Sunday, December 16, 2012

Starting the Contenental Divide Ride

From Grand Mesa SMR

Hi, adventure folks, I'm planning to go take in an ADVrider's meet in Lake George Co. It starts Sat the 27th, July 2012. I couldn't bring myself to buy the 55$ weekend package, but I did sigh up for 2 nights camping.

I have 3 more days to pack, and to decide what goes where.....packing the DR for the solo CDR ride is where all the indecision is eating at me now as i'm planning to camp most of the way.

Saturday I'll ride up, and look at Georgia Pass 50 miles away. If I can make it over the top, I'll drop into Breckenridge and go back thru Alma. https://www.google.com/search?q=georgia+pass+colorado&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6fgKUI_fJo2A2QWF4ZgZ&ved=0CHcQsAQ&biw=1

Then Sunday I'll ride down to ADVrider, LD's place near Westcliffe, (less than a 100 miles), and leave my tow bike, then, leaving Monday morning, I'll ride the DR down to the Mexican border at Antelope wells, NM to Start the Contenetal Divide Ride. By freeways it's over a thousand miles, but by back roads and some dirt it is only like 750. That'll take 2 days, no doubt. http://tinyurl.com/cvprq53

On the way north I may take in BigDogs 2012 RMAR weekend in Silverton The following weekend... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=736276 I might not get there in time for that one by one day.... Then I should be back to Westcliffe to put a new rear tire on the rear. I'll know a lot more about Noodles and tubeless tires at that time.

For those that don't know I've converted my spoke rims to Tubeless (the cheap way), and have a pool noodle in the back one....should be interesting. :rofl

Then it's off to ride the northern part of the continental Divide. If all goes well, I'll be accompanied by LD for a few days.

The 10 day forecast only predicts 100* temps at the lower altitudes in the desert by the Co River, and not much chance of rain... Luck beats good.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep you all up to date as I ride along. This isn't going to be a speed burner. After all I'm retired, and time doesn't mean squat to me these days.

PREP AND A LITTLE HISTORY

I've taken the DR on 1500 mile camping trips before, but this CDR run could take me a month to complete so I'm setting it up differently than before, as I had all my weight on the seat behind me on the previous DR rides.

This time I wanted some of the weight down lower and I wanted more carrying capacity, but I didn't want to spend any money on gear.

So I was riding down the street on my bicycle the other day (a few months ago) and found a 1/2" nylon strap about a 100' long. I thought that I could make a cargo net kinda thing to hold small dry bags in the saddle bag area.

I also built a rack out of 1/2" conduit to hold the dry bags off the side covers to keep them from burning on the muffler. Like this....

From CDR Colorado

I made those dry bags out of old rain pants that I cut the legs off and sewed up one end. .......and my down sleeping bag and air mat is in the top bag. And that back board is to hold a 2 gallon gas can....together with my 4 gal regular tank I should have pretty good range.

From CDR Colorado

I also made some tank panniers for the first time out of a couple back packs and a fanny pack in the tank bag area. Like so.....

From CDR Colorado

You can see I have a roll chart on the bars. I made a chart on Google maps that give me a line with coordinates, distance from last turn, and a stick diagram as to what direction to turn at each intersection. summat like that below.....you'd be coming in on the vertical of the 'T' and there would be an arrow on one of the crosses telling which way to leave. B 33.18526,-107.02506 T 22

I made 50 or so combination of turn possibilities in Windows 'Paint' program to use for all different configured turns. I used them at each turn in the route from Antelope Wells to the Canadian Border. My roll chart is 22 pages long. Took me weeks to make it up.

I have a street GPS that will show me coordinates and shows the small roads.

I don't know how any of this will work out. I'm only a couple days from departure.

June the 21St I crossed from San Diego to the Rockies. The temps were nearly 115 out near the Co river, so I crossed at night.

COMFORT OF THE RIDE

Speaking of comfort on a multi day dualsport ride.... I say a good seat is worth as much as the rest of the bike.....or do what you have to do to get comfortable. Even if you have to buy a new seat

If you have to think about how much your ass is going to hurt on a ride, then you have the wrong seat. You need to do summat. Maybe I have the tenderest posterior in the world....I don't know

Five or six years ago I developed a dualsport touring seat that I use. I hook the ropes to my belt so that I can stand on the pegs (and not lose the seat) if necessary....anyway, this is just an example of doing what you have to do.

From CDR Colorado

That's a plastic cutting board, shaped a little with heat, and covered with foam and gorilla tape. Works on my DR350. The Gorilla Tape is much better than grey Duck Tape.

The important thing is. Do something. Don't just suffer through hours and hours of pain. Spend money or get creative.

SOME UPGRADES

I'm retired now, and have more time than money, but that's not all of it. My days racing in off road (cars) taught me that if you can't out 'money' the competition then you better do it differently than them.

That philosophy has me believing that there's always a better way...or at least another way. Nowadays I sit around the house watching TV without really seeing it, and I think about how to do thing.

My wife calls me a pack rat, but if I hadn't hidden that old pair of Rain pants, I'd prolly be using new garbage bags. :D

About the Pool Noodles.......Well, we've all heard of Mousses that they use in the Dakar type races to eliminate punctures. I'm told they cost a C-note, and are heavy, and lose pressure with usage, and are hard as hell to install. The pros are obvious.

I'd heard that Pool Noodles are about the same thing, which is just closed cell foam. I'd also heard that some have been used, but couldn't find any example of them being used in a Dualsport bike.

Wandering thru a supermarket about a month ago, I spy some larger than normal Noodle in the sale racks. 3.50$ for 5 footers, so I bought 3 of them...3.5 inch Diameter.

I ride in Baja where tons of used lumber is hauled over the roads dropping nails that rattle loose. You'd think that a nail laying down in the dirt would just stay there when you run over it. Well they doesn't. They have an attraction to motorcycle tires, and before you know it, you have a flat.

I've had great luck with plugging tubeless tire flats, but you can't do that with a tube in a tire.

Recently I got wind of guys sealing their spoke rims with glue of some sort at each spoke so that they can run tubeless. So I did that with my front tire on my DR350. It worked quite well and was pretty easy. I used silicon seal in a caulking gun. Later I converted to Shoe Goo...I think I like that better.

....but I can see a draw back. In the case of a flat where the bead becomes unseated (no safety beads on my spoke rims) there is probably no way you're going to get enough air to seat the beads to blow the tire up again after you plug it, with any air that you're carrying with you.

So I sealed up my rear rim and put that noodle into my rear tire. Turns out that the noodle alone is about like having 10 lbs of air in the tire. It hold the beads on the rim seats, for running while flat.

From bike repairs

So far I've only run it around a few city blocks. It isn't like having air in the tire.....it's a tiny bit wobbly, but completely rideable if you have a reason to ride on the flat, but the real value is that a puncture is plugable for a quick flat fix.

This trip will prolly be long enough for me to give a more complete report on the tubeless tire. BTW, a 5.10/18 tire took 70" of noodle.

Most tubeless punctures can be quickly plugged. No more tube failures from gremlins inside the tire, No more rim pinches from rocks or careless installations. No more dealing with rim locks. ...and finally no more spun valve stems from a tube.

At this point I don't know that there'd be any noodle value to 500 lb bikes. They are tubeless anyway with safety bead rims. But they would no doubt hold the tire in shape for a safe stop in an instant loss of air. But they might also get hot and melt in a big bike.

....but still they aren't doing anything in a tire that also has air pressure in it.

Anyway, that's my tubeless tire experiment....we'll see..... :freaky

Here's a picture with no air in the rear tire...just the noodle.

From bike repairs

The Trip Begins

left this morning at 1am. I ran out of gas as I topped Cajon Summit (Hesperia). I took the off ramp to Hwy 395, and couldn't get off the off ramp. I figured I'd be half in a lane of traffic in pitch black....but at the last minute there was a small pull out for me. I'm carrying a 1 gal gas can....that I hadn't filled yet, but it had a couple tenths of a gallon in it. I found a flashlight and poured that in with the funnel that I blow my air mat up with. Bike fired right up and I got some gas with 134 miles on the trip meter. I'd get 175 miles if I wasn't towing.

I'm not getting any better mileage since I cleaned the air cleaner. I'd hoped that I would.

Got to the river at 6:15. Hotter than hell for about 20 miles on both sides of the river, then it started cooling down as I gained altitude toward Kingman. In fact I had cloud cover all the way to Williams...it was almost cold in just my wool shit.

