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Old 08-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #1
One Fat Roach OP
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Washington to New Mexico One Way with the Colorado BDR/KLR Rally 2014

Here's a little back story to my trip. Last June (2013) I bought my first real bike and started doing the ADV thing. slowly acquiring gear, tent, supplies to be self sufficient on some short trips. I ended up doing the WABDR and attending my first two ADV events in Sept and October. I knew I wanted to do a big trip next summer but I had no idea where I would go. The sickness was well planted inside me and I was brainstorming many ideas. And then I met a guy at Barnes and Noble on a Friday night.

He told me about a facebook group to join for KLR owners. He is also the owner and manufacturer for producing racks and hard boxes for KLRs and other bikes. I joined the group in November and later that month some guys started talking about doing a KLR Rally group ride the following July/August in Colorado for the BDR. The seed was planted.

Born and raised in Washington state and 27 years old I was ready for a change of scenery. I wanted to pick up and go travel and live somewhere new. preferably somewhere I could ride year round. A friend in Albuquerque offered a spare room he had for after my trip. I just needed to prepare the bike, save some money and plan.

Originally my route was to take me through Portland to see friends, possibly down the coast and then to inland northern California. See some Nat'l parks and monuments, cut across Highway 36 to Highway 101 and then zoom to Sacramento and meet a fellow rider from the KLR group. We would then boogie across Highway 50 through Nevada and Utah, Moab and ultimately end in Cortez, Colorado for the start of the Rally and BDR. Well, as you know, life has its own plan sometimes and things changed for me.



And so it begins:

After months of preparing the bike, upgrading suspension, getting an IMS 6.6 gallon tank, getting cold weather gear (I had all the rain gear I needed, I live in the PNW, c'mon now) and purchasing some awesome waterproof and very comfortable riding boots. I was planning to be on the road two to three weeks before arriving in Albuquerque.

I left Tri Cities Washington July 16 en route for Missoula Montana via Highway 12/ Lolo Pass where I would meet up with the organizer of this event. Ironically he had just sold his KLR two months prior and purchased a brand new 2014 KTM 690.




I crashed at his place and we left at 9am to get his KTM its first service and finally hit the road around 10:30 am.






We didn't have a set schedule other than making it down to New Mexico to meet some other riders and getting to Cortez before the Rally began.

The first day we made it to the Idaho/Wyoming border from Missoula. The scenery was quite amazing, and although I lived near the North Cascades and traveled them many times, these mountains were very, very different. I was in awe riding over a pass to cross into Wyoming, unfortunately I don't remember the name and I should.





We continued through Wyoming and the spectacular mountains before it got very flat. The roads earlier were very twisty, full of great landscapes and then it changed to flat straight roads for a short time. Before I knew it we came to a sign that said "Thanks for visiting Wyoming" or something similar and another sign "Welcome to Colorful Colorado."









We pushed towards Steamboat Springs to camp on day two. Found a great spot at Stagecoach State Park for $7






Some quick maintenance in the morning before departure




From Steamboat Springs we pushed south. Hoping to get into northern New Mexico and meet up with 5 to 6 other riders.



The further south we got into Colorado the more frustrated a began to get with the other rider. Having to stop every 80-90 miles for gas and putting on a jacket because of rain (which would last 5 minutes or less) several times. He pulled over just outside of Hooper Colorado to apply a layer and I just waved as I rode on. The pace was slower than I would have preferred and it didn't look like we would make it into New Mexico so I kept pushing.

Made it through Alamosa and as I was approaching the border to New Mexico it started to rain. BAD. I thought it would end shortly but it didn't. I pulled off the highway and got naked and put on my pant and jacket liners and fairly certain I gave two house a show. Not a pretty one to say the least. I make it another few miles and the rain just intensified. The drops felt like paintballs pegging me all over, I just lowered my upper body and lowered my speed a bit so it didn't hurt so much.

