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Old 09-12-2010, 10:06 PM   #46
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Day 2 Abiqui to Blue Mesa Reservoir

That's the oompah truck with cabover camper in the background. I awake at dawn with an overwhelming desire to crank up the Zep and rip a couple West Texas yee-haws at full volume, but restrain myself. Two wrongs don't make it right.



The morning is cloudless and a crisp 49 degrees with forecasts for high winds in Colorado. WTF...we left Texas to get away from the relentless winds. Little did we know these Labor Day winds would spark a devastating forest fire in Four Mile Canyon near Boulder.



B-Rad finished packing first and went to the loading ramp for pictures. We found him prying local fishing knowledge from the game warden. Fishing not good at Abiqui, but he speaks of spectacular views of vertical rock walls in the distance where 84 crosses the river South of Chama.



We didn't stop for the vertical wall views, but the scenery right off 84 is sweet!





We stop and gas up at Chama and agree to eat brunch in Pagosa Springs.



This pic looks like Abiqui, but is in chronological order here? Excuse the wood porn, old deadwood facinates me.



We eat a hearty breakfast in Pagosa Springs, but I didn't get any pics. I think B-Rad did? He took twice as many pics as me.

We head toward Wolf Creek Pass and stop at the overlook just before the pass for pics.



I have B-Rad's pics in my netbook and will leave it uploading them all night. Hopefully he'll add some to this report tomorrow. He bought a Panasonic after the great reviews Dr. Rock gave it. Good recommendation, Doc! It takes awesome pics!



The scenery continues to get better the deeper we ride into Colorado. We begin to find tunnels through the solid rock.











Up next...The Silver Thread Byway and the dirt shortcut from Lake City to Blue Mesa Reservoir.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:14 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phattyre-Phready2
belongs in the trip planning forum, huh? Whoops...maybe the forum gods will forgive me?

If you'll notice, PinItToWadIt and I had XL drybags with EVERYTHING stuffed in them. Good for organizing, bad for coming out of hard leans when cornering!







One will hold all the clothes I need for a long weekend.



What the hell kinda stowaway road kill is that?
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:43 AM   #48
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That's my Katie cat...

and she WOULD stowaway if she got a chance. She doesn't like to see my mc luggage come out, cause she KNOWS I'll be gone for awhile.

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Old 09-13-2010, 08:26 AM   #49
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A few more Abiqui pics...

Thought I would add a few of my Abiqui pics before the thread moves on; such a beautiful place is worthy of a few more!


Breakfast time...and no, officer, that is not a paper bag containing last nights empties



Sunrise on the far cliffs



Nice and calm this morning...things would change drastically by the time we reached Blue Mesa that afternoon






k8E likes this pic, so I'll post it. She gave Pops hell about not taking pics of me after I told her I had to take pictures of myself. This would backfire later...



Crap, that's a loaded bike! The park ranger was a backpacker and was interested in our kit. Yeah, yeah...I know...Dad's bike is too clean; we will take care of that over the next few days

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Old 09-13-2010, 09:06 AM   #50
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We jump on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway

at South Fork, site of this year's WestFest.



149 is a sweet mc road. It follows the Rio Grande River from it's headwaters near Lake City.

We stop at Spring Creek Pass so BBB can do the roadside red rag thing. No need for the red rag...B-Rad has toilet paper in the tail trunk. (insert pics here, B-Rad)



The route gets better and better as we get closer to Lake City. This is just before Slumgullion Pass.






I didn't take any pics in Lake City or of the Blue Mesa dirt shortcut. I know B-Rad has some.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:34 AM   #51
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Breakfast time...and no, officer, that is not a paper bag containing last nights empties



Couldn't be...no alcohol allowed at Abiquiu!
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:16 PM   #52
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Laugh Mule Balls, a Plugged Muff, and BBB's Steamer

A little behind (no pun intended) in the thread, but Pops shot me shooting this in Muleshoe...pics for the wife



At Cline's Corners, BBB sabotaged my Wee. It didn't pop out when I started her up, just made a strange whistle and would barely idle. His motive...I suspect I was keeping up too good with his 1000.



