Budget Yamaha Fazer visits New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona - Part 1 - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Budget Yamaha Fazer visits New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona - Part 1

Howdy,

I am posting pictures from my summer ride. I hope you enjoy it.



---

On the border of New Mexico and Texas



The plaque says...Frank A. Kindel, the flying paper boy of the Guadalupe Mountain.



Looking down at the valley near Texas from the New Mexico border.



Don't hike here without water or a personal location beacon. This part of New Mexico is typical Chihuahuan Desert terrain: dry and rocky, with desert grasses, mesquite, Ocotillo, Saltbush, Yucca, and various species of cacti.



Dell City, Texas has a dirt road that is a considered a back-door entry into New Mexico.



Riding towards mile marker zero on the New Mexico side near the Texas border. It is very desolate until there was a New Mexico police car waiting at mile marker zero.



The Texas border with New Mexico near Dogwood Canyon.



Key West, Texas mile marker.



There is little shade but the views across the desert into the Tularosa Basin, with Dog Canyon on the Texas side with New Mexico and the Sacramento Mountains in the back, offer a respite from a hard journey.



The metal object in the middle reminded me of the Star Trek IV episode. This movie involved a large metallic space probe that entered into orbit around Earth, disabled global power on the planet and evaporated the oceans.



On this trip there was ample moisture in the soil. The abundance of rain was a welcome relief compared to the drought conditions of recent years.



Guadalupe Christian Camp sits on 150 acres of land that is located deep in the Guadalupe Mountains of Southeastern New Mexico. They have been hosting camps, retreats, and events since 1956.



The Permian Basin oil and gas drilling phemenna has been a boon for US jobs and decreased reliable on foreign source of energy. I did notice several posted signs that were against fracking. The fight over water rights has been a contentious issue in New Mexico for quite some time.



I had been to the caverns several years ago. I arrived at the parking lot and the heat was well in excess of 100 degrees accompanied with a face-searing wind of about 25 MPH. I turned around and went back to cooler elevations.



Lincoln National Forest sunsets can be dramatic, especially in the summer as the winds whipped up from the White Sands National Monument can cast a golden hue to the sun's rays.



My friend riding a KLR and I rode down to Timberon. The tiny city of around 400 people is located at the southern edge of the Lincoln National Forest, directly north of the Fort Bliss Military Reservation. Like Terlingua, Texas, this place has its collection of people wanting to live partly off the grid and away from heavy population centers aka - march to a different drummer.



The FZ09 did great on mild gravel roads with some minor pot holes. It you soften up the suspension a few clicks and drop about 5-7 PSI from the tires, it does really well off-road, just be careful cracking the lower engine unit on a vicious rock or a heavily cambered road.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Part 2

Cheech & Chong movie set?

Nope, actually the dude that played Frankenstein in the 1940s film was born here. The tiny city lies alongside New Mexico State Road 24 on the eastern slopes of the Sacramento Mountains. It has had a Post Office since 1880s.



This is looking down from West Side Road just south of High Rolls unto the yellow sands of the missile testing site White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.



West Side Road is a really fun, hard packed dirt road near Cloudcroft that slowly slithers up the side of a desert mountain. During heavy rains, this road can develop very large ruts, so it is best to check the weather conditions.



A local golf course in Cloudcroft makes for a great place to go walking after dinner and catch a colorful sunset.



This is one of the more remote National Park System System in the Southwest, Gila Cliff Dwellings lies deep in the mountains of the Gila National Forest, surrounded on all sides by wilderness areas, over an hour's drive from the nearest town on steep, winding roads, and situated well away from main cross-state routes in New Mexico. The monument is a small site of just 553 acres, containing the ruins of interlinked cave dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by the Mogollon peoples between 1275 and 1300 AD, reached today by an easy one mile loop trail along a narrow canyon.



Another view of the Gila Cliff Dwelling camping site.



The Gila National Parks use battery powered cars for all park staff.



Informational plaque.



Entrance to the hiking path that leads to the Gila cliff dwellings.



Various warning signs for the unsuspecting tourist.



Gila Cliff traffic signs with bullet acne.



My Fazer parked on county road 35 east near Silver City.



The Fazer is tipping towards the Pacific Ocean near Pinos Altos, New Mexico.



This giant truck tires overlooks an area known as the Santa Rita mine. It is an open-pit copper mine located in the town of Santa Rita, New Mexico 15 miles east of Silver City. Freeport-McMoRan currently operates this mining operation. Despite the reduction of the workforce, Freeport has kept it's operation working since surface remediation based EPA standards is cost prohibitive.



