Left Provo around 6:15.
Stopped by Rocky Mountain ATV
Ate dinner in Price at Wendy’s.
Slept in Frutia, CO got in around 11PM.
We found a remote spot and setup camp. Juston slept in the bed of the truck between the bikes.
Jared slept in a hammock between the truck and a tree.
It was a bit of a rough night.
Woke up around 7 packed up, filled up then found a place to leave the truck in Grand Junction.
The road we came down felt like church road with about 10 church’s along the way.
Unloaded the bikes, packed and geared up. We were on the road by 8 ish.
We ended up going back out of town past our camp spot.
About 15 miles into the trip, Juston noticed that his electrical was not working. We found an Ace Hardware in the next town so we stopped to figure it out. Fuse was good. One of the battery plugs was not lined up and bent. Fixed it, but then had a mini electrical fire on the phone charger and blew the fuse.
Now we needed a fuse. Who knew the came in a few different lengths. Needed a sort one. Had to by a mixed pack and still ended up with a 14A vs a 10A. Electrical works, but now headlight is dead. No night riding for us on this trip!
Back on the road.
Got passed by a guy with a couple of large sheds on a trailer (wide load) didn’t give us much space. Grr!
Pretty climb up switch backs. Pretty drive over all. Got some Mexican to eat in Meeker. Mmm good. Back on the road. It was 1 ish and we had already covered 150 miles, with only about 50 to go.
Beautiful canyon with a ton of gorgeous cabins and green fields.
17 miles of dirt road. Only the last bit was challenging. Checked out all the spots at Trappers Lake campground (9,600 Elevation). It was pretty weird there are 5 different campgrounds each with different prices, went with the $14.00 one, actually $13.26 in $1 a quarter and penny as all the rest of the cash on hand was $20’s.
Set up camp. Jared hammock and tarp (we knew rain was coming). Juston in a tent with a trench to help keep the water out.
Super cool mushrooms all over. Marshmallow ones, red ones as big as a dinner plate.
Fun ground squirrels all over foraging for food.
Gathered some wood and two small trees for a fire for later.
With unloaded bikes took a exploration ride to the actual trappers lake. The forest service had just had a 50th anniversary gathering earlier that day.
We met a guy from Golden Colorado who work for the forest service and had came up for the party. Nice guy he talked about why the lake was preserved…
Checked out the lake, super peace full.
Squishy floaty bulb.
Found some polarized smith sunglasses.
Balanced/walked across a ton of downed trees from a massive fire in 2002 burned up most of that area.
Beautiful wild flowers
Marshmallow Mushrooms explode
4 Chipmunks playing
Got back stared making dinner. Almost done and noticed rain was coming soon. Moved stuff under tarp. Tried to start the fire, to late the rain came.
Huddled under tarp and ate and watched the rain.
Decided to work on the bikes a bit. On Juston’s we tighten the chain. On Jared’s bike we cut the chain, tightened it and added an inline fuel filter for the reserve line.
Time for a fire, large amount of gas equals isnta-fire and no finger hair. Burned all the wood, lots of sparks, good thing it just rained.
Went to bed around 10am.
Rain started at 4 AM and rained till 5 PM.
Wolk up to 4-5 gallons of rain on the tarp. With the largest portion 6 in from Jared’s face.
Packed up a wet camp. A couple granola bars for breakfast.
Ready to go but Jared’s bike will run only with the choke on, but any time the throttle is applied it dies. We thought it was just the cold/rain or the altitude. Rolled out to the road and tried to “pop the clutch.” Didn’t work. Started it again to try and let it warm up. Camp host saw us on the road and asked if we needed some gas. We had filled up in the last town so we though, no it can’t need gas.
Tried flipping over to reserve and it stared up. So we took off.
Back at the main road we turned right. We climbed and climbed and climbed on the dirt road. The rocks were loose and the road was muddy so it was pretty slow going.
Then Jared’s bike died, the way it does when it is running out of gas. It was a bit odd, but we had been working the bikes hard and figured it had just ate up the fuel. Juston grabbed his spare fuel and started to pour it in. With about 2 cups left we noticed gas running out in the engine.
We quickly searched for the leak and a way to stop it. The fuel filter we added had split the old (1981) hose and gas was running out. We got some pliers out and crimped the hose.
The blowout was on the tank side and without a lot of hose. We decided we needed to pull the tank off and replace the line. Started pulling out the bolts that hold the tank on. In the process we noticed the bolt that connects the muffler to the frame had sheared off. Thinking we could pry it over the sheared bolt we kept pulling bolts. All this time it was very cold, raining and muddy. With all the bolts out we tried getting the tank off, but no go. The sheared bolt went through the metal on the inside of the seat. We tried to get the sheared bolt out, but no luck.
