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Old 09-07-2010, 12:46 PM   #136
woody's wheel works
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looking forward to your return and...

hey ,,,just a quick note ..kudos for such a splendid job documenting your time in my back yard,,,dang makes me just want to hop on my bike and replicate your route,,,that territory up their smells mighty fine too..

look don't wait til next year,,,the aspen will be turning toward the end of this month /early october....then you'll get the 'gold tour' primo stuff my mates!!!

w
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:12 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by woody's wheel works
hey ,,,just a quick note ..kudos for such a splendid job documenting your time in my back yard,,,dang makes me just want to hop on my bike and replicate your route,,,that territory up their smells mighty fine too..

look don't wait til next year,,,the aspen will be turning toward the end of this month /early october....then you'll get the 'gold tour' primo stuff my mates!!!

w
Cool thanks Woody, I was wondering when we should go back. The time period we were there was good weather, kinda rainy but a little bland. I want to try maybe with a bit more snow and flowers (earlier) or like you said with the forest turning colors (later in the year). I was hesitant to schedule too early or late because I didn't want the passes to be blocked off due to snow!
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #138
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That morning I planned out our route and we started off. On the menu for today was Ophir Pass (as a connection route) and Imogene Pass. Imogene Pass is supposed to be one of the most scenic and adventurous passes here. It is the tallest pass in the San Juan mountains too.



The BMW is accumulating a bit of dirt now, today will cake on some more since it is raining and muddy in spots. I was surprised that the rain did not affect the trail quality, if anything it may have helped us by keeping the dust down.








We make quick time up Ophir Pass... We are only using it as a connection route to Imogene and since we have already done the pass we haul ass.


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Old 09-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #139
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Chris at Ophir... I stopped for a quick picture at the top, neither one of us got off the bikes. I bet if you could see through his visor his expression says "why did you stop? lets go!". I feel the same way and we are off in a flash.







The rain is coming onto us fast. We make it into the forest below the tree line before it starts coming down but we have to put on rain gear. This picture is looking into the Ophir valley from the pass... our direction of travel.



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Old 09-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #140
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On the way to Telluride we hit a trail called Alta Lakes. There is a camp ground at the end of this short trail and a relatively in tact ghost town. The trail is very easy and winds through a nice aspen forest. This would be the perfect place to view some fall colors.


It was still raining hard and we didn't take in too much scenery because visibility was poor.







Chris at the lakes of Alta Lakes, we didn't spend much time up there.


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Old 09-07-2010, 08:37 PM   #141
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Thanks for the great RR...subsribed!!
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:09 PM   #142
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Thanks hvilla! More to come...



We depart from Alta lakes and make our way slowly to Telluride.


I had heard of Telluride mostly from researching this trip but recently I found that what we experienced isn't far from the norm. We soon found ourselves in the middle of a hippie festival in an overpriced quaint mountain town. Some band called Phish was playing but we only wanted to ride the mountain pass.


It was pouring rain as we entered the city, we parked illegally at first to try and find some food. We thought better of getting a ticket here and spend another 15 minutes finding a parking spot. After scouting out several overpriced lunch spots we finally settled on a crappy Italian joint we couldn't escape without forking over at least $60... The cooler looking pizza joint next door had a line down the block. If you ask me for my two cents worth Silverton is way cooler for dual sport riders.

We hung out in the restaurant, soaking wet and smelling like 5 day old campers, until the clouds rolled by giving us a break in the weather.




View from the street where we first parked... waiting for the weather.


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Old 09-07-2010, 10:26 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX

Chris at the lakes of Alta Lakes, we didn't spend much time up there.


Nice pic.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #144
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Thanks Bob! I like that picture because it shows the rain well and Chris' expression displays the anticipation of the ride ahead.




In town Chris looks over his bike real quick and notices he has a few loose bolts. He has to go to the hardware store to buy an Allen wrench to tighten the bolt on his kick stand. Why am I not surprised...


Here he is kicking the Allen wrench to tighten the bolt.







He discovers his front axle screws are also loose.



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Old 09-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #145
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Then we started on the trail. It goes right out of town in the middle of some houses and starts up the side of the mountain. The trail is pretty rocky and loose at the start and it is not easy to stop for pictures.













A close-up of the water running down the rock and over the road.


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Old 09-08-2010, 01:16 PM   #146
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We come up to a cool spot where we can look across the valley and see the switchbacks from Black Bear Pass. I had spent some time looking at this on google earth so I knew exactly where we were. At this point the trail had already been very rough and I was happy to stop for a while.


