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Old 08-05-2012, 02:01 PM   #31
Ratman OP
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Cuba to Salida

Pat and I had a great dinner at Bruno's Mex restaurant in Cuba Thursday night. Who'd a thunk Cuba would have a nice eatery, but they did. Afterward, I stayed up a bit late (for me) getting a short trip report out with some pics.


We were refreshed by a good nights sleep, and on the road in thje morning by 8am. Pat has Big Dogs CDR route in has GPS, So that is supposed to take us to Abiquiu in 50 miles or so. It's a nice ride thru Pine forests at 8 or 9 thousand feet I'd guess.....easy riding. Well easy till we turned on one forest road, but still doable, Just 10-15 mph riding now.


Oh, oh...whats this up ahead? My eyes must be deceiving me. Pat checked his route, we were right on target.....but there was a washed out hill infront of us that was clearly rattling our comfort level of riding abilities.


Pat being a local boy tells me of a 3 day storm since Big Dog made the route, that did a lot of damage to the forest roads around there, and this was a prime example. While we were deciding to not try and climb this 100 yard boulder field a local driving a quad side by side came along and confirmed that it truly was the way to get to Abiquiu.


After some discussing, Quad man drove up the hill making it look aufully easy. He wasn't going to seduce us into trying the hill though. As I think about it 24 hours later I bet we could have made it but the risk reward just wasn't worth it......especially since there was a short work around to Coyote.


That got us into Abiquiu at around noon with only a little rain. It was easy riding out of Abiquiu, we made good time. Pat was apprehensive about the Mtns ahead if they should be wet. Local knowledge say a tenth of an inch makes them slippery as snot....but an hour or so after the rain stops they are rideable again.

There was dark clouds around with rain clearly coming out of them, and we rode some damp roads, but we never got into the slippery stuff. So we made it on thru to the Colorado border by a little after six.
It began to rain at a sprinkle as we hit route 17 to the Platoro Cutoff 60 miles south of South Fork. Still the road was safe, but the rain at 7500 ft was cold and annoying. We arrived at a little lodge about 10 miles onto the Platoro road.

We tried to imagine camping at a nearby free forest service campground. I wanted to be cheap, but the call of a cabin at that lodge over powered me. We signed up for a room for 90$....Argggg. We consoled ourselves by the old guy running the place throwing in a couple of chicken Pot pie and some posole that they were about ready to throw out. That did it.
I couldn't get my netbook to connect up so no report from there. A nice warm room in a bed...instead of my 2 carpet pads was nice. :)
So we got an early start. 10 miles up the road was the original Platoro Lodge. We stopped for Breakfast....what a neat old log cabin lodge. We ordered a short stack. I couldn't even finish one. I took the other with me and ate it for dinner and again this morning for breakfast with my coffee.
They offer a free breakfast if you can eat 5 of them and an order of sausage. They said a smallish bicycle rider beat them out of a free meal one day, but that's been the only one. That eater guy, Richmond, needs to go there.
So not far out of Platoro, I had a flat rear. I'd let the air pressure get too low and had broken the bead loose on my Tubeless tire with the noodle in it. The noodle held it out to the rim, but my itty bitty slime compressor wouldn't put in air fast as it came out, and nothing we could do would air that tire up.
Pat took it the mile back to Platoro and their big compressor pumped it up quickly I re installed it and we were on the way....prolly cost us an hour.
It was 50 more miles of mega scenery to Del Norte. I ran out of gas about 3 miles short of Del Norte. They had gas at the lodge, but I passed on it thinking I had enough. Pat had a pint that got me into town for gas.

We checked the tire again...it was down to 10 lbs. We pump it up at a gas station....while there, another rider, Mike, rode up on a BMW Dakar650 who was doing the trail to Canada as well. Now we were three. Another Hell of a nice guy. Who would have thunk that I'd be riding with Pat and Mike. ...but it was true.
So we did a hundred more miles of riding that included Pochepota Pass and Marshall Pass before sliding into Salida around 7pm. It had been a beautiful day so we camped at a private camp ground.
I'd had to pump that tire up every couple hours. Pat wanted to work on his windshield that had come loose and I wanted to deal with my tire so today has been a rest day.
We spent almost 3 days and seven hundred miles getting thru NM, and crossed the Continental Divide nearly a dozen times, the lost being at 4500 ft. So far it's been great both weather and riding.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #32
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Way to go Pete, glad you are making such good time and also glad to hear you are still moving forward, the day or so without contact raised some concern

ride on,
gale
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:56 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Gale B.T. View Post
Way to go Pete, glad you are making such good time and also glad to hear you are still moving forward, the day or so without contact raised some concern

ride on,
gale
Never worry, Gale. There was wifi at the lodge we stayed at....some kind of xxxxx Estates about 10 miles south of Platoro....but my sucky net book couldn't attach.

