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Old 08-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #16
mikem9 OP
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Originally Posted by McRuss View Post
There are several places where snow bridges can exist along the route from CB to Schoefield and one year one collapsed on a person who was exploring the 'cave'. Killed them.

Great photos and story, sure brings back memories! The 'punchbowl' killed 9 people in one accident in 1967. There were 12 people stuffed into a GMC Jimmy that ran off the road going up to the river crossing. Several children, all drowned (river running at flood level due to heavy rain.)
Scary stuff McRuss! After riding up steep cliff sided roads like that on both motorcycles and jeeps, I much prefer motorcycles. On a motorcycle it seems much easier to bail off if you had to! Thoughts?

One more pic from the bottom of the Punch Bowl. This one shows the waterfall a little better.


As we head down to Marble, we pass through the tiny town of Crystal Colorado. It's an old mining town. It's partly an old Ghost town, but some people live there also (vacation cabins maybe?). There's even a little bookstore. The road through it is a rough rocky dirt road.

Town of Crystal


As you are headed towards Marble from Devils Punch Bowl and pass through Crystal, the road continues to be rough and rocky. Kind of jars your head after a while. Phil, Vic and my youngest son blasted right past the famous old Mill that is below Crystal. It's easy to miss if you are headed down the hill. My older son and I just happened to glance left as we went by, and we turned around to go back to see it.



From there, we headed on down to Marble along the Crystal River Canyon. Marble is another cool little mountain town - population 131. It's a marble quarry town and there is only one paved road through it. In recent years, it's become kind of a funky, laid back and out of the way tourist and second home town.

From what we could tell, there is only one restaurant in town - Slow Groovin BBQ. Slow Groovin is in a rustic old 1800's era building and has a big BBQ smoker out front. The food and the service there were awesome. They also have a good selection of local beverages. We sat out on the shaded deck looking at the trees and the mountains. The temps were perfect and the fresh mountain air smelled good. It was a great place to relax and recover from the adrenaline induced events of the day.



It was starting to get a little later in the day. We wanted to take a different route back to Crested Butte and decided to go the longer scenic way over Kebler Pass. Locals told us it could take us 3 hours and we figured we'd just get home before dark. Some of us were concerned if we had enough gas to make it. There were no gas stations in town, but someone suggested that sometimes locals will sell some of their personal gas. So, we decided to stay on the lookout for some as we left the town and headed to the Kebler Pass Road.

As we headed out of Marble, we saw a grass air strip and a few vehicles and RV's parked on one side of the strip. We headed over to ask if anyone had any gas to spare.

Air strip in Marble:


A nice lady we met said she didn't have any extra gas, but the guy in the house across the road might.

So, we take off across the road. We pull into a wooded driveway with a house and other out structures. Also, an old camper, a boat, several vehicles and what looked like several man projects underway. It didn't look like the kind of place that you'd just walk up to un-announced. I started yelling HELLO! HELLO! HELLLLLLO! ANYBODY HOME?. Back came a terse reply - WHO IS IT?? First came the dog. Kind of a shepherd mix that came running out and he wasn't happy sounding at all. The man came out. Long gray beard, lean and work strong. Looked like a real outdoorsman! He said something and the dog changed his disposition immediately. He asked what we wanted in a curt manner. We asked if we could buy some gas from him. Then he started giving us a rash of you know what. "Why do you need gas? Did you not plan well? What kind of crap bikes are those orange things you are riding? Then a big grin came on his face and he said "Did I sufficiently give you some shit? Of course you can have some gas"

His name was Captain Kirk. Kirk turned out to be a nice guy and interesting character. Said he used to race motocross. Even raced over in Asia when he was in the Navy. Was a Navy welder. With a grin he said that every boat I ever worked on sank. Then, he added that he worked on nuclear subs. We enjoyed talking to him for a while. We filled up our bikes, made a donation and were off.

Captain Kirk


From the outskirts of Marble we head to hwy 133 and go over McClure Pass. It's a beautiful drive up and over the pass. Then we take a left toward Crested Butte on Kebler Pass Rd. Kebler Pass Rd. is another beautiful road. It's a long curvy graded loose gravel road with incredible sweepers and tighter twisty sections. You can have a lot of fun "flat tracking" on that road, but have to be very careful because of the slickness, but more importantly cars and trucks absolutely haul butt on it. You also pass through what I think is one of the largest Aspen forests in the country.

We pulled off in a sweeping curve to take this pic. My younger son's bike was out in the gravel road a bit. I probably came across as a preaching Dad, but I strongly suggested that he should push his bike further to the side. I reminded him of the "hauling butt" cars. He kind of gave me that "awe Dad" look and told me the bike would be fine. About that instant, a car came drifting around the corner at a high rate of speed. Looked like a European rally racer for a few seconds there. With wide eyes and an expletive, he quickly moved his bike and said " I see what you mean" The older and wiser Phil said: "Don't you just hate it when your Dad is right every once in a while?" We all had a good laugh.



