Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
Joined
·
18,844 Posts
Don't you have donuts to eat and buttons to push?



>:)


If you’re riding your KTM TAKE a spare fuel filter set or take plenty of matches. Trying to cook lizards with a led flashlight sucks. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'll have my cook stove with me, but if I have the troubles you did, I'll light the KTM on fire. The fuel filter has about 3000 miles on it so hopefully it won't be troublesome. Have I mentioned I miss my Multistrada?
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Day 1

Day 1

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/oifqYepVPp52

I'm all packed up and ready to go.


Today is lots of interstate. Reasonable weather starting off. I make it to Jackson, TN for lunch. Afterwards, it heats up. It was about 95F for 250 miles. As I approached the Ozarks, the temperature broke. It steadily dropped until it was about 75F. About 15 miles into the fun, twisty roads, it turned damp. I'm crossing the Ozarks on highway 16. The hills were pretty with low slung clouds amongst them. The Ozarks are great. They are tightly packed rolling hills. You never get a full view- only peeks through the trees. The last 70 miles end up in the rain, often pouring. I haven't ridden in rain this severe in a while. I tried to wait out the storm at a church about 30 minutes from the day's destination.

The skies cleared up a bit so I remounted in hopes of drying out during the last bit. No luck. I end up riding into a nasty cell and it poured all the way to camp. I rode by the campsite seeking dryness. A mile down the road it quite raining. I doubled back to the campsite after a few minutes hoping it had cleared.

It had stopped raining until I start setting up my tent. The skies opened again soaking my gear. I guess this weather is supposed to offset the heat from earlier. It turns out this campground no longer in use as indicated by a sign. I've already set up my tent and its getting late so I decide to stay here anyway. I figure if a park ranger comes by, I can play dumb since the sign is not obvious. I get to sleep only to be woken a few hours later by someone driving in the campground. Not fully awake and competent, it sounds like a vehicle is right by me. Given it continues to pour rain, I'm not eager to pop my head out to find out what is going on.

605 miles, 9:26 seat time
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Day 2

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/qQdvGpvRU3w

The rain has stopped and the sun is out. Turns out the person that showed up last night is also on a motorcycle. No sign of the rider prior to my departure. Coffee and breakfast while I try to dry out my stuff.


I put on some wet clothes so that they will dry out while riding instead of packing them wet. Once moving, I'm reminded why I picked this route. The Ozarks are pretty with their deep green rolling hills. Highway 16 rolls along for miles with nice corners. Sightlines aren't great, so you can't really push too hard in the corners, but still enough to have fun. It is a nice way to start a day. I roll into Fayetteville, AR and stop for gas. This is a surprisingly progressive town. Art deco homes and such. Quite the contrast from the rusting trailers a few miles out of town. I hit Oklahoma and find the one road worth riding! Highway 62 has a short stretch of amazing corners. It is obvious the local law enforcement are aware of the attraction to ride them. The super duke cuts up this road and asks for more. Then starts the grind. I roll into Tulsa to a coffee shop I visited 15 years ago. The owner is a friend of a friend. I catch them at closing, so enjoy some coffee outside. Back to the grind. My GPS indicates 190 miles until my next turn. Thanks, Oklahoma.

I get to know the plains quite well. Hours of wheat. Oil pumps among the wheat. Then the wind turbines. Hundreds. The plains look dead, yet they power the country.

Tacos and ice cream make up my diet for the day. Don't judge. I'm on vacation. Along the way, Garmin decides to provide me with this minor amusement.

I land at Beaver Dunes for the night. I have stayed here before. The campground is small and calm. One other tent camper and he is on a KLR.

I set up camp and get greeted by a local. He reminds me of the stories of these dunes. I had forgotten they are special. A UFO crashed here and is under the dunes. This local has seen gren lights over the dunes at night. Upon further investigation of the lights, he discovered there were federal agents (MIB as he called them). He quickly left not wanting shot. He informs me that he could disarm these agents, but there were too many of them. He also wants me to know that while he voted for Trump, he is not a supporter. Funny conversation. Back home, you stick to amicable topics. I eventually break free from this man who has never met a stranger.

I hike up the dunes. Sand. Oof. I'm quickly reminded why I don't care for it. Damn near impossible to walk in and it gets everywhere. On the other hand, I'm glad I hiked up the dunes. Seeing the anomaly of sand dunes amidst miles and miles of plains is interesting.

No green lights for me.

553 miles, 8:57 seat time
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Day 3

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/RTLysdQXTbR2

I survived the night in the sand dunes without being abducted. Back on the road and ready to move on out of Oklahoma. I stop at Black Mesa State Park. Its a nice introduction to the mesas as you leave the plains. There is a (small) petrified forest.