Bike pic:






There happened to be a neat tunnel right at that spot. You could tell they couldn't go around the rock and decided it would be easier to go through instead. This was the only tunnel like this we saw the entire trip.






We watched some jeeps try to navigate the tight switchbacks of Black Bear Pass. I didn't have an idea of where the difficult part was and most of what we saw looked relatively easy. Time to focus on the trail we were on, it was only going to get harder!

Black Bear Pass in the distance:




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Old 09-08-2010, 01:34 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
Chris doing his best impression of the GS...
Or maybe he always looks like this and the GS is doing an impression of him

Haha! LOVE this pic Great impression, both of you...


Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
If you ask me for my two cents worth Silverton is way cooler for dual sport riders.

We hung out in the restaurant, soaking wet and smelling like 5 day old campers, until the clouds rolled by giving us a break in the weather.
BigWan and I blew through Telluride - it was packed full of jeeps, pirates and yuppies when we were there. I snapped photos on the move, so we didn't even have to slow down. Instead, we waited out the rain in the Conoco station down the road.
I'm sure you guys had a MUCH nicer lunch than we did, but now I don't feel so bad about not stopping. $60!!


The most difficult part of Black Bear doesn't really show in that picture - the steps are further up and to the left (hidden behind that other mountainy thing)...

Edit - wait, didn't you DO Black Bear pass, too? Oh, sorry. I guess that was part of the suspense... I'm a jackass

I had some questions about your camera, but I'll save them for later...

Anyway, amazing pics - looking forward to MORE passes...!

LittleWan screwed with this post 09-08-2010 at 01:46 PM
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWan

BigWan and I blew through Telluride - it was packed full of jeeps, pirates and yuppies when we were there. I snapped photos on the move, so we didn't even have to slow down. Instead, we waited out the rain in the Conoco station down the road.
I'm sure you guys had a MUCH nicer lunch than we did, but now I don't feel so bad about not stopping. $60!!


The most difficult part of Black Bear doesn't really show in that picture - the steps are further up and to the left (hidden behind that other mountainy thing)...

Edit - wait, didn't you DO Black Bear pass, too? Oh, sorry. I guess that was part of the suspense... I'm a jackass

I had some questions about your camera, but I'll save them for later...

Anyway, amazing pics - looking forward to MORE passes...!
Hey man thanks for the comment! There will definitely be more cool pass pics, lots of Imogene because the weather was amazing at that point.


We did Black Bear pass lol and when I was posting the picture I looked at it trying to figure out where the hard part was. I figured it was off to the left but I couldn't be certain but now that you mention it I do believe it is not visible from that location. It is a strange feeling when you are looking at a distant trail or mountain in real life, sizing it up and wondering what it will be like to conquer it. For me finally looking at Black Bear Pass eased some of my worries because it looked like the majority of the switch backs would be easy... its one thought that helped me get over the pass when the going got rough (foreshadowing )
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #149
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Chris took a short walk through the tunnel but I don't know if he has any good photos to show for it (I know he took a lot at this point). Time to head out before a group of jeeps we passed at the start catches up to us (the jeeps were always super slow compared to us).








A short distance later we come across this small shack on the side of the cliff. It looked like it was about to fall over the edge and I left without knowing what it was for except that the people who used it for shelter must have known a very solitary lifestyle up here.


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Old 09-08-2010, 05:42 PM   #150
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There were lots of puddles on the road from the very recent and heavy rain but the road was not muddy. Large embedded rocks were everywhere along with smaller loose rocks, sometimes I found it easier to bounce over the larger rocks instead of taking the loose stuff.

Much to my alarm (whenever I realized what I was doing) I gravitated towards riding the small outside line on the cliff. On almost all the trails there was a small 1/2 foot to 1 foot line directly on the edge of the cliff that was clear and smooth compared to the rocky interior. Maybe this line develops because the jeeps can't see the edge from the driver seat and don't dare go near it? My tires came several times within a hairs width of certain doom and I began to try riding the larger rocks inside.



Here is a section of the trail that is supported by retaining walls... I am sure other areas are just as likely to crumble at a moments notice.









This is one of the old buildings over 12,000 ft close to the top of the mountain. I didn't know it at the time but you can see the top of the pass from here. If you look at the lowest point in the ridge line of the mountain you will see a reddish orange glow of the soil. This is directly below the pass and appears spectacularly in one of my favorite pictures (to be seen later).



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