Sunday, April 12, 2015

Windy and Cold on Berthoud Pass

As if to make it up to me for yesterday's boringly warm and sunny riding weather, Mother Nature reminded me what the alternative can be.

Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig and I rode out of the neighborhood shortly after 8:15 AM and transited through the metro Denver area using US285 till we got to the western side of the C-470 "beltway" which we then took north to it's junction with the I-70 super slab.

This we took west into the foothills, using the US40 frontage road to avoid the not too heavy westbound traffic going up into the mountains.  Soon enough we were at the Buffalo Overlook exit and today was not a bad day to pose Scarlett with the first snow-clad peaks one sees when heading away from Denver:


Today it was very windy as we headed west, the winds coming out of the west slowing us down a bit and driving up the wind chill factor.  We stopped in Dumont and gassed up, and I took advantage of the stop to add on my windproof layer and heavier gloves!

Temperatures continued to descend as I approached the junction of US40 and I-70.  Taking the road towards Empire, CO, the skies became gray overcast and temperatures felt colder.  Scarlett and I slowly ascended past the small "town" of Berthoud Falls and soon were steeply climbing the road towards the summit of Berthoud Pass.

Enroute though, I stopped at the usual spot for pictures of the mountains below and to the west but what looked like fog (but turned out to be light snow clouds) obscured the views I'd hope for.

 If you look closely, you can see Scarlett in the center bottom
of the picture.



 The requisite pic of the sign at the summit.

Thinking it wouldn't be too wide of a set of snow clouds, Scarlett and I motored onwards towards Winter Park, making it all the way to the city limits of Winter Park and turning around at the Mary Jane Ski Resort.  It had been lightly snowing on us and the roads were starting to look a bit wet.  We turned around thinking that if things got worse, they'd close the pass and we'd be stuck on the wrong side of it!

We made it back across the pass with no issues and of course, as soon as I was on the southern portion of the pass, the sun came out and dried things out.  Still, I could see behind me the snow clouds trying to cross the mountain barrier and almost suceeding; so it was time to head down, after one more picture of course.

Snowy conditions to the north, in the direction of Winter Park

as you can see, things are much better with some sunlight

Still feeling a bit chilled from the stint between Winter Park and the Berthoud Pass Summit, we motored on down towards the I-70 Slab.   Although the temperatures didn't get any lower or seemingly higher if the sun was blocked, the roads were dry and what more could one ask for right?

It got sunnier and warmer once I was back in the metro Denver area and clear of the foothills; then it was just early Sunday afternoon traffic to deal with on my way home.   The winds remained strong and gusty the whole day, I sure was glad I wasn't on two wheels today, the winds were sometimes strong enough to blow the rig about....

I had actually been expecting sunny conditions with clear blue skies in the Berthoud Pass and Winter Park area, Mother Nature changed things up for me!  You couldn't see the top of Mount Evans from Denver though skies looked clear and sunny to the north in the Rocky Mountain National Park area, should have gone there instead!

Previously: Short Sunny Day Ride

5 comments:

Richard M said...

Some pretty nice photos! Even with all of the traffic, the first one just looks like CO.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks RichardM....it was chillier than expected but still a good day of riding.

SonjaM said...

Now, that's more like it. Winter hasn't lost all its teeth just yet. I remember similar weather last September when I rode the Swiss Alps.

Trobairitz said...

Pretty views, but it does look a tad chilly in them there hills

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM, no, Winter still has a slight grip in the mountains....

Trobairitz, thanks and yes, it was chilly...I missed my big windshield.