A brief hike along a trail. Quite a change from TN.



Back to the road. I enter New Mexico on SR 456. This might be my favorite road. Its at least in the top 5. The road really starts back in Boise City, OK in the plains. You roll into the mesas. The mesas become larger and larger as you follow the bottom of the Dry Cimarron Canyon. The road turns to dirt for about 20 miles. It is open range. Nobody is out here. I don't see a single vehicle on this road.

Where I came from.

Where I'm going.

In Folsom, I turn onto 72 to continue this awesome stretch. The road surface is pretty bad, and that's ok. The road pitches up and climbs up a tall mesa to about 9000'. Once on top, you see snow capped mountains in the distance. Behind, you can see plains for many miles. Welcome to the west.

I drop into Raton and have lunch. I hop on to the interstate and run into Colorado. At Colorado City, I pop off to run up and over 165. The road climbs up to about 10,000'. Typical Rockies with Pinyon Pines and Aspens. A few small lakes. As I start to drop down the back side, I approach an area with a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road. I figure it is another trailhead. As I pass through, I look to my left and see a castle. WTF??? I double back and stop to check out the castle.
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
This is Bishop Castle. Mr. Bishop has built it all by himself.

As I enter, I notice hand painted signs everywhere. Mr. Bishop seems to be quite concerned with the government. I believe he is a "sovereign citizen." I meet Mr. Bishop and then walk all through the castle. The craftsmanship is amazing. The structural integrity is questionable at best. The metal walkways flex substantially when you step out on them.



I climb up towards the top. A nice view! But the walkways are too much for me.


Back on the road, I drop down on the mountain. This is a wonderful road with mostly wide sweepers. If in the area, give it a go. I roll on into Cheyenne Mountain State Park where I am staying for the night. Its an odd feeling being on top of NORAD. I go hiking around on some of the trails to stretch my legs.



A nice day seeing so many different environments.

437 miles, 7:13 seat time
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Day 4

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/cPDEpDWb4yw

I start off the day meeting with a former boss for coffee in Colorado Springs. He took a job here about 3 months ago. Lots of talk about work, old and new. Leaving the coffee shop, I see my next destination.

Pike's Peak is a bucket list item for me. I've always been amazed with the race. I'm on a KTM Super Duke GT. Before that, I had a Multistrada 1200. I also have a Hypermotard. All three have won the race. Weather is looking good for my attempt at the mountain. I start up the mountain. I make it to the lake part of the way up for my first stop.

Moving along, prep for the race has already begun. I'll be honest. I seriously considered trying to acquire one of the hay bale covers.

I continue on up the mountain. I have developed a whole new level of respect for the racers. I've seen videos and photos. None of it does justice to this place. Guardrails are few and far between. Shoulders are minimal. Drops are steep. Riding at regular speeds are still scary.


I make it to the top. The past few weeks, I have worried that the weather may prevent me from making it to the top. Its 60F with a few light clouds in the sky. Life is good. The famous little weather station sits on the edge. The view stretches for well over 100 miles. I grab a bag of the famous donuts made in the gift shop.



Back on the road, I decide to head towards Cripple Creek. The roads leading into and out of the town appear to be fun. Sadly, I'm stuck in heavy traffic doing 10 under the speed limit. I stop in this town to find lunch. Its nothing more than a gambling town. Most establishments are casinos. The few that aren't are tourist trap gift shops. Not finding anything to my liking, I decide to keep moving. Rolling out, I change up my route in search of more riding. I decide to drop down and catch highway 50 to Salida. The roads are 2 lane roads going through high altitude cattle farms. The hills roll along with frequent beautiful sweeping corners. As I make it onto 50, it runs along the Arkansas River. It is a rafting river. Lots of people are out playing on the water. The mountain sides on either side of the river are steep.
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Once into Salida, I find a burrito shop. The town has a nice vibe. Very much a hippie place. There are pot shops everywhere, which amuses me. It is mid afternoon, and I'm wanting to ride quite a bit more before I get to the Great Sand Dunes for the night. After consulting my trusty Butler, I decide to continue on 50 over Monarch Pass. There are nice views of the tundra.

I continue on 50 towards Gunnison so I can catch 114 and head south. As I am approaching 114, I am running a bit hot. I still have a lot of miles for the time of day. A state trooper heading the opposite direction lights me up to tell me to slow down. I listen. For at least 15 miles. 114 is a wonderful little road that runs through more cattle country. It makes a few high speed mountain passes. I see 3 cars on this never ending road. Once done with 114, I'm effectively back in the plains. Everything is flat and the roads are straight. Sunset is nearing as I roll into the Great Sand Dunes. Indeed, there are huge sand dunes, but what I wasn't expecting were the wonderful mountains surrounding them. What a strange phenomenon.