What to do now? Stuck with the old line…decided the best way to fix it was to cut most of the barbs off the fuel filter so it would not be so hard to get on and hopefully would not split the line.
It worked and we were back in business, but we had lost a ton of fuel in the process and we were along way from anywhere that sold fuel. Noticed a wire unplugged on the bike, connected it and wondered what it does. Put the bike back together and hit the road again.
We were within a couple miles of the summit. Once over the Summit Jared tried coasting with the bike off to stretch the fuel as much as possible. Scenery was beautiful, but was hard to fully enjoy being wet and cold and worrying about if we had enough fuel to make it to the next fuel station.
Still on the dirt road ran out of fuel on Jared’s bike. Added the remaining fuel, and took off again. This was at the top of the second summit.
On the road again.
We dropped down into the valley and pretty green fields. About 5 miles from town Jared runs out of Gas. Juston goes on ahead to fill his spare and come back. Meanwhile Jared tries all he can to keep going. Coast and push the bike. Tilted the bike and tried starting it and it worked. So Jared when up the hill shut it off then coasted down hill and repeated for a few hills. Gas was totally out.
Decided to take his spare tank and make sure it was bone dry. Found a few drops, put it in the tank and kept running it up hill and coasting down hill. Picked up a few miles in the process.
Juston came back with gas. We added it and road into Yampa to the only gas station. Pretty weird town lots of unpaved roads including the main drag. Got a recommendation from a local kid that thought our bikes were awesome, on where to eat he suggested the Antlers Cafe & Bar. So we headed over there cold, wet and tired.
The Antlers Cafe & Bar had some interesting decor epically the taxidermy freaks. Cat fish, donkey with deer antlers, elk with bull horns. In the bathroom was some animal butts with faces for the bum. Over all style was very rustic.
Pulled pork sandwiches and pork wings. Good food.
On the road again. Still on and off raining.
Road though McCoy, Bond, State Bridge right along on the river.
Good two lane road, only a few cars.
Went to fill up gas again, as Jared was filling he noticed gas leaking out again. The other side of the hose had split. Juston cut his breather tube shorter and we used that as the replacement line. Added some zip ties to hopefully stop further splitting.
Before we hit Rocky Mountain National Park at Granby lake Juston saw a larger bull moose.
Stopped at the park sign with a couple of Asians shooting photos.
Then pulled in at the visitors station. Got some patches. The guy told us that there were reports of snow and high winds at the top. He let us know there we still openings at the camp found this side of the mountain. We had booked a site on the other side so we decided to go a little bit at see.
Got to use our parks pass, Juston had to sign Jared’s. As we entered the park we saw a large herd of Cow Elk munching the grass along the way. As we left the sky parted and the sun came out. Beautiful mountains. Decided lets go for the crossing.
Trail Ridge road
Highest point 12,183.
11 miles of road above the treeline (11,500)
Single digit temp with super high winds blowing us around. Head winds nearly stopped us and leaning way over to just go straight.
Saw a varmint and glacier, after that stop we decided we better push on over with the conditions. Saw some people getting ready to jump in super cold water at the top. Jared got rattled a bit be the wind and slowed down.
About half way down it had already started warming up, we saw a couple of bull elk sparing, really cool.
At the exit to the park we saw a large group of Turkey’s and watch them a bit.
Headed down into the town of Estes (the long way to our camp spot). Really neat cabins along the way and super busy and cool town. We were rushing to get to camp before sundown got lost a few times in the process. Just missed getting sun on our stuff to get it totally dried out, but barely got the stuff dried out. Ate Mac and Cheese and chipotle noodles. Jared hung his hammock between two posts. All Juston could find was un-level Rocky ground. They had a note saying bears had been in camp the last two nights and to make sure we locked our food up in the car. Mmm, no car so I double bagged our food and hung it to the fence to hopefully keep the bears away.
Decided to warm up at the hot tub. It was a cosy 2 person home style tub, without lights around it, but we decided it was worth it an got in. The 104 degree temp felt good after a very cold day.
About 10 we had to leave because the were closing up. Wandered back to camp all wet. Grabbed our stuff to shower by got invited over by our nice neighbor camper with his son and daughter for some s’mores (the only ones of the trip). He was an ex-bull rider. Had a guy remind us about the bears, not much we could do about it.
Took a nice hot shower! (Only one on the whole trip.)
Got up had oatmeal.
Road out of Estes Park was really pretty. Great road, barely any cars and perfect speeds.
Tons of cops around this area. Really cool high end gambling city, without very many people. Sign read “richest square mile”. Old mining town style.
Leaving Central City we jumped onto a curvy dirt road with old style signs leading to Idaho Springs. There were some fun little towns along the way and lots of old mining remnants. Lots of switch backs and a steep road. There were beautiful high mountain views.
