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Old 10-30-2014, 10:01 PM   #1
Goofaroo OP
The Piddler
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 199
Takin' a ride on the COBDR with my son

I have been riding for years both street and dirt but I've never taken a trip any longer than a few days camping on a street bike. I decided it was time to take a longer ride so I bought a 2007 KLR650 for myself and a 2002 KLR250 for my son. Then I spent a few months getting my gear sorted and figuring out where to ride. I finally decided on the Colorado BDR, we set a date, and hit the road.

Day 1 August 20th: We trailered the bikes from home (Edmond, Oklahoma) to Albuquerque and spent the night at a friend's house. Here we are at Mike's house in ABQ.

And here's Mike. I used to live in ABQ and Mike was a good friend while I was there. I hadn't seen him in 20 years. We were both a lot more gray than last time we had seen each other. It was great to see him and he was forthcoming with the tequila and cerveza. That's me on the right.

After a number of fermented beverages and shooting some shit we sacked out for the night.

Day 2 August 21st: We hit the road for a 240 mile drive to Shiprock NM. I had made arrangements to park the car and trailer in a storage lot there. It was about 25 miles from the Four Corners Monument so it was a good spot to stash the car while we were on the trip. This pic is actually when we returned after the ride:

Finally, we unloaded the bikes, got all of our gear loaded on the bikes, put on our riding gear, and got under way.

We were about four miles from the car headed to four corners when I looked in my mirror and Scott (my son) had stopped on the side of the road. I circled back and he said that it just died. I looked to see if the fuel was turned on and it was. I kicked it and it started so we hopped back on and kept going. Unfortunately we got about a mile and it died again.

I suspected fuel starvation so I checked the fuel filter and sure enough it had debris in it. We had only put a few miles on the bike after it was purchased and it ran perfectly but maybe trailering it about 800 miles jarred some debris loose in the tank. Anyway, just after having loaded the bike, I had to dig down to the bottom of one of my panniers to get my tool bag.

I took the hose-filter-hose assembly off the bike and replaced it with a fuel line with no filter. I figured I would pick up a filter at the first opportunity and hope for the best until then.

Here's the scene:

Back under way, we made the 25 mile ride over into Arizona and then up to Four Corners.

Now I swore to myself that I was going to take a lot of pics on this trip but as usual I was not very diligent. I started taking a few more after the first few days of the trip but I still wish I had taken a helluva lot more. I especially would have liked to have had more pics of the people we met along the way but it's too late now. Anyway, back to the story.

So after we get the obligatory picture at Four Corners we head back to the bikes and a guy on a 1200 GSA rides up and asks if we have a laptop. I laughed and said no but I told told him I had an I Phone 3G and Canon Sureshot. His name was DC and he was from Ohio. He had been riding on the road but a friend had suggested that he do the BDR while he was out here but he needed to download the tracks. We told him he was welcome to tag along so off we went.

It was about 60 miles of pavement to get to Delores. I grabbed a fuel filter at a bike shop in Cortez along the way figuring that would need it later but Scott's 250 was running great so we pressed on.

Here we are in Delores. We filled our water bottles and grabbed a few snacks before heading off road into Boggy Draw and we were hoping to make it to Telluride.

The gas station we stopped at was right next to the old train depot and the Galloping Goose.

We went through Boggy draw and beyond but it started to get dark and we were ready to start looking for a place to camp. After not seeing anyone else on the trail all day I saw a campfire just off the trail so I rode up and asked if they would mind if we set up camp with them. They kindly invited us up so I signalled to Scott and DC and they rode up. It was four guys on KLR650s that get together in Colorado for a ride every year. They weren't riding the BDR but happened to be in the area. They were great company and the fire provided some welcomed warmth. We set up camp, had some dinner, and crashed for the night just in time to beat the rain. It ended up raining all night which certainly made a difference in the trail conditions the next morning.

