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Old 09-13-2012, 05:46 PM   #16
gregdee OP
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Originally Posted by eddyturn View Post
I like this report and I like the way you ride it. Good spots you hit there mister.
Thank you sir. Glad you're along for the ride. Not quite done yet but we're getting there. Stay tuned.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #17
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Day 10

We awoke early at our Animas Forks camp. Coffee and oatmeal were made and we packed up to get on our way for the day. The goal today was to get up and over Engineer Pass, our second major pass of the trip. I think Kerry was a bit nervous about this one after coming over Ophir Pass yesterday. We were camped near 10k feet but we still had 2500 feet to ascend before making this one. Engineer Pass is at about 12,800 feet which is pretty much right at 3000 m. Wonder if are carbureted bikes can handle this altitude?
The ride started off nice enough climbing this gorgeous valley.



We kept climbing up…


and up… you can see the switch backs we're headed for...


...and up and around a turn. Some of these switchbacks were fairly challenging on fully loaded underpowered bikes like these. You pretty much had to run in first with bursts into second gear on the straighter sections.


And we continue up...


...but Greg stops for a photo op - check out this stuff to the north. Guess we'll be back some day because I wanna ride out there...


And then a little down. It's hard to concentrate on the road ahead with all this amazing scenery around.


One more little push to the top...


...and we can see the top...

...and then we finally made it to the pass. Phew




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Old 09-17-2012, 08:06 PM   #18
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The rest of day 10

And then we finally made it to the pass. Kerry stopped and we had a look around.


As there was no actual sign we weren’t quite sure whether we’d made the pass yet or not. We looked to the southeast and there was another switch back climbing up some nasty looking terrain.


Fortunately we didn’t need to get up there.

Here's a shot of my trusty steed the Mighty KLR all loaded up sitting on top of Engineer Pass. I really love riding with those highway pegs - on the highway, of course. It's a pretty cool feeling riding around on knobbies with your feet sticking out like those Hardley dudes. The Wolfman luggage we had bought for this trip worked out really well.

From the pass we dropped down to the right of the peak shown two pictures up and cruised a much more mellow road all the way down to Lake City. Guess I must have put the camera away for the day as I didn’t get any more shots.

We stopped in Lake City at a place called Southern Vitals for lunch. We had the BBQ pork nachos as an appetizer. We should have quit there as those nachos were a meal in themselves. Really, really good food. Highly recommend the place.

From Lake City it was up and over Slumgullion Pass and on down into Creed. The ride up the pass was a wet one but our Frog Togs kept us dry and plenty warm for this time of year. We took a few minor dirt road sections along the way but mostly we just cruised the highway. We stopped for a coffee in Creed and then rolled on towards South Fork. We did look for decent camping along the Rio Grande but found no spots to our liking. For those who don't know the hills we had just come through are the headwaters of the mighty Rio Grande river which flows from here all the way across Texas and into the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of my favorite places around and cruising highway 149 on any sort of bike is a must-do for any rider.

We kept going through South Fork and tried one of the campgrounds but the only spot left kinda sucked so we took our chances heading further back up into the hills towards Summetville. As it turns out we ended up camping in exactly the same spot we had camped at on night two right next to the stream. We were tired from the days ride and frankly we couldn't be bothered riding around looking for a better spot. This one was flat and was right next to a stream. Perfect.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:36 PM   #19
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thanks for taking the time to post your ride report, you made it sound like the kind of trip I like to take. Only been in those parts by street bike, but I'll get out that way in the dirt one day soon. JB
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:26 PM   #20
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thanks for taking the time to post your ride report, you made it sound like the kind of trip I like to take. Only been in those parts by street bike, but I'll get out that way in the dirt one day soon. JB
My pleasure. Glad to hear people are reading this. I was inspired to do this by other reports documented here. My hope is that someone else will be excited enough by my tales to embark on their own journey, and then come back here and tell us about it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #21
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The last day

Day 11
This is the final day of our trip and it was going to be a long one. We had to get from basically South Fork, CO all the way home to Tijeras just outside of Albuquerque. The day's ride turned out to be right at 300 miles taking us 9 hours 44 minutes and 19 seconds, according to the GPS. While we were packing up that morning we were visited by one very curious hummingbird. This little guy was checking out every colorful thing we had in hopes of finding a quick meal. Sorry dude, no sweet stuff here.