Sample cactus flower along the scenic Highway 152.



This graphic sign shows the immense damage sustained by the Silver Fire of 2013. The Silver Fire was started by lightning on the summer of 2013 on the Gila National Forest.



Highway 152 east heading towards Hillsboro.



This Catholic Church is located in Hillsboro, New Mexico



This is an excellent twisty road called 152. The most exhilarating portion of this roads runs between San Lorenzo and Hillsboro. The road goes through an endless maze of rocky canyons. It is truly one of my favorites rides in New Mexico. Riders should use caution, as large rocks may be in the middle of the road, especially after a heavy rainstorm.



This is the Alpine Cabins available for rent in Alpine, Arizona. They can be reached at 928-339-4200. This is the gateway for the famous Coronado Trail Road.



When in Alpine, Arizona make sure and check out this cafe called Bear Wallow Cafe. They have the BEST homemade pies west of the Mississippi. With its giant chain-saw bear and rustic wood siding, Bear Wallow Cafe is the very picture of a mountain diner, with wooden lunch counter, antlered walls and checkerboard-tile floor. Despite its remote location, the cafe's green vinyl banquettes are usually overflowing with locals and lucky travelers who happen upon it. However you find your way to its doors, you can bet your first visit will not be your last.



Big Lake is located about 26 miles just south of Springerville and Eagar, accessed by paved road via the very scenic Highways 260 and 261, and is approximately one hour’s drive from Pinetop using Highways 260 and 273 and Forest Road 113.

If you like to fish, the lake is well stocked with Rainbow, Brown and other type of trout.



Another view of Big Lake.



Yet another view at Big Lake. I had to wait a while on the short for the perfect cloud reflection.



The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been actively involved in reintroducing Mexican wolves to portions of their historical range since before the first release of wolves in 1998. In the 1980s, the reintroduction effort focused mainly on public processes necessary to reach a decision for or against reintroduction.

Discussing the reintroduction of the Mexican Wolf with local ranchers can be touchy. Some ranchers claim their calves have been attacked. Environmentalist claim the wolves presence naturally balances the deer and elk population.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Part 3

Starting the Coronado Trail just south of Alpine.



Scenic stop along the Million Mile Highway or Highway 550 between Durgango and Ouray, Colorado. Though the entire stretch has been called the "Million Dollar Highway", it is really the twelve miles south of Ouray through the Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass which gains the highway its name. The stunning road turns and twists an provides ample views of the Rocky Mountains.



Red Mountain Pass on the Million Mile Highway. The name is derived from the iron oxide laden rock that forms their slopes. The pass separates the Uncompahgre and Las Animas River watersheds. This specific signs stands at around 11,000 feet. The FZ09 in A power mode was the perfect setting to compensate for the lack of oxygen.



Red Mountain Pass plaque.



The Alpine Loop in Colorado.

This road is best left to 4 wheel drive style jeeps or a dual-sport specfici motorcycle like a Kawasaki KLR. The Alpine Loop byway navigates between the summits of the Rockies by way of two mountain passes. Engineer Pass, to the north, rises 12,000 feet and provides an unsurpassed vantage point for photographs of Uncompahagre and Wetterhorn peaks — both towering more than 14,000 feet high. On the more southern route, Cinnamon Pass also tops out at 12,000 feet and provides views of three of the nation's highest mountains — Handies, Sunshine and Redcloud peaks. It is about 65 miles in length and generally takes 5-8 hours to navigate due to the rough terrain.



A inspiring view on Highway 550 just outside of Ouray, Colorado.



Looking down from Highway 550 on the small town of Ouray. This is a great Colorado town to base your various activities from including hiking, fishing, dual-sporting or 4W driving.

Established in the late 1870s during gold and silver strikes, Ouray survived those boom-and-bust days because it's such a wonderful place to relax. Natural hot springs feed the town pool, where both locals and visitors come to soak in the therapeutic waters. It's said that Chief Ouray, the Ute Indian after whom the town is named, visited the pool often and held ceremonies in the local vapor cave.



Highway 550 just a few miles outside the city limits of Ouray.



The infamous and treacherous Black Bear Pass. Legend has it Forest Service Road 648, known as “Black Bear Pass,” was cut into the Rocky Mountains in the late 1800s by prospectors brave or crazy enough to go anywhere for gold. Fast forward a century and it’s one of the most incredible routes to explore in a 4x4 or a beefy dual-sport motorcycle.

Rider beware.



It is still not too late to turn around.



After Black Bear Pass, I chose a more mild dirt path.



