2015 Moto Trip

Day 1 - To Steamboat Springs.

The first day of my 2015 Colorado mountain tour took me up Poudre Canyon, through Walden (nice- there was no wind through North Park), over Rabbit Ears Pass and into Steamboat Springs for dinner, a stroll through town and one night at the friendly Nordic Lodge. Tomorrow, a long ride (5.5 hr) to Crested Butte. 

 Cameron Pass

Cameron Pass

Day 2 - To Crested Butte

Left Steamboat Springs in sunshine, but quickly encountered clouds, rain and lightning on my way south. I encountered construction delays south of Kremling and again later on, but the twisty roads and beautiful scenery made it all worth it. Nearly killed by a truck passing between me and oncoming traffic in a "no passing" zone, but the adrenaline stopped pumping after 50 miles or so. Beautiful ride through Middle Park, cold and rainy over Monarch Pass, and cold and rainy (50 degrees) arriving in Crested Butte. Had a nice dinner at Ryce Asian Bistro owned by a nice Chinese lady (Gigi) from the countryside near Guanzhou. Turned in early to rest my back.

 High mountain lake

High mountain lake

Day 3 - Crested Butte Backroads

 The Taylor River

The Taylor River

Up early, breakfast at Cristiana B&B, then a 9am start for Taylor Canyon and Cottonwood Pass. 

I took a dirt side road which (bye and bye), connected to the paved Taylor River Rd following the beautiful Taylor River for 15 miles to Taylor Reservoir. The road then changed back to washboard, potholed dirt, but the higher I climbed, the more impressive the scenery became. 

20 rough miles later I climbed to Cottonwood Pass (elevation 12,126), on the Continental Divide providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. 

A wonderful day of riding!

 Cottonwood Pass

Cottonwood Pass

 West from Cottonwood Pass

West from Cottonwood Pass

 Your narrator

Your narrator

Day 4 - Scary Trail Riding

 My Route - 35 "white knuckle" miles

My Route - 35 "white knuckle" miles

Most beautiful and most difficult ride of my motorcycling career!

I started from Crested Butte, riding past Gothic (an 1800's silver mining, then ghost town, now Rocky Mountain Biological Research Lab). 

 The town of Gothic, CO

The town of Gothic, CO

Then the road on this 35 mile loop route (circling Mt Baldy and Gothic Mountain) began to get rough!  Steep drops, rocky holes, 3 stream crossings and steep inclines covered with loose rock, were a bit challenging on my big, heavy bike (most other motorcycles I passed were dirt bikes half my size). I took it slow, learned a lot and wore myself completely out!

 I think I'm Ok.........

I think I'm Ok.........

  Emerald Lake, where I nearly slid off the road....

Emerald Lake, where I nearly slid off the road....

After Gothic, I passed Emerald Lake (big road washout, filled with large rocks which was very challenging to navigate), then came to Paradise Basin, and Paradise Divide (11,250 ft) with incredible views of the surrounding mountains - even distant views of the Maroon Bells!

 The view from Paradise Divide

The view from Paradise Divide

 A little muddy at this point....

A little muddy at this point....

 The other dirt bike rider I met - trail is pretty good here!

The other dirt bike rider I met - trail is pretty good here!

After Paradise Divide, you drop down via a series of rocky hairpin switchbacks to the Slate River Road, which although still potholed dirt, seemed like a superhighway by comparison. 

 Views down into Slate Canyon

Views down into Slate Canyon

I learned to keep RPMs high, keep momentum at all costs, pick my route carefully and to let the bike do the work. Nonetheless, it was nap time when I returned to my B&B!

Day 5 - On to Glenwood

Riding from Crested Butte to Glenwood Springs via Kebler Pass (CR 12, dirt, but very well maintained road). Compared to the last couple days, this dirt road (closed in winter) felt like being on the freeway. Smooth, not many potholes or loose gravel and lots of pretty views. 

 Views from the paved portion of CR 12

Views from the paved portion of CR 12

 Mature aspens will be beautiful in September  

Mature aspens will be beautiful in September  

 Wow - wait until September!

Wow - wait until September!

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 Polanka kitchen - handmade pierogis

Polanka kitchen - handmade pierogis

 Canadian Thistle in bloom

Canadian Thistle in bloom

Got to my hotel in Glenwood Springs, had a nice supper at Polanka (an inexpensive, traditional Polish restaurant serving pierogi, stuffed cabbage rolls and borscht), walked all over Glenwood to see the town and enjoyed the warm summer night.