To Vermin.....
I want to say here that so far the scenery diversification has been really over the top.....and I realize I'm passing up as much as I'm seeing. I gotta come back, I guess.

I gotta mention that the Verminator is someone I like to be like when I grow up. He one upped by putting an actually throttle cable to that second set of bar. I guess I give up to easy.

I'm trying to get a couple pictures out, but it's might be too tough for this wifi link in Salida.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:47 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
They offer a free breakfast if you can eat 5 of them and an order of sausage. They said a smallish bicycle rider beat them out of a free meal one day, but that's been the only one. That eater guy, Richmond, needs to go there.
That was Oliver Whalley (from New Zealand), he was this year's winner of the Tour Divide race. From Banff to Antelope Wells in 16 days and 2 hours.... Self supported.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #35
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Missed You

Hey Pete,


Just got back from Silverton yesterday. Had to read your RR this am and see where you are, and how you are doing since I didn't see you there at RMAR.

Had a bunch of us that camped together at WestFest ....... that camped together again at RMAR. Missed you being one of the members of that bunch. Sorry, but we decided to have some fun, even if you weren't there to join in.

Glad to hear that you are having a good time, rolling forward, and have had the company and support of a couple of good guys on the trail.

I thought at WestFest that we had talked about the Medano Pass beaver dams and sand road ........ I bailed out of it earlier this spring (I was on worn out highway tires) and was glad I did after reading a ride report posted by a fellow (Yellow Pig, I believe) that had done it the day before and it had drowned 2 of their bikes! Glad you made it through with "minimal trouble".

Get in touch if you need anything when you come through the Steamboat Springs area. Be happy to put you up and feed you.

Ride safe and thank you for posting!

Regards, Rob
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:57 PM   #36
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I'm in Rat. And thanks for bringing Vermin out of the bushes. The Cack(er)
is Back!
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ROAD DAMAGE View Post
Hey Pete,


Just got back from Silverton yesterday. Had to read your RR this am and see where you are, and how you are doing since I didn't see you there at RMAR.

Had a bunch of us that camped together at WestFest ....... that camped together again at RMAR. Missed you being one of the members of that bunch. Sorry, but we decided to have some fun, even if you weren't there to join in.

Glad to hear that you are having a good time, rolling forward, and have had the company and support of a couple of good guys on the trail.

I thought at WestFest that we had talked about the Medano Pass beaver dams and sand road ........ I bailed out of it earlier this spring (I was on worn out highway tires) and was glad I did after reading a ride report posted by a fellow (Yellow Pig, I believe) that had done it the day before and it had drowned 2 of their bikes! Glad you made it through with "minimal trouble".

Get in touch if you need anything when you come through the Steamboat Springs area. Be happy to put you up and feed you.

Ride safe and thank you for posting!

Regards, Rob
Yeah, I wouldn't have gotten to Silverton till Sat evening, RD. I really wanted to go and maybe do Black Bear.....

It would have been good seeing everyone again. I wish you didn't have any fun though.

We only talked about the sand on the Medano, and although sand is tough, I'm used to it hazards from desert riding....not saying that I'm good at it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #38
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I'm in Rat. And thanks for bringing Vermin out of the bushes. The Cack(er)
is Back!
I've missed Vermin too, prsdrat. It was good to finally meet him. He's the real deal....he's give Plato a run for his money.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #39
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That was Oliver Whalley (from New Zealand), he was this year's winner of the Tour Divide race. From Banff to Antelope Wells in 16 days and 2 hours.... Self supported.
That very cool getting to know who it actually was. Thanks KR. I've seen a lot more bicyclist than MCs.....all headed south....maybe 15 or 20 just today. Those guys and gals are to be admired.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:22 PM   #40
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Salida to Steamboat

It's been another good day. 250 miles from Salida to Steamboat over a few passes, Boreal being the most notable. It's been easy riding. Only way to get hurt is to not get your eyes back to the road in time from looking at the sites. Well, that not the only way.