Though Idaho Springs and crossed the I-70. There was a guy on a three wheeled bike that was hoofing it up the mountain on a three wheeled pedal bike. Jared bumped his key and his bike turned off. It took a bit to figure out what happened. In the mean time got passed by the old guy on the bike. Evidently the wire we found makes the bike turn off when the key is off.
Back climbing again, pretty steep! Lots if road bikes going up with us.
Went past a lake and stopped in at the gift shop and restaurant. Got some patches. Long lines. Got some food. Turkey club sandwiches (really tall), sweet potato waffle fries, butterscotch cream pie. Long wait for food, but enjoyed watching the humming birds.
Met a guy from Colorado that loved out bikes and took a bunch of pictures, super nice!
We were a little nervous about the wind and temp after crossing Rocky Mountain Park, but decided we would give it a try. Park pass got us into the park.
Climbed up the road to Mount Evans. (Highest road in the US.) We could feel the temp drop as we climbed. Lots of road damage around mile marker 8. Beautiful views along the way of all the surrounding areas.
At the top there were a large group of mountain goats (even some little ones) hanging out and posing for pictures. The were shedding last winters coat for this years.
Headed back down the mountain now towards pikes peak. GPS was acting up and would not give us directions, but we decided to go right. Fun curvy road out. For a bit of it we road with another group of bikers.
Hit a section of busy road luckily it was only — miles. Then pulled off on another fun curvy road with little traffic. Followed a Subaru that was not going over 35 for quite a while.
When though quite a bit of burned forest and ended in Green Mountain falls. Talked to a nice couple at the gas station. She was sore and tired of riding. He really liked our setup. They had been riding for 8hr that day.
Headed off to the camp spot we reserved online. Rocky Top. Checked it and were warned no public pot smoking. There were a bunch of English (European) kids there. Jared tried a few things to hang his hammock but none worked, in the end he decided to gota ways off to a couple of trees to setup camp.
Not a place we would come back to again, but it did have power, by our spot. The bathroom near out tent was for midgets. Low ceiling and little toilets and an empty hot tub.
Day light was short and without a head light we decided we should get into town quick and get some food. Pizza Hut sounded good. Unfortunately they didn’t have all you can eat going. We got a medium cheeseburger pizza and a chocolate chip cookie pizza to go. Put the boxes in our crate a couple of quick tied downs and we headed out.
Went to check out the “rec room”. It was an asbestos building with a laundry and bathrooms. We peeked in and a couple of kids were rocking out in there getting cleaned up. Around the front we saw what looked like the rec room, but it had a few old cougars hanging out playing guitar and were were a bit creeped out and decided to head back to camp.
At camp, we check out the netflix options and some how end up watch an old Arnold body building move from the mid 70’s it had an amazing sound track.
Check the weather and it looked like lots of rain. So we rerouted our course to skip pikes peak. We also decided we need to give the bikes some TLC in the morning and the we would work on them a bit.
No rain that night and we wolk up to a blue sky.
Packed up camp and headed to Auto Zone around 8. Bought a bunch of bolts, lock nuts and washers. Fixed blinker, added missing screws to the muffler guards, a bolt to hold Jared’s muffler on, added oil, checked tire pressure, tightened chains and rebolted the gas tank on. Spent about an hour working on the bike.
Got a big breakfast at McDonalds. Sausage McGrill, Hash browns, Breakfast Burritos, Pancakes, OJ and a Smoothy.
Hit the road for Aspen via Twin Lakes. A ways down the road Jared remembered he left his battery backup phone charger, so he contacted the camp ground to see if they could get it and ship it to him. For the first time he tried his lighter power. It seemed to work at first. Then it was on, off, on, off but no really charging. In the end it looks the the lighter adaptor died. So low power and no way to charge devices for the feast of the trip.
Busy road for quite a while. Lots of flat area made good time.
Got gas at a tiny station with beaver and squirrel heads. Only had 85 octane gas. Kid pulled up on old honda motorcycle.
The road after the turn off to twin lakes was really pretty as was twin lakes and twin peaks.
Top of the Rockies was very scenic. Lakes, ponds and high peaks all around. Another climb to another high pass.
Dropping into Aspen was really pretty and the road was a lot of fun.
Road around Aspen a bit. Saw some beautiful places to stay and this crazy carved door.
Got gas in Aspen it was $4.79 a gallon. Fashion around town was very interesting and tendy. It was nice and warm.
Rode to the ski resort and parked. Walked sound the resort a bit. Looking for patches. Guy at the first place said he didn’t know of any place that sold them. We found three stores that sold them within a block of him, one just diagonal.
Couple of the stores had old dogs hanging out. We went in a fur store it was amazing how soft the fur was!
