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June 30, 2021

Rollins Pass

So today, it stopped raining at some point, so I figured I'd try to run up Rollins Pass. This is the same pass as Corona Pass, but approach is from the East instead of the West. I went through Apex, the old ghost town. Then up County Road 4N to Tolland, CO, then west on County Road 16 (Tolland Road) to County Road 117.

Once you turn off of County Road 16, it's approximately 10 miles/35 minutes to Yankee Doodle Lake. The road is rough. Poorly maintained. And I wasn't able to make it to Needle Eye Tunnel, as the road is still snowed in above Yankee Doodle Lake. In July.

The road is so rough that I saw a Jeep with the front wheel torn off.

My route looked something like this.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 30, 2021 at 9:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 25, 2021

Corona Pass

So today I figured I'd go hit Jones Pass, but they have a sign that indicates it's closed through June 30th. Apparently they're doing some maintenance on the road over the continental divide. So, instead of hitting Jones Pass, I figured I'd call an audible and go over Berthoud Pass, drop down into Winter Park, and then hit Corona Pass, a pass I've not done so far this year.

It was rougher than I remember, but I made it to the summit without any problem. Then turned around, descended into Winter Park, back to Idaho Springs for Carl's Jr. lunch, and home to walk the goats. Fortunately, I made it home with enough time to walk the goats before the afternoon storms moved in.

So, I added a new pass to my Pass Bagger account today for 2021. (It's alternately referred to as Corona Pass and Rollins Pass, but if you approach from the west, it's generally referred to as Corona Pass, and if you summit from the east, it's generally referred to as Rollins Pass.)

Looks like today I rode about 130 miles.

Here's my ride.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2021 at 4:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 23, 2021

Saratoga, WY Ride Today - Wed June 23rd, 2021

So, it looks to me like I rode 418 miles today. This is basically the path I took if I'm not mistaken.

Steve and Vince and I rode together from Boyd Lake State Park to Estes Park following the route shown above.

I personally think Mirror Lake was the most impressive view. It was truly stunning.

We crossed the continental divide twice: first at Willow Creek Pass(9,659 ft), and then at Milner Pass(10,759 ft) in RMNP.

We got to the western entrance to RMNP at 5:03 p.m., as the attendants guarding the gates and access to the park were high-fiving each other and walked away from their posts for the day, meaning we were able to enter the park for free.

So, we rode through RMNP for free, which was nice.

Then, at Estes Park, they split off and returned to Loveland, I think. And I turned south at Estes Park, to Lyons, Boulder, and down 93 to home. Crazy nice ride today. Many thanks to Steve and/or Vince for planning the ride. Let's ride again soon! :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 23, 2021 at 10:35 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

June 17, 2021

Steamboat Springs - Thr June 17th, 2021

Planned route to Steamboat Springs.

This route crosses Berthoud Pass, Muddy Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Shrine Pass, Vail Pass, and Johnson Tunnel. All of these passes are over the Continental Divide except for Vail Pass and Shrine Pass. So, crossing 4 times works out.

I got up this morning and left at about 10:15 a.m. Odometer = 49,847. Temperature was 90F. I went over Berthoud Pass 49,893 11:33 a.m. 75F. Then, down into Winter Park, Fraser, Granby. I always have issues with Muddy Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass, and today was no exception. I never saw a Muddy Pass sign, although I saw a sign indicating it was 2 miles ahead.

When I got into Steamboat Springs at 1:50 p.m., it was 96F, so I went across the Yampa River, rode south down a dirt road following the river. I parked the bike and fished out a bathing suit I put in my rear Givi case for just such an emergency. I changed into the swimsuit in the weeds, and then floated in the mind-numbingly cold river. It felt great.

Eventually, I climbed out of the river, dried myself off with my t-shirt, put all of my riding gear back on, and decided to head down highway 131 like I did last year. Odometer was 50,016 when I left at 3:05 p.m. Temp was 96F.

As I rolled south on Highway 131, I passed a few towns selling gas, but for whatever reason, I decided not to stop. Eventually, my fuel light indicator started flashing, and suddenly there weren't any more towns. I decided to try to make it to I-70 and then go west to the town of Edwards. Somehow I made it to Edwards at 4:28 p.m. 94F. 236 miles.
And I refueled.

Now, I decide to run up to Red Cliff for a late lunch. Ate lunch at Mango's Mountain Grill at 5:00 p.m. 89F. I left Mango's Mountain Grill at 5:38 p.m. 87F. Odometer = 50,114. Decided to run up Shrine Pass again. Sign indicates it's closed through June 20th, whatever that means. But I ran up the pass anyway. Top of Shrine Pass at 6:13 p.m. Odometer = 50,126. 72F.

The summit of Shrine Pass is also Vail Pass, essentially. Neither pass is on the Continental Divide. Then, home on I-70, through the Johnson Tunnel.

I made it home at odometer = 50,198. 7:30 p.m. 82F.

Trip Start: 10:15 a.m. Temp = 90F. Mileage = 49,847.
Trip End: 7:30 p.m. Temp = 82F. Mileage = 50,198
Trip: 351 miles, 9.25 hours.