Riding down along the Colorado River below Kremmling (SP) was awesome. Oh hell, the whole day was awesome.

Pat had lost a bag with his rain and down jacket off his front fender where it was strapped coming down off Marshall Pass. He uses good gear so that was a couple hun. I hate that. So anyway once we got to Steamboat he decided to get a room and shop for replacements.

After blowing my wad for a half of the 90$ room near Platoro, I was out of the room market. We don't really know if we'll get back together tomorrow, as I still don't have a phone. Did I say Steamboat is a bit pricey. 100$ rooms and 50 dollar camp grounds....scheesh.

I'd already ridden out of town, and signed in at the Eagle Soars RV Park, 12$. When I got my email rolling. I find I had an offer of a room and BS session from ADVrider, Road Damage who I'd met at the Lake George Westfest. Thanks alot Rob.

I have a few pics as the wifi at the RV Park is very fast. Then I need to check out tomorrows route to Rawlings (I think), as I may actually be on my own for the first time.

Oh, I only lost 4 lbs of air in my troublesome tire. I had planned to change that tire to the new one that I'd brought with me and left in Westcliffe with LD, but the tire was just too good to change out yet. That decision may bite me in the ass as I'm moving farther and farther from that tire now.

Outside of Del Norte...
From July 28, 2012


Dream Chaser on the left and BMW rider we met on the trail...
From July 28, 2012


Somewhere before 114 north of Del Norte...
From July 28, 2012


On the cutoff to Doyleville just before Sargents...
From July 28, 2012


The boys at Marshall Pass taken by an observer...
From July 28, 2012


This cute little gal was tent camping next to us....riding a 4 cyl Kawi.....
From July 28, 2012


We met Andrew in Como riding a brand new Triumph 800. He rode with us for a while.
From July 28, 2012


From July 28, 2012


Lake just north of Boreal Pass...
From July 28, 2012


Looking down on the Co River...Amtrak runs on that track. My wife will appreciate that as she worked in the dinning car for years.
From July 28, 2012


Most of today's roads were like that.....still they were skittery.
From July 28, 2012


Looking at the Colorado R from the Radium side...
From July 28, 2012


That'll have to do for now......there are hundreds of pictures as I usually shoot while riding so a picture doesn't require a stop.

BTW, Pat told me that we busted thru the halfway point today in only 6 days....woohoo!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:24 PM   #41
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Missed you by that much .............

Hi Pete,

Here I sit at 11:15pm catching up with your ride report.

If it was 3 or 4 hours earlier I'd come get you .............. you're just a few miles from my house. Would have loved for my wife to have met you. (we had brats, kraut, and mashed potatoes for supper) sorry, I had to rub it in a little.

You'll have a fun day tomorrow too. Aspen Alley and Battle Pass and South Pass City and Atlantic City up in Wyoming. Lots of contrast in the countryside up there.

Ride safe Pete. Get in touch via PM if you need anything.

Rob
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:28 PM   #42
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Pete, you got a way with TR's, there's no getting around that. Great stuff as always.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #43
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Pete, you got a way with TR's, there's no getting around that. Great stuff as always.
Thanks, Ron. There's a new episode coming up. I got to Idaho this afternoon.

I'm going to recharge my body tomorrow and hunker down at a campground to get out an update.

Traveled east to west today to get out from under Yellowstone.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:08 AM   #44
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Steamboat Springs to Ashton Idaho

From July 28, 2012


A new day was ahead as The sun came up just outside of Steamboat. I was looking forward to today. I'd be running routes without the help of Big Dog's tracks. I'd spent weeks going over the route back home, but that was months ago. It would be interesting to see how that went.

A funny story....I was up till 10pm last night going over 'puter stuff. I'd gone in the rest/shower room around 8pm because that was where I could find electricity. Well when I came out it was pitch black with no campground night lights of any kind, and there was no moon. It was so dark I didn't know exactly where my tent was.

It was only 30 - 40 yards away, but I didn't know exactly which way. I wondered around using feel for a very long 5 minutes. It's kinda funny the dilemas a feller can get himself into.

Anyway I'm taking my good old time packing up, and I hear a familiar voice. It's 'Road Damage' Rob. He's come over with his Delorme map book to help send me off in the right direction.

I really appreciated that, and Rob brought me up to speed about the RMAR (Big Dog) get-together at Silverton over the weekend. No shit, it's the little things that make a trip a great one.