It was getting very late in the day when we got back to Crested Butte. We checked on Zach. He didn't have any broken bones, but the Doctor suspected that he might have torn his ACL and/or MCL etc. He would have to get an MRI to tell for sure. Based on his pain level, it didn't look like he was going to be able to ride for the rest of the week. Bummer! But, at the same time thankful that it was not worse.

mikem9 screwed with this post 01-13-2013 at 03:54 PM
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:01 AM   #17
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Gas on 133

For future reference, there's gas at Redstone, just a couple miles east of the Marble turnoff on 133. But sounds like you had more fun with your choice!
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:17 AM   #18
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For future reference, there's gas at Redstone, just a couple miles east of the Marble turnoff on 133. But sounds like you had more fun with your choice!
McRuss - Someone in Marble mentioned Redstone but they were afraid it had been shut down. Then a couple others confirmed that the gas had been shut down there. Not sure what happened.
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:30 AM   #19
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Subbed...looking forward to the rest of this. Bummer about Zach, but glad it wasn't worse!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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Nice rr Mike9

Terraunfirma Tom , Me & two others rode 600+ miles last August all around Silverton CO on the High Passes & some Singletrack

I would love to make a return trip to this Area

Keep it coming
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:56 PM   #21
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #22
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You also pass through what I think is one of the largest Aspen forests in the country.
It is the largest stand in Colorado. Or more properly called a colony. Every aspen you see is derived from one seedling. As it grows, it sends out suckers that become the trees. The trees live and die but the roots live for thousands of years.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #23
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A great ride report Mike!!!
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #24
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It is the largest stand in Colorado. Or more properly called a colony. Every aspen you see is derived from one seedling. As it grows, it sends out suckers that become the trees. The trees live and die but the roots live for thousands of years.
Thanks for the info Scottysix9. The Kebler pass road goes for miles and miles through that Forest.

Thanks for the comments DOG's (Dual Sporters of Ga.)

SIDEBAR: The Town of Crested Butte.

No, I don't work for the department of tourism! :) Crested Butte is a great little town. It's nice, but not pretentious like some mountain towns. It has a mixed culture - kind of artsy/hippie/musical culture, mixed with outdoor enthusiasts and vacationing families. It's full of young folks, old folks and families. It has the feel of a lot of varied outdoor activity. The place buzzes during the day and especially late in the day when people are returning from adventures out in the mountains.



The area is considered a mountain biking mecca. Bikes are everywhere. In town, bikes fill up the bike racks and you see people riding them in greater numbers than cars. You don't see many mountain bike or fancy road bikes in town. You see mostly old vintage bikes and cruiser type bikes in town.



The backstreets are historic old gridded streets from the mining town days. For a few blocks, there are old miner's homes and many have been renovated into beautiful places.



There are some great restaurants in town. Not overly fancy, but very good food and atmosphere. Some of my favorites:

Donitas for Mexican


The Wooden Nickel for Steaks (a little pricey but good)


The Secret Stash for Pizza. One of my favorite restaurants anywhere. Old hippie/Himalayan climber vibe. Classic rock and roll, or newer stuff like Red Hot Chili Peppers etc. Unique Pizzas.



I'd also add "Lil's" (little pricey) for Sushi, Seafood, Steak and Pasta, and "The Last Steep" for huge variety, reasonably priced menu. The place feels like a classic ski town apres-ski bar and restaurant.

Another great place in town is the "Gas Cafe". It's a combination gas station, breakfast/lunch cafe, and general convenience store. One of the owners there has North Georgia Roots - Eric Tunkey. While Erik was growing up he spent many years living part time in mountains of Blue Ridge Georgia on Lake Blue Ridge off of Aska Rd. That area is a popular motorcycling and dual sporting area back home. He's a very nice guy and can usually be found manning the griddle making those incredible breakfast sandwiches and great coffee in the mornings, while listening to appropriately loud rock and roll.

With our big dirt bike group, we'd meet there every morning to get gas, a breakfast sandwich, then break into smaller groups and agree on route plans.

http://www.gascafeonestop.com/

mikem9 screwed with this post 08-28-2012 at 09:51 PM
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:24 AM   #25
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McRuss - Someone in Marble mentioned Redstone but they were afraid it had been shut down. Then a couple others confirmed that the gas had been shut down there. Not sure what happened.
OK, glad to get that update on Redstone gas! I don't ride the dirt any more around there so haven't stopped in for some years. My guess is EPA wouldn't 'certify' their tanks. Happened to lots of little gas stops.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:28 AM   #26
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Crested Butte

While living and working in Gunnison in a past life, I spent a lot of time in CB, can even remember some of it....Wooden Nickel rings a bell Slogars is one of my favorite eateries there. Get the family style fried chicken dinner for your group!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #27
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I'll try to finish this report soon. Wanted to leave myself some notes for my fading memory :)

Day 5 continued - Status on Zach/Keith's Birthday.

Day 6 - Tuesday - Singletrack, Flat Tire, Mexican Restaurant

Day 7 - Wed - Lost Clutch on Pearl Pass, Missing child, Folks in Gothic

Day 8 - Thurs - Hiking, Harley down on dirt road. Jeep up Punchbowl

Day 9 - Fri - ATV's, Ambulance ride.

Day 10 - Headed home.
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