Map showing route from today's ride.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 17, 2021 at 9:26 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 16, 2021

Mount Evans(2) - Wed June 16th, 2021

Today (Wed June 16th, 2021), I met Steve and Vince in Lyons and we rode up Mt. Evans.

My Map Route looked something like this.

Starting odometer: 49,541 Time Depart: 8:22 a.m.
Ending odometer: 49,846. Time Return: 5:50 p.m.
Miles Ridden Today: 305 miles.

Time Traveling: 8:22 am to 5:50 pm = 9 hours 28 minutes.
Pass Bagger: Squaw Pass

So, today I rode down the hill to meet Steve and Vince in Lyons at the Stone Cup at 9:30 a.m. I think that, in theory, we were supposed to drink coffee there, but it was closed when we got there. Unless I'm mistaken, I rolled in right on time at 9:30 a.m. So, no coffee, and we rode out of town

So, Highway 285 down to C-470 to Highway 6 to 93 to Boulder, then north out of Boulder on 7 to 36 to Lyons. Arrive Lyons 9:30 a.m. Roughly 58 miles. Odometer: 49,599.

The Stone Cup restaurant was closed for whatever reason, so we just took off for Mt Evans, rolling down Colorado State Highway 7 to Colorado State Highway 72 through Ward down south to Nederland, then on 119 south down to Black Hawk, then up to Central City and down the million dollar highway, then to Carl's Jr for a meal, I think.

As it turns out, Vince used to live in Idaho Springs, back in the day.

Then, south up Colorado State Highway 103 to Colorado State Highway 5.

Interestingly, at you don't have to pay or have a reservation when you go up Mt Evans. This is the 2nd time this year I've been up without paying. The trick is that the state built the road, so it's illegal for them to charge you to drive on a road you already paid for, as it turns out. But parking is different. If you're going to park, then you need to pay, and they give you a little piece of paper to put inside your windshield so you won't get a ticket when you park. But if you're just riding, then you don't have to pay. And so, that's what we did. It's the 2nd time I've been up there this year, and I haven't paid either time.

So, up to summit of Mt Evans. Then, back down to Echo Lake, and now following Squaw Pass Road (State Highway 103) down to Witter Gulch (Clear Creek County Highway 475) down to Upper Bear Creek, to the Willow Creek Restaurant where we stopped to refresh with some drinks and appetizer (thanks Steve).

Then, up JeffCo Highway 73 to Brook Forest Road to Shadow Mountain Road, a big loop that comes back onto 73 near Aspen Park, then back north on 73 to Evergreen, and down the Bear Creek canyon through Idledale and Kittredge to Morrison where we refueled. There, we split up, and they returned North up the front range, and I came back to my place via 285 to try to take care of the cats.

Surprisingly, on my ride home, at some point, I noticed a road I'd never been on before near my house. Had a large sign that said "Mount Lindo", and I went up it, nearly dark, switchbacking up this dirt road. Eventually, I turned back, but I later learned it's an old cemetery on top of the hill. Somehow, I've lived here 20 years and never even knew it was there.

Pass Bagger:
1) Squaw Pass - 11,990'. Continental Divide.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2021 at 11:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Mon June 14th, 2021

I think that, for whatever reason, I didn't ride on Monday, June 14th 2021.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2021 at 11:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 15, 2021

Independence Pass - Tue June 15th, 2021

Today (Tue June 15th, 2021), I'll try to summit Independence Pass (12,095 ft) and down into Aspen.

So, today I rode I-70 west and crossed the continental divide at Loveland Pass, then down into Dillon/Silverthorne. Didn't see any smoke from the fires. Back on I-70 west to Colorado State Highway 91 at Copper Mountain. Then south on 91 over Fremont Pass, down into Leadville and south on U.S. Highway 24 to Colorado Highway 82, west to Twin Lakes, then over the continental divide at Independence Pass, and down into Aspen on Colorado Highway 82. Then back across the continental divide at Independence Pass, east on Colorado Highway 82 to U.S. Highway 24 to Leadville, then over Tennessee Pass on U.S. Highway 24 North to I-70, then east on I-70 over Vail Pass, through the Johnson Tunnel, and back home.

Pass Bagger:
1) Loveland Pass - 11,990'. Continental Divide.
2) Fremont Pass - 11,318'. Continental Divide.
3) Independence Pass - 12,095'. Continental Divide. (1st time on way to Aspen).
4) Independence Pass - 12,095'. Continental Divide. (2nd time on return from Aspen).
5) Tennessee Pass - 10,424'. Continental Divide.
6) Vail Pass - 10,666'. Not Continental Divide.
7) Johnson Tunnel 11,158'. Continental Divide.

Starting odometer: 49,196 Time Depart: 10:45 a.m. Temp: 93F.
Ending odometer: 49,541. Time Return: 5:50 p.m. Temp 96F.
Miles Ridden Today: 345 miles.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 15, 2021 at 9:51 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 13, 2021

Mount Evans - Sun June 13th, 2021

Mount Evans is the highest paved road in North America (14,285' above msl). And today, it was like 85F at my place, and I was sweating like a whore in church, so I figured it wouldn't be a horrible idea to try to make it to the summit, to cool off for a bit, if nothing more.