I hadn't heard from Pat. My campground was off the CDR a few miles so there was no logical way we'd meetup anyway....so Off I went due north toward Steamboat Lake. It's silly to mention that the piney tree mountains would be anything but awesome.

Here's a reminder to look out where your walking. He made it to cover alright.
From July 28, 2012


Here's some Steamboat lake community pics.
From July 28, 2012


From July 28, 2012


I decided to take FS550 north to Encampment Wy as I was headed to Rawlins. Along the way was this old log building that had been the high hopes of Andrew Olson. He planned to build the town of Olsen as the headquarters of the railroad tie industry. Fate had a different idea, and this building was all there ever was.
From July 28, 2012


Thirty miles of twistie skittery gravel roads later and I reached HWY 70. Encampment and gas and a sandwich was a few miles to the right. Hummmm...this looks familiar. I was here 6 years ago on a MC trip from Maine. I'd ridden an NX250 thru the Medicine Bow Natl Forest near here and gassed up at the same place.

At the 'Mangy Moose' I ordered a hamburger, and got to talking to a couple backpackers that had hiked Colorado south to north. Nice Kids...they said they hiked one day for 19 hrs. Half that would have been the end of me. More creds to them.
From July 28, 2012


Some of the colorful locals occupied the table next to us. The gals gave me the news about the Sunday NASCAR Race. The fuzzy chinned guy on the right told me to take plenty of water if I was riding out on the 'Red Desert'. That's the local term for the Great Basin between Rawlins and Pinedale to include Atlantic City.

From July 28, 2012






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Old 08-10-2012, 09:48 AM   #45
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Encampment and points North

I left Encampment having enjoyed my encounter with the locals. I decided to head for Wamsetter WY to take the route on the west side of the Great Basin. It was shorter according to what I'd researched.

But first it looked like west on 70 and north to Wamsetter was going to be a 125 mile pavement section. After doing about 25 miles I spied a sign that said Rawlins 58 miles north thru a Natl Forest. Well that should be shorter ,and it was a dirt road.....so I took it.

I set my GPS up to go to Wamsetter shortest route. Well, about 10 miles in the GPS said to turn left, but I didn't believe it so I went on...maybe 30 miles. A main dirt road came along to the left so I thought that that might be a route to Wamsetter and I wouldn't have to go into Rawlins. Cool.

Well that road diagonaled south instead of north directly to Wamsetter, but after what seemed like hours eventually came out at the hwy where I could cut the corner some 30 miles of dirt road directly to Wamsetter.

That's Wamsetter Road and goes straight as a die across miles and miles of oil and gas producing flat worthless for anything else land.

At one point I saw a guy walking who was going to cross the road in front of me. I stopped to see what he was doing. Well Steve was walking the 'real' Continental Divide Trail. He'd been doing it for months....wore out 3 pairs of shoes.

He pointed out a marker that they follow that is there every 1/2 mile or so. Said he went the wrong way that morning, and it cost him 45 minute. That didn't sound like much to me. Steve assured me that it was a huge waste of his daily energy supply. I guessed that I could see his point. He said there was a spring 6 miles ahead where he's going to spend the night.

I finally got to Wamsetter....'holy moly' , on google maps Wamsetter is only a gas station.....in reality, it's 3 gas stations, several cafes, and several motels, actually quite a big place.

I had some Church's chicken to get me thru the night and headed out onto the 'Red Desert' as it was only 7pm. That's too early to quit riding. There was more oil and gas doings north of the freeway (230, I think).

I rode for another 30 miles thru a real desert being entertained by antelope who thought I was going to eat them. They go like hell, and did you know that they don't jump fences. They do a base runners move where they slide under fences and pop up running on the other side going as fast as ever.

The sun was getting closer to the horizon. I found a place where an 8' berm was running beside the road. I popped over the hill for seclusion, and that was home sweet home for the night.

Pretty desolate, but just fine, if all your going to do is sleep.....
From July 28, 2012




I was up early, feeling refreshed, and riding by 7am. The roads out there didn't resemble any road designation like my maps or google maps had so I was going a bunch on faith, after all, how many roads could be out there. I'd set my GPS to take me to Pinedale, and damned if it didn't.

I raced an Antelope out there and beat him. I was doing 40 on the road, and he was doing 35 out in the rough where I wouldn't even have been able to ride. His suspension's movement look like one off a Baja Trophy trucks.