The national park campground is full. The nearby state park has conflicting information regarding camping there. I decide to go with the private campground between the two. They know the national park fills up regularly. The prices are high and the amenities are crap. The restroom is a shipping container. Signs are everywhere about being in bear country, but they have no bear boxes. Mildly concerning. At least the views at the campground are nice.



384 miles, 7:37 seat time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Day 4

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/cPDEpDWb4yw

I start off the day meeting with a former boss for coffee in Colorado Springs. He took a job here about 3 months ago. Lots of talk about work, old and new. Leaving the coffee shop, I see my next destination.

Pike's Peak is a bucket list item for me. I've always been amazed with the race. I'm on a KTM Super Duke GT. Before that, I had a Multistrada 1200. I also have a Hypermotard. All three have won the race. Weather is looking good for my attempt at the mountain. I start up the mountain. I make it to the lake part of the way up for my first stop.

Moving along, prep for the race has already begun. I'll be honest. I seriously considered trying to acquire one of the hay bale covers.

I continue on up the mountain. I have developed a whole new level of respect for the racers. I've seen videos and photos. None of it does justice to this place. Guardrails are few and far between. Shoulders are minimal. Drops are steep. Riding at regular speeds are still scary.


I make it to the top. The past few weeks, I have worried that the weather may prevent me from making it to the top. Its 60F with a few light clouds in the sky. Life is good. The famous little weather station sits on the edge. The view stretches for well over 100 miles. I grab a bag of the famous donuts made in the gift shop.



Back on the road, I decide to head towards Cripple Creek. The roads leading into and out of the town appear to be fun. Sadly, I'm stuck in heavy traffic doing 10 under the speed limit. I stop in this town to find lunch. Its nothing more than a gambling town. Most establishments are casinos. The few that aren't are tourist trap gift shops. Not finding anything to my liking, I decide to keep moving. Rolling out, I change up my route in search of more riding. I decide to drop down and catch highway 50 to Salida. The roads are 2 lane roads going through high altitude cattle farms. The hills roll along with frequent beautiful sweeping corners. As I make it onto 50, it runs along the Arkansas River. It is a rafting river. Lots of people are out playing on the water. The mountain sides on either side of the river are steep.
Bucket list indeed. That's in my bucket too... Thanks for sharing.

Scott L.
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Day 5

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/vbaTaYn449J2

Ready to be out of this campground. Some neighbors fought in the middle of the night. Not sure what over, but the lady slammed a door no less than 300 times. I start the day off going to the Great Sand Dunes. Neat place. I went for a hike up the dunes. I didn't quite make it to the highest point, but did get on top of the ridge. The sand dunes are deceptively large at 750 ft tall, but surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Trying to hike up these dunes is a serious workout!



Moving along, I take hwy 149. This is another road that everyone should ride. It is ~120 miles of motorcycle heaven. It leaves out of Del Norte and follows the Rio Grande. Here, the river is pretty small. It cuts up through a canyon with rugged, steep mountains on either side.


Continuing on upstream, the whole river seems to be dedicated to trout farming. There are small communities along the way. Every home is a log cabin. And everything is centered around trout fishing. I make it to the top of the first pass and overlook the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Further up 149, I proceed to make some more mountain passes. I think there were 5 passes on this one road as it goes over the continental divide. The road is mostly high speed sweepers, but tightens up from time to time.

I stop at Lake City for lunch. This is a fun little mountain town. Clearly it is supported entirely by tourism, but they handle it well. They are targeting outdoors tourism (mountain biking, fishing, dirt bikes, 4 wheeling, etc.). The food is excellent. I finish up 149 as it puts me onto Hwy 50. I approach Black Canyon where I am going to camp for the night. There are great roads on by the north and south rim of this canyon. I start out riding the north rim.
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #16

I stopped at several of the overlooks. A couple of big Harleys roll up as I'm about to leave one. The second guy drops his bike, so I run over to help right the bike. These two guys are pushing 80. They have ridden out here from Florida. Every year they meet up and take a trip out west. They claim this is probably the last, but it seems they have been saying that for at least 5 years. They remind me of the Colonel. Maybe not quite as badass. But still pretty awesome. I hope to be living it up as well as them at that age.

Hwy 92 on the north rim is a great one. It is much tighter than the rest of the roads in Colorado. Its not like back home, but a nice change of pace. I rip up the road and then back. I run the south rim and go on into the park. I set up camp. The campground is pretty full. A neighbor offers some food they have cooked. Apparently, the lone motorcycle guy eating beef jerky looks like he could use a meal. I seem to offend the guy by not eating all of his leftovers. Oh well. Time to go play in the park.