...however that rocky road soon ended.



At first, I thought this structure located just outside of Durango on Highway 550 was a movie set The Blob, however it is called the Pinkerton Hot Springs. While the rock pile is all passersby see now, Pinkerton has a history dating back to the early 1800s, when James Harvey Pinkerton turned the hot springs into a travel destination. Hot springs, including Pinkerton, were thought to have healing powers in the 1800s. People bathed in the springs, drank the water and looked for a cure to aches and pains.



Another view of the Pinkerton Hot Springs.



A quick hike up Purgatory Ski Mountain yields stunning vistas.



A view of Puragotory sans Dante Alighieri...



The hike continues @ the Colorado Rockies.



Just outside of Taos, New Mexico, I expected the song Magic Bus to start blaring over the speakers from this contraption. Nope, just a great place to drink coffee in an eclectic environment near the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge along Highway 64.



The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge just outside of Taos, New Mexico. Soon after this picture was taken, heavy rain and lightning swooped down as you can see in the distance the storm brewing.

This bridge is I believe the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. The bridge is a three-span steel continuous-deck-truss structure with a concrete-filled steel-grid deck. It was called the "bridge to nowhere" while it was being built because the funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side. The bridge was completed during the Johnson Administration in 1965.



The Japanese iron mule meets the western horse in a shootout at the not so OK corral. It was a draw.



The Cimarron Canyon State Park is a state park of New Mexico located 3 miles east of Eagle Nest in the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area. That burned tree on the left was probably struck by lighting.



Water wheel used to create steam power in the 19th. century near Eagle's Nest.



The first commercial prototype of the mobile home near Eagle's Nest.



The first memorial and the only State Park in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans, this internationally renowned chapel and visitor center are devoted to remembering our vets, providing educational opportunities for the public and maintaining a haven for healing and reconciliation.

The Memorial is located on Hwy 64 less than a mile from Angel Fire, overlooking the Moreno Valley.



Another view inside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park. A bronze status shows a soldier looking intently at the Huey helicopter during perhaps the Battle of Con Thien.



An old grain milling barn in search of money for restoration near Mora, New Mexico.



Sign for the Saint Vrain Mill and Preservation and Historical Foundation. Save The Mill!



Pressed a button and toggled to the black and white mode for the same barn.



An abadoned bar just outside of Taos, New Mexico on Highway 518.



A gorgeous hike in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area near Taos yields amazing views. Even though there is elevation gain up to the lake, the trail is relatively easy. Williams Lake Trail begins near the Phoenix Grill at Taos Ski Valley.



If you are in decent shape and want even more spectacular views, go the additional 1.5 miles from the east side of the lake up the switchbacks through the boulder field to the 13,161 ft summit of Wheeler Peak.



Getting closer to Wheeler Peak.



Almost at the top, but with the changing weather conditions, I turned around.



The Río Grande del Norte National Monument is comprised of rugged, wide open plains at an average elevation of 7,000 feet, dotted by volcanic cones, and cut by steep canyons with rivers tucked away in their depths. The Río Grande carves an 800 foot deep gorge through layers of volcanic basalt flows and ash. Among the volcanic cones in the Monument, Ute Mountain is the highest, reaching to 10,093 feet. The road goes along the ridge of the canyon for almost ten miles. It is located near Questa, New Mexico. This is one of the newest National Parks established by presidential proclamation in 2013. The park is about 250,000 acres in size.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Part 4

One of the many gorge scenes in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.



Yet another canyon viewed along the park road.



Chiflo Trail goes from the rim of the canyon wall along the lowe portion of the gorge. It is an easy walk for most people.



One more view of the canyon below located at the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.



This Catholic Church is located on CR387 just north of Questa, New Mexico.



The Questa, New Mexico police cruiser that is NOT guaranteed to catch any car in hot pursuit. The claimed 0-60 MPH acceleration test comes just under four minutes.



This humble post office is located in the tiny town of San Cristobal, New Mexico. The town has a population of around 250 inhabitants. It is located in Taos County, New Mexico. Yes, it's zip code is 87564.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 11:51 AM
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Absolutely stunning pictures. Thank you for sharing.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely stunning pictures. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the compliments!

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 09:42 PM
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I must say awesome pictures and thanks for sharing them. I admire people who write up these types of posts. I ride a lot and just (while I do take pictures) never bother to post them. Not sure why, just don't.

Looks like a nice ride, and appreciate you sharing your ride.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I must say awesome pictures and thanks for sharing them. I admire people who write up these types of posts. I ride a lot and just (while I do take pictures) never bother to post them. Not sure why, just don't.

