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Old 10-11-2012, 09:16 PM   #46
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Back in Dove Creek we topped off the tanks and pulled out the Gazetteer. We plotted a route through the San Juan National Forest and the Uncompahgre National Forest on routes 504, FR512, 503 and 402.





Forest Road 512 in the San Juan National Forest, this stuff was fun!









Dinner in Nucla.



Looks like rain again.



Camped with the cows at Columbine Campground on Divide Road route 402.




Cool picture by Mike.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:15 AM   #47
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Friday

At the campfire the night before we decided to deviate from our planned route that would take us west to east through Somerset and Crested Butte eventually back to Salida. Mike wanted to head north and checkout Dinosaur National Monument. This seemed like a pretty good idea since we needed to eventually get back to Wyoming and we were worried some of my original route may have been to tricky for the bigger bikes.

After studying the Gazetteer we agreed on riding to Grand Junction for breakfast and then travel through Frutia and Mack and take Baxter Pass Road north.


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Old 10-20-2012, 07:35 AM   #48
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We stopped for a break and some pictures and noticed there was a strong odor of brake pad in the air. Using our noses like dogs we ended up at the rear of Alex's KLR. The brake caliper stunk and the pedal sunk to the bottom of its travel without affecting the caliper. My trailside diagnosis was that the Kid must have been riding the brakes and boiled the fluid. Luckily we could see paved Hwy 141 from where were standing, so we would take it easy, hop on the pavement and get some brake fluid after breakfast.



Early morning photos



Leaving the Uncompahgre National Forest



Assessing the brake situation



Brake related?


Hwy 141 Unaweep Canyon

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #49
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We had breakfast at a great cafe in Grand Junction and damn I don't remember the name or have any photos of it. Anyway, after breakfast we dug into the KLR and found the pads were completely worn away. So this is were the younger generation stepped up to the plate. Alex pulls out his smart phone and has a Kawasaki dealer located in a few seconds. We call the dealer and they have pads in stock and the parts man gives me directions to their store.

Well long story shorted, I got us lost, Alex had to save the day again using the GPS on his smart phone.

(Gees, maybe I should get one of those things)

Once at the dealership it took just a few minutes to get the new pads installed and the KLR was as good as a 14 year old 49,000 mile bike could be.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #50
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Time to Get Off The Pavement Again

Just outside of Mack is this sign.



Ignore the dark storm clouds in the background, we did.



Baxter Pass Road winds through the natural gas fields of western Colorado.



The weather was changing, time to change into some warmer gear.



These ruins are what is left of Atchee Colorado. At the time we had no idea what this building once was.



Once home, some research revealed that Atchee was a maintenance station for a narrow gauge railroad. This photo from the Denver Library website shows the same building during its hey day.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #51
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As we were leaving the station it started to rain lightly. The road instantly turned slick, in just a few minutes we realized it was going to be a long haul up Baxter Pass. The top layer of dirt was peeling away from the road and plugging up the rear wheels of the KLRs.

I've seen this play out on ride reports here, plugged up wheels and burnt up clutches, we decided just to stop and hope it was a passing shower.

It started to rain harder and as the rain soaked in the top layer no longer peeled away, we tried moving forward in the rain. About a mile further up the road the switch backs for the pass started and the grade increased significantly. We were done, it was to slippery to climb the grade. Luckily we landed at a clearing where it was obvious that others had camped before. One problem, there was not a single 6' x 6' tent area that was void of wet cow shit. Alex and I decided it would be easier share a site rather than try to find two spots for tents. We finally found a spot under a scrub tree line, the branches were low enough to keep the cows out.



Mike taking one for the team, after this we had to change our plans.



Amazing how fast the road turned on us




Setting Up Camp Early



Sticky bikes
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #52
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Time To Wrap This Up

Just after we finished setting up the tents, we heard the sound of a diesel engine coming from up in the switchbacks. A few minutes later we see a big white Dodge Cummings 4 x 4 slipping & sliding the down the road. The truck stopped at our make shift camp. It was a young mother with a baby and her son (guessing about 10 years old), she wanted to know how far it was to the highway. Indeed she did, she looked pretty frazzled. She explained how she was looking for a short cut to Utah and her GPS directed her onto this road. They too got caught in the storm and instead of turning around kept climbing the pass. We could see her finger nails were packed with mud as she told us how they had to get out of the truck several times and peel the mud off the tires by hand because the truck was sliding uncontrollably. I think she was happier than hell to see us, the 10 year looked terrified. We explained to her she had made it through the worst and the road turned to gravel about 10 miles further and the highway was another 10 beyond that. Off they went.



Front of the Ninja had plenty of mud on it.



KLR packed full of mud, you can just make out a mud blob about the size of a basketball behind the KLR. Alex peeled all that off his bike.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:39 PM   #53
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The next morning I was fired up for riding, I knew the road would be tacky from the rain and traction would be good. I must have been a little anxious to tear up the road.



I dumped the Ninja doing a u-turn through the ruts.



Climbing the pass.



Here we are near Baxter Pass looking down at the road we came up.



Looking ahead to Baxter Pass.



At the pass there was this water tank for the old railroad.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:04 PM   #54
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After Baxter Pass it was onto the town of Rangely for fuel and food.



This was the only gate we had to open on the whole trip.



Taking a break near the Utah/Colorado border.



A natural gas generator.



The Colorado/Utah border.



It was a fast fun ride through the West Douglas Wild Horse Herd Area.



Alex on the KLR



A lone wild horse.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:25 PM   #55
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We were at a bar & grill in Rangely when I called home, to my surprise, my wife answered the phone. I asked her what she was doing at home and she asked me where else would she be on Saturday. Holy shit we lost a day somewhere. All 3 of us thought it was Friday, now we realize we have to get back to Wyoming by night fall. Time to hit the blacktop for 300 miles.


What a ride, it was great to relive it here, hope you enjoyed.





West of Encampment Wyoming on Hwy 70.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:13 AM   #56
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Great report! Wish I had the skills to transform my Ninja the way you did. Thanks for taking the time to write it up and share your stories!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:39 PM   #57
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WONDERFUL!!!
Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #58
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Great report. You've shown me some new routes to take next time I'm out there. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #59
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great adventure, and great bike...
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:05 PM   #60
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Dc

Nice report! I'm actually from Dove Creek so it was cool to see someone traveling through the area.
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