Day 19, off the bikes for a while.

The following is a compilation of 5 days and there may be some inaccuracies but generally it’s close to accurate.
Today was the first day off of the bikes since August 1. An easy morning of hot tubing, coffee and conversation with everyone there. Jackie and Dennis have his nephew, wife and kids here for the eclipse. They are good people and that makes it easy with all of us staying in one house. Tonight there will be 11 people staying here. The house is big enough to handle the load.
In the morning we cleaned the bikes, straightened out the things we carry in the boxes and pushed out some of the dents on Bill’s boxes, I think mine are junk. With the bikes clean we were free for the day.

He now clean KTM.

After wondering around the house for a while we headed to Bullwinkle’s for dinner and enjoyed conversation with a couple from Australia. They were near our age and he had a collection of old British bikes including Nortons, Royal Infields and others. The bike he rides regularly is a KTM 990. We headed back to the house and had cocktails and conversation before going to bed.
It’s Saturday and the girls fly into Bozeman today. The trip to Bozeman airport takes just under 2 hours and their arrival time is 11:50. This made for an easy morning where we didn’t have to rush. Dennis drove and dropped us off at the Enterprise car rental in Bozeman about 12 miles from the airport. We saved $80 per day on the rental by not picking up at the airport. We had reserved a midsize car, which in the old days would have been called a sub compact. Fortunately we ended up with a mini van that was perfect for our needs.
We stopped at Big Sky for lunch at the Lone Peak Brewery and Mary and I tried a beer, while Pauline had a Bloody Mary. Bill was driving and abstained. The food was good and we were soon back on the road to West Yellowstone.

Lunch at Lone Peak Brewery.

Half way back to West we were passed by a white pickup. I looked and it was Dennis. After he dropped us off at the car rental he went to go to Cosco to pick-up sheet cakes for the restaurant and had been behind us until then. I think Dennis was in a hurry to get with us for the evening.
We went to Bullwinkle’s and bought some beer, then took the girls to the house to settle in. After a while Dennis arrived and we opened the outside bar, had some beers and discussed all that was happening in our lives. Later we all went to the restaurant where we showed the girls the changes since the last time we were there. We went back to the house and we ordered Pizza for dinner and just relaxed.
Sunday was another day to relax. Bill was bored and started to straighten up Dennis’s tools in the garage. This turned into a 2 day project. It all started after we were unable to find a hammer that Dennis was sure was at the house. He also stated he could never seem to find anything that he was sure he owned. We were around the house all day. We walked, rode bikes, went in the hot tub and steam room. We did chicken on the grill for dinner and relaxed again.  As you can imagine, we were becoming extremely relaxed by now.

Monday was eclipse day and we discovered that the glasses I bought from Amazon were not ISO quality. Luckily there were enough glasses from everyone else to go around. We had a great view from Jackie and Dennis’s deck. West Yellowstone got 98% view of the total eclipse. The strangest sensation was the drop in temperature. It must have dropped 15 degrees. Most everyone went in and got something warmer to wear.

Bills Ready
Jackie getting photo.

Tuesday we went to Virginia City, Montana and visited the Pioneer Bar that was owned by Dennis’s brother Neal. It’s a great old cowboy bar and it has been there a long time.
The pictures of the wolf on the bar and the bear are not photo shopped, they were taken by a photographer from England that sells large color prints of these photos for $10,000.00. The photos your seeing are black and white proofs.

The wolf on the Pioneer Bar in Virginia City, MT
Bear at the bar.

Tomorrow we continue our journey. The girls fly home and we continue on our way home.


Two Days 8-16 & 17 of 17

When I got up I hot tubed it again then went to the car wash to rinse off as much evidence of having fallen as I could. I could not wash away the dents and scratches or the fact that left box was zip tied in the front to hold it in place and the windshield was gone. Maybe I didn’t like these boxes anyway. Bill went swimming, I worked on a post and had some breakfast.
We loaded the bikes and headed North on US 191 to SR 44 and views of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir National Park.