Day 3 August 22nd: We loaded up our wet gear in a light sprinkle and hit the trail headed for Telluride. Immediately the trail became slicker than snot. It was pretty slow going and DC was having a tough time on the big GSA. He went down a few times and was hard to find enough traction to pick his bike up. The mud was that type of clay that sticks to your tires and anything else that it comes into contact with. We finally got through and we stopped to take a break and I snapped this pic.

Then we continued on and finally got to Telluride. We parked our bikes and ate some pork dumplings we bought from a guy with a food cart. They were pretty good and we really didn't want to take the time to eat at a restaurant so it worked out perfectly. I also made a stop at one of the Telluride "medicine shops".

Then we fueled up and headed for Ophir pass. The plan was to get to Lake City tonight but was already getting late in the afternoon. We crossed Ophir and continued on.

I have ridden this area of the San Juans pretty extensively so I was a bit concerned about taking the BDR track through this area. DC didn't have a lot of off road experience and it didn't help that his GSA was loaded for several weeks on the road so I decided to go to Ouray, get a hotel, dry out our wet gear, and figure out the easiest route to get to Lake City and continue the trip. I was planning to blast though this area on the way up and then spend some time here on the return trip anyway. We slabbed it up the Million Dollar Highway to Ouray.

Day 4 August 24th: We packed up and headed out of Ouray and it wasn't raining. In fact it was sunny outside. This was a welcomed change.

I had talked to a local and he advised that because of the rain Corkscrew Gulch would be pretty tricky on a big bike. I knew that Cinnamon Pass had a pretty steep climb coming out of Animas Forks so I decided that Engineer pass would be the easiest way to get over to Lake City. The hard part of Engineer is the bottom half but we would be taking the upper half out of Animas Forks.

Here's our gang after riding the Million Dollar Highway back to Silverton and then up to Animas Forks.

It turned out that Engineer was a little trickier than I recalled. I had only been on it with my KTM640 Adventure and my XR350 which made it a cake walk. Being on a loaded GS made it a bit more of a challenge for DC. After a couple of mishaps on some of the switchbacks he soldiered to the top. His skills improved dramatically after that and it was great to see him progress and have fun.

You can't tell in this pic but it is windy as hell up here and we got into a little sleet on the way up.

We continued on to Lake City, had some lunch, and then headed on. I was hoping to make Buena Vista that day but once again we were behind schedule. We followed the track through the Gunnison National Forest (and wherever else we were) and it starts getting late and sprinkling again. we finally came to a sign that said "Pitkin 11 miles" and I figured we could grab something to eat in Pitkin and find a place to camp.

The last 11 miles to Pitkin was rather interesting. It was pitch black out, raining off and on, and there were cows in the road everywhere. The cows would just stand there a look at you and when you finally proceeded like you were going to ride into them they would finally move and then some of them would run along beside you. Cows were a theme on most of the trip but somehow having them around you at night was kind of spooky.

We finally rolled into Pitkin and it was pitch black. It looked like it was abandoned. We were riding through town and I saw a campfire. It turned out that it was in someone's back yard so I parked the bike and walked back there. There were several people sitting around a fire and I asked them if there somewhere to camp and they directed me to a camp site about a mile out of town. We got there, set up camp in the rain, and went to bed with a couple of Cliff Bars for dinner.

More to come.

Goofaroo screwed with this post 10-31-2014 at 08:13 PM
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:05 PM   #2
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AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:09 PM   #3
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Im in.

When did you guys take this trip?
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
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We were on the trail from August 21st thru September 3rd of this year. I'm just now getting around to posting a report.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:15 AM   #5
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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In too
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Nicely done!

Great RR. Sounds eerily familiar to the trip I did with Dansrc51 August 16-21.

Can't wait for the conclusion. Maybe this will inspire me to post a RR of our trip!
'08 KLR 650

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Old 10-31-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
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Awesome riding! thanks for sharing your adventure in Colorado
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:44 PM   #9
Goofaroo OP
The Piddler
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 199
Originally Posted by D-Stylz View Post
Great RR. Sounds eerily familiar to the trip I did with Dansrc51 August 16-21.