I decided to go thru Flagstaff to Holbrook and turn north on 77 thru Injun country, and spend the night at Canyon De Chelle (shea). Free camping don't you know.

I blew thru Flagg and sign boards said 52 miles to Winslow. That's about all the gas I had, too. I had 2 tenths of a gallon left when I pulled into the gas station at Winslow. Luck beats good. :) Winslow had these little bueties sitting beside the road

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
I hit 2 rain squalls between Flag and Winslow....almost got wet. :)

I'm raping the Micky D folks in Winslow ...having a Mcdouble and a soft serve sunday...$2.53

Country around Flaggstaff was responding to the monsoons....Green as hell. I don't ever recall seeing it this green before.

Sabre's running like a top as I took Indian route 77 north from Holbrook. There was a traffic stop out there a ways.

From July 28, 2012

Canyon De Chelle

I'm at MDs in Shiprock. Stayed the night in Canyon De Chelle.....Grrrrr...no longer free, cost me 10. Ha.

From July 28, 2012

Met a couple of cool older guys. One on a BMW F650, for those that don't know those are 800ccs. Stupid BMW....who knew.

From July 28, 2012

I left this morning on the north fork (Hwy64) to N12 then took N13 to Red Valley and past the south side of shiprock (the rock). That road over Buffalo Pass on 13 is spectacular. The spec part is only 10-15 miles long. The steepest road I've ever been on, but it doesn't say how steep.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

Picture of my bike on that route.

From July 26, 2012

It's noon, I don't know how far I'll get today. I'm retired don't you know...it doesn't matter. Ha

St George Today

Yeah, only made it to Creed Yesterday. Got rained on a bit as I crossed Wolf Creek Pass just before South Fork Co. Wolf Creek Pass is on the Spec meter at about a 10.

Moved on to Creed by 5PM. I started having starter solenoid problems as I started to leave Shiprock. I had to hit the starter button at least 25 times, then it started working the starter. I fought that the rest of the day with sometimes problems. Shiprock from the Southwest

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

Rained on me a little heading toward Creed. I knew it would stop soon so I didn't rain gear up, but wondered if I'd made a mistake. Near Wolfcreek pass

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
Starting into Wolfcreek Pass
From July 28, 2012
Halfway up Wolfcreek
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

Pulled into a camp ground outside Creed. It looked rainy so I put up Repaldi's tent. It rained a bit before I was done, so I climbed inside and read some of the 'Last of the Mohicans' , Free, don't you know. Ha.

From July 28, 2012

I was showing a guy at the campground my starter problem, but the starter worked perfectly. Cool, I thought. So I broke camp down, and when I was ready to leave the solenoid only clicked, but no joy. Crap, just when I was loaded up to go.

So off with the side cover and out with the spare crap that I carry...oh, this looks like a pretty good one. It still had the fuse cover. I installed it with the 4" adjustable wrench that I carry in my pocket. Luck was with me...It worked perfectly....didn't even have to rebuild it. :)

So I was off in a thrice (whatever that is, maybe 15 minutes). On my way to Lake City 50 miles away. I had at least 65 miles worth of gas.

It was cloudy and 70ish, almost cold as I climbed some passes. A couple times I wished I had my jacket on. I was averaging 40mph climbing thru the 2 passes. One at 11000 and the other, Slumgullion, at 11500. Both were beautimus. From Slumgullion Pass I could see Cinnamon & Engineers passes. They are 13000+ peaks, well above the tree line, with pink covered tops.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

I'm hunkered down at a coffee shop in Lake City mooching wifi and eating a 4$ cinnamon roll in Lake city. I'll be moving on to Lake George about noon.

I had a lazy 150 miles to to ride to get to Lake George. North from Lake City....

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

I chased rain away all the way and rarely got any on me...plenty of wet roads though. Temp running 65 to 75 depending on altitude. Seems like it should have been colder than that as I topped Monarch Pass at 10500 (I think, 10500).

From July 28, 2012

I got to Lake George at 3pm....there were lots of riders already there, 50 to 75. There was lots of interest in the trailer, of course. One guy has a picture at home, that a truck driver took, as I passed him going home last month from the SM Cedaredge rally. Small world. My tent is front right

From July 28, 2012

It sprinkled big drops at 4pm for 15 minutes. Of course it rained quite a bit just before I got there.

For dinner I'd picked up a large potato and Vienna Sausage in Lake George when I gassed up. It's not much of a town. I sliced the potato and put it in my electro Thermos heater, and it was done 25 minutes later. The electro cooker is a keeper.

From July 28, 2012

There's still a fire ban in Co...even for camp stoves. Heh he...they can't see the flames on my alcohol stove so I still get my coffee in the morning.

Mucho bullshit was heard before dark....then I went to bed. That's the third night that I've failed to fix the leak in my air mat...Grrr. I'm having to use the two 1' sq pieces of carpet pad as a substitute. It's a poor one.

NEW DAY

........as I write this rain has begun to come down in Ernest from what I hear on the roof of the cowboy's empty quarters where they have allowed me to use the electricity. Pretty comphy. I'm also hearing wet riders return from their rides.

From July 28, 2012

Speaking of which I took a test ride to see if my roll charts could get me thru the CDR. Things look good. My scroll chart took me 55 miles to the top of the Georgia Pass, 11585ft. Here's a pic of the next 1000 feet from standing at the Pass

From

I turned around and went back to camp from there on Terryall Rd, between Jefferson and Lake George. It a 40 mile half pot holed paved road, but it's got some beautiful hills to gander at.

From CDR Colorado

They had some bullshitters even back then. That old lady could string word together with the best of them.

From

Best shot of the day...

From CDR Colorado

It's 5 pm and I'm an eighth of a mile from my tent with out rain gear, and it's raining like Hell now. I could stay in the cowboy lounge all night, I suppose, but I see there's no crapper and those urges are working themselves to the forefront. :( I may have run out of luck.

BTW, the first day on Tubeless tires con noodle was a success.

I broke up camp this morning and rode down to Westcliffe, where I spent the night with LD and Anne. I prepared for the dualsport part of my trip.

The Medano Pass

So I left Westcliffe this morning (Monday), and took the Medano Pass, (souhern end of the 'Sangre De Cristo range'), to the Great Sand Dunes Natl Monument. I'm holed up in Grants NM....more than half way to Antelope wells. I scarfed up a 29$ motel room with wifi. I needed to get some messages out.

Medano Pass is a bit rugged, although I didn't have any trouble with the road, I did have some with a water crossing. It was the last one going west just before the dunes.

The other dozen crossings all ranged a ft to 18" deep. The last one was wider, about 50+ ft, and I couldn't see the bottom. Being a Calif guy, I don't know much about water crossings.

I figured it looked iffy, but I had to cross it....after all the road went into it. Well I got 30 feet in before the 3 ft of water got in the air box and shut off the power.

I didn't drop it but I was in a mess. Luckily my clutch starter shut off is disconnected. I was able to use the starter to get it within about 10 ft of dry land.....then it started to tip over. I finally got it back upright but now the starter isn't working, seemed dead.

I put the kickstand down and unloaded the bike. I figured I'll have to muscle the thing the rest of the way out of the water. So as I put it in neutral the neutral light came on. Well, that means their is still battery and it's making a connection. Whap, up side the head. In my thrashing to right the bike, I'd hit the kill switch.

So the starter did get it the rest of the way out of the water. A quick screw driver in the spark plug showed that I had spark. I noticed the carb or air box is dripping, so I took the airbox apart and let the cup of water in there out.

From there I was able to clear the cylinder with some full throttle cranking, and nurse the bike back to life. Whew! I was happy to hear it running again.

About this time a couple rangers showed up. They were there to tear up the beaver dam that had caused the high water level. Oh, so that's why that crossing was a lot deeper than the others. Who would of thunk of looking there for it? ........another case of live and learn. :freaky

From July 28, 2012
I finally got it running and I was ready to go.
From July 28, 2012

Biffed in the Sand

On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 8:54 AM, L D Walker wrote: "Darn Pete, I thought the loose sand would be the worst obstacle, had no idea as dry as the area has been that the water crossings would even have a drop of water in them. Glad to hear you made it through."

I did biff once in the sand. That sand is as bad as any I've seen. In fact, since you said that you took the 4X4 surbuban thru there I figured it was mostly a graded road with some sand on it. Boy, was I wrong. Look at that Sand.... That's the Great Sand Dune Park of Colorado.