I outran the nasty cloud and stopped in the tiny town of Tres Piedras for a bite to eat. Green Chile burger and a soda. Checked my map and I was within about 2 hours of the destination of Dixon, New Mexico. As I was finishing up my meal a homeless man entered the café and asked for some water. I had passed him earlier on the side of the highway as the rain ended. He was pushing a bicycle that had a milk crate and a trailer attached with a LOT of gear. The waitress said she couldn't give him any water unless he paid for it. He had a 1 gallon jug and 3 other smaller containers of different sizes. I mentioned to her I would pay for his water if that was ok... she looked at me kind of aggravated and said "Ok". The man was very very dirty, hadn't showered in at least a week but I offered him some directions through the GPS on my phone but he didn't seem to know where he was heading. I didn't get his name but I wish I had.... Every few days I think about where he's at and if he's alright...




more later...
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:04 PM   #2
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As I leave Tres Piedras with a fully belly the storm cloud I passed caught back up to me. I hustled to get back on the road and hit the junction at South 285 to head East on 64 towards Taos. As soon as I made the turn and saw what was in front of me all thoughts had ceased and I just kept going. Lightening had begun to crackle in every direction around me. I was also heading into one of the darkest and ugliest black clouds I'd ever seen in my life and it was taking up about half of the entire sky above me. Mostly covering the entire direction I was heading. The lightening didn't let up at all, seeing the reflection in my mirror and in my peripherals every other minute. About 15 miles on to Highway 64 I about wet my jock strap when a lightening strike made contact with the ground a few hundred yards in front of me. I didn't stop for any photos here because it was pissing down rain and of the lightening but wish I would have.

I made it into Taos and the weather was mildy better. People walking around town in shorts and tshirts. You could tell it was Friday night with traffic being a pain. Eventually I made it through the slow snail pace of traffic and continued towards Dixon, my destination for the evening. The highway was awesome following the infamous Rio Grande and being in a canyon. The Rio Grande in this section was definitely a let down... "That's it??" being my main reaction.

I finally made it to the house where 3 other riders were waiting. One from Indiana and the other was an infamous Swede named Kami. The KLR group had donated and purchased him a plane ticket from Sweden to Texas. He borrowed a bike from a member in Texas and arrived about a week before I did on a pretty sweet KLR. First time meeting any of these guys and they were all awesome and mellow. 2 of us decided to go to a nearby gas station so the Swede could get some money from the ATM. and when I say nearby it was 15 miles away haha. When we got there, Dave (the rider I was riding with previously) was there fueling up with the intentions of riding into Sante Fe to get his KTM its second service. But with the arrival of us he decided to ride back via a dirt rode in the dark, which we were told by the local would be an easy road. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
With my shitty ass Baja design headlight I was stuck using the headlights of the rider in front of me and the KTM behind me. I had one very close call hitting some cross tracks I couldn't see, and barely holding on. We hit about 3 very large hills about 50 feet tall and fairly steep before 2 of the riders went down and couldn't make it any further. We turned around and got back on the highway, made it to the house and the KTM had its first battle scar. A very deep scratch along the left side of the frame We had dinner waiting for us, chatted for a bit, and passed out with the following day being a maintenance day and heading for the Jemez mountains in the early afternoon.


Changed both my tires with the help of the New Mexico sun. First time I've done both myself and it felt awesome. MT21 front and a D606 rear. Adjusted and lubed my chain and rearranged my gear for the bike and I was locked and loaded. I think we finally left around 2 or 3 pm, and by then another rider had showed up on his F800 GS. I was jealous by how little he had strapped to his bike.




I lost the 40L Wolfman duffel and arranged my bags a bit differently.







We camped out in the Jemez Mtns in northern New Mexico and in the morning were on the road at good time shooting to make it up near Farmington or the Four Corners. HA. The pace was slow with there being 6 riders now. No major mechanical issues but there was one wipeout by the guy leading the group but no injuries to him or the bike. The Jemez were beautiful going up and coming down the other side it changed fast. Rocky pit runs, sand in places and more dry than the previous side. Very technical riding going downhill for a few hours.

We hit Highway 550 and it was getting late, the local who was leading the group thought it would be ok to camp in Apache Territory. I wasn't feeling so comfortable but he kept assuring us it would be fine. Scary as shit trying to sleep that night.








We made it up to the Four Corners monument, went for a swim in a nearby "river" that was only a couple inches deep and I split from the group as they headed into Utah and I went for Cortez. I wanted a break from the group riding thing and some time to explore on my own. It was fun riding with others but it was starting to get to me with the slow pace and constant breaks. It had been 4 days or so without a shower so I headed to town with the plans to camp but randomly rode past the hotel I had a reservation at for the next day and luckily they had the same room available. I took it. Showered and met a few of the other 60 riders who planned to attend the KLR rally.

I woke up Tuesday, July 22nd with the intentions to do some solo exploring. I wanted to check out Mesa Verde Nat'l Park and Canyon of the Ancients. The solo thing didn't happen but I had a good time meeting new riders and checking out Mesa Verde. On the way up a few of the guys got impatient following traffic and passed some cars. I waited patiently for a solid view ahead and made my move, with the rider behind me following. About a half mile past one of the lodges I suddenly see red and blue lights in my mirror. I yield to the side of the road and a Park ranger is furiously pointing to the side of the road. He passes me and does the same to the other riders I was with. We all park in this pullout and the Ranger approaches us and says, "I saw two of you guys pass illegally a few miles back, which two of you was it?"
Some of the other guys got a bit mouthy and he asked for our IDs. I kept my mouth shut and just gave him my card but didn't admit to doing anything wrong and just waited for the outcome. We were waiting about 15mins before our IDs were returned to us and he said the same thing trying to get one of us to admit guilt.
"Ok guys, I know I saw two of you pass illegally over the double yellow back there, so who was it?"
All I could think to myself was, are you fucking joking me? We all have different colored bikes and helmets, and you claim to have seen two of us do something illegal. If you were good at you job you would have recorded some details in your head of yours about which two bikes you saw pass illegally. He gave us all a warning and we were on our way LOL









I had to convince some of the guys to head down the trail with me and one headed back to the hotel. I'd never seen anything like this in my life and I wanted to experience it all. I wanted to stay longer and check out the other sites but I was getting really hungry and we decided to go get lunch afterwards. Amazing, amazing place that Mesa Verde. The road on the way down was way more enjoyable with almost zero traffic ahead of us. We definitely watched our speed though, knowing that Ranger would be waiting for us somewhere on the way down. We didn't see him.



More later...
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:52 PM   #3
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It is good to see that you are out having an adventure. Enjoy!
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:03 PM   #4
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:31 AM   #5
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I have more to share just haven't had computer access.

Lots of ups and downs. Many life lessons.

I'm in Albuquerque and working...

To be continued
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:57 PM   #6
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Disclaimer: forgive me if i forget names of places. my memory is awful

After Mesa Verde there was a scheduled meet n greet/dinner for all the KLRistas as well as some giveaway prizes. some really cool stuff from Butler, Wolfman, Giant Loop and some others I cant think of. I ended up winning some huge Giant Loop wind deflectors that looked like Dumbo ears on my handle bars. They were still nice.

Had dinner and some drinks and met some other guys and we arranged our riding group of 5. We would be called "The A Team".



L to R: Eric, Steve and Blaze. Not pictured is Jeremiah. I'll try to get to him later. Great guys, great attitudes and awesome riding skills. Couldn't ask for a better group to enjoy the next five days with throughout Colorado along the BDR.



July 23 Day 1 of the COBDR:

The morning for the KLR Rally had finally arrived and somehow I was able to sleep really good the night before. Packed everything back onto the bike after an oil change the night before, grabbed my frozen bladder for my camel back and warmed up the bike.

Everyone was anxious and ready to get the show on the road.




This young gent was known as "The Swede" aka Kami aka KLR KamiKaze. A lot guys had pitched in to buy him a plane ticket to America so he could join us for the Rally. He was a very unique and young hearted individual. He loved his chocolate and ice cream.

