Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rocky Mountains Loop Days 6-7

Al needed to fly home so I spent the last two days driving back. I'm home now. It was a long but uneventful drive back. Even though the trip was cut short, I have probably 20+ GB of video and photos to go through and edit. I'll post things up here as I complete them.

I was really happy with how the 950 did in the mountains, as well as with the gear that I chose to bring. I'll be ready to go back west and finish out the loop in a year or two when I have the time again.

The only photo I took on my way home was of this storm that chased me out of my room in Kansas:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rocky Mountains Loop Day 5

Al went to get checked out today so I went on a 250 mile solo ride that Al layed out for me last night.  I went north to Estes Park, through Rocky Mountain National Park and then back to camp on some canyon roads. I saw some wildlife, a big elk and a pair of moose.  It looks like I'll be doing another solo ride tomorrow while Al recovers. 

Rocky Mountains Loop Day 4

Al has been ill the last few days and decided he needed to see a doctor so we left Moab and took 70 most of the way back to Denver. When we hit some heavy traffic we headed to Breckenridge and took some nice dirt roads over the mountains back to Denver.  It was a long day in the saddle, over 350 miles. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rocky Mountains Loop Day 3

Toyotas were everywhere this morning so we did skip Imogene and took Ophir instead.  I boiled my brake fluid on the way down, but didn't lose the rear brake until near the bottom.  Luckily there was a stream right where I lost pedal and I used the water to cool the caliper and get going again. After that, there was a long stretch of pavement to get us into Utah.  We got a break from the sun and heat by heading over the La Sals. We made Moab around 5pm and are staying in a motel tonight. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rocky Mountains Loop Day 2

Today we left Salida and rode through Cottonwood Pass, Tin Cup, Cumberland, Pitcan, Lake City, Cinnamon Pass, and ended the day with some great steaks at The Outlaw in Ouray.  Cinnamon proved to be a bit of a challenge on the big bikes, but we made it over without incident.  We forgot to get food pics before we inhaled our steaks, so try to imagine how good it looked before I destroyed it. It's FJ Cruiser week here in Ouray and they are all going to be up on Imogene tomorrow, so we may do a bit of a reroute. 

Rocky Mountains Loop Day 1

We got poured on last night, so we got a bit of a late start, drying our tents instead of the early start we planned. We left Denver and were greeted with a closed road within a few miles of leaving the campgrounds. Luckily Al knows the area well and he got us to the other side of the Front Range and some nice back roads that were much better than the slab the GPS wanted to reroute us on.

We stopped for lunch at the Sprucewood Lodge for lunch.  They cater to off-road riders and we saw a few dirt bikes and ATVs pull in while we were there. After we ate we headed for Rampart Road. Al asked me if I wanted to ride a short way down the bike trail for a photo. Of course I said "I'll do it if you will" . At the bottom of a steep rooty downhill Al clipped a tree with his pannier and the BMW took a dirt nap. We got it upright and back up the hill easy enough, but we had to mend his pannier with a rock and a crescent wrench before we could move on.

From there we headed to Cripple Creek and then Salida just as the sun was setting. We're holed up in a little fleabag motel tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rocky Mountains Loop 2014

My buddy Al and I are leaving for Colorado tomorrow to spend a couple of weeks riding around in the Rockies. If we manage to complete the whole loop it will be over 3200 miles of awesome Rocky Mountain terrain. I'll be riding my KTM 950 Adventure and Al will be riding his brand new BMW F800GSA.

I will try to do the same type of thing that I did on my TAT ride, and do some brief daily live-blog type updates here as I go, depending on internet access. We are planning on doing a lot of camping so there will probably be many nights where I can't get out anything other than a SPOT OK message. I will also do a more detailed report with HD video and more photos and stories when we return.

If you want to follow our progress I have set up a Spotwalla page where you can view my tracking data. I am currently only using the SPOT for OK or help messages. I am going to have some tracking using the Bubbler app on my phone, but that will only update when I have a cellular data connection. I plan on using the SPOT to send out an OK message whenever we will be stopped for any significant amount of time.

Stay tuned, this should be good :).