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Old 08-22-2010, 09:43 PM   #16
EnderTheX OP
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We decide to head up one of the road outside of camp. This road goes to the Bandora mine. It starts immediately outside of camp, winding through a forest and bursting out on the mountainside about the tree line. There are a good bit of rocks and I find myself well ahead of Chris and wondering where he is. I eventually turn around and Chris is having bike problems, we decide to roll back down to camp.




Chris heads back to get some tools and I tell him I will take a quick run down the smooth dirt road to 550.






I feel great riding the bike in this crisp air, I decide to go further. I head up 550 back past Silverton and up to one of the higher points. My F800GS is running great but is lacking some power, seems fine though. On the way back to camp it starts to get dark and gets cold really fast, I casually flip on the heated grips… I love my BMW!


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Old 08-23-2010, 08:29 AM   #17
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When I got back to camp I was not too surprised to see several parts of Chris' bike and his tool bag scattered on the gravel floor. At this point he thought the issues were electrical because he had installed some heated grips before we left and they were not working correctly. I subscribe to the mantra of no major changes before long trips.






The rain finally caught up with us.






Everyone is back safe and sound huddled under the canopy. Is it going to be like this every day? Note: My bike looks like its about to fall, the rain was softening the ground but I was too tired to find a rock at the moment.


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Old 08-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #18
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We had to prepare the wet wood under the canopy to start a fire. Chris likes to set up "one match" fires but it would be quite a challenge this week. Later on in the week we had enough of the wet wood and began to resort to "one match with a paper towel and oil" fires.









I'm assuming this is some sort of rain dance. Maybe he was trying to connect with the bike by wearing the fairing... Be the KTM, think like the KTM... If I was a KTM why would I be stalling?


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Old 08-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #19
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I just came back from riding in that area.. YFF should check out Crystal Lake near Silverton on your bikes. It's a lot easier than doing Imogene Pass, and there's nobody at the top. Great ride and pics
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:23 PM   #20
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Day 2 (Sunday)


On Sunday I woke up feeling like I had gone 9 rounds with a heavyweight boxer. My head and chest were sore and I couldn't breathe. Just walking to the truck and back felt like I was running a mile. I was definitely in the grips of severe altitude sickness.


The morning was really pretty though...





I spent the day doing this... I felt bad because Chris was ready to ride but he took the opportunity to further sort his bike and took a couple side trips on the local roads. I gave him my SPOT unit to use but there usually were plenty of people on all the roads where we were riding. I tried to choke down as much Pedialite and water as I could and get some rest.






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Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
I just came back from riding in that area.. YFF should check out Crystal Lake near Silverton on your bikes. It's a lot easier than doing Imogene Pass, and there's nobody at the top. Great ride and pics
Hi GB, we didn't see Crystal Lake on our maps but we did camp directly under the Clear Lake trail near Silverton. The picture below highlights the town, Clear lake and our campsite. Now that I'm am typing this I'm thinking this may not be what you are referring to because there were a ton of people at this Clear Lake (really pretty). If you have more info please post it or send me something because we plan to return to keep riding more passes!!!

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:35 PM   #22
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It IS Clear Lake, not Crystal Lake .. Here's my son:


The setting is gorgeous and the traffic is light when we got up there. Getting up to Imogene Pass, well, let's say they need some traffic lights up there Some folks just don't understand that those going UP have the right of way.. too many idiots driving rented Jeeps trying to make it to the top.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:47 PM   #23
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Thumb Great Start to what looks to be an AWESOME RR!!!

Chris and Oliver,
Looks like an AWESOME RR in the making! SUBSCRIBED!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:25 PM   #24
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I slowly wake up to a bright sun filtering through the trees on to my tent, I'm no early riser, but Oliver is... he should have woken me up. Oliver is also not a patient person; he isn't going to sit around waiting for my lazy ass to climb out of bed. As I'm sorting out where I am and if Oliver decided to leave with out me I hear groans coming from across camp and the un mistakable sound of sleeping bag... Oliver isn't awake yet! As I slowly decide if I should get up; I hear a less than enthusiastic voice asking me if I'm up, Uhoh. I make my way out of my tent and Oliver lays out his situation: not feeling well, headache, no energy, aches, and a certain exit port is not happy... Joy! We suspect the altitude is playing tricks and Oliver starts the hydration process (perhaps over hydration process), as all the locals say fluids fluids fluids.

So at this point he's reclined in the camp chair as seen above and he starts requesting breakfast, water, pedialite, and various other items... This is feeling a little too much like a relationship- I'm concerned.

Oliver decides to nap and I decide to tackle the jeep trails near by to make sure yesterday's fix was an actual fix.

…I guess I should expand slightly on the previous day's problem. Basically it acted like it ran out of fuel (I had half a tank at least) as I pulled up hill on real rough sections. The engine would die down to a WEAK idle and any throttle would cause the engine to die. I'd search for an issue, not find anything obvious, restart the bike (it would start fine after a period of time) start going slowly, everything would be OK, then I'd get more aggressive on some up hill bumpy section and it'd die down to an idle again. Crazy... I notice the wires I had routed for the heated grips had shifted a lot and a few were TIGHT. I figured maybe something here was pulling an ignition wire loose orrr something? No idea, so I limped back to camp and re routed a bunch of wires...