Flaming Gorge

After the park we stopped at the town of Green River, Wyoming where we rested, had something to drink and planed where to go from here. We happened upon a Harley dealer in Green River and I picked up a Chip. I think I now have over 140 chips in my collection all from different dealers.
We again headed out this time on SR 372 after deciding to go to Jackson, Wyoming for the night. SR 372 had a 70 MPH speed limit and every one was doing at least 75, we joined in. The road took us through high desert with miles and miles of sage and tumble weeds. It’s different country out there. The scenery changed as we came closer to Jackson. The beginnings of the mountains with pines rivers, lakes and an increasing elevation. Beautiful country.
We pulled into Jackson found our motel and settled into our rooms and cleaned up before going to dinner.

The room at the Antlers Motel in Jackson
Rich at the Elk Horn Arch
Bill at the Elk Horn Arch

We made a surprise choice and went to a microbrew called the Snake River Brewing. We had gone there 2 years ago when we visited Jackson with the Dennis Jackie and the girls. The place was packed with at least a 30 minute wait. We were lucky, found 2 seats at the bar and we were in.

In Snake River Brewing.
The Choices

The beer was good as was the food. Bill had a Thai pork belly dish and I has a Pork belly Roman dish. A good place to go. After Bill talked me into a last unneeded beer (he does this to me all the time), we navigated back to our motel and retired.
In the morning my latte was at a bagel place just kitty corner from our motel, the place was alive and full of early risers like myself. It was a small place and people just shared tables with each other. I sat with a guy from Southwest Michigan and talked about how he had invested in a couple of coffee shops in the Midwest.
When I returned to the room Bill was moving and we went to breakfast at a small Burrito breakfast place called D.O.G. whatever that stands for. Bill said the burrito was good and that it was spicy without additional seasonings. These little specialty places seem very common in resort communities.
I called the local KTM dealer and asked if he had a windshield for my bike. He didn’t but asked if I was going North, I said yes and he recommended the KTM dealer in Bozeman. I called but they only had windshields for the 1190 not my 1290, but he could order one and have it there on Monday. I asked how much , he said $64.00, I said order it. After market windshields are 3 times that much.
We met with Bills nephew Brett for lunch at the Wort Hotel. Bill and I had decided the night before to forgo staying there as the base room price of $480.00 seemed a little steep for us. We had a good lunch and Bill caught up on family things with his nephew. After lunch we all walked to the local outfitter store and I bought some NixWax to wash the riding gear with. A little more walking and we were back at the bikes so we could now show Brett what was left of our bikes after the COBDR.

Bill’s Nephew & Bill

We headed West out of Jackson and over the Teton Pass on SR 22. Another beautiful pass to cross and we are now in Idaho. Huge multi mile long fields of grain and potatoes. We were on or way to West Yellowstone for our stay at Jackie and Dennis’s house. We will stay there and watch the Eclipse Monday and leave Tuesday. Pauline and Mary will fly into Bozeman will fly in Saturday and go back home Tuesday.
Jackie and Dennis were at there house when we arrived at about 3 pm. Jackie showed us our rooms and we started to settle in, do laundry and so on. It really was time to wash our riding gear. After 16 days of wearing the same gear every day it need a cleaning. We used NixWax washing soap that is made to protect the waterproofing of your gear. I have used this in the past with good results. This time the NixWax did not do a good job of removing the ground in clay from our ride. I’ll try again when I get home and do a little hand scrubbing on these things. I have ruined my GoreTex in the past using regular laundry detergent, I don’t need to do that again.
Dennis, Bill and I got in Dennis’s truck and went to one of the two establishments they own in town, Rockies Nut House. A couple IPA’s and some discussion with the locals and we headed to their other establishment for a meal. Rockies only has pizza and we wanted something else.

The bar at Bullwinkle’s

We sat at the bar at Bullwinkle’s. Their was a line on the sidewalk to get seated at a table. Bill and I eat at the bar most of the time anyway. Bill and Dennis had the seafood pasta and I had the Mussels appetizer. Now full we went back to the house and turned in for the night.