The road and scenery going to Pagosa Springs was ok I guess



Pagosa Springs was packed with bikes...too many tourists for my taste, but a nice town nonetheless



Ate here, good breakfast (sorry no pics, too hungry to remember)



Hey Pops, keep your eyes on the road. Very difficult in this state!



BBB pulled off at a scenic overlook and looked distressed. I handed him a roll of TP and suggested he tear off what he needed. Nope, he took the whole roll. While he was 'busy', a group of bikers pulled up. Noticeable giggling ensued as he walked out of the woods carrying a whole roll of TP.



Pops and I didn't mind waiting...the view was excellent.



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Old 09-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #53
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An unpleasant surprise at our reseved campsite!

The scenery around Lake City is eye-popping! Lots of water, as the name implies. I've about decided I like to ride roads following rivers better than those through high passes. Flowing, twisting roads with normal seasonal temps, compared to high elevation straightaways leading to tight switchback turns with unpredictable weather (even deadly dangerous above the tree line because of lightning). But that's just me...



We were a couple weeks early for the fall color display.



I didn't take any pics in Lake City??? I took the camera off the mirror mount when we went off-road on the Blue Mesa Road. It cut off a few miles, but probably took longer to go this way? But it put us on gravel instead of pavement and I need the practice before tackling some of the high unpaved passes!

Since it's Labor Day weekend, I had reserved a campsite online. Most of the better NFS campgrounds are on a first come basis and not reservable online, so I tried to find a site near the water for Britt to fish. We blow into our site on 40mph winds and see several tents that appear to have been ruined in the wind. We watch one poor dude trying in vain to erect his tent, with no success. No one likes this campsite and I feel responsible, even though I had no idea there'd be gale force winds in Colorado! To top it all off just right, Jessie decides to take a nap!



Cooler heads prevail and B-Rad takes the campsite confirmation to the campground host for options. Turns out there's a NFS campsite that's well protected from SW winds and has some empty spots we can switch to. The only bad part...7 miles off 50 on a gravel road. We decide to check it out...anything is better than this windy point! The campground is Ponderosa and the 7 miles of dirt road is called Soap Box road. We arrive at our campsite just as the sun sets behind a ridge.



I've gotten way ahead of B-Rad, so I'll let him post his account and pics up to Blue Mesa before I press on. BBB has been flamed on forums before and is somewhat forum shy.

Stay tuned for Brad's addition. Next up after that...we talk to a local in Gunnison and follow his route recommendations on Day 3...Gunnison> Alford> Taylor Reservoir (paved road)> Taylor Canyon (dirt road)> Alford> Crested Butte> Kebler Pass (dirt road)> Paonia> Hotchkiss> and the most road fun we had on the trip...92 East to Soap Box Road> Ponderosa campsite. We're going Pro on Smugmug when we reach that part of the ride report because we have a 13 minute video of it! The camera is mounted low on the front left crash bar, so it's an unusual perspective!
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:38 PM   #54
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Lake City, the dirt cutoff, and Blue Mesa

We arrived in Lake City about the same time as the wind that day. We waited for the ATV's to clear out at the gas pumps and topped off our tanks. Unfortunately, I only took the following pic...I took more about 5 days later so stay tuned. Nice little town, lots of ATVs as well as street bikes when we were there.



The road to the cutoff was fun and the scenery was great!





Hey Pops...



Dad spotted the cutoff, took the lead, and we hit the dirt for the first time during the trip.




Dad kept on rolling while I stopped on a bridge (I lub ribbers!). If you look close, you can see me and my orange Pany TS2 in BBB's chrome shield...thanks for the camera review and torture testing DocRock!



If you didn't stay in the 'groove', this road was pretty tricky. The outside of all corners was deep marble-size gravel. I was distracted by the view at one point and bit a hole in my seat...almost ended up in the ditch but saved it somehow. Good learning experience: Keep Your Eyes On The Road! The Stroms are decent in these conditions, but nowhere near a dirtbike with knobbies (I had fresh Anakee II's, but alas).