Probably 60 miles later I came to paved road 28 which comes southwest from Landers, and passes by South Pass and Atlantic City. Those last 2 are relics form the gold mining days as early as 1840.

I wanted to see them and they were only 15 miles out of my way so I headed northeast on 28. First I went into South Pass....a regular little city. At one time there were 3000 folks living there.
Here's there processing plant under restoration.
From July 28, 2012


From July 28, 2012


South Pass town
From July 28, 2012


After talking to the curator at the little museum, I moved on to Atlantic city. The dirt road was closed. They were putting in a new culvert. I had to do a work around which took me by some relics of the mining times. Cool.

First view of Atlantic City
From July 28, 2012


A couple days ago, Pat had called the Mercantile store in Atlantic City. The other end of the phone said they were open for business, and that the gun store guy always had a couple 5 gallon can of gas for guys like us. Well with my 30 mile detour to AC I wanted to pick up some gas for security.

I recognized the Gun Store immediately. He does tire repair as well as almost anything else. There are tire tools all over.....but you aren't getting any of that stuff if he isn't there. Folks told me he was off doing some work somewhere for the day. He'd be a bad guy to be counting on if you really needed gas.

I moved on to the Mercantile store to have a look see. When I walked inside there was Mike who Pat and I had parted from in Salida. Mike had gone to Durango as he's expecting to move out of Sacramento, and is checking out various cities in the Rockies to see where that move will take him.

Anyway he'd done all that, and I'd done all I'd done and here we are together again. Life's funny that way. Now we were 2.

So while we're making new plans to ride together Gary and Max ride up on 2 DR650. They turn out to be great guys. Now there are 4.

Max,left, Gary, center, and you remember Mike, on the right
From July 28, 2012


I led us out of town as I knew the route past the detour and we stopped at one of the AC ore processors for pictures.
From July 28, 2012


A little closer....
From July 28, 2012


Some of the power for the plant ...a double pumper steam engine.
From July 28, 2012


Other old buildings of AC
From July 28, 2012


Max and Gary in action....
From July 28, 2012


So there you have it, South Pass and Atlantic City. The 4 of us finally were back on the trail to Pinedale. It was 15 miles back to the CDR.....and guess what?

At the entrance back to the trail, there was Pat talking to 2 KTM southbound CDR riders. Now we were 5. That's a lot of cats to herd.

Pat said that the There were 6 in the KTM group, and they had lost 4 of them in the 600 miles that they'd come from the Canadian Border. Two to serious injuries and the other 2 to personality conflicts. It ain't easy out here on the trail.

We continued on the 60 miles to Boulder and then to Pinedale for lunch. We gassed in Boulder as I was about out. While in the gas station a nice gal got to talking with us....prolly Mike was the attraction, but none the less she was a 30+ year old outdoor gal who had been back packing around the nearby mountains for the last month and was interested in what we were doing.

We invited her to join us for lunch in PD, which she did. Nice gal and interesting to share BS with her.

Here we are all pulled up to the hitching rail for lunch....
From July 28, 2012


Shortly we we back on the trail with the Jackson area on our minds. It took a while to assimilate the 2 new riders into the order of things. Max and Gary were interesting guys, and nice to have along. We all were camping capable so we figured tonight would be spent at altitude somewhere between towns.

Mike is carrying the cutest little spinning rig for fishing, and he's hell bent on catching a fish. We allowed him to be captain of the camp site if he'd just catch us enough fish for dinner. He was good with that.

We probably covered 40 more miles of dirt and somewhere in the middle of nowhere Mike spies a lake and declared, "Camp is here". Cool we found an outfitters campsite next to the lake and on the edge of the trees that hide us from the road. It was perfect....even had seat benches sawed out of 2' dia logs.

We sent Mike off for the fish, and sat back and waited....and waited. Mike came back in an hour with zilch. Turns out that this lake, that's an 1/8 mile long, is shallow and at 9000' it freezes completely which kills any fish that might be getting started in there. I had to settle for my can of Boyarde and the 3 potato wedges that I'd save from the Churches chicken from the other night.

Camping at 900'....
From July 28, 2012


Looks like Gary and Pat are getting a little help from above ....
From July 28, 2012


We capped the fine campsite off in the morning with a fine sun rise. I'd slept thru the best of it, but salvages a bit of it.
From July 28, 2012


Let me proof read tis post it get it online before I lose it.
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