Day 14 it’s 8-14-17

Today is a trip from Eagle to Steamboat Springs. We were up early again and I went for a latte and Bill went for a swim. After loading the bikes we went for fuel.
The trail stated by going straight North out of Gypsum and the road was rutted from being driven on when this clay road was wet. After about 10 miles the road narrowed to a 2 track and at about 18 miles out we came to a large wet area where the clay was like grease. This time we stopped and walked the area to determine which line to take.
The line I chose included going through a small ditch that was still wet. As I went across the ditch and was starting up the other side I gave the bike a little to much gas and slid the bike to the side and fell. Not the start to the day I was looking for. Bill chose a line going around the pond that was there and the line worked well, he made it.
Less then a ½ mile later we cam to another mud bog. Again we walked and looked for different lines. This time Bill and I both chose the same line and we went through without a problem.
From here on the road went through many changes in scenery and the mud was never a problem again today. The road got wider and followed a river that has a rail line running directly along the road where a ditch would be. If a train were on the tracks you could touch it while still on the road.

Close to the rails.

We ended up on a State highway 131 and followed it to the turn off back to gravel. The road was good the rest of the way to Steamboat. It rained a couple of times on the way but was not a problem.

Just outside of Steamboat we came upon a farm field with a couple hundred elk grazing a few hundred yards off of the road. I did not get a picture.
We arrived in Steamboat an the middle of the afternoon and checked into the Nordic Lodge just off of the downtown area. We had stayed here last year on our return from Alaska. Many other bikers sty here and when we checked in the owner inquired about our travels and then gave us each a beer to settle in with, nice people.
After a little time in the room we made the walk to a local microbrew and eatery, had a couple of beers and a bowl of mussels to fill the void.

Bill & old friend.

We moved on to a restaurant close to the motel that we went to last year called The Laundry. Michael the owner greeted us. We sat at the bar and the bartender was great telling us about all the items on the menu we were asking about. We order a small plate of Pork Cheeks and later a Brussel Sprout hash. Both were great.

At the Laundry Restaurant.

After a couple of drinks we retired for the evening. Its suppose to be an easy day tomorrow.

Day 15 it’s 8-15-17

I was up early again, worked on the blog and soon thereafter we loaded the bikes for today’s trip, the final leg of the COBDR.
We had breakfast at the motel, good bagels, many choices of fresh cut up fruit that was actually cut up there, fresh muffins, doughnuts, cereals, juices and coffee. Not a bad motel breakfast.
We left the motel in search of a gas station and my Garmin said there was one on the way out of town. As we drove by the place where the station was suppose to be there was nothing. We turned around and went back into town and fueled up. We headed out again and further out we passed 2 gas stations not on the Garmin. Another failure of the technology.
This leg of the journey took us on all gravel roads. Some were narrow forest roads but most were your average gravel roads.
We wound our way North through woods and fields passing one of the largest houses I’ve seen on this trip. It was out in the middle of nowhere. Quite a sight, I wish I had taken a picture of it.

Bad picture, big house.

After figuring out which way to go when the road signs and the GPS didn’t match, we found ourselves in Wyoming. We were at the end of the COBDR with bruises and bike damage to prove it.

What happens when you take the windshield off your bike with your arm.

We aired up our tires to road pressures, had something to drink and discussed where to go next. We decided to go to Flaming Gorge National Park in Utah. The fact that it looked less likely to rain if we headed South helped with our decision. We decided to take a route back into Colorado and when we got to Craig, Colorado, we went West on US 50. I’ve been on this road before but had forgotten how wide open and desolate this section of road is. We would go miles without passing any oncoming traffic.
We made it to Vernal, Utah where there were motels. Coming in from the East we drove by many old near abandon motels. Not wanting to stop at any of these we continued West through town and came upon many new motel units. We chose a Townplace Suites by Marriot. Nice new place and we got a government rate. As we all know, Bill was in transit to a meeting for his government job.
For our meal we walked 1 mile to a Wingit restaurant for a beer and something to eat. We needed the walk after all the sitting on the bikes. We stopped at Walgreens, picked up a 6 pack of Salt Lake City Utah beer and headed for the room. I hot tubed it after a beer and then was off to bed.
North tomorrow. We have no final destination in mind for tomorrow night. Our only constraint is we have to be in Bozeman to pickup a rental car and our wives on Saturday.