From July 28, 2012

A little ways from my biff site, I came onto these guys. Two 4s and a 5 pointer. It was near all the campers so they were used to people.....still I got all excited.

From July 28, 2012

BTW there was a 3.5 or 4 just up the road from your drive, LD, when I left Your place Monday morning.

I think I lost my phone in that biff....I also had to pick my camera up out of the sand. It took about 10 more pictures then the zoom froze up so that camera is toast.

I was worried about my backup camera getting wet in the stream, but all else survived....so I'm still taking pictures. This was an interesting Arch called La Ventana, I think. The hole behind is open to the sky.

From July 28, 2012

I made my way to the southwest with Grant NM in my sights for the night. I grabbed a cheap motel, and got a good nights sleep. It had already been a long day.

I got up in the morning and had breakfast at a small cafe in Quemada. I always order my eggs over medium....I don't want any shaky egg whites. I remember the breakfast because there was a cute 18ish year old waitress, and that the eggs were so perfect. I'd stop there again if I ever got the chance.

I know you all want pictures of the cute waitress, but all I have is the Cafe.

From July 28, 2012

I continued south to Reserve NM where I needed Gas. Reserve is a working town with a smattering of tourist joints.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

I wanted to leave south out of Reserve on a dirt road but fires a week ago had the forest boys working hard out there, and they didn't want to deal with civilian traffic. So I went looking for the town of Mogollon.

Mogollon is a a partially restore silver mining town about 10 miles up a twistie lane and a half wide road. Very interesting place. It took me an hour and a half to visit the place and look around. The old Mine

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

Antelope Wells....and North

I'm at a MDs in Deming NM. I made it to Antelope Wells at 8pm Tuesday night (last night....then back to Hachita by 9pm. It's only 45 miles back to Hachita, but did half of that in the dark with lots of free range cattle. Only one close call as I was only driving 45mph.

Also got stopped by border patrol because my tail light was out....must have jiggled out a filament....brake light still works.

Last night on Animas ST out of Lordsburg I was tooling along at about 50. It's generally a 2 lane gravel road for 35 miles to Animas. See that rain cloud out there? That little bugger picked me off when I got to Animas.

From July 28, 2012
There are a bunch of 3 to 5 ft dips that handles the rain in the area....all smooth in and out....except one. That one was 5 or 6 ft deep with a 1' washout going into 15 ft of soft sand. I needed to be going 5mph and just barely got it whoed down in time. Whew! I was headed down the last leg to Antelope Wells at about a hour before sunset.
From July 28, 2012
Finally Antelope Wells...that's Mexico behind the bike.
From July 28, 2012

When I got back to Hachita, I pulled behind the defunct community center and put down my ground cloth and my 2 carpet pads and went to sleep....prolly 75 degrees at the time, 9:30pm. I used my coat for a blanket, and the sleeves as a pillow. It was't optimal. :)

About 3am I woke up and pulled half the ground cloth over my legs....there, Perfect.

I got up at 6:30am and left the dying town of Hachita, and took a few pictures of the town.

From July 28, 2012
The cafe was open a year ago....gone now, though.
From July 28, 2012
Might be too early for the Saloon....there're usually the last to go.
From July 28, 2012

I headed for Gage on I-10 for gas. Took 2.75 gal for 140 miles. Last gas was Animas. After coffee and gas at Gage, I tried to go cross country on dirt roads toward Mimbres, but after 20 miles of screwing around with locked gates, I gave up and am picking up HWY 180 in Deming. Then I'll go to Mimbres. I hope to be in Pie Town tonight.

An old coot in the MD in Deming that I was talking to is driving a 2005 two door Honda Ensight Hybride. He says it gets 176 miles per gallon, and they don't make that model any more....now they make a 4 dr that gets 50ish. Is he bullshitting me?

Speaking of mileage, I'm getting high 50s at 55mph. I've spent the last 400 miles caibrating my bicycle speedo with mile markers. Bicycle speedos come with a preset at wheel dia of 2124 millimeter. My setting turned out to be 2037 for precise odometer readings.

Now I should feel pretty confident with the mileages on my roll chart.

I'll be on the trail soon...more later....BTW the Deming MD has plug in power at several booths. That the first I've seen.

I gassed here in Gage NM

From July 28, 2012

Heading to Pie Town

It wouldn't be long after leave Deming NM that I'd be entering the National forest. I was just ready to actually start some dirt riding on the CDR. I asked a couple local coots about gas in some of the small towns along the way. There used to be 3 places that had gas...but no longer. It looks like the mileage without gas is 220 or 230. I have 4 usable gallons and a one gallon can that I'm carrying. I'm getting in the high 50s for mileage. So I should have plenty if I don't get lost.

In the early part of the trip just north of Mimbres, I ran into a ranger station. The day before, about 40 miles east ,some dirt roads were closed due to work required by earlier fires. I imagined it might be the case where I was going today.

I was in luck, all the roads where I was going were open....and furthermore another rider on a G650 BMW was at the ranger station looking for info also. We talked a bit and decided to ride together.

Now the lucky part is that Mr BMW is a New Mexico native about 50 years old, and knows more about the area than I could have hoped for. He was all GPS equipped with the actual CDR route programmed in. All I had to do was keep up. So Off we went.

The first part was a gravel road climbed a mtn. The acceleration creates mega corduroy. The bikes do corduroy just fine, but it isn't fun. That may have been 5% of the ride.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

Another thing about New Mexico is that lots of it's soil is so slick when wet that it is unrideable....and that is no shit. It's unrideable by any bike no mater how small or how good a rider is. We encountered one section that was 20 feet long, and probably would have dropped us, if it had been 30 ft long. That was the only close call.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

We dodged rain all day. The monsoon rains were more west of us yesterday and more north today. There were a couple of washouts with water in the bottoms and muddy work arounds. Pat, Beemer guy, decided to go thru the mud, but if he had to put his feet down (short legs), they would just sink in mud. So at the worst part I stood there to steady the bike. He struggled thru with some wheel spin. You guessed it....I got spattered with mud up to my belt, and more mud inside my boots. No matter, I wasn't going out to dinner. :)

After seeing Pats trouble in the mud, I chose the other side thru the grass which worked better. We had one more of those washouts with water and a half dozen that were dry. Lots of spec 10 scenery.

210 miles from last gas in Deming to where we camped last night at a free forest campground. It was 25 miles further in the morning to Quemado for gas and breakfast. Then we went to Pie Town to start the next section to Grants. That was a 90 Mile 'ho hum' of fast dirt and faster Pavement.

So here's some of what we saw today....

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
On the way to Pie Town near Wall Lake..
From July 28, 2012
Pat models more spectacular country...
From July 28, 2012
Camping at Quemado Lake
From July 28, 2012

After an early rise we rode into Quemada on the way to pie town. Remember, I said I'd eat at the El serape again if I got the chance. Well here we are and the Eggs over medium were just as perfect.

From July 28, 2012

Picture between Grant and Cuba

There are some old towns in this section, real history lessons Pat takes it all in.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

on to Salida

Pat and I picked off a motel for the night, and had a great dinner at Bruno's Mex restaurant in Cuba Thursday night. Who'd a thunk Cuba would have a nice eatery, but they did. Afterward, I stayed up a bit late (for me) getting a short trip report out with some pics.

From July 28, 2012

We were refreshed by a good nights sleep, and on the road in the morning by 8am. Pat has Big Dogs CDR route in has GPS, So that is supposed to take us to Abiquiu in 50 miles or so. It's a nice ride thru Pine forests at 8 or 9 thousand feet I'd guess.....easy riding. Well easy till we turned on one forest road, but still doable, Just 10-15 mph riding now.

From July 28, 2012

Oh, oh...whats this up ahead? My eyes must be deceiving me. Pat checked his route, we were right on target.....but there was a washed out hill in front of us that was clearly rattling our comfort level of riding abilities.

worse than it looks

From July 28, 2012

Pat being a local boy tells me of a 3 day storm since Big Dog made the route, that did a lot of damage to the forest roads around there, and this was a prime example. While we were deciding to not try and climb this 100 yard boulder field a local driving a quad side by side came along and confirmed that it truly was the way to get to Abiquiu.

