Saturday, April 14, 2007

A ride in the mountains and I meet a new fellow beemer rider

A beautifully sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. Temps in the high 30s at 0816 and peaking around 59 or so by 2pm.

What a day I woke to, not too cold and sunny. I headed to Morrison starting at 0816, hoping to get the signatures of two fellow BMWMOA members so that I could fill out my mileage contest entry form. I figured I've racked up over 8000 miles since September when I bought Maria so I can easily beat some of the entries from the last contest. Heck, one guy submitted a form for less than 1200 miles.

Alas, when I got to Morrison at 0900, there was only one beemer outside of the Red Rocks Grill! None of the regular club members were in sight! I talked to a couple of locals and they said no one had shown up, I wonder where the club met today? Oh well. The other beemer was ridden by a prospective new club member by name of Eric. He was a recent transplant to Golden and he'd come by to check out the club.

We talked for a bit, and decided to go riding into the mountains. He was riding a 2001 R1150GS, very nicely maintained, black with system cases. We started off on Bear Canyon Road heading West out of Morrison, through Idledale and to the town of Kittredge where I took the road South towards Parmalee Gulch. We wound our way down this nicely twisting road and got onto US 285 heading South. The weather was still a bit cool at this point but not bad, at least for me behind Maria's fairings. Eric said he was doing fine when we stopped at the light at Pine Junction. So we turned left onto Country 126 heading South towards Deckers.

We tried stopping for coffee at the "Zoka" Restaurant just south of Pine Grove but we were too early. It was a little after 10am and the lady that was there sweeping things up said they did not open till 1100. So we just took a small break, chatted a bit.

A few minutes later, we mounted back up and continued heading South on 126, stopping briefly at the Long Craggy Peak overlook where I got this shot of the motorcycles.

You can see how beautifully clear the skies were today

On the road again, we continued on down to Deckers where we stopped for a snack and a drink. Once we were done, we headed North on county 67 out of Deckers, I wanted to show Eric the South Platte Hotel relic that lies just north of where 67 stops being a dirt road and becomes a roughly paved narrow road meandering alongside the South Platte River.

As Eric moved ahead on his GS, I took the opportunity to take pictures of these big boulders and rock formations along and in the river.

We continued onwards till we got to Foxton Road which we took so I could show Eric what Sanoke had showed me as "Cathedral Rock":

A pic from first time I saw Cathedral Rock. Link
Turns out that it was pretty close, it's formally named Cathedral Spires.

Here's a cool wooden walkway/bridge we found near Foxton. There was a sign labeling the abode as Ferndale.

We ended up in Buffalo Creek to my surprise and I showed Eric the old time "mercantile shop" that functions as this small town's one pump gas station and post office. It's like stepping back into the 1940s when one walks inside this place. It's part of the National Register of Historic Places.

A pic from a ride last year, that's Sanokes' motorcycle.

As we left Buffalo Creek, we found ourselves on 126 once again and a little south of Pine Grove! As we were traversing Pine Grove I noticed a small sign pointing up into the hills that said: Sphinx Park, 1 mile. We turned around and went up this winding dirt road, past the huge rock dome for which Sphinx Park is known and we had lunch at the Buck Snort Saloon.

After lunch we made our way back down to Pine Grove and then we headed North on 126 back onto Pine Junction and US285. We took 285 North and turned off after Aspen Park onto South Turkey Creek Rd. Twisting our way through this road, watching out for gravel accumulations we'd been seeing all day, we got to Fenders where where fire station is and turned onto Deer Creek Canyon road which eventually twisted its way to the Chatfield Reservoir Park area.

Eric and I went our separate ways at this point, him back to Golden and home and myself using the 470 superslab back to my neck of the woods. I tanked up before getting home and noted a total of 186 miles of riding today and about six hours of saddletime. A great ride, meet a new fellow rider, found my way back to Sphinx Park for future picture trips, gained more confidence in riding dirt roads and through it all Maria performed beautifully as usual.

A Closeup of Eric and his GS next to my RT

Sanoke, if you're reading this, drop me an email....we should do some more riding soon. I bet you've found some more "less ridden" roads since the last time we rode together.

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