Day 13 it’s 8-13-17

I was reading at 5:30 this morning when Bill D’s phone rang and he found out about the death of his sister Janet. It was not what you ever want to hear let alone wake up to.
I went to the Sacred Grounds Coffee place down the road for a Latte and let Bill try to get some more sleep. When I got back to the room he was up and about, getting ready to head out on the trail. We ate some breakfast, packed up and headed to Buena Vista to start the 4th leg of the ride.
We both looked forward to getting back on the trail and completing the COBDR. The trail was entered by going North out of Buena Vista on County Road 371. Before turning off on CR 375 we came upon a series of 5 tunnels cut through the mountains. The trail followed a 2 track road as we wound through rocks and fields with both wooded areas and open places.
Maybe 15 miles in we came to a portion of the trail that was sand. This was only about a ¼ mile section and had only one spot that was really loose and deep. I decided to slow down here, tucked the front wheel under and down I went. On the way off the bike I also took the windshield with me. It looked like I was having a yard sale in the middle of the trail.

Trouble n the sand.

We traveled the trail out to US 285, went North a ways and turned in on CR 433. We traveled through open range land and were suppose to make a turn which I managed to miss by a few feet. While pushing the bike back to make the turn my foot slipped and down I went again. Once we got the bike up we were once again off and running. We came to an area of woods and were heading down to a low spot when we came upon clay mud and water which some people refer to as “gumbo clay”. I didn’t stop to assess the situation and went thru on a line that was not the best. I fell into a rut under the water and down I went again. This stuff was very slick and sticks to everything. We got the bike up covered now in mud. Upset with myself we once again headed off.
Our next obstacles were 2 water crossings.

First water crossing of the day.

We crossed the river the first time and the trail followed the river to where we would cross back over the river. Just before the river crossing was some of the clay I had previously gone down on. I went through ok this time but as Bill followed his rear tire slipped out from under him and down he went. After getting him up we made the river crossing and continued on leaving the woods and entering more open area.

Weston Pass

I stopped at a place where the road split so Bill would know what direction I was going. While still on my bike I took out my camera to take a picture, my foot slipped and down I went again. This was getting to be ridiculous.
We carried on towards Leadville on roads that became more stone filled as we went. We crossed the Weston Pass at 11,921 and continued on towards Leadville. As we came off the mountain the stone filled road became wider and better until we were again on blacktop (US 24). We then made a pass through Leadville and headed West to return to the route.
The route took us over Hagerman Pass and the Continental divide at 11,925’. The road up became very technical with many embedded boulders and sharp rocks, all the time traversing a steep bank off of one side. We were almost to the top when I stopped to wait for Bill and take a picture. Sitting there in neutral while getting my camera out my foot slipped on the gravel and I went down again. This was number 5 for the day. I believe my balance is alright, must be old age or just forgetting I’m holding the bike up while doing other things. Maybe I don’t multitask well?
We descended the back side of Hagerman Pass which has one river crossing.

We were now on the final leg of this day’s route to Gypsum CO. The road turned to blacktop and the route took us back to gravel for the final leg. It was getting late and we were worried about it getting dark so at Sylvan Lake we took a more direct route straight to Eagle.
We checked into the Best Western in Eagle, went to eat at the Chinese restaurant across the street, then called it a night. It had been a long day of riding. We started on the trail at about 9 am and were checking into the motel at 7:30 pm.

Day 12 It’s 8-12-17

We had a good night’s sleep at the Silver Cloud Motel. We hit the sack at 8:30 and both of us awoke at about 1:30 and read until about 4. I still got over 7 hour of sleep which is good for me.
We went for the motel breakfast and then were on our way to Colorado Springs to pick up Bill’s bike. We only stopped at the local coffee shop for a latte before heading out.
Our trip to Colorado Springs was uneventful, but that’s alright considering recent events. We picked up Bill’s bike which had been partially repaired. Repairs to the components essential to the operation of the bike were all that he had repaired. The valve cover was replaced along with a coil pack. The other injuries to the bike that are unessential to it’s bikes operation are going to be repaired in G.R.
The ride back was as uneventful as the trip there. Bill followed me as we headed to Salina. When we got to Salina we unpacked the Jeep, loaded our bikes, returned the Jeep to the rental place and headed to Buena Vista for the night. This would of put us close to the trail for tomorrow’s start. Unfortunately, when we returned to the Topaz motel (where we had last stayed), they were booked. We asked the lady that owned the motel if she knew of any other places with availability. She said no, a festival celebrating the gold rush days was going on in Buena Vista. Everything was booked and we were without a room. So, we made the 28 mile trek back to Salina where we had stayed last night and booked a room at the Great Western Colorado Lodge. It was one of the last rooms they had for the night.
As had become our pattern, we walked 1/8 mile to the Soulcraft Brewing for the 3rd time since starting this trip. More beer tasting and another trip to the taco truck. We maintained our continuity and both ordered what we last had, Chicken Burrito for Bill and Ahi Tuna Tacos for me. Both are really good.
We headed back to the room after eating and packed up the camping equipment we had spread out to dry and went to bed.

