure would think twice before trying it on a 650cc dual-sport. . Better riders have and will continue to ride it:
Thanks for posting that information. I think I want to move to Colorado.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #39
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The first few miles up Cinnamon Pass were pretty uneventful, once we got past the parking lots for the jeep and ATV haulers things got a little more interesting. We had to work around our share of jeeps and ATVS, I don't think riding this on the weekend would be very fun.

Around 10,000 feet there was a tight switchback with a steep rough exit, I stopped to square it up. Alex stopped too and and he could not get the KLR to take off again! I yelled at him to put into first gear, he of course yelled back IT IS. I had the ninja parked beyond the steep exit and walked down to Alex. I asked him to let me on the bike and see what was going on with it, reluctantly he got off and I tried to scoot the bike up the steep exit. The bike just didn't have any power, I revved the piss out of it and got it over the hump and parked it next to the ninja. I looked at the GPS and noticed we were at 10,000 ft, 2000 plus to go, I told Alex that we were going to have to turn around. The old man screwed up and didn't even consider changing the stock gearing on the KLR. Alex would have none of it, he insisted the bike could make it to the top, I knew it wouldn't.

Reluctantly I agreed to continue on. I gave Alex a push to get him going and then over took him on the incline. I am thinking this is crazy and worried his bike is going to stall and he'll drop the thing. Switch back after switchback we are getting closer to the top, we are riding at a good pace to keep the revs up. I can't believe the KLR is still climbing.

We come to a small parking area just not far from the top, I pull in and Alex follows. Alex says the bike is running OK and he can make it, I tell him to lead the way to the summit. Alex is pulling off his helmet when I pull up beside him at the summit, the look on his face said a lot. He conquered it, and he was proud.



Just getting started.


View from the small parking area.


Alex taking the lead.


Take that Dad.

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Old 10-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmklx View Post
DO IT, DO IT

The Ninja makes an excellent DS bike when set up correctly. I swapped bikes with Alex a couple times on this ride, the mutant ninja feels simply amazing when compared to the KLR. The inner fender and swing arm changes transformed this bike from what it was a year ago.
I do not have the skills for those sorts of modifications unfortunately. Would be sweet though. I will have to stick to bolt on.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:39 PM   #41
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We drove down to Animas Forks and found a sign that directed us to Silverton, the GPS was telling us to go the opposite direction. I remember mapping this route out and selecting a less direct route to Silverton. We follow the GPS, we were climbing again. The GPS then directed us down a lightly traveled steep downhill trail. The trail was loose baby heads from ATVs tearing it up, the bike's tires were skidding, this doesn't feel right. We end up in a parking area for the Sound Democrat Mill site, an abandoned silver mine. Normally I would be all excited about exploring a mine site, but all I was worried about was getting the bikes back up that loose trail. Nothing to worry about, going down was actually a lot worse than climbing out.

Once we get to where the trail tees to the road we continue up the road. We met a group of ATV and off road bikes, there must have been 30 of them. Kids of all ages and their adult chaperones, they were having a good time. Once we reach the summit we stop and take some pictures and start the climb down. The road down was steep and the pucker factor was high, these midsize bikes with 50 lbs of gear are not the right tool for this job. We finally intersect a heavier traveled road and realize during the last hour or so we had just made a big loop. Silverton was still just down the road. The loop was CR 9, Picane Gultch.


We had to yield for this group.


CR 9


The Sound Democrat Mill



The mill site


Alex leaving the mill site.


View from the top.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #42
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I was pretty happy to get off that mountain and get on CR 2, the road to Silverton. In Silverton we bought gas, met ROYQ and his riding partner (post 18) and sat down for a few minutes to eat some jerky and drink a soda. We were short on time we were still hoping to get to Dove Creek before dark.

Next up was Ophir Pass, there wasn't any traffic going up Ophir so we were able scamper right up in no time. Coming down was a little trickier on the steepest rockiest part of the decent I met a GS800 coming up hill. With tires skidding on the baby heads I had all I could handle to keep the bike at a sane speed and get on my half of the 2 track. The guy on the beemer thought I wasn't going get it done and he stopped in the middle of his climb. I did get the ninja on her half and was able to stop and tell the beemer guy sorry I was on his side for a while. He had his hands full it looked like, the beemer was loaded pretty good and stalled at his first attempt to get climbing again.

Alex had his hands full as well trying to keep the KLR on track, he looked a little stressed out when were finally able to stop at a lesser grade and talk.


going up Ophir


on top of Ophir
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:53 AM   #43
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It was a very scenic ride from Ophir to Dove Creek, we were trying to make time so no pictures. We finally arrived at Dove Creek and we found Mike standing outside this place waving us down.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:28 AM   #44
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Thursday

Today was a special day, no more CDR , no more TAT, today we were on a route that I planned out after hours and hours of Base Camp and Google Earth research. I even got some advise from the regional inmates. Today the plan was to ride in the Delores River canyon from Dove Creek to Hwy 141, the tricky part, we would have to ford the Delores River to make it all the way to the highway. Inmates TNC & DCZ offered some good advice on the route and warned that the road along the river turns into to a technical trail. Our plan was to go in and make a decision about the ford once we saw what the terrain looked like. I told the guys if it is to difficult we will just turn around and reroute, I told myself we are going to cross that river!

We had a good breakfast at a little restaurant just down the road from the motel. We had a great time telling each other what we saw and did while we were separated the day before. It felt good to have the crew back together.


Packed and ready to roll.


Some color before we get to the canyon.


Entering the canyon.







The views from the canyon were awesome.





Somehow Mike perched his KLR on this rock. The perfect time to give him some shit about his cheap plastic skid plate.





The road along the river was a blast to ride on, perfect for the 650s.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #45
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The canyon road ends and turns into a technical trail. We stopped and looked at the trail and knew right away it was not going to be easy to get to the river crossing. I took my tank bag off and decided to scout ahead to see if there were just a few difficult spots or if it was all tough. Only about 1/4 mile up the trail I came to a off camber hill/curve that I did not feel comfortable tackling with the loaded bike. I turned the bike around (which took about 5 minutes because of limited space, incline and rocks) and returned to where the guys were waiting. I told them it would not be easy. We debated about an hour, discussing all the scenarios. At one point we had ourselves talked into it, we figured we could take the luggage off the bikes and drive through the difficult sections. After thinking about how much work that would be and that we may have to turn around at the river anyways, we decided to turn around. Disappointed, we headed back to Dove Creek.




The end of the road.
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