Before I take you on today's ride though, some pictures of my campsite accommodations:
I am in one of apparently only five "tent cabins" at this site
My Tent Cabin, #9
Spacious, don't you think?
My tent cabin lies by the camp's perimeter fence, this
morning, I saw a deer and its fawn just walk by.....
It was still lightly sprinkling as I geared up but it all cleared up by the time I cruised through Gunnison and took CO135 North out of town towards Crested Butte. It did rain one more time on me, heavily, as I approached Crested Butte but as I was still wearing my rain gear, it was no big deal. Just another reminder how quickly weather can change here in this great state, and how summer rain in Colorado is anything but warm!
Approaching Crested Butte
Gothic Road is an easy dirt road, with some rocky portions but overall pretty easy. The views along this road are simply gorgeous. I know, I keep using that word, but trust me, the mountains to the north and west of Crested Butte are simply beautifully green and colorful this time of year. It's apparently the height of the Wildflower season but I didn't see much of those.
I got to and went through the small settlement of Gothic in the blink of an eye. The road the got narrower and steeper as one approached closer to Schofield Pass. In fact, there was a point where Valencia started bogging down and I couldn't get forward motion up a hilly portion of the road. Dissapointed, I turned her around and started heading back into town.
Not a mile down the road though, I stopped, let her cool down for about five minutes and "girded our collective loins" for another attempt. This time, I kept her in first most of the way there and once I got to the portion that had defeated me before, got a good running headstart and just nailed the throttle while running Valencia up the hill! I have to say, she did great! The trick apparently is to "attack" the steep portions with heavy throttle and first gear. There was very little need to "slip the clutch" though there were two times I was forced to do so when encountering cagers coming down the mountain.
Making steady progress and experience no "burnt clutch" smells, Valencia and I made it (actually shot past, we had to turn around) the sign for Schofield Pass!
Feeling victorious and ever more confident in Valencia's abilities, we started back down the way we came as continuing on this road involved ten more miles to the town of Marble and I didn't have the time to do that.
Running back down the mountain from Schofield Pass Summit was much easier as you can imagine, using just engine braking to basically "coast" our way down to lower elevations.
Approaching the settlement of Gothic
I didn't have the time to go the extra 11+ miles to the summit of Kebler Pass, that will have to wait till the next time I am in the area. Instead, I looked for Ohio Pass as a quite doable pass reachable via the dirt road that is County Rd 730. There was no sign and before I knew it I realized I had negotiated the summit with no issues and started riding in a downward trend for about 24 miles to Gunnison.
Ohio Creek Road, is quite scenic in terms of farmland, and cattle and horse ranches. They are very large spreads and given the recent rains, very green and verdant. It's a very enjoyable ride on a motorcycle if a bit lacking in mountain scenery. What mountains could be seen were in shadows due to the setting sun at my back so no really good pictures.
I did see off to the west this weird looking rock formation on top of a nearby mountain, I'll have to find out what it is.
Do you recognize this mountain top?
My first bear sighting while riding....
The rest of the ride was more scenic farmland, giving way to suburban homes as I got closer and closer to Gunnison. Dinner was fast food as it was getting dark by this point, it was close to 8:30PM, perhaps later as I arrived back at the campsite. Quite a ride, don't you think?