Saw a really cool BMW R1200 GS, that looks like a nice ride!
Headed out to Carbondale. Road out of Aspen was really busy, luckily we were going down hill.
There was a little bike Edna? And it had it’s own lane that we ended up using. Lots of solar and green type places.
Are at Town restaurant in Carbondale.
Juston had the best Mac and Cheese he had ever eaten. It had ham, peas and carrots in it. Jared had the pulled pork sandwich it was very good!
The atmosphere was really cool, there was great attention to detail. Beautiful photography, brick, metal, mason jar lights, room under the floor, etc.
Leaving Carbondale there was some
Construction. The challenge with construction on our small bikes is the it groups traffic. So when they catch up to us there is already a large pack of cars.
Canyon was very beautiful red rock that a beautiful river had carved through. Uphill the whole way to the summit. Very pretty!
A couple of bikers saw us ride by and caught up to us while we stopped at the summit. They stopped and we chatted a bit. The loved or little bikes and how we had them setup.
Fun down hill, with a curvy road into the valley. We went through a few little mining town with large conveyer belts that went across the road.
Made good time thru the valley.
Turned off at a little town called Austin, and road through Orchard City and Cedaredge then started climbing up into the mountains.
We did a ton of miles this day and it was a race against the sun going down before we setup camp. There was lots of private property and little scrub trees. Instantly we entered the Aspen and pine forest and took our first turn down a forest service road. A 1/4 mile up the road we found a little place to camp. We pulled out out get and setup camp. Although we were quite a ways from civilization we didn’t realize till later that we had setup under some power lines. With camp setup we walked down the road a bit and looked out into the valley as the sun set. What a beautiful view.
We got back to camp and decided to gather some wood and rocks for a fire ring. Then we finished getting ready for the night. Once dark we tried to get the fire going with just a little gas. No luck. So we put a bit mor on and lit the trail. Instant fire!
Jared likes to add wood so the fire got a little to big for Juston’s likening he wanted a red mans fire. The fire nearly when out so we switched spots and Juston tended the fire. The fire flared up a few different times and really liked some of the dry weeds in the area. Once we burned up all the wood and ate some granola bars we decided to take a stroll and look at the stars. We were a ways out and there was not much of a moon it was a very beautiful starry night! Headed back and crawled into bed.
We were only 65 miles from Grand Junction. Got up and ate some oatmeal and packed up camp.
Headed up the mountain. Tons of Lakes and ponds all overs. This area is the largest high mountain Mesa I the world. Visitor center was closed. Restroom was open everything worked except the sink was covered. They said the EPA required chlorine in the water and since they did not have a way to do that they just covered the sink and provided hand sanitizer. There were a mom and baby dear bedded down near the visitor center, that got up when Juston approached them.
We wanted a patch, but the visitor center was still closed. So we took off on the trail by the visitor center. Lack after lake and tons of private cabins all over.
Came back to the visitor center, no patches. Looked at the map and identified a cool road off the Mesa. Drove out to Lands End.
Great views, man it drops off fast. Old visitor center. Lots of little chipmunks and remnants if sunflower seeds. Chipmunks very friendly and brave. Ate Juston’s granola bar. Great view.
Road of the top of the Mesa down a little dirt road with lots of switch backs. Cool rock piles along the way and a large marmot near the road the ran away when Jared pulled up.
Jared ran out of gas and coasted quite a while before he stopped and filled up. On came across a couple of cars in the way down. In one a lady looked a little worried on her way up. Road was very fun and we made good time.
Dark clouds and lighting looming of toward Grand Junction. Juston wanted to head away and hang out till the storm passed. Jared want to go for it. We went for it, there was not a covered gas station in the next town, but there was an empty fruit stand with a cover. No rain yet so we rolled on. Not to much further it started to rain, then it started to pour. All wet now we noticed a building not to far off and headed toward it.
Got to the building hopped off and got inside. It was a county building. Waited out the rain there and warmed up a bit.
Storm passed quickly, we should have waited, Juston was right…
Back headed toward Grand Junction. Slow moving trailer, so some short lived drafting. Ended up going faster then the trailer. Road into town and saw a sign for the I-70 figured the would get us close. At a stop light there was a beggar right under a no begging sign.
Road led us straight back to our car. And the car was still there. Can’t believe the trip was all over! Used urban-spoon an found a little BBQ restaurant just across the freeway. Got a couple of Philly Cheese Steaks and beer battered fries with fry sauce.
Lunch eaten we headed for home. Nice ride back we reminisced over all the different highlights of the trip
And spent time recording the memories. We were both blown away by all that we saw and did in such a short time.
Colorado is very beautiful! What a trip!
Now to plan Epic 4 and hopefully a couple of short rides prior!