Once we reached the top of the 'pass', the views were even better.



Reached the Highway after 30 minutes or so...somehow, we missed the true Lake City Cutoff and came out a few miles West? of where Pops thought we would. We passed the actual Lake City Cutoff down the road and Dad noted our accidental route change over the StarComs. No problem, still a fun route!



Finally, some ADV Petina Trust me, it will develop nicely over the next few days.



Dad's already posted this pic, but just to rub salt...
(Lub you Pops). He was pretty ticked at this point, the high wind, trying to please a couple of others, campground full of RV's and the damn generators that go with them, etc. I was a little scared to pull out the camera, but we had agreed: If a bike takes a nap, don't wake it up until the pic is taken. At least he rubbed the new off of his Givi's...no holding back now.



As Dad said, we found an alternate campground that would hopefully be out of the wind. 8 miles of gravel road, but we were pros after the cutoff. Blue Mesa Lake wasn't ocean waves anymore, so our decision was looking good!



Catch up Pops, I need a beer!



I'm not sure about the other two, but I was stoked to see the campsite. Awesome cliffs in all directions, very little wind, a calm lake, and a very friendly camp host (Norm was a good ol' boy). A few other campers, but not bad at all for Labor Day Weekend (and not a generator to be found ).



Dad's bike is awake on the side stand and things are looking up





Thankfully the other two Stroms were black...I could find my blue wee to unpack gear even after refreshments.



Pops made friends with the kiddos...they were drawn to his WarStrom graphics. They wanted to hear it run, so Dad started her up. The oldest boy then wanted to rev it up...I'm sure most of you can guess what happened next. The boy pinned the throttle and left it pinned, Dad's poor wee screaming mercy throughout our valley. Dad gently removed his hand from the throttle and received the best GO TO HELL look I've seen in a while (and I'm married! ). No harm, no foul...still friends.



We finished setting up camp while watching the sunlight fade over the landscape.









Supper consisted of booze, Mac & Cheese, backpacker chicken/rice (very good, thanks BBB), and booze. Dessert was a spicy Bloody Mary If I recall, Pops stuck with the Captain. Disclaimer: All recollections may or may not be correct after dark.





After supper, Pops aka Dad aka Phattyre-Phready2 aka TORCHIE (seriously, this is what the family calls him after a few adolescent incidents) began playing with the fire and the fun really began.





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Old 09-14-2010, 07:36 PM   #55
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Great stuff!! You guys travel like I do. Keep it coming!
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #56
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At home on the Ponderosa...and no Cartwrights anywhere?

The cliffs surround our Ponderosa campsite on 3 sides and the views are awesome. A little too distant to show up good in pictures, but awesome none the less!





That's our campground host's fifth wheel. Check out that hanging flag! The wind is still gusting over 40mph up top.




The sunsets and sunrises from Ponderosa CG are spell binding...the spires appear to take on a life of their own and seemingly change as the light changes!




Our resident lumberjack displaying the two handed chop. He and B-Rad toted this 200 lb. waterlogged tree up from the shoreline! They were huffin' and puffin' in the thin air at 8500'.



I spy some sleepy boys! Lookit...BBB's asleep sitting up! I've got that faraway, la la land look in my eyes and a death grip on my Dr. Morgan...excuse me... that's Captain Pepper by this point!

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Old 09-14-2010, 09:15 PM   #57
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Thumb Strom travelling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromdog
Great stuff!! You guys travel like I do. Keep it coming!
Thanks, Stromdog! What are you saying... you overload your strom, too?!! Or you like to ride with clowns?

The best is yet to come, including an awesome 13 minute video on 92, Taylor Canyon dirt, lunch at a brew pub in Crested Butte just before Kebler Pass , the Black Canyon South, Camp Bird road and Yankee Boy Basin, Ouray, Telluride, Bridal Veil Falls, Ophir Pass, Hermosa Park. Even Cinnamon Pass with fully loaded vStroms! And all ride reports need a little drama...we start seeing fork oil on my left boot and front brake pistons on Day 3!
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:18 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phattyre-Phready2
Thanks, Stromdog! What are you saying... you overload your strom, too?!! Or you like to ride with clowns?