After some discussing, Quad man drove up the hill making it look awfully easy. He wasn't going to seduce us into trying the hill though. As I think about it, 24 hours later, I bet we could have made it but the risk reward just wasn't worth it......especially since there was a short work around to Coyote, then Abiquiu.

A reservoir near Abiquiu

From July 28, 2012
Abiquiu is up ahead there....
From July 28, 2012

That got us into Abiquiu at around noon with only a little rain. It was easy riding out of Abiquiu, we made good time. Pat was apprehensive about the Mtns ahead if they should be wet. Local knowledge say a tenth of an inch makes them slippery as snot....but an hour or so after the rain stops they are rideable again.

on the way toward Platoro...note dark clouds.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

note plastic bag over my GPS

From July 28, 2012

There was dark clouds around with rain clearly coming out of them, and we rode some damp roads, but we never got into the slippery stuff. So we made it on thru to the Colorado border by a little after six.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012

The Cumbres to Toltec narrow gage RR on it's way back to Chama

From July 28, 2012

It began to rain at a sprinkle as we hit route 17 to the Platoro Cutoff 60 miles south of South Fork. Still the road was safe, but the rain at 7500 ft was cold and annoying. We arrived at a little lodge about 10 miles onto the Platoro road.

From July 28, 2012

We tried to imagine camping at a nearby free forest service campground. I wanted to be cheap, but the call of a cabin at that lodge over powered me. We signed up for a room for 90$....Argggg. We consoled ourselves by the old guy running the place throwing in a couple of chicken Pot pies and some posole that they were about ready to throw out. That did it.

I couldn't get my netbook to connect up so no report from there. A nice warm room in a bed...instead of my 2 carpet pads was nice. :)

So we got an early start. 10 miles up the road was the original Platoro Lodge. We stopped for Breakfast....what a neat old log cabin lodge. We ordered a short stack. I couldn't even finish one pancake. I took the other with me and ate it for dinner and again this morning for breakfast with my coffee.

I didn't get a picture of Platoro, but there is probably 50 folks living there, and of course, the Platoro Lodge. They had this lovely old stove sitting in the dinning room.

From July 28, 2012

They offer a free breakfast if you can eat 5 pancakes and an order of sausage. Each pancake hangs off the edge of a big plate, and there're nearly a 1/2 inch thick each. They said a smallish bicycle rider beat them out of a free meal one day, but that's been the only one. That eater guy on TV, Richmond, needs to go there.

So not far out of Platoro, I had a flat rear. I'd let the air pressure get too low and had broken the bead loose on my Tubeless tire with the noodle in it. The noodle held it out to the rim, but my itty bitty slime compressor wouldn't put in air as fast as it came out, and nothing we could do would air that tire up.

Pat took it the mile back to Platoro and their big compressor pumped it up quickly I re installed it and we were on the way....prolly cost us an hour.

It was 50 more miles of mega scenery to Del Norte.

From July 28, 2012

We are approaching the old mining town of Summitville

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From July 28, 2012

Last trip thru here in 2008 LD and I saw a group of rocks that had 3 fox cubs playing around on the rocks.

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I ran out of gas about 3 miles short of Del Norte. They had gas at the lodge, but I passed on it thinking I had enough. Pat had a pint that got me into town for gas.

We checked the tire again...it was down to 10 lbs. We pump it up at a gas station....while there, another rider, Mike, rode up on a BMW Dakar650 who was doing the trail to Canada as well. Now we were three. Another Hell of a nice guy. Who would have thunk that I'd be riding with Pat and Mike. ...but it was true.

So we did a hundred more miles of riding that included Pochepota Pass and Marshall Pass before sliding into Salida around 7pm. It had been a beautiful day so we camped at a private camp ground.

I'd had to pump that tire up every couple hours. Pat wanted to work on his windshield that had come loose and I wanted to deal with my tire so today has been a rest day.

We spent almost 3 days and seven hundred miles getting thru NM, and crossed the Continental Divide nearly a dozen times, the last being at 4500 ft. So far it's been great both weather and riding.

. Pictures of trail north of Del Norte

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DreamChaser, Mike on the left and a BMW rider that we met on the trail.
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Somewhere before 114 north of Del Norte...
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On the cutoff to Doyleville just before Sargents...
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The boys at Marshall Pass taken by an observer...
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This cute little gal was tent camping next to us....riding a 4 cyl Kawi.....
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While we were in Salida I took my rear wheel off and went over it with a soap solution to find out where the leak/leaks were in that were causing my air loss. Turns out that I had a big leak at the tubeless air stem. It was a metal one from Napa and only needed to have it's nut tightened. There was also a negligibly small leak between the threads and nut of a spoke. Both Pat and I were carrying the smallest Walmart Slime 12V airpump. Both our pumps were incredible slow pumping air. Pat's pump would stop pumping once the pressure got to about 15 psi. So I went to Walmart across the street from the camp ground, and got the next size bigger. Early test for the rest of the trip was the new pump worked much more satisfactorily. Pat had had a loose Windshield, and spent the day hunting down special fasteners, and he accomplished securing his windshield.

Mike decided to take a run down to Durango to access it value as a place to move his family. He used the day for the Durango run, and didn't get back. He had told us to take off without him if he didn't get back.

Salida to Steamboat

It's been another good day just Pat and I riding together. 250 miles from Salida to Steamboat over a few passes, Boreal being the most notable. It's been easy riding. Only way to get hurt is to not get your eyes back to the road in time from looking at the sites. Well, that not the only way.

Riding down along the Colorado River southwest of Kremmling (SP) was awesome. Oh hell, the whole day was awesome.

Pat had lost a bag with his rain gear and down jacket off his front fender, where it was strapped, coming down off Marshall Pass. He uses good gear so that was a couple hun. I hate that. So anyway once we got to Steamboat he decided to get a room and shop for replacements.

After blowing my wad for a half of the 90$ room near Platoro, I was out of the room market. We don't really know if we'll get back together tomorrow, as I still don't have a phone. Did I say Steamboat is a bit pricey. 100$ rooms and 50 dollar camp grounds....scheesh.

I'd already ridden out of town, and signed in at the Eagle Soars RV Park, 12$. When I got my email rolling. I find I had an offer of a room and BS session from ADVrider, Road Damage who I'd met at the Lake George Westfest. Thanks alot Rob.

I need to check out tomorrows route to Rawlings (I think), as I may actually be on my own for the first time.

Oh, I only lost 4 lbs of air in my troublesome tire. I had planned to change that tire to the new one that I'd brought with me and left in Westcliffe with LD, but the tire was just too good to change out yet. That decision may bite me in the ass as I'm moving farther and farther from that tire now.

Todays route to Steamboat We met Andrew in Como riding a brand new Triumph 800. He rode with us for a while.

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Lake just north of Boreal Pass...
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Looking down on the Co River...Amtrak runs on that track. My wife will appreciate that as she worked in the dinning car for years.

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Most of today's roads were like that.....still they were skittery.
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Looking at the Colorado R from the Radium side...
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That'll have to do for now......there are hundreds of pictures as I usually shoot while riding so a picture doesn't require a stop.

BTW, Pat told me that we busted thru the halfway point today in only 6 days....woohoo!

Steamboat to Encampment, Wy

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A new day was ahead as The sun came up just outside of Steamboat. I was looking forward to today. I'd be running routes without the help of Big Dog's tracks. I'd spent weeks going over the route back home, but that was months ago. It would be interesting to see how that went.

A funny story....I was up till 10pm last night going over 'puter stuff. I'd gone in the rest/shower room around 8pm because that was where I could find electricity. Well when I came out it was pitch black with no campground night lights of any kind, and there was no moon. It was so dark I didn't know exactly where my tent was.

It was only 30 - 40 yards away, but I didn't know exactly which way. I wondered around using feel for a very long 5 minutes. It's kinda funny the dilemmas a feller can get himself into. :huh

Anyway I'm taking my good old time packing up, and I hear a familiar voice. It's 'Road Damage' Rob. He's come over with his Delorme map book to help send me off in the right direction.

I really appreciated that, and Rob brought me up to speed about the RMAR (Big Dog) get-together at Silverton over the weekend. No shit, it's the little things that make a trip a great one.

I hadn't heard from Pat. My campground was off the CDR a few miles so there was no logical way we'd meetup anyway....so Off I went due north toward Steamboat Lake. It's silly to mention that the piney tree mountains would be anything but awesome.

Here's a reminder to look out where your walking. He made it to cover alright.