We left Cortez after Steve had to deal with a flat that morning but were shortly on the road after that. Cruising up the highway out of Cortez we missed the very first junction to get on the dirt. Not a big deal. One thing I really enjoyed about these guys was their stress free attitude, even if things went wrong or we missed some turns.

The first taste of dirt was awesome. Lot of ups and downs, cattle gates and rocky hill climbs. Not even an hour into the ride one rider, on a XR650 R, threw in his towel due to a short and gnarly (to some) hill climb. He came all the way from Illinois for the ride and decided so quick to give up, I wish he hadn't.

One of the first places we stopped for a break with another group of guys from the Rally. I don't remember the name of this lake. but I wanna guess "something" Reservoir. A little traffic on the gravel roads due to some vacationing areas around here. No big deal.

We kept trekking and found our first opportunity for a water crossing. It wasn't necessary by any means. Blaze gave it the first shot:


Here is another shot which I believe was before coming into Telluride.


Telluride would be our first camp. All of us decided prior we would not be getting a hotel along the trip. We all had our tents and camping supplies and planned on finding a location at the end of the day. Not too much planning on our part. I liked that. Before we looked for a place to set up camp we rode into Telluride for some food. We ate at some vegetarian east indian type place. Really good food. While we were eating Blaze and 'Miah were scouting some camping spots and found a potential spot only a few miles outside of town.

Telluride was fucking gorgeous and tucked inside some mountains. I imagine skiing and snowboarding in the winter is quite good.


Riding back out of town we took a right hand turn off the main road and it turned into a cool little dirt road. Followed it for maybe 2-3 miles and it just ended. On the way back out there was a small little deer/mtb trail off the dirt road. Blaze was the first off his bike to run up it and investigate. Blaze is also a US Marine. He's a helicopter pilot and has served our country with two duties over seas. He's also a member of ADV. He said the trail went back a ways and it would great for us to set up for the night. No one objected. The gravel road had a small decline and the trail hooked to the right up a steep grade at an awful angle. I watched the 4 guys make it up relatively easy. They all had soft luggage and I was the one with hard boxes. I gave it a go, didn't execute the line I wanted correctly and dropped the bike going up the deer trail. SHIT. First spill with these boxes. Low speed but it bent the inside wall of the box the bike landed on. Rolled the bike back down and gave it another go. Hit my line a lot better this time, the front tire didn't wash out, and made it up the hill to our first camp.

Here is a view looking down into Telluride from our camp



We all set up for our first night and bullshitted for a few hours and passed out early anxious for Day two of the COBDR.


more later....
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:48 AM   #7
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Great ride report!
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:30 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention before heading into Telluride we had stopped to take a break and ran into one of my friends from back home in Washington. He was riding his BMW 650 across Utah and Colorado with a friend. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo together. Pretty bummed about that. Anyways, the real reason to why we stopped to take a break... Steve, who had just installed a 685 kit, ported and polished intakes and SS valves, had rode his KLR from Sacramento with 0 miles break in before departure. Steve and Eric blasted across the Nevada desert in 2 days. Anyways, I had let Steve know one of his pelicans got loose and was dangling behind his Big Gun Evo R exhaust. We pulled over for to investigate. Inside the pelican case was a VERY expensive Nikon lens. The exhaust had melted the pelican like a piece of cheese. It looked as if a pelican was struck by a Tomahawk cruise missile. A perfectly melted circle with the lens inside destroyed. Once again, no photos. But someone else in the group got some. I'll try to find them.

Day 2 of the COBDR:
I woke up to some sleeping bag and tent rufflings and the great aroma of coffee (but I don't drink that crap). I crawled out of my tent and as I did a mountain biker was cruising up the deer trail towards our camp. I guess its more of a MTB trail in hindsight HAHA. The few that rode past were polite and said good morning. I thought they might be upset we were so close to the trail but they didn't show any sign of it on their faces.

We packed up, loaded the bikes and headed out. Our plan was to ride up Imogene Pass (my friend Kyle on his BMW suggested this route), have lunch in Ouray, ride over Engineer Pass and end the day somewhere near Lake City.