Day 11 it’a 8-11-17

Up again at 5:30, took a shower and headed to the Coffee house down the road for my morning latte and to worked on the blog. It was truly a house converted for this purpose.
I returned to the room after my latte and Bill and I went to breakfast at a little shop a block off the main drag called Light House Coffee Shoppe & Eatery. There was only one customer other then Bill D and I. The owner came to greet and seat us. She explained their special Green Chili Breakfast Barrito. Bill had the larger one, I had the smaller one and they were very good as was the coffee (as if I needed more coffee after the large latte).
We walked back to our room, gathered up all our belongings, loaded them into the car and then headed for our next great adventure, the laundromat.

We had time to kill before we would know if the parts for my bike had come in so we did our laundry and went to Walgreens for trail mix and some other items. After finishing our laundry I called the bike shop and the part was in and the tech was installing it as we spoke. We headed to the bike shop to wait. The service manager showed me the old shock body and the rod that had come undone from the valving inside. It was toasted.
KTM picked up the bill, I only wish they could make up the days we lost. Luckily we had extra days built into our trip. The shop took only 26 hours to diagnose, order the parts, receive them, put them on and send me on my way. They did a great job taking care of me.
We headed to Salina for the night. In the morning we would leave my cycle in Salina where we rented the car and Bill and I would take the rental car to Colorado Springs to get his bike. The BMW dealer repaired Bill’s within a day, taking parts off a new bike on their sales floor. Another great service job.
On my way back from Montrose my cycle’s computer said I had a traveling range of zero mile , meaning I was close to being out of fuel. My GPS has a gas station feature that said there was a station 12 miles ahead. When I got there it was out of business. The next station listed was 6 miles away and when we got there it was also out of business. No worries, there was another one 5 miles down the rode. However, it was also out of business. The next station listed was 15 miles away and when I got there they had shut down the gas station portion of the business, only the store was open. The owner said he had gas for ORV’s in a tank in the campground, but only regular. I said I’ll take 2 gallons. He said $4.40 a gallon. I’ll happily took it. We went down to the camp after paying him and I was again on my way.
After having put only 2 gallons in my bike the computer now said I had an 180 miles range until empty. That’s 90 miles on a gallon if my math is right! I think not. The computers I am dealing with are not doing well. The GPS lied 4 times and the computer on this bike is in its on world. Maybe BMWs aren’t that bad. Those Germans are sticklers for precision. I’ll never admit that to Bill though.  (The previous paragraph was changed during editing by Bill D.)

Off to Salina for the night.
We stayed at the Silver Ridge Lodge. It’s an older facility but in great shape and clean as a whistle, a great place to stay.
Down to Soulcraft Brewing for beer and dinner. We were back to the motel at 8 and in bed sleeping by 8:30. What a life!
More tomorrow.

Day 10 it’s 8-10-17

Today it was a 5:30 awakening. I went to a local coffee shop called Midland Station that had my latte and served breakfast crepes. The breakfast crepe was good as was the latte. I worked on the blog until Bill showed up and we formulated a plan for the day.
We started to execute the plan, we would ride 2 up to Anderson Motors, a Jeep rental place in Salida that also had a couple of other vehicles to rent. I would drop Bill D off and he would pick up the vehicle which turned out to be a Jeep Liberty, go back to the motel in Buena Vista and pick up the luggage from the room and then drive to Montrose to meet up with me. I would continue on the 101 mile ride to Montrose and Davis Service Center, a KTM dealer that would address my shock problem.
I had to be to the dealership in time to have the problem analyzed so that they would be able to order the parts for the repair. The order time cut off for next day delivery was 1:00 pm. I left the car rental at a little after 9 and was doing well until I came upon road construction on US 50. Not just one but 3 place with flagman and stopped vehicles. I lost the better part of an hour and arrived at Davis Service center at a few minutes after 12. When I got there they had me pull the bike right in and the took it back to check out the problem right away. The service manager completed the parts order at 12:53 and said, I hope we got it in in time for delivery tomorrow. So do I.
Jerry’s Service center is a multi bike dealership with a large number of KTM’s in stock and a knowledgeable staff. They went out of their way to take care of a traveling KTM owner and make me feel that the KTM was the right choice for me. And I do believe this bike was the right choice.

