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Old 09-02-2006, 12:13 AM   #1
katbeanz OP
earthbound misfit, I
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Location: Kansas City
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18th Annual Colorado 600

Apologies in advance to the CO 500 guys. My buddy Larry and I were just out in Colorado for our annual trip. We started in Poncha Springs as a base staying at the Poncha Lodge where I met Advrider Snuffy on his 1150 GS. Hi Snuffy.
On our arrival in Salida late saturday we noticed a dusting of fresh snow on the mountains and some accumulation on the edges of the highway. Sunday morning was a little cooler than we anticipated, starting with a run up Monarch to Old Monarch. It was pretty foggy and had me wishing I had opted for my street helmet. Getting down into the valley floor the sun was trying to peek out, so we continued on towards Black Sage where I took a video of Larry tripling the posted limit.

Continuing on we crossed Waunita to pass thru the town of Pitkin and on across Cumberland to Tin Cup. We stopped in at the Taylor Park trading post for a bit and headed north to Italian Creek "Road". We waited at the base of American Flag meeting a group of KTM's on their way down. If you look closely you can see Larry atop the summit, this was a lame attempt at recreating a Weber shot I admired.


Another from American Flag.

We headed back down towards the trading post where I hit reserve at 109 miles. After fueling up at Taylor we backtracked to Tincup and crossed Tin Cup Pass. It was my intention to run up Mt. Antero again but I wimped out with only 170 miles for the day. We hadn't been taking many pictures since we have seen it all before and having too much fun riding.
Day two we donned our street helmets for a highway run down to Villa Grove and up the road to Bonanza. Bonanza has a few OHV interpretive trails that would be super for an adventure bike, the old otto mears toll road is a favorite of mine too. A few years ago I had came into Bonanza on a trail from Round Mtn. I had later read that during Bonanza's boom days the house of ill repute had been at the top of a hill. I recalled seeing a small shack on my earlier trip that fit the description but with a bunch of no trespassing signs. I thought it would make a cool picture, taken from the road of course.
I wasn't able to find it due to some mine remediation work that had rearranged the hillside demolishing a bunch of old structures.
Lots of survey flags, warning signs and berms dozed up "blocking" the trail. This was to be a short day anyway making the move to Ouray right after the jeep jamboree.
The old Otto Mears toll road was still fun, just off it is a part of the rainbow trail west of 285 that you don't hear much about. It's a bit much for a dualsport, the memory of falling headfirst down a ravine trying to make a 270 degree turn kind of sticks with you so we passed on i this time.
Some pics from Bonanza, this one is slaughterhouse gulch.

For you Jo Mommicans.

Larry sends his regards.

More Bonanza

So it was back to Poncha with only 80 miles in and loaded heading to Ouray.
Stopping for gas in Gunnison a couple guys were talking about an Osprey doing manuevers, I tried to get a picture while we were moving but about all I got was blue sky, have to look real close. Thanks to JM I did get to make a comment about, "let osprey it stays in the sky".

On the way to Ouray.

Arriving in Ouray we checked into the Timberridge Motel and got a warm greeting from the owner Rick, "oh, not you @$%*ers again".
Just kidding, real cool guy. He always offers to take us on a jeep tour in his beater blazer he uses with his hunting guide business, someday when we're not blessed with perfect weather we'll take him up on it.


Day three started bright and early around 10am after a super breakfast at Maggies kitchen out behind the motel in the campground and fueling up at the Timberridge Texaco. Real nice folks run it too.
We headed south on 550, the million dollar highway, and ran up Engineer. I had read that some folks were upset there's been a bunch of dirt dumped on it making it too easy. My pinch flatted front tire 7 miles from the motel with an HD tube, half a bottle of slime and 26 psi tells me they haven't ruined it, or I should slow down, nahhh!
We stopped at the north end of Poughkeepsie Gulch and improvised a bike stand with building materials in abundance.
I've heard gals say a true friend will keep your hair out of the toilet while doing the technicolor yawn. For guys I think it's more like, will patiently balance your bike while you fiddle with fixing a flat after you've heaved the heavy S.O.B. up on a big rock for the third time and help you find the right combination of shimming rocks to almost balance it.

Got er done in 20 minutes or so, no threat to the ISDE guys, a patched spare front tube and a whole can of fix a flat doing the inflation duties. Guess I need to pick up some CO2 cartridges one of these days.

The upper parts of Engineer had some recent grading work done, hardly any ruts. We didn't stop at the summit, too into it, and headed on down to Lake City. I looked around at the Polaris dealer/ gas station for another tube but all they had was rear tubes in every conceivable size, being a bit of a tightwad I had them patch the HD tube and used their air to bump up the pressure to 32psi.
We headed on towards Cinnamon, with confidence restored ripping it up pretty good. Reaching the summit on the gas and too embarrassed to stop after scaring a few tourists at the far end drifting around the last turn we continued on to Animas Forks.
A KLR guy gave us a smiling knowing nod as we putted past and we took it easy until we got out of roost range, sigh.
Stopped in Animas Forks for a bit and visited with some folks from NC.

Gas in Silverton then over Ophir Pass and barely into the town of Ophir when I noticed my tool bag missing. It's an old tankbag Larry gave me after my first one wore out. Heading back up the pass I put the word out with a couple jeep guys that I was looking for it.
Some kind soul had found it and left it at the summit, all the zippers open but nothing missing except for my tire irons. It may have blown the zippers on impact and scattered the contents. The main thing I was worried about was my registration and insurance card. A set of tire irons is pretty cheap for my stupid tax, triple bungeed in place we continued on to come around through Telluride and back to Ouray over Imogene.

Day four we headed out about 9am up Imogene, stopped at the east summit and I got a little video of how my bike runs at 13k when jetted for 8k.

Not A "Bender" helmet, duct tape residue, and not Brokeback, dammit!

It's hard to do a flug pose with a mx helmet on.

Wish I had more of these, look a chicken!

When I caught up to Larry he was off the bike and stretched out having a siesta. Back down thru Telluride and into Ophir obeying the posted speeds, at the edge of Ophir we passed an H2 and it was back on the gas.
We were tooling along pretty good with Larry leading and coming out of the trees it looked like Larry had put 1/4 mile between us.
I rounded a turn about where the really steep scree slopes start and saw a bike down with the rider laying across it at the edge of a very steep slope. At first I wondered where that bike came from, then realized it was Larry. I was in disbelief that my mentor could crash. He was OK, just his pride and a couple scrapes. A badly bent clutch lever, tweaked forks, tweaked shifter, turnsignal and a couple paint chips in his stock tank. I was too worried to dig the camera out right away and helped him get it picked up.

Handy trees for tweaked triple clamps.

We decided to head back to town, maybe use the service station's vise, or see if my honda lever might fit. He got it straightened well enough in his reciever hitch, not perfect, but as far as we dared without mild heat.
We went back south on 550 and headed up Corkscrew Gulch, about halfway up I noticed a bike part easily identified as off a DR650 and not the first time I had seen one on the ground. He went back to get it and I stuck it in my pack thinking we might run into whoever lost it. We went across Hurricane and California passes and down into Animas Forks across Cinnamon to Lake City. Back across Engineer with a stop contemplating the hike down to Whitmore Falls. A couple ladies stopped for a visit and headed down the footpath to the falls.

We headed back to Ouray over Engineer.
Day Five we planned to head up to Nederland for a one day ride on Friday, but the weather forecast wasn't looking good at all. We had enjoyed four days of exceptional riding weather. My cousin was expecting me to drop by for a visit in Grand Junction, Hi Lora and David!
A short visit with my cousin and we headed out on I-70 to "save time". I think everything west of denver had orange barrels, but my driving stint wasn't until after denver. Left GJ 10am mt time to get back in KC nearly 1 am cst, another bout of loading and unloading had me home at 1:45.
A big Thanks to Larry for another great time, Radical and Troy Wolf, you guys will have to join us next year!

katbeanz screwed with this post 09-11-2006 at 07:10 PM
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:48 AM   #2
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So nice... ... Ouray.. ya... that's the place to be

Great report
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by katbeanz
Radical and Troy Wolf, you guys will have to join us next year!
I don't know what my problem is. Why didn't I just say "yes"?! I've got the next 2 months booked up with 1 to 4 day rides, but 2007 will be my year to ride Colorado. Thanks for the photos and report, katbeanz!
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:34 PM   #4
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:42 PM   #5
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Looks like another great ride in Colorado!
Save $5 off your smugmug account with this coupon( 1qoLJk8tfsGWM )
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
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great ride and documentation guys. WOW.

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Old 09-10-2006, 07:32 AM   #7
Sod Buster
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Nice report, looks like you had a great time.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:46 PM   #8
katbeanz OP
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Thanks Guys, had a real good time! I'd like to be out there now for the aspen fall colors.

Larry got a few pictures to add, but sadly I think we killed another camera.

Larry on American Flag Mountain

Somewhere down there is Taylor Reservoir


Off of Ophir pass.

Imogene Pass

Another from Imogene

One more from Imogene.

Some mountain goats on Cinnamon.

katbeanz screwed with this post 09-12-2006 at 05:07 PM
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:49 PM   #9
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Just gorgeous!!
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