Looks like a nice ride, and appreciate you sharing your ride.
I appreciate your good thoughts. I usually eagerly read other motorcycle ride reports but sometimes sharing a great trip can be very rewarding too.

I heard from my friend who rides the blue KLR (shown in the above ride report) that one of the areas shown in the picture of Timberon, New Mexico said the area is now on fire. According to the news report about 200 acres as of today have been destroyed. Apparently every structure in Timberon is threatened. Regular fires are becoming a regular occurrence in the west due to the very arid conditions.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 12:07 AM
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Looks like a nice ride, and appreciate you sharing your ride
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 10:10 AM
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Never seen a nicer travelogue or better photography. I live in the 4-Corners and know many of the spots you hit very well.

Hard for me to imagine how much time you spent getting off the bike and taking all those great shots -- as well as the ones you didn't post! Thank you!

Pinkerton Springs has a story, about 12 years ago it was just a mess, flowing out of the hillside on the opposite side of the highway, down into a ditch.... CDOT stuck a pipe into the ground, and built a pile of cinderblocks for the mineral water to flow over. None of us could figure out what they were doing. The result is the blob you see now. The water is NOT good for drinking, arsenic, I think, but people drink it anyway.

Taos Gorge is spectacular. I tell people "If you had never seen the Grand Canyon and someone told you this was it, 9/10 would believe it. Guys have parachuted off that bridge, flown under it, .... it's been in innumerable movies.

Did you ride from Angel Fire to Mora? That's spectacular back there.

Advrider.com might be another site you want to post this ride to.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-23-2016, 02:09 PM
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Hey Buddy-Texas,
Thanks for your wonderful ride report. Great descriptions, beautiful bike, and stunning photography. Your shots are wonderfully composed to draw the eye in and around the scenes. Bravo!

-Bill
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-25-2016, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Cool

liulymai

Thanks for the compliments!

wadenelson

I came close to tasting the water but chose not to. It looks like that was a good idea. <lol>.

At the Taos Gorge they have a special phone along the bridge. It is connected to a crisis counselor in town. Apparently, people try to claim their life at that location. The police provide the phone as a lifeline to those having second thoughts about doing something drastic.

Angel Fire to Mora is a great route. It is sixty miles of riding goodness.

Spurlock - I have a few leftover riding pictures from the previous summer here.
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AWESOME pictures of an awesome ride, thanks for sharing all of them!
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AWESOME pictures of an awesome ride, thanks for sharing all of them!
^^^^ +1
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You're welcome

Mike and Hog,

Thanks for the compliments guys. It looks like a few more weeks of warm weather, then time for heated riding gear....and warm coffee.



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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 01:09 PM
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I always enjoy when someone will take the effort to share their experience. I am very bad about taking pictures and logging the ride. If my wife isn't there, no pictures get taken.
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I always enjoy when someone will take the effort to share their experience. I am very bad about taking pictures and logging the ride. If my wife isn't there, no pictures get taken.
I know the feeling.

If you get a cheap small digital camera and have it hanging around your neck from a drawstring, all you do is reach down, aim and take a quick picture. A fancier option is a GoPro camera on your bike which you just touch the button and get either video or still images. You also have the option of telling your GoPro unit to automatically take a picture every few minutes and at the end of the day, just keep the good ones on your hard drive.


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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 07:57 AM
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Funny that you mention the go-pro, just 2 days ago my family bought me a ghost s to mount on the bike/helmet. It has a remote that you can switch between modes, lock video in case of an accident, and take stills. I am sure it has more that I have not figured out yet. Cant wait to get some pics and vids.
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Funny that you mention the go-pro, just 2 days ago my family bought me a ghost s to mount on the bike/helmet. It has a remote that you can switch between modes, lock video in case of an accident, and take stills. I am sure it has more that I have not figured out yet. Cant wait to get some pics and vids.
I look forward to your ride report now you don't have an excuse to capture those Kodak moments.

Video editing does take a good deal more time than digital stills. The trick with video is to do short 10-15 second snippets of the trip highlights only. Some folks leave the video on for several minutes and the viewer usually loses interest after a brief moment. You should have a remote button you can trigger during the more scenic part of the road trip...unless you are in Florida, then the button may not get used very much.


