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Old 10-01-2011, 09:40 AM   #1
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Thank You BigDog, Cannonshot, Docking Pilot...

...Dingweed, 10Cup, Byways and everybody else who shared their CDR knowledge and experience on this forum. You each contributed to my decision to try the route, which we just completed last week. Probably the best ride I've attempted so far.

I have been on many memorable motorcycle adventures aboard my KTM twin, but I thought I'd need something smaller as I expected to be solo. My twin is all I can do to lift after flopping it, so last January I bought a little Yamaha from an inmate here.

After re-reading all the WR250 tips posted, I set about doing the appropriate mods for such an endeavor. These mods were mostly about improving comfort, fuel range and safety. Last on my list was learning how to use the Garmin 60Csx with Cannonshot's Tracks. It took me two days of navigatiing the CDR to figure it out. Now I'm pretty dense with these fancy gizmo's, but I thoroughly enjoyed my personal Garmin 'revelation' long about 'The Parting of the Ways'... Such a sweet victory


This is not a ride report in the classic sense. It is just a pictorial thanks to those here who contributed to my discovery of this great ride. It is such a gift! Those that have run the route will relate, while those that have not might try it some day

As an additional gift for me, a childhood friend decided to join me on this ride aboard his KLR. He trailered from CA, while I shipped my WR from Boston to Salt Lake, where we met up for our ride through history.

Steve and I have shared most of our various escapades for about fifty years, so it was special to share this one too. We've seen a lot of water pass under the bridge together. Lots of water...

Since the CDR has been so thoroughly covered here these past two seasons, I'll just post up a few pics, of which most should be quite familiar to you.

Picking up the WR at the SLC Terminal. $541 from Boston and took 8 days:


The weather was fantastic and the colors were high:


You know these roads well. They were mostly 35-60mph and well maintained:



Docking Pilot and 10Cup helped us find some history. Also thanks to Byways!







A few more miles down that historical trail:




South Pass (the real one) is the low in the skyline just left of the hillock. In the middleground, you can see the old Oregon Trail heading towards the pass:


Another famous landmark looked for by the pioneers:




One of nine notorious wagon crossings of the Sweetwater River between South Pass and Lander:


Another Sweetwater crossing:



The 'Big Empty', Riverview Cutoff Road. Maybe 190 miles between gas. Lots of big game through here. Big herds of Antelope and even Elk:




And suddenly the landscape changed! You'll know this place:






Colorado is loaded with beaver dams! I wonder if beaver hats come back?


Of course, everybody knows this little crossing. We angst about it for a few hours, when I suddenly rounded a turn going too fast and barely stopped in time using all my front brake! Turned out to be a breeze and we could have blasted it. Good bottom with maybe a little hole or two in the middle/near side. That's why a 21 inch front wheel is nice. Also, it's good to have Steve along for these things because he likes to go first when encountering a potential hazard :


After such encounters he's entitled to a little ...And I do my part too

More in a minute. I should load these before I lose them.
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Pantah screwed with this post 10-01-2011 at 04:53 PM
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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There was a section of forest service road closed to us between Colorado 134 and the Colorado River Crossing at Radium. This was not the fake closures by loggers that we simply rode through. This one had the road entrance removed from access at Hwy 134. We tried walking through it to find a path but no soap.

Not wanting to miss the Colorado river crossing, we slabbed it to Kremmling so we could ride down CR 1 to the Radium Bridge, see the river, and come back out the same way. Turns out not to be such such a detour so it worked out:

High above the Colorado River from a view point on CR1:


That's the Southern Pacific road bed down there alongside the CO river:


The town of Radium as photographed from the little bridge crossing the river. You can see the SP tracks right in front:


Not sure what Radium is for. There is a campground there and the fly fishermen were there in force:


It was on that little Radium Bridge we encountered our first instance of...ahem...uh...er...bike trouble.

I won't go into it, but it all worked out with barely an hour's delay.