Imogene Pass was breathtaking. Beautiful beyond words. And colorful more than any photots or postcard. Heading up the pass was a bit annoying trying to navigate past all the Jeeps giving tours. We managed though. Blaze taking the lead, followed by Jeremiah, then Myself, Eric and Steve rallying the sweep position.






FYYFF





I've been high many many times in my life... but not THIS high.




Looking back down towards Telluride.



Just before reaching the top of the pass Steve had been having issues with his bike losing power and not wanting to start after stopping to take photos. He bump started it a few times, one of many reasons why pre 2008 KLRs rule, and we found out from Jeremiah that he would be cruising back into Telluride and planning to meet us that night in Lake City after resolving the issue. Where we had stopped Eric had also noticed his bike (also a 685) not having as much power and not sounding like normal. After investigating he found out the nuts to his header pipe were missing. It was still on there good but missing the nuts. His clutch cable had also broke. I told him not to worry, and checked my little box of spare nuts, screws and bolts for some replacements. Had two of the exact fit. Also gave him the spare clutch cable I carried in my pannier. With this being my first long trip, I knew I had to be prepared for the bike and carried the little things with me in case shit like this would happen. And of course, it did. Eric was grateful and I was glad to help out.


Coming down Imogene Pass this little fellow caught my eye and I stopped to say Hi and hangout for a minute. Asked him if it was ok to continue... He said it was ok.




We made it to Ouray for lunch and ate at some brewpub style place. I had some lame ass, half assed sandwhich with two beers. Eric paid for my lunch as a thank you for the nuts and clutch cable. We checked the maps and GPS and continued onward towards Engineer Pass. The road leading up there out of Ouray was twisty, full of traffic and had no side rails leading down a few hundred feet of cliffs.

Right when we got to the turnoff for the pass it had started to rain. Not just the drizzle type but some actual fat drops of rain coming down at a steady pace. We were all stopped and just looked at each other and nodded. Blaze was the first one to head up. I was the last. Getting into second gear I just thought to myself how crazy this was and how I had no option of giving up and I just had to do it, and do it right. The beginning of the pass was wet as fuck. Rocky as fuck. and had some very technical sections having to maneuver left to right while climbing up the rocks. I've never ridden anything this difficult before. Being loaded up the way I was it definitely was not easy and I just tried to focus on picking my lines, standing up on the pegs and keeping my momentum. Every few hundred feet was a victory to me. My left hand was starting to hurt from using the clutch. But I was loving the fact I put on a 14 tooth counter sprocket in New Mexico before the trip, it would of been hell with the 15. Also satisfied with my choice of tires. Both were the first time I've used them and they helped out a ton with the rocky step ups and wet rock.




It stopped raining as we got to the top of the Pass and over to the other side. I was pretty happy about that. A LOT of mining camps coming down the pass. Once again, should of taken more photos. It was incredible to see these small establishments and imagine people living here and busting their ass for work. Elbow grease to the max. Good ol fashioned hard work.

We reached Lake City around late afternoon and headed towards the only gas station in town to refuel, resupply and to wait for Steve. It was only about 30-45 minutes or so before he showed up. Turns out he left his camera on his phone running while connected to the bike and it drained his battery. Cant remember if he got a new one or just charged it in town. My memory sucks.

We grabbed some beers and headed south of town for a camp site. We found this sweet little spot off of some main road.


Great view of the lake. Beautiful. Lush. Green. Loved it all.

Literally the minute after the last person was finished setting up his tent and getting situated it started to rain. Classic. We drank a few beers standing up in our rain gear and talked about the day. I went over to Jeremiah's tent, BS'd with him for a bit. I made my first MountainHouse meal and was stoked how tasty it was.

It was a great day. I was very satisfied and was craving more.

Time for sleep.




more later....
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Old 11-29-2014, 12:25 AM   #9
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This report gets better.