OK back to shaking the bike down. I top off my tank with a splash of gas (thats some literary foreshadowing for you high brow folk; bmw owners, I’m looking in your direction... ) and hit the trails. I hit all the steep bumpy inclines that caused problems yesterday with fury and vigor, problems solved! Huzzah! I'm shocked that it was electrical (ha), but its not acting up, this trip is ON!

Once my brain stops worrying about my damned transport I'm immediately stunned by the beauty of the mountains. I had been many times as a kid, but I guess I had always taken the beauty for granted. Here I am 25 (or am I 26, hell) and I'm damn near breathless... or maybe this is just the altitude, I am high after all...

The first trail I take is up the valley out of camp towards Bandora Mine. It’s a real easy trail and it’s a great intro to Colorado riding.











Marmots!


Once I return to camp I’m EXCITED, oh man, its so damned pretty! I saw a mine and marmots and a creek crossing or two and a waterfall and and and… Oliver still wasn’t feeling well and for some reason didn’t share my enthusiasm…



I don’t think that was a regular ADV salute…
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #25
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After some more catering to Oliver’s needs, a meal, and a quick rainstorm I decided to go on and tackle Clear Lake Trail, which is also very near camp. I hop on and head out, again alone, while Oliver rests more.

This trial is quite a bit longer than Bandora Mine (although still short), and offers my first taste of switchbacks and cliffs. This trail worked perfectly as a 2nd intro into Colorado riding; not too technical, and very pretty. I guess I should stop calling trails pretty, really. If you’re in the mountains, it’s pretty. From here on out all trails are pretty as a default and I will qualify them as exceptionally pretty, or not pretty. That being said, Clear Lake is exceptionally pretty.

Riding up, just breaking above the tree line.




Somewhere back there is camp, I believe the road you see is leading up to Bandora Mine.


Clear Lake! (Gadget Boy, I found your son’s rock, He’s strangely missing…)




(note the very subtle trail going from up and to the right along the rocks ahead there, I can tell from below that it dead ends, but I’m at 11,900 feet by the lake, I want 12k)
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:31 PM   #26
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This trail goes no further… at least not for the sane.


Clear Lake below, and I’m at 12,200 feet! Success!




Just before I turn around, my greatest fear is realized… I’ve wandered directly into one of the most dangerous situations you can find in Colorado… The dreaded Marmot Den…


The Marmot’s (also known as widow makers) are the most fierce and territorial creature above the tree line. We were constantly fighting these creatures off the entire trip.




Headed back down, <3 switchbacks


Time to go back to camp, I hope Oliver is feeling better…
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbound4Max
Chris and Oliver,
Looks like an AWESOME RR in the making! SUBSCRIBED!!!!!!
Sean
Hi Sean, thanks for the comment! We are just getting started into the good stuff!



DAY 2 (MONDAY)


Well after an ultra crappy day of fighting altitude sickness I awake on Monday feeling good enough to get on the bike and ride.

We start off checking the book for routes that are close and provide a loop we can do before it gets dark. We decide on an agressive schedule to do Bandora Mine, Clear Lake, Ophir Pass and Bolam Pass. The book we have is for jeeps and the trails have descriptions, instructions and ratings related to 4 wheeled vehicles. I don't exactly understand how the difficulty rating correlates to motorcycles and we soon find out that something rated "difficulty 2" for a 4x4 can be harder on a motorcycle than something rated "difficulty 4" for a 4x4. We figure part of the reason for the rating discrepancy is that large bumpy rocks on a forest road is "easy" for a 4x4 but not for a bike and tight switchbacks on mountain shelf roads is "hard" for a 4x4 but a breeze for the bikes.



So we start off on the Bandora Mine Trail. Chris had ridden Bandora and Clear Lake yesterday so you can see some of his pics above. This trail literally goes directly out of the campground and quickly winds through a short forest section and then blasts across the mountainside as a rocky strait road, no switchbacks. My bike is taking a pounding on the rocks but I know there is much more difficult terrain in store for us this week and I put my faith in BMW engineering and hang on while bouncing over the rocks.


Here is part of the mine we encounter towards the end of the trail.




This clearing at the end of the trail is called "South Park". It is scenic and peaceful with many opportunities for primitive camping.


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Old 08-24-2010, 08:35 AM   #28
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There is always time to play in the creek crossings! I was thrilled to get to do actual water crossings, very very rare in Texas. It rained so often we always had water to cross.


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Old 08-24-2010, 08:39 AM   #29
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Awesome Pictures

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Old 08-24-2010, 12:02 PM   #30
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So we head back down from the Bandora Mine and start up the Clear Lake Trail. Clear Lake will be my first taste of real mountain switchbacks. The soil is soft from the rain and provides great traction. Some of the switchbacks are steep and narrow but lots of fun on the bikes.





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