Can't wait for the conclusion. Maybe this will inspire me to post a RR of our trip!
Thanks for stopping in. I wasn't really planning on doing this report but I felt like even though my ride is insignificant in comparison to the epic trips that I have read about on this site I figured it was time for me to contribute what little I could. I hope it is of interest to a few people and maybe even helps motivate someone to get out there and ride.

You were finishing just as we arrived. I'd be very interested to see your report.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Goofaroo View Post
We were on the trail from August 21st thru September 3rd of this year. I'm just now getting around to posting a report.
It's great that you are doing this with your son. Great report so far. Post more pics!
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:08 PM   #11
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Very cool. Good father son memories! Tell me, how are the A.R.C pants in terms of keeping you dry? Bought the jacket hoping it would be better than it has been. Guess its alright if you dont want to keep the rain out.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:58 PM   #12
Goofaroo OP
The Piddler
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by themosjohn View Post
Very cool. Good father son memories! Tell me, how are the A.R.C pants in terms of keeping you dry? Bought the jacket hoping it would be better than it has been. Guess its alright if you dont want to keep the rain out.
The pants worked fine. I wore a light Patagonia base layer under them and I was always comfy. The vents worked well when it was hot out.

As for your jacket- I've never had a jacket that actually kept the rain out for any length of time. With all the zippered vents and such the rain will always find a way in. For this trip I wore a synthetic t-shirt under the jacket and I left the jacket liner at home. When I needed more warmth I put on a fleece vest. When I needed to stay dry I put on a rain shell under the jacket (as seen in my pic at Animas Forks). If it was cold enough I wore the vest, the rain shell, then the jacket. That set-up worked perfectly and I was always comfy and dry.

FWIW- My Jacket is a Tourmaster that I bought on Ebay for around $150 as I recall. My son's Jacket is also from Ebay and cost around $70 shipped. It worked as well as mine and he also carried a fleece vest and a rain shell. You don't need to spend a fortune to stay warm and dry.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:09 PM   #13
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Engineer Pass on a GSA? Wow! Congratulations indeed.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:18 PM   #14
Goofaroo OP
The Piddler
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 199
Back to this three ring shit show.

Day 5 August 25th: We woke up in a campground just past Pitkin after sleeping in the rain all night. The rain had finally stopped but we had to pack our gear wet again.

We headed back into town to get fuel and hopefully some breakfast. The general store was open and we were able to get fuel and fill our water bottles and dromedary bag.

Right next to the general store was a food trailer open for business.

This little cutie cooked us some pancakes and bacon and we were ready to head to Buena Vista.

Then it was a nice ride up to Cumberland Pass.

Then through Tin Cup to Taylor Park Trading Post to replenish our snack supply.

A rest stop as we headed toward Cottonwood Pass (as I recall).

Then we rolled into Buena Vista and stopped for some lunch. As we ate DC told us that he was going to part ways with us and head over to Colorado Springs to ride up Pike's Peak and then head home to Ohio. We enjoyed riding with him and were sorry to see him go.

With our tent soaking wet and packed in a dry bag and the fact that Buena Vista was the end of one of the "sections" we decided to stay there that night and it turned out that the Piñon Court Motel was right next door. I walked over and found that they had a room for us and there was a liquor store right across the street so we rode the bikes over and called it home for the night. The guy running the place was very accommodating and gave us some laundry soap so and let us use their clothes lines to dry out our tent.

We ended up hanging out until late in the night with a few other guests and a couple of guys that worked there. Let's just say that quite a few fermented beverages were sacrificed and I had a touch of rat fever when I got on the bike the next day.

Day 6 August 26th: We headed out for Gypsum and went through the ATV riding area.

We made our way up to Weston Pass.

Then to Hagerman. This section from Buena Vista to Gypsum had a nice assortment of terrain and we had a great ride and were making good time. The weather even cooperated with very little rain.