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Old 12-01-2014, 10:09 PM   #10
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Good stuff Roach.
I love all the stuff you've shown us so far. So much good exploring in these parts. Keep it coming.
I also like the way you find camp spots -- just whatever works.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:46 AM   #11
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Day 3 of the COBDR (9 altogether):
Today we head out from Lake City to Buena Vista. We headed back into town and spotted some of the other guys from the bigger group. A lot of them had decided to get a room since it was raining the previous night (pussies ) and we gave them a bunch of shit for it. The morning was beautiful as always. We stayed longer than I would of preferred (would rather be riding than talking!) but I couldnt complain, they were all really cool guys.

First pit stop along the days route:


I remember this day being one of the more fun days along the trip because we took a detour nobody knew about and the road ended up being fucking AWESOME two track, heavily wooded, soft and hard pack dirt with many many rollers and other obstacles. Way different type of riding than the previous wide forest service type road. Not many photos during this time cause it was such a blast. Its funny how in the heat of things youre just having too much of a good time to take photos.



We werent sure if the track we were following would lead us back to the BDR route, but sure as shit, we hit a cattle gate and were right back on the route. It was a solid 2-3 hours of awesomeness.

This ended up being the type of stuff we road the rest of the day. No complaints as the scenery was unforgettable








Memory goes blank until we got to this farm area where a family was herding their cows


This was absolutely ridiculous to see. An ATV, two girls on horses trying to herd the cows down the trail and across a water crossing. All the guys in the group kept looking at each other screaming "what the fuck is happening?"

two of the guys had go pros rolling during this time. Havent seen any of their footage of the trip thus far. Im still haggling them.

Stopped in Pitkin for lunch and a break. Had a decent burger at the only place to eat in the little town. No photos again. I'm dumb, dont remind me.

Before I know it we're climbing Cottonwood Pass. And reach the summit.




Looking one direction:




And looking the other:





We hit the road and I remember just being super excited for some reason. I was the last in the group to take off and when I did was pretty obnoxious with the throttle. Hit 5th gear rather quickly coming down the pavement. Just as I do, I see some sort of "bump" in the road and have the smallest fraction of a second to react by giving a little bit of rear and front brake. Not enough. I hit this bump in the road so fucking fast the bike bucked me straight upwards. I remember my feet coming completely off the pegs. The furthest they have ever been. My arms were fully extended and I remember thinking to myself "DONT FUCKING LET GO" I dont know how, I dont know why... but when my fatass come back to the bike everything stayed upright. Eyes wide open and heart beating faster than if I were running with the bulls in Spain I just thought to myself, "Slow the fuck down Garcia. That could of been the end of many things." I dont recall having such a scary and close call to injury or death in my life or while riding a moto.


Coming down off the pass we hit many water crossings. My adrenaline back to normal I remember being exhausted from the day. But as we approached the water crossings it was like being a kid on Christmas day. I didnt care about getting wet. Eric was the first in the group and had stopped to record everyone else during this little 3 patch water crossing.

Eric standing and Blaze riding here:



He always insisted in throwing his legs up. Style points?







Steve with proper standing technique and style points for the wake




We reach Buena Vista and Steve had to do some sort of maintenance on the side of the road. Classic KLR move. While Blaze and I hung out with Steve Eric and Jeremiah went off to look for somewhere to eat. Found some cool BBQ place to eat and the bad weather decided to say hello at the same time. We ate and looked for a place to camp for the night. Decided on the OHV park just outside of town. The weather pissed on us the entire way there. We rode around for a bit and found another crew from the KLR rally at the OHV park as well. It stopped raining once we found them. Pretty funny to me. We set up shop close by to them, enjoyed a fire, some brews, story time and witnessed a rock climbing contest between Blaze (the marine) and Jeremiah (the outdoorsmen). They both made it to the top of some goliath mountain of a rock before sunset.


Steve working on the exhaust and my ugly mug in the back:



our camp at the OHV park:



The "A" Team. I love these guys. Much respect.
L to R: Steve, Jeremiah, Blaze, Eric, myself





more later....
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:32 AM   #12
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Day 4 of the COBDR/KLR Rally and the 10th being on the road:



The OHV park was a sweet place to camp. Made some oatmeal with raisins for breakfast (pretty much what i had every morning unless it was some cliff bars and water) and packed up the bike. We acquired a few other riders to our group as their had split up the night before. Some stayed in a motel due to the rain and they chose to camp.

Leaving the OHV park was insanely awesome. I've been to only one OHV before and it was a blast but for the lack of experience I had with my KLR at the time it was more of a learning process than having fun. Leaving the park was awesome, there were a few water crossings, the trail had some sweet ass burms you could take (YES, EVEN ON A KLR), and all around the track was just FUN. Twisty, up and down, FUN, FUN, FUN.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I struggled real hard mentally with myself and physically, I was just getting worn down really hard. Riders talk about hitting a "wall" when you're on the road and this 10th day was probably it for me. Grumpy over stupid/petty things and hard to keep my morale up and look at the bigger picture of what I was doing. I was surrounded by great people and I owe a lot to them for helping me through this rough day. I didnt get many pictures this day of riding either due to how I was feeling and I hate myself for it. Lesson learned. I always, ALWAYS learn them the hard way.




Left to R: Steve (looking like an explorer), Jeremiah (looking like an astronaut), myself (looking like i just shit my pants and Blaze (posing like the Marine he is). Eric is out of the photo cause he's the one taking the shot.




We stopped at the base of Haggerman's Pass for a snack/lunch and chatted with some other KLRistas. They were all on post 2008 models. I remember renaming Haggerman's Pass to "Haggard Man" because how fucking miserable and draining riding the thing was. It was by far the most rocky, unstable and plain non-maintained pass along the route. The entire way up and entire way down no matter where you rode or what line you picked your entire bike and body were rattling and probably knocking your teeth loose. I hated this pass. I was annoyed beyond annoyed.

I didnt stop for a picture at the top for two reasons; I didnt want to remember this pass and wanted it erased from my memory at the time. and two, there were some other guys on ATVs posing next to the sign.


Coming down off the pass we were surprised with a Jeep on the side of the road with a topless, cute and middle aged woman grabbing something from the back of her Jeep. As I got closer it was had not to stare and at the last second I saved myself from hitting an oddly placed rock and crashing direct next to the Jeep. PAY ATTENTION, GARCIA!!! To the road, not the tits. c'mon man.

Another few miles down the pass was another refresher. a really BIG water crossing: Steve looking like a pro as usual with Blaze on the left and Eric on the right recording with their GoPros.




With bumpy and irritating terrain for miles and miles across the pass hitting these crossings was super fucking awesome and just lifted your spirits. Well, at least mine. I loved every one, every time we came to them.

Hours later we were riding, took a wrong turn and decided to take a break anyways. I remember the place we were at but not the name. We were getting closer to Gyspum. I was super relieved to get off the bike and I just crawled to the grass and laid down. I wanted to sleep there in all my gear. The guys could of left me there and I would of been happy. I was tired as hell. I hit the wall. I wanted to throw in the towel here.





They motivated me to get my ass up and back on the bike. Feeling better we trekked on towardes Gypsum. I dont recall how far away we were at this point but i think it was another hour or two at the most. We got into town, refueled and hunted down a place to eat. Mexican food. WINNING. As per usual during and after eating we figured out a place to camp for the night. We found some place up off the highway and out of town a bit that looked like it would be a good fit. A few wrong turns, a few right ones and were stumbled upon an area that looked like it would work. Not the same place we had found on the maps at dinner but it worked. There was 7 of us now and we all spread out to set up shop. I dont think I did it on purpose, but I ended up throwing my stuff up a good walking distance from everyone else. It worked out. It was a great forested area and nearby looked like it was probably used for hunting.

Little bit of whiskey and some light rain to close the night with the usual story telling of each persons highlights of the day. Im glad it was over. But realizing we were getting closer to the whole thing being done was bumming me out.