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I appreciate the tips, I'm the type that can use all the help I can get when it comes to electronics. The camera does have a remote that will toggle between modes and trigger the stills or video. With the cold approaching the riding will be limited so, maybe I will get a chance to learn it this winter and start recording my rides next spring.
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I appreciate the tips, I'm the type that can use all the help I can get when it comes to electronics. The camera does have a remote that will toggle between modes and trigger the stills or video. With the cold approaching the riding will be limited so, maybe I will get a chance to learn it this winter and start recording my rides next spring.
You might not have to wait until spring on how to learn to use the GoPro camera. You can use it on the dash of your car when commuting, hiking or other related activities. You can use the captured video and practice using the provided editing software to create your first homemade movie. I think the GoPro can actually do a pretty good job at capturing still images - some weekend go visit some scenic place and start taking pictures.

I think quite a few motorcycle riders who commute etc. have their GoPro mounted on their helmet running on a loop so it can record any traffic altercation if they ever need proof before a judge. GoPro has some introductory video on how to start using your camera.


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Originally Posted by buddy-texas View Post
I think quite a few motorcycle riders who commute etc. have their GoPro mounted on their helmet running on a loop so it can record any traffic altercation if they ever need proof before a judge. GoPro has some introductory video on how to start using your camera.
That was the original intent of the family getting it for me. Right now its just fun playing with the new toy,I was able to go out yesterday evening and try a few stills. They appear to come out very nice. The video was a little different but I think once I learn a little more, they will turn out well also. I plan on using it on the bike and I now have a mount to put it on my bow.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:21 PM
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Colorado baby! Beautiful stuff. From '07 to '14 I had 2007 Toyota FJ and for two years hit the National FJ Summit that was in Ouray (pronounced You-ray for you non-Coloradins) it was so awesome! about 250 FJs showing up and flooding the town for 4 days of 4 wheeling. I did a bunch of trails those years, including Black Bear Pass, which takes you over the mountain range and drops you into Telluride on the other side. You 4wheel down the side of a HUGE waterfall (COs largest) and it's just incredible those mountains. They call them the Switzerland of the Rockies. I am loving this section of the forums and can't wait till I can contribute and post some pictures of a ride of my own.

Thanks for the postings, great pictures!
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Don't look over the sides!

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Originally Posted by gunslinger View Post
I did a bunch of trails those years, including Black Bear Pass, which takes you over the mountain range and drops you into Telluride on the other side. You 4wheel down the side of a HUGE waterfall (COs largest) and it's just incredible those mountains.
Oh yeah! It a bit scarier in a car when you are just inches from the precipice.

+ You Tube
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 05:06 PM
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I don't think she was enjoying that trip
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 05:55 PM
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I assume they have people at the top and bottom letting people go thru either or or down. Can you imagine meeting someone going the other direction. Back up, honey back, now, now backup now, honey honey....
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 08:35 AM
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Worst of all situations; that is so gorgeous I want to go ride those roads I've never seen.
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 02:20 AM
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How many days were you on this trip? Interesting clicks, mate. Love them.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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I assume they have people at the top and bottom letting people go thru either or or down. Can you imagine meeting someone going the other direction. Back up, honey back, now, now backup now, honey honey....
Good point! Black Bear Pass traffic goes one direction only. It would be a nightmare if the flow of cars was bidirectional. I believe the road use to have one day of the year where you could go in the opposite direction.


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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by column View Post
How many days were you on this trip? Interesting clicks, mate. Love them.
I did the route in about 14 days. However, there were a few days I did not ride but opted to go hiking. You could always pack in heavy mileage days and do the same route in 8 days or so.

Gotta love Colorado.

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post #31 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by buddy-texas View Post
Good point! Black Bear Pass traffic goes one direction only. It would be a nightmare if the flow of cars was bidirectional. I believe the road use to have one day of the year where you could go in the opposite direction.
Being very familiar with the area and Black Bear pass, It is one way, they do have one day a year that you can go up it. There is no one at the top or the bottom to insure that people go the correct direction. Worst of all is meeting someone that is way out of their league and cant even back up. I actually had to get in another persons jeep, jam it high and tight into one of those hairpins, lock it down, run mine past and put theirs back on the road, after backing up around 3 turns myself. Some really awesome country.
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post #32 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Coaltroll View Post
Being very familiar with the area and Black Bear pass, It is one way, they do have one day a year that you can go up it. There is no one at the top or the bottom to insure that people go the correct direction. Worst of all is meeting someone that is way out of their league and cant even back up. I actually had to get in another persons jeep, jam it high and tight into one of those hairpins, lock it down, run mine past and put theirs back on the road, after backing up around 3 turns myself. Some really awesome country.
There are some horrific accidents with city slickers in their new 4X4. If that car is your only car, then you are without transportation for quite a while. <lol>



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