The best is yet to come, including an awesome 13 minute video on 92, Taylor Canyon dirt, lunch at a brew pub in Crested Butte just before Kebler Pass , the Black Canyon South, Camp Bird road and Yankee Boy Basin, Ouray, Telluride, Bridal Veil Falls, Ophir Pass, Hermosa Park. Even Cinnamon Pass with fully loaded vStroms! And all ride reports need a little drama...we start seeing fork oil on my left boot and front brake pistons on Day 3!
All of the above! The Strom is a mule, for sure!

Damn straight I ride with clowns (and around them in traffic) . What could be more fun?

Rubber down and keep posting, Brothers.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:42 AM   #59
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Mules & clowns or bulls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromdog
All of the above! The Strom is a mule, for sure!

Damn straight I ride with clowns (and around them in traffic) . What could be more fun?

Rubber down and keep posting, Brothers.
The mule is a good analogy for the vStrom...stout enough to carry a load, yet nimble enough to pick it's way through scree fields and high dirt passes, and still quick enough to be an awesome canyon carver! Who needs to go triple digits...that'll get your license yanked nowadays!

I agree, some cagers are the biggest clowns of all! What could be more fun...how about riding with the bulls? That's what riding in heavy traffic resembles!
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:17 AM   #60
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Day 3 An abbrieviated dirt version of the West Elk Loop

Day 3 starts out at a breezy 38 degrees...the 15-25 mph wind is from the NW! My campstove doesn't want to light and for some reason, I think filling the already half full stove will help? It's like I'm stuck in false neutral 'til I have my morning coffee!



Here's B-Rad, having to take pictures of himself...again! k8E had mentioned to him that there weren't near enough shots of him on our Tennessee Tour '09. By doing this, he realized the sun was just lighting up the cliffs to the west! That evening, k8E let me know I need to take more pics of her sweetie.



I'm using Brad's pics here...at this point I was leaving my camera on the mirror mount.



No limp flag this morning! Since the camera is facing East, the flag shows a strong NW wind. At least the water's not steaming!



I couldn't control my gag reflex in the Abiquiu vault toilet long enough to do my business...then the public toilet where we ate breakfast had a line when we got there AND when we left, so I'm packing a 2 day load and the coffee starts to do it's trick! It's a quarter mile to this vault toilet or 100 yards to a little stand of trees I'd been to looking for firewood. I try to start my bike to ride to the toilet and the battery is dead. I'd left the netbook, phone and camera battery charging on the invertor overnight. So off to the woods I go! I discreetly tear off a handful of TP instead of taking the roll...and proceeded to act like a gassy bear in the woods.



There goes BBB to the vault toilet...glad to know we have at least one hot battery to get a boost from! B-Rad left stuff charging, too...his bike starts, but barely!!!




I get the skinny on the Ponderosa toilet...BBB claims it's the cleanest one he's ever seen! The wind is getting stronger, but the sun is finally over the ridge! Since we're staying here 2 nights, it's time to go for a camp gear free dual sport ride! Juicy is still way too clean in this shot!



We ride to Gunnison and fill up. While getting gas, a local on a gixxer named Steve rode up and began to chat. He asked of our plans and when he heard we wanted to take 24 to Leadville to see the collegiate peaks, he warned us of all the gawker traffic that would be on 24 on Labor Day. He recommended we turn back west at Taylor Reservoir and do the dirt road throuh Taylor Canyon, where you have great views of the West side of the collegiates. Then to Crested Butte, over Kebler Pass on dirt, then to Hotchkiss to finish the loop on 92 alongside the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Here's a shot B-Rad took of gixxer Steve as he rode away.



So we head toward Almont and turn toward Taylor Reservoir.
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