The campground is on top of the rim, but there is a road that goes down to the river. The road is ridiculously steep and tight. The pavement is beat up.


Back on top of the rim, I head to sunset point. It is rather hazy, but still a great view. I meet some more nice people at the overlook. Turns out they are camping right beside me.


336 miles, 6:36 seat time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
I meet some more nice people at the overlook. Turns out they are camping right beside me.
Watching for the next report of who robbed who. :laugh:

J/K. I need to get out of the city. Good pics. :yeah:
 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Day 6

Today's route:
https://goo.gl/maps/epbtausV9tj

I start the day out by finishing out Black Canyon. I go along the south rim inside the park stopping at the overlooks. The places reminds me of Little River Canyon in Alabama, but much larger and harsher. The canyon walls are steep and unforgiving.



I take a nice hike at the end of the south rim road. The trail follows a ridge with the canyon on one side and plains on the other with snow capped mountains in the distance. A forest fire about 15 years prior has cleared the area immediately below the park.

The trail runs through pinyon pines and junipers. The age of these trees is impressive. I go by one with a sign that it is ~800 years old. It is no bigger than a 4 year old maple back home. This poor guy is no more, but still stands strong and will for years to come.

The trail finishes on a point that juts out into the canyon. The skies are getting hazy. Later in the day, I'll find out why.


Done with Black Canyon and heading towards the famous million dollar highway. I've heard all about it the road and the area. The road runs from Ouray through Silverton to Durango. This is an old mining area. There are mines everywhere. Given the climate, these old structures from years ago remain intact.

A lunch stop in Ouray results in an excellent burger. I seem to have a terrible superpower of finding crappy burgers. This little deli pleasantly surprises. The town intrigues me. Its clearly a tourist town for skiing and fishing, but only the main road is paved. All of the cross roads are dirt and gravel. Lots of money here. Lots. Time to get out. The road leading out heads towards the top of Red Mountain. The road winds wonderfully. I throw the bikes into the corners, but there aren't any surprises. The sky is becoming more hazy as I top the mountain. The top is wonderful. I am well into the alpine region.

 

·
Sophomore Member
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Soon as I start down the back side, it becomes apparent why the sky is hazy. Wildfires. The air turns from the wonder smell of sandalwood to burning wood. I continue along the highway and the smoke gets heavier. I can see that there are huge mountains all around me, but I can barely see outlines of anything more than 3 miles away. A smarter person would turn around. Or at least a less stubborn person. I press on and find my way into Silverton. The town is full of smoke. There aren't many people here as a result.

I grab some coffee and inquire about the wildfires. They are between Silverton and Durango. The road is open the direction I'm going, but with piloted trips. As I approach the wildfire, there are camps set up for the firemen. The smoke becomes thicker.

For an east coast guy, this is a bizarre experience. I probably should have feared the fire more than I did. I've barely been exposed to forest fires. State troopers lead and tail the group of vehicles as we go through the fire. At one point, the fire is about 100 yd from the highway. A group of firemen are working to protect a house. With 30 mph winds pushing it directly at the house, its demise seems inevitable. The houses in the area appear to be rentals for the ski slopes. I can't say I have sympathy. Helicopters appear at one point. They are pulling from a lake on my left and dumping on the fire on the right. Two single rotors and two chinooks. One of the chinooks dives for the lake as I pass under it being beaten up by the wash. While the supposedly wonderful views were ruined by the smoke, this is an unforgettable experience.

I make it into Durango and stop for gas. No longer at elevation, the temperatures have climbed well into the 90s. I take a break in the gas station to hydrate. An older guy on a Harley does the same. He is from South Carolina and has been on the road for a couple days more than me. He first went to Tullahoma, TN to see his mother. He grew up there. I grew up 30 minutes from there. Small world.

On to Mesa Verde where I will stay for the night. This trip was based on hitting 3 national parks in particular. This is the first. Mesa Verde is the place known for cliff dwellers. I set up camp. Two other people traveling by motorcycles set up beside me. One is on a Tiger, the other a Harley. I'm amused by the combination. The Tiger guy is wearing the typical ADV textile gear while the Harley guy is in jeans and a leather jacket. Both nail the stereotype. Friendly people on a short jaunt from Denver. Off to explore the ruins.

These structures are thoroughly impressive. The people who built them were clearly OCD. The buildings are constructed of lots and lots of rooms. Everything at right angles. Also, round rooms drop down in the buildings. These rooms are their special, religious rooms.

Heading back to camp, I get a good view of the wildfire.

And a nice sunset.

Another epic day, but nothing like I expected.

210 miles, 4:46 seat time
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top