I cannot escape Colorado

 

The gravity here is 5x earth-norm.  I need to do repairs on the bus, the bike, do laundry, but I cannot escape The Wild.  It draws me back in like a black hole.  I have already discovered the Black Canyon – a few mile outside of Montrose (where I will stay the night)  I will re-provision in the morning, make a stop at the Public Lands field office on the way, and get more details about where I will wind up tomorrow.

I have massive video of a moose, deer, marmots, and my adventure into an abandoned gold mine.

Soon.

Or later.

 

Too much fun in Gunnison

So much that I had to leave, and regain my senses.  that place is crazy – magnificent scenery, colors, wildlife, water, air and history.  Too much to soak in, so I left.  Well, I needed supplies, and I had a meeting scheduled down south.  I will be headed back shortly, I could not get the bus over the jeep passes anyway.

Camped out 50 feet above the lake in Lake City – nice camping spot, and great place to run Engineer and Cinnamon Passes again(plus a few more new ones).

Easy access to some of the best motorsickle ridin’ IN THE WORLD.

Seems other guys have figured it out also.

I did spend a night in Gunnison-the-town(it was awesome), but I don’t want to confuse that with Gunnison the awesome Nat. Park.  After doing some laundry, and eating out downtown, I left town and headed south to find my next awesome spot – it was on the creek and I had my first night on BLM (more about that later.

I think they called it “Silver Medal Fishing”, and you had a limit of two trout over 16″, and all Rainbow trout must be returned to the water immediately.  There was one fisherman, with his trusty sidekick beside him.  The Dude held his ground and OUR side of the creek.

It was a bit chilly outside the next morning.  Looks like I will need to start looking into a heating solution, if I want to continue in this part of the country.

Next morning, we moved further south and found the Headwaters of the Rio Grande.  The peak in the background is the “Rio Grande Pyramid”.  I think Egyptians built it before the gold rush?

Just down the road is Rio Grande Nat. Park, where I spent 2 nights on the side of some volcanic remains(mountain)

 

Even Dude was amazed at the insane scenery.

This picture sums up my week+ in Gunnison.

Videos soon.

 

3 days in Boona Vista

Spelled Buena Vista, this small community pronounces the name “BoonaVista”, and I have yet to have anyone explain it to me.  1st time thru I was unimpressed, but on second visit, I fell in love.  The town is actually bigger than it looks.

After traveling to Salida(pronounced “Slider”), I was told the motorcycle guy was back in Buena Vista.  I needed tires, so I drove back up 24 miles.  Ordered my next-day tires, and asked the owner if I could park overnight in his lot, and took the street bike out up to Cottonwood Pass – half paved, half dirt pass.  It was cold as hell up there, and I had my summer gloves.

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My camping spot for the next 3 nights.  Pretty cool spot.IMG_4074

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The tires came in, and spent 4 hours(4 hours) mounting the tires( I pinched the new tube and it would NOT patch), new brakes, and grips.  So the day was shot.IMG_4082The next day was MUCH better.IMG_4107

I took Tin Cup Pass over to St. Elmo on recommendation from Shawn at Mountain Tech Motorsports.  I think the phrase I used, to ask for the right path was “challenging”.  The challenge was right at the limit of what I can do on the KLR.  Blocks of SQUARE granite the size of a cooler, or a casket.  60-100 yard patches of trials riding. This was the road.  Challenging indeed.  This was very intense riding because casing your frame can break your bike or your bones.  I cased the bike about 20 times.  I have video….soon.IMG_4094 IMG_4096 IMG_4114

 

Serendipity Returns

I was ready to abandon my my hopes of serendipity leading my journey, as I had hit so many walls of disappointment.  Failures one after the other were prodding me to do more planning.  Until Breakneck Pass.  A turn onto the road for the pass led me to horses, and the entrance to Breakneck Pass, which was a switchback onto a narrow, rough dirt road.

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This pass surely would have ended my trip if not my life.  As I turned around, I noticed another entrance to a campground 7 miles away.  Man this road was rough, emptied my new fridge of beer and food onto the floor.  Then, I ran into this guy.  Bedded down in a beaver meadow.

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Weston Pass turned into my best experience so far.  I finally unloaded the bike for the first time since leaving Birmingham.  I found a few trails, mining ruins, and talked to several other riders “doing the Divide”IMG_3991

As you can see in the pic above, Pike NF is on one side, San Isbel NF is on the other.  I must have seen 50+ adventure guys riding this road.IMG_4024

This Canadian couple above stopped to chat, they dropped their rig in Wyoming, and had ridden down to Leadville and were riding back.  They seemed truly happy.

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Some mining ruins – there were a LOT of old roadside minesIMG_4016 IMG_4017

Old outhouse at another mineIMG_4035 IMG_4037

 

Video to come when I have better Internet.

4×4 Bus of the Year

4×4 Bus of the Year

A short tour of Arapaho NF, and I certainly got myself into a pickle or two pretending the bus was some sort of badass, off-road RV. Which it is not……supposed to be……but it is? Besides slinging some new stuff out on the inside(stuff that has made it thru some ruff stuff already) the bus never even appeared to be unprepared for ruff riding, jeep trails, not anything you would take the Buick on.

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I did lose a strap at the top of the “high clearance vehicles only” section, and realized I might not get a better turn around, so I called it a day……an AWESOME day.

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A Week of Struggle in Paradise

My first week in Colorado has been a mixture of delight, culture shock, frustration, heartache, and pain.  Now that I am recovering from all that, I can tell you about the trip into Rock Mtn. Nat. Park on Sunday.IMG_3871The more I travelled into the park, the more it reminded me of Yellowstone.  Another long waterslide, with folks stopping in the ride(despite prohibition signs) to snap a picture at the wildlife – the elk WERE pretty cool.

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A bit of video in the mountains.

And finally, back in Longmont, I had a chance to ponder some questions, make some decisions, and sample some outstanding brews from Left Hand Brewery.

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