From our camp we headed up Park Creek Rd., past the turn off to Summetville, and headed south towards Stunner Pass and Platoro. There is a several mile section where you just cruise across the top of the range. This is a great place to be on a morning like this.



Descending towards Stunner Campground we rode under this peak which I think is Lookout Mountain. All the iron in the ground turned this peak a nice red color. Unfortunately the sky had clouded up some so the picture doesn’t do it justice. The camera stayed put away for the rest of the day.



Following the CDT route we rode over Stunner Pass to Platoro and then headed south along NF250 to highway 17. The south section of NF250 is super busy as far as dirt roads go. Fortunately it was raining as we rode along it so the dust wasn’t bad at all. We ended up riding this again over Labor Day weekend and the dust and traffic was less than pleasant. I would avoid this route in the future. Instead, coming up the other end of NF250, getting to it from just north of Antonito, past the Terrace Reservoir and through Jasper to the north side of Stunner Pass is a much more pleasant route. That was the route we took back on day 2.

Once we got to highway 17 we decided we wanted to come down into Taos for lunch instead of following the CDT route south from Cumbres Pass south into NM, saving that for another time. We rode down 17 into Antonito and then headed east through Manassa, crossing the Rio Grande and catching highway 522 south into NM. The ride across the valley was actually pretty cool and would be better suited to bigger more street oriented bikes, but we managed just fine.

We later learned (thanks to Big Dog) that there is a very cool (if you are into wide open endless views) mostly dirt route that can be taken from 8th street in Antonito all the way across to Costilla just over the border in NM. This shot is from a different ride but it gives you a sense of the openness of the area. I find it exhilarating to ride through such places.


We rode through Taos and stopped at the Gudalajara Grill on the south end of town. We’d eaten here plenty of times before as we have been known to ski bum more than a few winters at Taos Ski Valley. I had the giant pizza-sized Aztec quesadilla and Kerry had the fish tacos. The place isn’t fancy but the food is pretty darn good and they have roasted jalepenos in the condiment bar.

With tummies full, from the south end of town we took highway 518 and flew the High Road to Taos south into Pojaque. I love this route and never tire of it. I highly recommend it to anyone passing through the area. From Pojaque it was 100 miles of slab skirting Santa Fe and then down 14 through Cerillos and Madrid to get home. Not a bad way to end a trip. We were tired and satisfied and we still had one day to readjust to real life before getting back to work on Monday. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

THE END
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #22
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Excellent-
A bit jealous
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #23
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Nice! We used to live just outside of Tijeras, now in Gunnison. We know most of that route, but haven't done it yet on a motorcycle. Great trip report. Makes me want to get out there.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #24
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Thumb What a great trip!

Thanks for sharing,
Gives me some great ideas for visiting my daughter in college in Colorado!
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #25
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Nice! We used to live just outside of Tijeras, now in Gunnison. We know most of that route, but haven't done it yet on a motorcycle. Great trip report. Makes me want to get out there.
Gunnison eh? I loved the riding through the Cochetopa hills. The scenery was fantastic and there was virtually no one around. I had laid out an alternate route cutting from 114 right at the top of where the twisties through the canyon start over to Hartman's Rocks coming in on CR38 but I don't know if it would have worked. I really enjoyed exploring that area and I am certain there will be other trips.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:01 PM   #26
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Moab in the summer

Man, was it hot there last summer! But you are right, it is a nice place, though we did no off-road stuff. Wear your mesh suit!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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Man, what a great report!!! I've run the pavement sections you were on, but a sportbike is not quite suited for the dirt & passes, although I've been on a few. I did Grand Mesa for the first time last year--what a great ride. That one out of La Sal to Naturita isn't bad either. Ate at that store & camped across the street.

Thanks again, you have some great riding areas there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:21 PM   #28
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Cool trip and a nice report. My wife and I went to Moab for our honeymoon. Lots of great riding in Utah and Colorado. We can't wait to get the bike back to that area.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:54 AM   #29
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Great report! I have ridden some of those roads. Love it"
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:38 PM   #30
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How do you 2 get along....
she zings you about your broken doo-hickey
you zing her for her air cooling
she zings back saying it's oil cooled not air cooled
you zing her back about 3rd gear blow ups
I just wasn't aware KLR's and DR could exist on the same ride....this is special. Maybe, just maybe the rest of us could learn from you to and stop the fighting, the thread hijacking and just accpet they are both good bikes.


Seriously though....good report.
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