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Here's some Steamboat lake community pics.
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I decided to take FS550 north to Encampment Wy as I was headed to Rawlins. Along the way was this old log building that had been the high hopes of Andrew Olson. He planned to build the town of Olsen as the headquarters of the railroad tie industry. Fate had a different idea, and this building was all there ever was.

From July 28, 2012

Thirty miles of twistie, skittery gravel roads later and I reached HWY 70. Encampment and gas and a sandwich was a few miles to the right. Hummmm...this looks familiar. I was here 6 years ago on a MC trip from Maine. I'd ridden an NX250 thru the Medicine Bow Natl Forest near here and gassed up at the same place.

At the 'Mangy Moose' I ordered a hamburger, and got to talking to a couple backpackers that had hiked Colorado south to north. Nice Kids...they said they hiked one day for 19 hrs. Half that would have been the end of me. More creds to them.

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Some of the colorful locals occupied the table next to us. The gals gave me the news about the Sunday NASCAR Race. The fuzzy chinned guy on the right told me to take plenty of water if I was riding out on the 'Red Desert'. That's the local term for the Great Basin between Rawlins and Pinedale to include Atlantic City.

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South Pass and Atlantic City I left Encampment having enjoyed my encounter with the locals. I decided to head for Wamsetter WY to take the route on the west side of the Great Basin. It was shorter according to what I'd researched. But first it looked like west on 70 and north to Wamsetter was going to be a 125 mile pavement section. After doing about 25 miles I spied a sign that said Rawlins 58 miles north thru a Natl Forest. Well that should be shorter ,and it was a dirt road.....so I took it. I set my GPS up to go to Wamsetter shortest route. Well, about 10 miles in the GPS said to turn left, but I didn't believe it so I went on...maybe 30 miles. A main dirt road came along to the left so I thought that that might be a route to Wamsetter and I wouldn't have to go into Rawlins. Cool. Well that road diagonaled south instead of north directly to Wamsetter, but after what seemed like hours eventually came out at the hwy where I could cut the corner some 30 miles of dirt road directly to Wamsetter. That's Wamsetter Road and goes straight as a die across miles and miles of oil and gas producing flat worthless for anything else land. At one point I saw a guy walking who was going to cross the road in front of me. I stopped to see what he was doing. Well Steve was walking the 'real' Continental Divide Trail. He'd been doing it for months....wore out 3 pairs of shoes. He pointed out a marker that they follow that is there every 1/2 mile or so. Said he went the wrong way that morning, and it cost him 45 minute. That didn't sound like much to me. Steve assured me that it was a huge waste of his daily energy supply. I guessed that I could see his point. He said there was a spring 6 miles ahead where he's going to spend the night. I finally got to Wamsetter....'holy moly' , on google maps Wamsetter is only a gas station.....in reality, it's 3 gas stations, several cafes, and several motels, actually quite a big place. I had some Church's chicken to get me thru the night and headed out onto the 'Red Desert' as it was only 7pm. That's too early to quit riding. There was more oil and gas doings north of the freeway (230, I think). I rode for another 30 miles thru a real desert being entertained by antelope who thought I was going to eat them. They go like hell, and did you know that they don't jump fences. They do a base runners move where they slide under fences and pop up running on the other side going as fast as ever. The sun was getting closer to the horizon. I found a place where an 8' berm was running beside the road. I popped over the hill for seclusion, and that was home sweet home for the night. Pretty desolate, but just fine, if all your going to do is sleep.....

From July 28, 2012
I was up early, feeling refreshed, and riding by 7am. The roads out there didn't resemble any road designation like my maps or google maps had so I was going a bunch on faith, after all, how many roads could be out there. I'd set my GPS to take me to Pinedale, and damned if it didn't. I raced an Antelope out there and beat him. I was doing 40 on the road, and he was doing 35 out in the rough where I wouldn't even have been able to ride. His suspension's movement look like one off a Baja Trophy trucks. Probably 60 miles later I came to paved road 28 which comes southwest from Landers, and passes by South Pass and Atlantic City. Those last 2 are relics form the gold mining days as early as 1840. I wanted to see them and they were only 15 miles out of my way so I headed northeast on 28. First I went into South Pass....a regular little city. At one time there were 3000 folks living there. Here's there processing plant under restoration.
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From July 28, 2012
South Pass town
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After talking to the curator at the little museum, I moved on to Atlantic city. The dirt road was closed. They were putting in a new culvert. I had to do a work around which took me by some relics of the mining times. Cool. First view of Atlantic City
From July 28, 2012
A couple days ago, Pat had called the Mercantile store in Atlantic City. The other end of the phone said they were open for business, and that the gun store guy always had a couple 5 gallon can of gas for guys like us. Well with my 30 mile detour to AC I wanted to pick up some gas for security. I recognized the Gun Store immediately. He does tire repair as well as almost anything else. There are tire tools all over.....but you aren't getting any of that stuff if he isn't there. Folks told me he was off doing some work somewhere for the day. He'd be a bad guy to be counting on if you really needed gas. I moved on to the Mercantile store to have a look see. When I walked inside there was Mike who Pat and I had parted from in Salida. Mike had gone to Durango as he's expecting to move out of Sacramento, and is checking out various cities in the Rockies to see where that move will take him. Anyway he'd done all that, and I'd done all I'd done and here we are together again. Life's funny that way. Now we were 2. So while we're making new plans to ride together Gary and Max ride up on 2 DR650. They turn out to be great guys. Now there are 4. Max,left, Gary, center, and you remember Mike, on the right
From July 28, 2012
I led us out of town as I knew the route past the detour and we stopped at one of the AC ore processors for pictures.
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A little closer....
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Some of the power for the plant ...a double pumper steam engine.
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Other old buildings of AC
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Max and Gary in action....
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So there you have it, South Pass and Atlantic City. The 4 of us finally were back on the trail to Pinedale. It was 15 miles back to the CDR.....and guess what? At the entrance back to the trail, there was Pat talking to 2 KTM southbound CDR riders. Now we were 5. That's a lot of cats to herd. Pat said that the There were 6 in the KTM group, and they had lost 4 of them in the 600 miles that they'd come from the Canadian Border. Two to serious injuries and the other 2 to personality conflicts. It ain't easy out here on the trail. :cry We continued on the 60 miles to Boulder and then to Pinedale for lunch. We gassed in Boulder as I was about out. While in the gas station a nice gal got to talking with us....prolly Mike was the attraction, but none the less she was a 30+ year old outdoor gal who had been back packing around the nearby mountains for the last month and was interested in what we were doing. We invited her to join us for lunch in PD, which she did. Nice gal and interesting to share BS with her. Here we are all pulled up to the hitching rail for lunch....
From July 28, 2012
Shortly we we back on the trail with the Jackson area on our minds. It took a while to assimilate the 2 new riders into the order of things. Max and Gary were interesting guys, and nice to have along. We all were camping capable so we figured tonight would be spent at altitude somewhere between towns. Mike is carrying the cutest little spinning rig for fishing, and he's hell bent on catching a fish. We allowed him to be captain of the camp site if he'd just catch us enough fish for dinner. He was good with that. We probably covered 40 more miles of dirt and somewhere in the middle of nowhere Mike spies a lake and declared, "Camp is here". Cool we found an outfitters campsite next to the lake and on the edge of the trees that hide us from the road. It was perfect....even had seat benches sawed out of 2' dia logs. We sent Mike off for the fish, and sat back and waited....and waited. Mike came back in an hour with zilch. Turns out that this lake, that's an 1/8 mile long, is shallow and at 9000' it freezes completely which kills any fish that might be getting started in there. I had to settle for my can of Boyarde and the 3 potato wedges that I'd save from the Churches chicken from the other night. Camping at 900'....
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Looks like Gary and Pat are getting a little help from above ....
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We capped the fine campsite off in the morning with a fine sun rise. I'd slept thru the best of it, but salvages a bit of it.
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A day off in Ashton Idaho

Yesterday we were going into Idaho. It was prolly a 150 miles of dirt and pavement, but the first 50 was thru this kind of country.

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Mike was leading on the 'Canonshot' route, then the other three, and I was bringing up the rear. I like to stay out of the dust and not be holding a rider up who's behind me.

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We got to the Dillon turn off and stopped for a BS session.
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While we were there a gentleman on a quad showed up to jaw with the boys. He mentioned that there was a blue grass weekend in a nearby town, Briggs I think.

We pressed on on shortish dirt sections that were taking us toward the Jackson National Park. Lots of plans were working in everyones heads. Gary and Max had never been to Yellowstone. Mike wanted to see Boseman Mt as a place to move his family.

Turns out that Pat liked the idea of taking in the Blue Grass thing. He also had friends there.....hummmm....could almost be heard as we rode. It was noon and none of us had eaten much more than a snack so we stopped at this little cafe.

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All that hummmming came to light and we all decided to take a day off from the CDR, and do our own thing. We'd meet up in Island Park, ID at 9am the day after tomorrow to continue the CDR. If anyone was not there it would be understood that they had other plans.

We continued the rest of the day trying to see sights. The long distance stuff was dimmed by the smoke from fires in the area.

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Pat dropped out of the group when they wouldn't let him drive thru the Park free, Mike dropped out when he decided to go thru Yellowstone on the way to Boseman. Gary and Max stayed at Lunch a little longer than the rest. They were headed to Yellowstone as well. So I was on my own headed over Grassy Ranch Road from Jackson Park to Ashton ID.

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Grassy Ranch Rd was an easy ride, and it broke out into Idaho ranch land. They love their historical buildings up here, and I'm happy they do.
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I saw a lot of wheat and alfalfa.
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I got into Ashton around 3pm. I checked out a couple motels. One said they had low rates. When I went in the office, I said that I wanted to know if he and I were on the same page when they said low rates. Turns out he was a lier. 79$ for an itty bitty room......but that's the way it is in the Rockies during summer.

The nice man did tell me about a campground that was associated with a motel down the street, the Ashton Inn. I went there, and it was only 10 bucks. No toilets or showers, but you could use the motel bathroom and pay 5$ to shower in a room. That worked for me. Wifi was free in the lobby and they have plugins by the sofas. Cool!

All I did that night was upload a bunch of pictures before sacking out.

........I got up this morning and knocked out a couple update to this RR, and I still had time to go for a ride. But first I had Mexican food for lunch at a little joint in town. It was like the Mexican food that I'm used to. I told the waitress, and she confirmed that the owner was from the Southern Ca area.

I'd been seeing promo signs about Cave Falls. I figured I'd have to see that . It was about 30 miles away. Turns out it took me into Yellowstone park. Ya Ya, and I didn't have to pay. :evil It did rain on me on the way out there, though.

Quite a nice Falls....

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This guy has a fish on the end of his line.
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I was soon finished at Cave falls. There was a 15 mile dusty dirt road involved with this trip and 10 or so cars that had to be dispatched to get out of their dust. That's always a tricky time getting thru their dust so you can pass. No one contested the pass and I made an effort to get off the throttle as I passed so as not to throw gravel.

I returned toward town....Hummm....seems as though there are some Mesa Falls as well on Hwy 47 out of Ashton. Now these falls turned out to be summat else. They are on the Henry's fork of the Snake River just 15 miles out of Ashton.

....but first I see the Great Western Trail of Idaho. It's only legal for things narrower than 50" be it man, horse or machine. That means me and my bike. Very cool!

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I went as far as this railroad tunnel
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Then I moved on to Lower Mesa Falls. It was a freebie but far away...still a hell of a falls.
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The upper Mesa Falls was more impressive since you could get much closer.
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....Interesting fact about those Mesa falls.....It all comes from a spring... from Web page: http://www.co.fremont.id.us/departme...g-springs.html Big Springs Producing over 120 million gallons of water each day, Big Springs a Natural National Landmark, is one of the 40 largest natural springs in the world. The springs create the headwaters of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River which travels across Fremont County creating spectacular scenery at Upper and Lower Mesa Falls. With a constant temperature of 52 degrees, the springs is home to rainbow trout, muskrats, ducks, moose and other critters. It is not unusual to see osprey and eagles dive for a meal of fresh fish from the springs.

We'll be heading north in the morning....

Island Park Northward After our day off in and around Ashton Idaho, we all met at Island Lake Id. All 5 showed, but Max and Gary had run out of time and needed to get back to Alabama. So there were just the three of us left, Pat, Mike, and Pete. Gary and Max saying goodbye at Island Park....

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We first went out to Big Springs. That's the spring that feeds those Mesa Falls. Not near as impressive as the Falls.:puke1
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It was a long ride across to Lima, Mt. of course the mountains to the south were beautiful. We followed along them for 50 miles and crossed to the north side of the valley before going into Lima. Notable, was passing a pack of 25 ADV riders going south. No contact was made...talk about a dusty ride. We also Met a southbound couple on Bicycles. We chatted for 20 minutes. They were 2 singles that were riding together. Very interesting Canadians. ........on to Lima for late lunch....huge hamburger. From there we rode along a scenic creek that looked to me that it went up hill. Then North on the Banack Rd to a nice FS camp at Grasshopper. You can tell from my prose that I'm getting road weary. The views are remarkable enough for pictures. Here they are....Just out of Island Lake...
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Coming across to Lima...
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The Canadian Bikers...
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While riding across to Lima..at a rest break, I noticed what looked like a small rock stuck in my back tire. I grabbed my 4" pocket pliers and started to work on it. It turned out to be a 1" long horse shoe nail. Nows the time to tell me...if you know how a nail that's laying down gets in a tire, straight in mind you....but this one did. It wasn't leaking till I pulled it out. So I pushed it back in while we mulled it over. I was for leaving it in. Pat said why not plug it now before it went flat and popped the bead like it did before, and makes it hard to re-air up. That made sense to me. Pat went to get his plug kit out, while saying that he didn't know why he was carrying one as his bike had tubes. Turns out he didn't have plugs...or even a tube patch kit.. He'd left them in his other bike's kit. So I dug out my plugs, and plugged it with a string plug in a minute or less. The tire didn't have time to go flat. It had dropped from 20 to 10 lb while I plugged it. I pumped it back up to 20 and was ready to go in no time. I think that I like the tubeless conversion. That's the plug on the right of the tire.
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After Lima....
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Going toward the backwards running creek
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There it is, looks ok there
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Cliffs along that creek
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This is a group of southbound Canadians on the Banack Rd, but one of them was English. He said that he'd been trying to teach the heathens to hold their little fingers correctly during tea, as well as how to speak English. Also said that so far, it looks hopeless. :rofl
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Lots of old ranches along the way....
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Lots of Sheep history thru here as well
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We made another 40 miles before we found the Grasshopper camp ground for the night. It was cold at 9pm, but didn't seem to get much colder. We were about 30 miles short of Wise River.
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Lincoln Mt or Bust We got a fairly early start. It was only 33 miles to Wise River Mt. We'd need gas there, but more than that we needed to warm up. The temps were low 50s. , and that's cold when you're taking it full in the chest and knuckles at nearly 60 mph. Luckily Wise river has a nice old cafe bar for coffee and breakfast plus gasoline for our charges. The hour let the sun bring the temperature up enough to be comfortable. That was the first time that we had been temperature challenged. I vowed to put my electric shirt on if that happened again. Cold riding to Wise River......

From July 28, 2012
Coffee at the Wise River Motel/Bar/Cafe........
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We set off for parts north along the Wise River. It had warmed up, but not so much that I would have traded places with the fools in that boat/raft.
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We got back into the dirt as we turned north toward Butte......
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Somewhere up there we did the dueling camera thing and I got the expected mirror photo in.
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We gained a lot of altitude...
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In fact we took a side tour to near the top of a peak in the area that had towers on it. Had to get pics up there.
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Don't know where my hat is....
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Log cabins as we approached Butte Mt.
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Later on in Butte, Pat wanted to make a shopping trip. He said he's do the I-pad tag with Mike and we'd catch up later on...like tomorrow. So Mike and I continued on to Helena Mt. We rode the Hwy to Basin, and took the dirt some 30 miles into Helena. This is the section that has Fleecers Ridge and Lava Mtn in it. We skipped both those, but we did see the Lava Mtn boulder strewn hill. It's closed now for gas power vehicles. Thankfully. But here's some pics thru there.
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Back way into Helena.... Helena is a very nice town.....for that matter so is Butte.
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We stopped at Hardee's for an early dinner....don't think that I've ever been in a Hardee's before. Not exactly a 'bucket list' event, but I had a good burger. It was coming out of Hardee's when we made contact with this cowboy preacher. Scored a couple Cowboy bibles from him. I love a hard working hat, and this one had dust caked sweat all along the headband as well as a rip in the brim that had been hand stitched for a repair. Nice guy....salt of the earth. I'll bet he raised some hell before he started preaching.
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We still had a few hours of Daylight. We rode hard to make Lincoln for the night. The 65 miles took us the best part 3 hrs and we got there with a half hour of Daylight left. Along the way....
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Note the picture of my bike, always from that side. It's the side where the cargo net looks pretty much in order....:clap Call it my good side. :wink:
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Mike prepares Bruce (his bike) to pull that rail car to the other side of the road. I bet the locals were surprised the next morning....
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Old Mining left overs....
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Mike scored a room for the night and I went to the town Campground after closing down a small Casino at 10:30. I had a couple beers and wified for a couple hours. A deer in my campground.....
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If you don't know, and I didn't, Montana has slot machine type gambling machines everywhere and a Bar/cafe with those machines is called a Casino.
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From July 28, 2012

Lincoln to Columbia

Mike and I set out from Lincoln at 8:30 from the casino where we had breakfast. It's a cheap little joint on the north side of the street that touts free coffee and WiFi. Friendly folks.

Mike made contact with Pat....seems as though he was 40 miles ahead of us in a campground 10 miles north of Ovando. We all made plans to reconnect in Columbia falls (a 100 mile further north) that evening, as Pat had a buddy there who would permit us to camp in his yard, and had Wifi.

The CDR soon went into the hills north west of Lincoln. There are more trees thru there and it's hard to get any open country pictures. I didn't get any.

About 5 miles into the hills we were faced with a road closed sign caused by fires, we thought, but there was no smoke in the area. We decided to go on....which was the right decision as we never came to the end of the closed area. Scheesh.....who's running that place. Soon we came out near Ovando.

We avoided the ovando area CDR as the 4 Canadians from a couple days ago said that there was a closure from a work crew that was putting in a culvert.

Gassed up 45 miles later in Lake Seeley. 15 miles later we went back in the hills West of the road. We spent 50 miles in there with trees on both sides of the road...no pictures.

It had been a long ride from Mex, and I was just not enthusiastic. I was just riding to complete the ride. I'm sure it would have been different if there had been wide open spaces where the buffalo roamed, and all that.

My earlier decision to call it off in Lincoln would have been a good one, but finishing the ride at the Canadian Border was the honorable thing to do.

We came back to the highway near Bigfork. We busted on up the Hwy to Kalispell. Pat called again, he was in Columbia Falls. He'd been worrying about me and my rear tire. He offered to buy me a tire as a reward for me being a good travel partner.

I thought that that was one of the nicest things that I ever heard of. :freaky

Well, Mike was going to go on or summit, so I met Pat at a tire moto shop. they didn't have a tire, and another shop was closed on Monday.

I wasn't quite to the wear bars on the tire....it just wasn't urgent to make a decision on the tire. Plan 'B' was to go get some kebobs and a six pack and go to the friends backyard and celebrate Tomorrow's 'End of Trail' ride.

As we sat in the backyard, Pat got a call from Mike who was going to camp with us tonight. Luckily we had enough shiskibobs and beer for everyone. Here's a picture....in the morning having coffee, Pat said, "What's that?" I looked, and running down the telephone line was this squirrel. That was a first.

From July 28, 2012
all ready to go...
From July 28, 2012
Anyway we loaded up that morning for what was a 120 mile dirt run to the border. We stopped for rolls in Whitefish. A nice gal offer to do the photo deed for us.
From July 28, 2012

The Pat, Mike, and Pete show rolled out of Columbia Falls this morning at 8am. The anticipated 60 mile run was actually 120.

The three Musketeers completed the ride today at 1pm. We took pics at both border crossings This crossing is closest since 9/11, about 20 miles east (as a crow flies) of Roosville.

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Approaching Roosville
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Here's a pic at Roosville also
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A funny story....I've been following Pat and Mike with the route in their GPSs for 14 days. I have eaten a lot of dust. But today a sign said that the border was 16 miles away.

I had a chance to get in the lead, and didn't think anything could go wrong. I went for it. I'm riding in clean air. Ah, shit I'm getting signs of dust up ahead. It was a car.

I was probably going 5 mph faster than the car, so I decided to wick it up, and get past the car. That meant going about 15 mph faster in order to not be in his heavy dust for very long.

Passing them like that usually surprises the driver. Now that I'm passing, I don't want to throw gravel at him, but I do want to get out ahead far enough that he's not eating my dust so I kept the elevated speed going.

Crap, at this higher speed, I'm not getting away from him. Who is that guy? Finally I get to the closed border from pic #1 above.

I stop and a minute later a Border patrol guy pulls up in that car...just a little irate about being surprised like that.....but he was sputtering about I shouldn't drive like that up there. He said it was dangerous. Scheesh!

I think he was a little surprised that I was a geezer, and not some 20 year old squid. He eventually calmed down and settled for a 'don't do that again'.

The Ride Home

As to where I Am now after saying goodbye to Mike,...I'm 250 mile south of the border back in Lincoln Mt. That's where I spent a night going north. There a town campsite and free wifi in a casino/cafe/pub.

....and tonight was Taco Tuesday. 4 tacos, 3 dollars. So cheap that I had a beer...and I might just have another.

My rear tire looks like it's just might make it. I have another 1000+ miles to go to Westcliffe, Co where my trailer is.

Raining in Lincoln

I rode into Lincoln at 7pm. I tapped the Casino/wifi hotspot for internet and some tacos. I closed the place at 10pm, threw my sleeping bag on the ground, and made some promises to the Gods for holding off with the rain.

I got out of the camp ground at 6:30...gassed up and oiled my chain by 7am when the casino opened. It was fully raining outside by 7:30. How's that for timing.

Need I say it, "Luck Beats Good".

So I interneted and had breakfasted, and was ready to ride at 9am. I put my rain pants and electric shirt on. I was as ready as I'd ever be.

Yesterday it was 90 degrees, today it was 55 and didn't get as high as 60. I started the bike and plugged the electrics in. The DR has enough juice for the 5 amps draw. I could feel the heat.

As I pulled out on the road, I do this little move where I stand up for my seat pad to swing under me. Without thinking about it, that stand up move unplugged the electrics.

I froze my ass off for the hour going over the pass to Helena. I did think to myself that ....just imagine how cold I'd be without the electrics. When I stopped at MD's in Helena, I noticed the dis-connect.

I did ride out of the rain. While I was having coffee, I talked to a gal employee as I took off my rain pants. I told here it was done raining. She laughed at me. No, I said "seriously, I check the radar and the rain was north of here". She said, "Remember this is Montana". The skies were still angry....

From July 28, 2012
But there was hope with some brighter spots.
From July 28, 2012
It was like this for the next 150 miles before I broke out into the sunshine.
From July 28, 2012
I rode thru Ennis Id....
From July 28, 2012
There was much less smoke so the mountains were clearer.....but further south the smoke got worse as the fires must be acting up again.
From July 28, 2012

Not 5 miles out of Helena I ran into a rain squall. It could have been worse, but I certainly remember her wise words. "Remember, this is Montana".

Well, it was still cold, but now I had the electrics on. Now it wasn't so bad. I was going south....where was that warm air from a day ago. I ran into it about a 150 miles south of Helena.

I came down a hill out of Island Lakes and the temps went from 60 to 85 in about 20 miles.

By the time I got to Ashton (where I'd stayed on the trip north), I was getting hungry. I remembered that Mexican Cafe and pulled in.

From July 28, 2012

Two for one, oil at the Pronto Parts store, and Mex food next door.

While eating, I noticed the fatigue in my body. I decided to call an end to the day's riding and rest up.....and get some reports out. A 'Macho Burrito' with Carnitas.....mummmm

From July 28, 2012
As I pulled into the hotel/campground, I had to run the gauntlet of these cruiser guys
From July 28, 2012
Nice guys on real nice bikes.....
From July 28, 2012

I'm feeling like a tiger this morning, and will meet a 'maggot from Afton Wy. We'll ride some of the Grey's River Road out of Alpine Wy. Gotta get some dirt riding in. [url]http://goo.gl/maps/6lHGw[/url] I'm in Rangely Co at a coffee shop catching up on my report.

From July 28, 2012
I was escorted thru Grey's River road by Stuart and Adam riding an XR600 (remember those :rofl). Adam's in front.
From July 28, 2012
We drank from a pure water spring that Adam showed me.
From July 28, 2012
Sturat is my connection with the Honda Sabre List who lives in Afton Wy. Thanks' Stuart.
From July 28, 2012

Grey's River is a great 80 mile road where water flows west till you get to the middle of it then it drys up and soon you start picking up a stream that flows east. It's a great ride...don't miss it. Flowing West...

From July 28, 2012
Flowing East
From July 28, 2012
I keep adding oil in the top faster than it blows out the back. The old DR is still kicking ass. The tire is wearing like iron....still see some tread. I think the chain will last the ride as well.
From July 28, 2012

I just had a rider here at the coffee shop tell me that I should ride the Baxter trail down to Fruta. Damn, I hate to miss that, but I'm homesick. Gotta get back to my sweety.

I finished the ride back to LD's in Westcliffe. LD and Anne took care of me for the evening. Fed me real good. I'd lost about 10 lbs on this ride.

A Saddle sore 1000 to home

I decided to leave in the morning as soon as I got loaded which took me till 9Am. I'm skipping a few days of the Divide Ride...I hope to get to them...

but right now, while I remember, let me tell you about the last 22.5 hours of my ride. It's the one where I set the record for dragging the heaviest trailer (over 500 lbs) thru a completely undocumented Saddle Sore 1000.

It started out simple enough. LD said he'd ride with me to Cotopaxi from Westcliffe to get me started. He was still gearing up so I took off down the 2 miles of dirt roads to his house. I knew he'd catch up since I was now headed home towing the DR.

About a hundred yards from his house I remembered that I left my camera. I waited for LD on his nice SV650, and asked him if he'd go get it as I couldn't turn around....and that I'd meet him at the main road about 7 miles away.

That's all good, but there are 2 main roads. I went to HWY 69 and waited 15 minutes....LD went to Hwy 96 and wondered where I was. I'd lost my phone so I couldn't call, so I went back the 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of dirt with my bike and trailer.

When I got there his wife had just answered a call from LD, and we got things straightened out.

So the upshot was that before I got started home I had an hour of riding back roads. Some days I shouldn't be allowed away from my keeper. :1drink

So scratch that hour....I was really on the road to home at, Ca time, 10am....not that that's significant. :wink:

The plan for the day was to ride at least half the 1050 miles back to Oceanside Ca. I figured to make the return home a 2 day event.

My route would be down 285 to Saguache, to Durango then Kayenta, Flag, and Kingman. Simple enough.

The first thing worth a pic was the town of Saguache. I'd been thru there before but never looked, off to the side, down the main street. They've refinished a few old buildings and it's a nice little town now.

From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
Kinda missed this Hotel...but you get the idea.
From July 28, 2012

So I got out of there...not going anywhere in a hurry. I gassed up at a station at a short cut to Del Norte. An older woman, of course not as old as me, was running the register, and was laughing in wonderment when she saw my rig.

She said, " only a Honda...", then went on to tell me about her 2000 Watt generator that powers her whole house....never takes more than 2 pulls to start it. I love these real folksie people.

I never met anyone who ran a house from a small Gen before.

As I pumped gas another gent came by and in 10 seconds took the whole trailer in, and noticed the brake and understood it. That guy was the most comprehend-able of anyone who's looked at it. I was impressed with these 2 characters at an intersection that only had one other person there who I didn't talk to. Hell, he may have been a rocket scientist.

I moved on thru Del Norte, on to South Fork. There are some great cliffs west of town.

From July 28, 2012

All the western mountain scenery, Like "Wolfe Creek Pass" has been spoiled this summer by fire smoke so there are no photos of that from this trip. Every time that I'd try to get a distance shot, it would turn out like this.

From July 28, 2012

So I traveled east from South Fork on 160 just kind of in a trance. Just me and my thoughts. There were rain clouds all around and some of Colorado's big drops of rain did find my body.

I even rode some wet roads, but nothing worth putting rain gear on for. I thought about where to spend the night. I liked the idea of the free camping at the Navajo Natl Monument... Hummmm That was still a ways away.

.....and that would leave me 650 miles for tomorrow....but worse yet would put me at the hottest part of my trip, The Co River at Blythe, some time around noon. That didn't sound good. OH, well, gotta do what I have to do.

I rode on to Cortez Co, and had some of their chicken strips. and sent off a couple emails....It was 6pm. I headed toward Kayenta on 160. There isn't much to see there, but here are the things that were picture worthy.

From July 28, 2012
These cliffs were Spectacular...a couple pics
From July 28, 2012
I'd put my house, or trailer, just where he did.
From July 28, 2012
From July 28, 2012
This was the most pleasant surprise of the ride between Cortez and Kayenta....
From July 28, 2012

By the time I got to Kayenta the sun was down so no more pictures. The campground was 30 miles to the west. I thought that I should get closer to the River before I called it a day. Hummm...yes, maybe I could cross the hot part early in the day, so I passed the campground up.

That left me 65 miles to the 89 turnoff toward Flag. There were some rain clouds ahead, The kind that you can ride between, and might miss totally. Not to worry.

I imagined that, at best, I might get to Kingman which would leave 350 miles for tomorrow. An early morning start and I'd beat the heat and be home about noon.

The rain clouds were in front of me, so I watched them in the twilight of dusk. Looked like I was headed right at them. Oh, now there was a little lightning in that one.

I drove on. By Tuba City the road was wet, but I was only getting a few big drops and water spray. I thought I might be thru the thing by the time I got to hwy 89 in another 10 miles. I didn't, and by now it was raining, and there was lightening all over the place.

The lightning didn't seem to be going vertical, mostly big curvy bolts of horizontal stuff.

I made my turn toward Flagstaff. It was raining, and now has a 20mph side wind blowing me toward oncoming traffic. The riding was no longer a piece of cake.

I needed to get gas at Camaron's Trading post 15 miles up the road. I could get out of the weather there,....if I made it that far. :puke1

I was able to stay in my lane and on the road as far as Camaron's. Cool. There was still light rain, wet roads and lightening....oh, did I mention a lot of Sat night traffic. Prolly about 9pm by now. Oh, the good news, it wasn't cold.

I decided to go on not knowing if the huge Mtn near Flagstaff would likely settle weather down or add to it. I was in luck. I only went about 10 miles, and the road and sky both dried up to be heard from no more.

So by Flagstaff, I'm more than half way. It's another 180 miles to Kingman where I might get some rest an hit the river early... but it'll be past midnight. Hummmm....do you suppose that I might be able to ride straight thru to Oceanside?.....and could I do it in under 24 hrs? That bore some thought.

I did more than the first half in 12 hrs. I had enought time and prolly some left over for a couple rests.....and I could always bail on the SS1000. There's no real need to put another one next to the other dozen 1000 mile days that I've put under my belt. SS1000s are just stupid, don't you know. :evil

So once clear of the rain I began to add a little extra twist to the speed controller. Flagstaff is at 7000 ft and is all down hill to the 1500 foot high river. Speed going down hill over that 180 miles isn't a problem.

The speed limit is 75mph, and I held it pretty steady at 70. I-40 is rough as hell. I imagined tearing off the Trailer hitch....after all I know the builder. :rofl

I gassed in Saligman. I was tired. I knew of an off ramp at Silver Springs road some 30 miles west. I'd find a ditch out there to throw a ground cover down, and with my 2 carpet pads I could catch an hour of rest.

I slept immediately, and was up and back on the road at 1:00. that left me 400 miles and 9 hours to complete it by 10am.

I felt good as I continued. I gassed again in Az just inside the AZ border to get the good Az price. I also drank a coffee. It was hot down there near the border/river at 2:30. .... At least a 100.

I would need gas again at Ludlow, but before then I stopped on the freeway for an energy bar. Eating always wakes me up. It was 3:30. I gassed up but only got half of the 50 miles to Barstow before I got drowsy. I stopped at a rest stop and laid down on a picnic bench seat. If I leave my helmet on and tip my head sideways the table top stops my head from going anywhere. zzzzzzzzz.........

That was another 15 minute nap. That got me thru the night. the sky was getting light at 5:15 at Barstow. I only had 140 miles left which was easy in the daylight. I walked in the door at home at a about 8:35.

Google says that's 1055 miles in 22.5 hours. Just stupid, I contend. :freaky

I was really glad to be home after only 3 weeks on the road. A couple statistics are 2300 miles on my Sabre, and a whopping 4800 miles on the DR, and I'd spent a little over 1500 dollars. It was a well spent ride-about.