In Jerry’s Service showroom.
Some of the Adventure bikes at Jerry’s
KTM’s everywhere

Another advantage to buying a KTM is I am free to buy riding outerwear other then the Klim that seems to be the only accessory outerwear a BMW rider seem to wear. I choose both an Olympia coat and pants. Olympia was designed and tested by a couple in Alaska that used adventure riding guides to help design and perfect there outerwear. Both my coat and pants have performed great and lived up to the claims made in the advertising. I hate to admit it but I have tested the crash worthiness of this gear. It did protect me when I ended up on the ground. My circa 1981 motocross boots have worked well doing the job of keeping my feet dry in the river and lake crossings while protecting my lower leg from hits. The gear choices have worked out well.
Bill D got to Jerrys Service center around 2:00 and we looked at bikes and riding gear to burn a little time before securing a room for the night. We moved into our room and Bill D told me about turning in a claim for the bike and the damage. With a $1,900.00 towing bill and the damage to the bike the costs with car rental could approach $3,000.00. My damages are covered by warrantee and my personal costs may include me picking up the expedited shipping.
After getting settled in the room we walked down the street a ¼ mile or so to the Horsefly brewing Co. for beer and something to eat. After a beer and discussing our next move we ordered an appetizer of Asian Spring rolls to start with. Bill proofed the blog and I started loading it on the blog page so I could add pictures.


A picture of Bill D proofing.
Inside the Horsefly Microbrew in Montrose, CO.

The battery’s went dead in the keyboard and then the tablet battery warning came up on the tablet so I saved the work and shut it down until I could get to a charger.
We made our dinner order, Bill D had the special of a Brat and burger sandwich on a pretzel bun and I ordered a Taco Salad with grilled chicken. Both were good.
Over dinner Bill D and I discussed our choices in what we packed to go on this journey. We both would decrease the amount of clothing we brought and add some additional gear camping/survival gear. A small R/O water pump would be a good addition.
We headed back to the room and our charging apparatus so I could complete and post the blog. We were off to bed by 8:30 and both ready for a good night’s sleep to let our wounds heal. Our pride could use some recharging too. More tomorrow.

Day 7 It’s 8-7-17

I missed putting this day on the blog.  Her it is for 8-7-17

Today I managed to sleep until almost 5 if you include the 2 hours I was awake prior to getting out of bed. The lobby did not open for food until 7:30 so I found a local bakery, breakfast and coffee spot called Baked in Telluride that opened at 5:30. I went there for a Latte, something to eat and to work on blog posts. Bill D (I will refer to the Bill I came with as Bill D and the other Bill as just Bill to try to keep the names straight) came down later and we sat to discussed the day as I worked on the blog. Bill texted me about where they could go to eat and our starting time.
We met on the street where our bikes were parked, loaded up and headed out.

We stopped for fuel and to adjust tire pressures. Bill D and I had not adjusted our pressures down from road settings. Now we hit the trail. It started out as gravel county roads and after crossing CO 145 we went through the town of Ophil on our way to going over our first high pass of the day.


Parked at the motel in Tellaride
The beginning of day 7

The Ofhil pass is 11,767’ high and the route to the top took us through woods and streams and then we hit the rocky portion as we approached the top. The rocks were baseball to bowling ball size, jagged and provided a new riding challenge. Bill D and I had no experience at riding a trail almost completely covered in these rocks but we are going to be on our way to a quick education into this type of riding.

First time down today day 7

Dan when down on the first steep incline and we helped him get up and going. I was at a spot at the top of the first climb and after helping Dan Bill D tried to make the climb, lost it and down he went. It took a lot more work to get Bills bike up to where mine was. I traveled up to where Bill had stopped Dan followed and we all squeeze to a wide spot in the trail that was not very wide to let some Jeeps that were coming down pass. Dan and Bill continued to the summit. I stopped at the last switchback before the summit, waited to see that Bill D was coming and headed to the top. On the way my front wheel clipped a rock just smaller then a bowling ball and went under the bike causing the rear of the bike to be bounced up and sideways. I caught a rock on the side of the mountain, came to a stop and fell over.

Looking up the hill to the Summit from where I went down.

I was able to pull the back of the bike around and stand it up myself. After a few minutes of catching my breath (it’s over 11,000’ where I am standing) I looked for Bill D. It seems he had gone down on the last switchback. Some people heading down on dirt bikes came by and I asked if they could check on bill and help if necessary and they did. I finished the ride to the top. And we waited for Bill D. He started up after a while but again went down before the summit. Bill, Dan and I went down to help and I rode Bill D’s bike to the summit.
The trip down the back side was a cake walk compared to the side we came up. We rode to the next pass, another of the 5 we would go over this day. In order they would be Ophir, Red Mtn, Hurricane, California and Cinnamon passes.
We had some problems at some of the other passes on this route. Dan when down after a switchback and Bill D went down trying to avoid him and with much help from ATV riders we got Bill D’s bike down the turn so he could make another attempt at the climb.

Dan went down the BIll D when he tried to go arond

After that there were only minor incidents and we completed the day 2 to 3 hours later then we thought we would. We left at 8:00 in the morning and were in Lake City, 67 mile of travel later, at 4:30. It took 8 ½ hours to go 67 miles.
We acquired rooms at the Silver Spur Motel for the night and moved in. After a little dinner and planning for the next day we all went back to the Motel to lick our wounds and get some sleep.

On to Bueno Vista, section 3 of the ride 144 miles. This section is suppose to be less technical then today with fewer and lower passes. There are some river crossings today and with the rain that Colorado has been having the rivers should be high. Hopefully the falling is over.
The town of Buena Vista is more tourist oriented then Lake City so the motel prices will go up. We will hope for the best.

What a two days 8-8 & 8-9-17

Day eight and what a day. I got up before 5 and went to the local Internet cafe where being the first one there I inadvertently sat at the locals table. The owner came out and introduced himself and it turned out he was a Harley rider, so we had things to talk about. Bill came in later and we all chatted up the locals as we had breakfast sandwiches and a latte.

The Internet Cafe

We went back to the motel where Bill and Dan were discussing the problem of Dan’s loose foot peg. A problem that was due to striped out bolts. We went to a local ATV dealer and he sent us to the local fixer upper guy located on a back road in Lake City. They concluded welding the foot peg on was the solution and after $20.00 changed hands we were off to attempt the 3rd leg of the COBDR trail.

The fix.

This route was mostly secondary roads from Lake City until we crossed US 50 and got on 887 and then 763 to Pitkin. The roads became narrow with many elevation changes. The road also contained many large stones in their base that were protruding up and making the roads much rougher. After Pitkin we ended up in the town of Tin Cup where we stopped to discuss our route. Cottonwood pass, a normal part of the route, was closed for construction. Bill suggested taking 267, the Tin Cup pass road which we did.

The Tin Cup Store.

This route started out with the normal stones and protruding rocks as we had seen coming to Tin Cup.

The road to Mirror Lake.

Once at Mirror Lake the road hugged the shore and we drove through a portion of the lake and the river feeding it on our way up. Starting at the lake the rocks got bigger, the road rougher and more difficult. We all were doing well until about a mile from the top Bill D dropped his bike and we all stopped to help. This happened a couple of more times and on the second to the last fall a rock took out the kick stand position switch. After we all worked on it Dan and Bill concocted a fix that eliminated the switch and we were off

Switch fix.

. 100 yard later on a very difficult portion which included a rock ledge, the rivulet running down the road and rocks. Bill D stopped at the bottom to asses his line choice and then started up.

The Fatal turn.
Inspecting the final damage.

Part of the way up Bill D was going over a portion of the rock ledge and due to a combination of things the front of the bike jumped up and when the rear wheel hit the whole bike was in the air. It landed on the right side taking a direct hit of a rock on the cylinder valve cover guarding. It pushed the guarding into the valve cover punching a hole in it, cracking the leading edge where it sealed to the cylinder head distorting the cover so it wouldn’t seal. It also sheared off one of the valve cover bolts, located on the opposite side of the cover. Oil started leaking and Bill D’s bike was now out of commission.
The bike was parked in the middle of the trail. There was room for vehicles to pass on the other side so we packed it in and started to set up a camp for the night.

Our Camp site at 11,800 feet.

We all broke out our tents and sleeping bags in a small flat and grassy spot covered in cow manure. Each of us picked a spot and put up our tents. We were above the tree line at about 11,800’ and knew it would be a cold night.

My home for the night.

My new tent went up very well considering I have only put it up one time and that was a test setup in the yard at home. Bill D’s tent went up well too. Bill and Dan were old hands at this and were starting to cook as we finished setting up our tents. Thanks to Dan and Bill we all had a hot meal and I provided some whiskey for all.
The sky was now completely cloud covered and it got completely dark. We heard thunder and then it started to hail and rain. We all took to our tents for the night and individually contemplated what our next move would be.
In the morning when we got up it was 30 degrees and the rain had frozen to our tents. Dan and Bill decided to continue on there way. Bill D attempted to take the broken cover off and decided to just put it back together, park the bike off the trail and find an extraction service to come and get it. We all helped reposition the bike and I rode it down to a spot out of the way of the trail traffic. Bill D and I waited until the sun came over the mountains and melted the ice on our tents, then we toweled them off as best we could and broke camp.

Dan & Bill

Bill and Dan loaded there bikes and with about a ½ mile to the pass summit started up the trail after we said our goodbye’s and parted ways. I loaded my bike and prepared to start over the top myself. Bill D was going to walk with a bag, his helmet, his camera and his camel Back filled with water to the top of the summit and catch a ride with an ATV or Jeep down to St. Elmo. When I got in contact with him later I found out he got a ride to the top and another ride down the other side to St. Elmo. He never had to walk. When Bill D got to St. Elmo he went to the General store, borrowed a sat. phone, contacted a company to extract his bike, then called to leave me a message while I was in Pitkin.
I made 2 attempts to head to the top and fell over both times. Bill D and I talked and decided he would still continue to St. Elmo and I would go back down to Tin Cup and take the long way around to meet him. Our plan was for me to get to Buena Vista, get a room, and either rent a car or unload my bike and come to St. Elmo to pick him up and we would work it out from there.
As I ascended the mountain back to Tin Cup my rear shock blew out and I was now riding a pogo stick. I changed my routing and as soon as I could, which was the town of Pitkin, I was going to stay on all paved roads as best I could. I drove toward Buena Vista with the back of my cycle pogosticking all the way due to the blown shock.

The extraction 1
The extraction 2
The extraction 3
The damage

Bill D called me while I was in Pitkin and said he was going to ride up to the bike with the tow vehicle operator. Later on Bill D found out he was going to be able to be dropped off in Buena Vista by the driver and I would not have to come and get him in St. Elmo. I also called Pauline while I was in Pitkin and had her contact Mary to tell her that Bill D was alright and give her an update on what was going on.
When I got to Buena Vista I quickly reserved a room and unloaded my bike with the idea of going to St. Elmo and picking up Bill D. Before I left to pick up Bill D I got a voicemail saying the driver would drop him off at the motel. I texted all the information to Bill’s phone as to the name and location of the Motel and the room Number We affectionately call Bill D’s flip phone Flipper.
I then headed downtown to the Lariat Bar and Grill and started making calls and planed to work on the blog post. After trying to make a few calls from inside that failed, I moved outside to the sidewalk seating and started calling about getting my bike repaired and acquiring a rental car for both of us.
After getting as far with this as I could without discussing things with Bill D, I ordered a beer and started working on the blog. I’d been working about an hour when two people walking up from behind me were talkingp about riding with Rich. I turned around and there was Dan and Bill. They had just come into town and were after something to eat. They sat down with me and we discussed what had transpired today. I told them where things stood with Bill D and I as far as we knew concerning our bikes and they said they were continuing on with the COBDR tomorrow.
I went back to the motel and fell into a dead sleep. Bill D arrived at about 10pm and when he came into the room I was sound asleep with the remote in my hand. He took it away and I never woke up or heard a thing.
Tomorrow we will figure out where we are with the bikes and carry on. What a two days!