In theory, due to the COVID pandemic in the public sector, you have to have a reservation to ride up to the summit of Mt Evans. But I'd heard from some motorcyclists that you really didn't have to have a reservation. That, if you just drive up to the little check-point where they normally charge you a fee, or in 2021 they verify your reservation, that really all they do is make you promise not to park in the parking lots, and you can ride to the summit and back free of charge, no reservation required.

So I stocked up on Gatorade at King Soopers and threw it in my Givi case on the back of the bike (I don't like getting stranded without liquids) and headed up Squaw Pass Road (Colorado State Highway 103).

Mount Evans never opened for 2020. It just opened for 2021 9 days ago on June 4th.

When I got to the little ranger station near Echo Lake, there were 2 lanes opened. I went to the one with some girl/woman staffing it.

"Do I need a reservation?" I asked her.

"If you just ride to the top, and turn around and ride back down, and don't use any parking spaces, then you don't need a reservation. You can just ride on through.

"Great," I replied. and then I took off heading up the highest paved road in North America.

It's really hard to describe how stunning the ride is. I'm just always surprise how beautiful it is, and how glad I am I live here.

I keep my eye out for large snow banks, because I want to get some shots with my bike in front of a 20' drift, as it's hard to believe these still exist when it's 88F at the house.

I pass a few people and when I get to the summit, it's 59F. I take photos for some people with the sign showing they summited Mt Evans. Then, I get some pics with my bike, and head back down. I stop and shoot some pics at Summit Lake, and then at some of the largest snow drifts on the way down.

I continue down SH 103 into Idaho Springs where I hit the Carl's Jr. Last year, they called the cops on me for not wearing a mask, but we're past that now. Now, they have a experimental new entree, a chicken and waffle sandwich with syrup which I order and it's to die for.

When I roll down to Evergreen Lake, there's a bunch of emergency vehicles and elk standing around. Lots of people seem worried/concerned. I ask some bystanders what happened. I figured some elk had gored some people, but instead, a girl that was fishing had managed to hook her eyelid. They took her off in an ambulance, and the elk were left to roam freely again.

Map Route

Distance Traveled: 49087 - 49005 = 82 miles.
Time Traveling: 5:40 pm - 1:10 pm = 4 hours 30 minutes.
Pass Bagger: Squaw Pass

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 13, 2021 at 9:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 12, 2021

Cottonwood Pass - Sat June 12th, 2021

Went for a little 7 hour, 350 mile ride today. Kenosha Pass, Red Hill Pass, Trout Creek Pass, crossed continental divide at Cottonwood Pass, down into Taylor Park Reservoir. This used to be a dirt road, but they apparently paved it last year.

Then, south on 135 to Gunnison, to US Hwy 50, back across the divide at Monarch Pass, to Poncha Springs and 285 north to Johnson Village, Fairplay, Jefferson, Bailey, home.

This is roughly what my ride looked like.

There was a crash at Monarch Pass where an 18 wheeler went off the road.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 12, 2021 at 11:20 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 11, 2021

Shrine Pass - Fri June 11, 2021

So, today my ride was like this...I wanted to hit Shrine Pass. But Mark had invited people over for like 7:00 p.m.

I took I-70 west. They were fighting a fire south of I-70 near Dillon. There was a helicopter dumping water on a fire burning as I rode down into Summit County, on the west side of the continental divide.

Then, west on I-70 over Vail Pass(not on the continental divide) and down to US 24 to Minturn and then to Red Cliff.

About 2 miles outside of Red Cliff, the trail head is blocked off with a sign saying it's closed until June 20th. I ate lunch at the restaurant in Red Cliff, and then up to the summit of Shrine Pass, and back home.

Vail Pass and Shrine Pass are not on the Continental Divide. Both passes are west of the Continental Divide.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 11, 2021 at 10:46 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 10, 2021

Today's Ride - Thr June 10, 2021

Today (Thr June 10th), my ride went something like this:

Marshdale > Evergreen > Idaho Springs > Empire > attempt to summit Jones Pass, but snow too deep, so turned back > Berthoud Pass > Idaho Springs > Oh My God Road > Columbine Campground Road > York Gulch > Marshdale.

Also, the map doesn't show it, but I did a loop coming back from Idaho Springs area. I went up by the Phoenix Mine and then came down County Road 130 in a little loop there.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 10, 2021 at 10:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Return of the Africa Twin

So, yesterday, I got my bike back from the shop (Wednesday June 9th). It was down for about 28 days, if I'm not mistaken. (Thursday May 13th - Wednesday June 9th).

This is my ride from yesterday (Wed June 9th):

Marshdale > Idaho Springs > Georgetown > Guanella Pass > Grant > Kenosha Pass > Como > Boreas Pass > Breckenridge > Frisco > Eisenhower Tunnel > Marshdale.

This was the first time that I did Guanella Pass and Boreas Pass this year, as it is my understanding that they opened for Memorial Day weekend (last weekend).

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 10, 2021 at 9:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink