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Old 08-26-2010, 07:26 PM   #61
EnderTheX OP
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Nice picture Chris, I had almost forgotten about that photo shoot. I was concentrating on getting up the mountain. What an amazing climb this was!


I highly recommend anyone doing Bolam pass from West to East, it is a lot of fun and very scenic. As you can tell by Chris' amazed and gleeful look.






On this stretch Chris and I took a minute to take some pictures. There was no official sign for Bolam Pass that we saw but we think we were very close to the actual pass here.



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Old 08-26-2010, 08:17 PM   #62
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Really great pictures. What was the deal with the guys that got in trouble up there?
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:44 PM   #63
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Really great pictures. What was the deal with the guys that got in trouble up there?
Hey man, the deal is that Black Bear Pass at a certain point is a one way road (down only). This is due to the extremely narrow and rough road and impossible passing conditions.

We met 5 guys who were on their way UP the pass. The first two guys came rocketing up when we were walking the tough part and seemed to know the area. These were locals who had done it before and were out for a thrill, they got fined... The other three guys were from out of town, we talked to them a bit and watched them go up the rocky steps. They just got a slap on the wrist probably because they were from out of town.

There is an event once a year where a bunch of jeeps (not sure if everyone is invited) go up the pass. I'm sure it involves a bunch of spotters and video cameras.

We were headed down and I definitely had no plans of going back up lol. In my opinion if someone wants to go up, motorcycles only, more power to ya, just make sure no one is around the bend trying to go down.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:56 PM   #64
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I always like your ride reports EnderTheX... I am surprised that you didn't ride solo like you usually do.??? Your riding partner takes great pictures too, and you guys seem to have your posting synchronized well. I am really looking forward to the rest of your story... and I will be interested in your routes so I can ride here next year.
I usually ride up around Paonia/Gunnison in July... But just seeing your 1st day pics has me jonesing to try out this area!
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:48 PM   #65
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I always like your ride reports EnderTheX... I am surprised that you didn't ride solo like you usually do.??? Your riding partner takes great pictures too, and you guys seem to have your posting synchronized well. I am really looking forward to the rest of your story... and I will be interested in your routes so I can ride here next year.
I usually ride up around Paonia/Gunnison in July... But just seeing your 1st day pics has me jonesing to try out this area!
Thanks! We will certainly post a bunch of maps, gps tracks and commentary as the ride unfolds. I will also update the first post with links so people can access the data easily. I love maps so I am trying to give back to our community! You guys helped me out when I wanted to ride Arkansas (still some of the best riding close to my area).


The San Juan mountains (riding area of this report) are my new favorite area but I get the feeling there is more to discover.

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Old 08-26-2010, 09:49 PM   #66
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Meanwhile... we take a few minutes to admire the scenery.






At this point I am slightly ahead of Chris and waiting for him to finish up his pictures. He takes about 25 minutes to get back on the trail!!! I am tapping my foot but who can stay annoyed with this view?







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Old 08-26-2010, 10:11 PM   #67
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Speaking of "the book" I just went and took a couple shots of our trusty little guide. This has to be the best encounter of the whole trip, the visit to the information center and chatting up those old ladies paid off in full especially because it points out routes such as Bolam Pass which is relatively off the grid.


I think I will keep this weathered copy.





The goodies:

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:31 PM   #68
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Haha, Oliver was constantly mad at me for taking too long with pictures. I saw this view and couldn't resist pulling over for a few snapshots. There was some real nice camping spots near the top of Bolam Pass, still in the trees (I dont think Bolam Pass got above the tree line) with this as the view. You just wouldn't want to get drunk and stumble around camp at night, as just in front of me here is a pretty good cliff.

Pretty much the same view oliver had... but its worth reposting




Hydrate Oliver, Hydrate!!!


The road down from Bolam, switchbacks, fun fun fun


Is it yellow? You should drink more!!! haha, inevitably I'd start giggling like a school girl while I snapped these pictures "DAMN IT CHRIS!!! I can't go while you're watching" hahaha, what are friends for??? I never got tired of doing this.



Thanks for all the kind words guys! We still got lots more to go
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:21 AM   #69
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Meanwhile.... I take more pictures at Bolam. There is a small field with a pond just after what we think was the pass.






Two deer run across the sunny grass just in time for Chris not to get a picture. You can see the two deer just to the right of center in this picture, I have a close up but it didn't turn out.


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Old 08-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #70
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At one point on the way down the pass we come across an old mine. The cabin there is in remarkable shape. I believe this mine is for Uranium. The mineral content in these areas is amazing, you can see the colors throughout the mountains indicating a rich supply of essential metals and minerals.






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Old 08-27-2010, 02:13 PM   #71
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Heading down Bolam we took some time to get switchback shots.





These were in good condition and fun to ride!

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #72
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Going back into town was fun too. There was a huge river crossing, not very deep but long. The rocks were slippery but if you stood up and let the bike move underneath you it was fine.






An old ski lift was silent on the slope.







Taking a moment to enjoy the Aspen trees.


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Old 08-28-2010, 09:07 AM   #73
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Back in Silverton we felt like getting a bite to eat at a local restaurant Chris remembered going to when he was here a long time ago with his parents.

The food was decent but the rice tasted funny.





At camp Chris notices some oil on the KTM. We ponder where it is coming from and if it will be a problem. It possibly is from the primary drive shaft seal since Chris had changed out his front sprocket for the first time last night. We didn't have a torque wrench with us so we decided to just keep going and monitor the leak.


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Old 08-28-2010, 02:08 PM   #74
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That leak had nothing to do with the torque on the drive sprocket. I noticed the leak prior to changing the gear, I changed the gear out of pure curiosity for what a taller gear ratio would feel like in the mountains.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:24 PM   #75
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Well, Day 1 is done, we hit up the following trails:

Bandora Mine
Clear Lake
Ophir Pass
Bolam Pass


Here are some maps to help show where the trails are. I put little flags at each of the way points. The pass flags are not placed exactly at the passes.


This is the whole map of Day 1:




Here are the first three trails in greater detail





This is Bolam Pass at the southern end of the map.

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