Then we arrived in Gypsum. We had dinner at a pizza joint we came across and they gave us directions to a campground just outside of town. We proceeded to the campground and got camp all set up and a fire started just before dark. It was a great day of riding but Scott's 250 was getting hard to start and he said it was lacking in power. I figured this would happen sooner or later and so I decided that in the morning I would pull Scott's carb off and see what was going on. I assumed that running without the fuel filter had allowed some garbage into the carb.

More to follow.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:28 PM   #15
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The Piddler
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
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Day 7 August 27th: We woke up and got moving around and while Scott broke camp I started tearing into his bike. While I was working on it a local who lived nearby walked over and asked if we had seen the bear last night. We hadn't but he said that he watched a brown bear walk along the river right behind our camp and then cross the river to the other side. I was sorry we missed that although it would have been a bit scary. As it turned out, we never saw a bear or a moose the entire trip. I can however report that there are a lot of chipmunks with suicidal tendencies that like to run across the road in front of you.

So I got the carb off and disassembled it at the picnic table. I thought I brought enough tools to tackle just about any problems we may encounter but I didn't have a screwdriver small enough to remove the pilot jet. While Scott worked on getting us packed up I rode into Gypsum and found a Napa store where I bought some carb cleaner and a small screwdriver. The carb was full of debris so gave it a good cleaning, put it back on the bike, and installed the new fuel filter. I kept a close eye on the filter over the next few days but it remained clean and still is to this day. I guess the carb had gobbled up the last of the debris that was in the tank. Scott's bike ran better than ever and started very easily the rest of the trip.

So we loaded up and went back to town for fuel and to fill our water supply. It turned out that we were right by the the start of the next track which heads north out of town towards the gypsum mine.

The ride was beautiful winding along the Colorado River and we ended up at this store near State Bridge. We saw the "BBQ" written on the sign and decided to stop and eat. I didn't realize just how difficult it would be to keep a teenage boy fed on a trip like this.

If you look closely you can see the gentleman that runs the store in the pic. He informed us that there was no BBQ today and acted like we should have known that. He then informed us that about four miles up the track there was another BBQ joint in a small rafting community. We got a drink and then moved on.

I wish I had some pics of this "town" he mentioned. It was an interesting collection of structures but we turned in and rode through looking for something resembling a restaurant. We had no luck so we stopped and asked someone where we could get some BBQ and he informed us that they weren't open today and acted as though we should have known. Hmmm. The guy back at the last stop that sent us here really should have known.

So hungry boy in tow, I continued on the track. We had a nice ride although I was getting pretty hungry myself but we kept pressing thinking that sooner or later we would find somewhere to eat. We had dehydrated food with us but I was saving that for the occasions where we set up camp late or just otherwise didn't have access to a diner so we kept going.

Here's another break somewhere along the trail. I'm stretching my legs and Scott is contemplating his next meal.

Just after Gore Pass we came to Beaver pond crossing. From the research I had done before the trip i knew that with all of the rain we had encountered this was potentially going to be a problem. we stopped the bikes and took a look and it was actually not nearly as deep as a few other crossings we had made.

So Scott proceeded through and I followed without incident.

It was amazing how few people we encountered along the track. Later that day we were stopped again taking a break and I saw a Subaru Outbck wagon with a roof rack coming towards us. I stood along the road to wave them down and the car stopped, rolled down the window, and this nice lady had to be 95 years old and was on an oxygen tank. It left us wondering what she was doing out out here.

We were seriously hungry by now and she gave us directions that took us just a bit off track to Oak Cliff. This was just about 10 miles or so outside of Stagecoach Reservoir and we rolled into town and found this restaurant. We had a couple of really good reuben sandwiches and all was well again.

After dinner I noticed a sign that said "Oak Cliff Motel". It was getting late and starting to sprinkle again and I made the executive decision to stop there for the night. Shortly after we got checked in it started raining pretty hard and gave our bikes a much needed bath.

To be continued.
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