No photos of our camp on this night. yep, I still suck.



more later...
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:59 AM   #13
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Awesome!! Making it to the top of Imogene pass on a fully loaded bike: respect

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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #14
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Day 5 of the COBDR:


Breakfast of the normal oatmeal with raisins and I pack up the bike in the Gypsy Forest (as referred to by another rider). Another beautiful morning. As usual everyone else was about two steps ahead of me, but it was still early. We had two other riders with us for this camp and they would join us for the last portion of the route before jammin separate ways back to the Pacific Northwest.

Today was full of pretty flat and wide dirt roads to SteamBoat Springs. I'd guess average speed was around 40-50mph and highs around 65. Scenery was gorgeous just like the rest of Colorado but not as mountainous, more rolling hills and a little less green.

Nothing too exciting today. But somewhere along the way we manage to round up another 3 riders. 2 lived near or in Steamboat (and were on KLRs!!!) and were just out for a ride and the other guy on a new Gen KLR. He was a fantastic photographer. I think that brought our group to 9 or 10 for today.




The Colorado river:



We hit some familiar roads that I took on my way down through Colorado. It was awesome to see these roads again or even just ride by familiar landmarks.




We got closer to SteamBoat and a few guys wanted to jump in some water to freshen up and get clean. We found StageCoach State Park, followed a road a few miles past a bunch of traffic and found a spot. This one guy was fishing nearby and here come 5 or 6 of us half naked jumping in the water with bar soap in hand. I dont think he was amused. Someone has photos of this I'll have to hunt them down for later.

We figure out what the plan is for once we get into town and its dinner, set up camp and then soak in the hot springs just outside of town. We end up camping to the northeast, I believe, of town along a road that eventually takes you to Buffalo Pass. This is also when Martin, Silent Bob (his friend didnt say much at all), Blaze and Michael (the photographer) wanted to keep pushing for the end of the route. They would be the first among all the KLRistas to finish.

We find our camp site, unload and setup and get ready to head back into town for dinner.





Dont remember the name of the joint but it was something old fashioned and it they had a great beer selection. Over dinner we decide which hot spring to go soak in and on the way out we run into yet ANOTHER KLR rider from the rally, Alabama aka Charles. We tell him where we are camped and he joins us at the campsite.

I misunderstood about the plan for the hot spring (Strawberry Hot Springs was the name), I thought we would be riding to the camp first so I could grap my swim trunks on the way to the springs. But that didnt happen. Steve and I are the first to the hot spring following one of the local guys and I'm wearing jeans a tshirt and my pancho. No swim shorts. I didnt feel comfortable soaking in my dirty ass underoos but gave it a go anyways. Walked around for a bit, soaked my feet and took off. Too crowded. I headed back for camp, but instead of taking the turn to enter the campsite area I decided to follow the road further up and see whats up there. Only about an hour or two left before sunset at this point. Bumpy ass, rocky, piece of shit road. Pretty annoying to be honest. Finally get to another campsite area with a lake. Not a soul was up here. Decided to jump in the lake here. As I'm stripping down I finally notice how intense the mosquitos are up here. Like, BAD. Too late. I take a deep breath and jump in the friggid ass, ball shriveling cold water. I come up and let out and long and loud WOOOOOOOOO. Get back into my clothes but not before being molested and getting bit by at least 15-20 skeeters. Assholes. Should of stuck with the hot springs.

I jam back down to the camp and wait for the others to arrive. I build a fire and sip on some tequila I got in town while I wait for the others.


This guy shows up and hangs out for a bit. Unfortunately I didnt have my real camera so a blurry ass cell phone had to do. I've never seen a moose before but this guy was fucking HUGE. I was walking back from another person camp along the trail and spotted him off in the distance, no more than 40 yards away. Just staring at me.



Took a photo and tried to get closer and he just wandered off.


I get back to my fire pit and finish cutting some wood with my machete. First time I've used it all trip. It gets going and the other guys slowly start showing up just as the sun is setting.

Story time, drinking time and hanging out around the fire for a few hours before every splits off and heads for their tents. A solid day.


Not looking forward to tomorrow.... the last day of the COBDR......




more later....
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