Boreas Pass and its narrow gage depot. Amazing what they did back in the day...and why:




The pass was quite rough and narrow up there for a short section, and the pick'em'up trucks gave us no room from the cliffside edge. Steve almost caught a side mirror in the chest fer chrissakes... I guess those people own the road. It was nice and wide here, though:


Descending from Boreas Pass into Como:



We were hungry and tired. We roll into the dirt road micro town of Como and shock! A sign with an arrow pointed out an old RR Depot building advertising a "Pub", "Great Food"...and "Very Nice Rooms". I slammed on my brakes and Steve slid up alongside and asked what I thought... I thought the sign looked good... What a treat the Como Depot B&B turned out to be! And by dinner/drinking hour, they were buzzing too!



So we walked in and there she was in all her glory! Moya her ownself, fresh from Berkeley : As we say in Beantown, Moya is a hot ticket... She joined us sipping her glass of wine and chatted us up for our fun. We had the fun and in a flash she was off..





Lets go check our room:




David and Moya own the place and are steadily restoring it. We were lucky we got a room because its a big time stop for the CDT bicyclists coming down from Canada. They have an excellent staff and their facilities are terrifically genuine. www.comodepot.com. They really picked up at the dinner hour so don't be late! Get this: room with 2 queen beds and breakfast for 2; $89. No continental breakast eaither. Made to order for sitting down at the time you pick...and don't be late!

I better load this stuff. Back in a minute
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Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
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"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013

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Old 10-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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The ride south out of Como was pretty special. It starts out a plain, but then rises into the mountains guarding Salida like a fortress. On the way through we saw plenty of dashed dreams from the early settlers:






Past Salida, we did a short blast towrds Poncha Pass and picked up the road over Marshall Pass. Lots of quads along there:




It was on the next dirt section after Marshall Pass we had our second bike issue. Caked air filter:


Waddawegunnado now? No problemo for Captain McGiver... he whips out his camp stove and cleans his filter with white gass. Then he dug up some spare oil from the depths of his talibag and presto! Instant horsepoweR with an H...

Its a good thing too...


The ride into the dirt road microtown of La Garita was spectacular. It was a miles long boxlike canyon right out of Butch Cassidy:


The La Garita gas and cafe must've had these guys on the payroll:


The next section was our last day on the CDR together. At Chama, Steve went east to Taos and I went west to Cave Creek, AZ. In many ways this section was the best and the hardest. We climbed high ridglines and down the other side time after time. The roads were mostly rough with big babyheads. They were fast enough to catch you out and slow enough to irritate.

The roads we traversed were beautiful and never before had Colorado seemed such a vertical landscape:




Along this route Steve spied a jeep trail that looked to top out on a mountain. A big one not so far above us. We talked it over and true to form, he led me up the mountain on rocky 2 track.

Steve seemed to motor right up with his loaded KLR, while I was taking my time picking my way through the rocks. Still, the little WR seemed pretty capable and the front rolled over the worst easy enough. I had trouble at our first switchback. Like most you have also encountered on such roads, the switch is most heavy with roller rocks and there is no room to manuever. I was slipping my clutch to make the uphill turn and kept thinking about Dingweed losing his clutch in the NM mud. Anyways, she kept on going and I made it easy enough to the next switchback. I stopped there and got the bike turned in the flat section the jeeps use to make their V turn. I waited for Steve to come down and eventually he did and full of smiles. A little more was in order and so was my



My GPS says my top was 12,361 feet. The view was something to see:


Steve's top was two more switchbacks above me he said was 12,600 feet. The view was the top of the world for 360 degrees.

The ride down seemed like nothing, so it couldn't have been that steep a grade. I could just roll over the boulders with nary an upset once. Oh well, I had my chance at finally getting to the top and muffed it...

Not really, though. Steve often tops when we are faced with physical risk challenges. Afterall, there isn't much left to discover about ourselves after fifty years of sharing! It's a good thing always.

So that was the end of it for us. It was a great ride and I'd like to try it again from the south up. I'd also like to try Docking Pilot's tracks through Dinosaur Park and camp at Echo Canyon. Maybe try his Union Pacific trail to Promentory Point.

Thanks again to everybody who shared their work with the rest of us. It made for a memorable trip we won't forget.

Our best to you all

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Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
"One day closer to a parade..." Jonny Gomes, spring training 2013

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Old 10-01-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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Your welcome

Boy---sounds like and looks like you guys had a great time and a great ride.

I'll never forget----it was 2003 I think----I read an article in American Motorcyclists magazine about this thing
they call the continental divide route---never heard of it.

It was written by Clement Salvadori----world famous adventure traveler.

He said it was the best ride he had ever taken---and it was right here in the good ole' USA.
I was astounded that this man who has ridden all over the earth saying it was his best ride ever.

I don't think there were any gps tracks floating around at that time------until I found them on the bicyclists website.

I put that into a route I could follow on my old Garmin gps III and rode it the next year---and I recorded my gps tracks
and dropped lots of waypoints for stuff-----and hundreds have ridden it since.
I got a lot of my routing info from the bicyclists book "Cycling The Great Divide"-------I still got that booked and it's all
marked up and highlighted on every page.

The rest is history and one of the best motorcycling memories I have.

And---thanks for the thanks-----really something special to share.

Now I'm waiting for someone to ride the new--------" Mexico to Canada" route me and Dingweed created that is West of the CDR. To this day I know of
no one who has tried it since we rode it in 2010---the tracks were in that ride report---that ride is not big bike friendly--in fact all of it couldn't
be done on a big bike-----quite a bit of it you'd need a plated dirt bike.

You guys ought to be the first.

BigDog
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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Ha Ha Ha...Mark, you are the source for us, so thanks again for your sharing. I assure you I will try parts of your AZ-Canada trail. Just not sure I will go end to end like you and Dingweed! I mean I would have to live in AZ to try that ...or be retired. The latter sounds promissing, though.

But you give us a peep at the possibilities for our dreams and the means to execute them. Thanks, Mang...

-P
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:21 AM   #7
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Steve's Pics

Steve sent me a CD with his pics. I thought I'd load them up.

Taking a snap of an Oregon Trail marker just east of the Sublette Cutoff. The road to the right is the McCann Ranch road running north.


This is the same spot looking west down the Oregon Trail. This part had quite a few soft spots all the way west to Farson. I imagine the mud could get pretty bad:


About half way between Farson and Atlantic City there is a turnout on HWY 28 with a view of the actual South Pass. This pic is standing on that turnout. South Pass is the low on the horizon left of the hill. In the foreground you can see a trail heading generally towards the Pass. I rode south off the turnout and picked up that trail. It turned out to be the Oregon Trail so we followed it east towards the Sweetwater River.


Steve at the Twin Mounds. There were lots of markers along the Oregon Trail through here. We didn't have tracks for it and it was generally a collection of routes rather than one road. We generally stayed on the path that looked most travelled and it generally worked.




This is the Trail looking east. We are nearing the Sweetwater river. We had to get permission to stay on the Trail as it crossed a private ranch. Not too many miles past here we got lost and ended up bushwacking due east along a fence. We knew the Riverview Cutoff wasn't too far ahead but we were too far down the road to back track. Pretty soon we could see the Cutoff, but there was another fence. Fortunately there was a gate so after scouting a pasture, we cut through a herd of cattle and were on our way to Rawlins across the Big Empty:
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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More Steve's Pics

South of Rawlins maybe 70 miles the land turned lush


Aspen Alley


Fall in the Rockies


Boreas Pass




Marshall Pass


More as soon as smuggy comes back up
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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Last Pics

Coming down from one of the passes. I think this is Marshall Pass


I am pretty sure this is a Superfund site high in the Rockies of southern CO. There was a massive mine there at one time. That water is a series of reservoirs created by beaver dams. We saw beaver dams everywhere. They made quite a comeback.



This is a natural mountan. The color is from the metals leeching I think.



We came across plenty of random things...


Steve sent me some vids too, but I don't know how to post them. The best is him taking a 360 vid from the top of Greyback Mountain. 12,612 feet up.

It was a great trip. Everybody should do it at least once.

-P
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