Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Kremmling Loop

My family and I are spending the long Labor Day weekend up in the central mountains of Colorado. Staying at a condo in Silverthorne along with a neighborhood friend family who scored the condo from clients of theirs.

The ride up yesterday went pretty well until I was just shy of the Eisenhower Tunnel and the Continental Divide on the I-70 Super Slab. It started raining pretty good, I stopped under an overpass and donned my wet weather gear and heavier gloves and rode on.

The rest of the evening was spent riding to/from Breckenridge where I met up with my family for dinner. Both Brigitta, my 1987 R80 and my gear did fine in the rain, but it was still not fun.

Today the sun rose under clear skies and cool temperatures. It would be in the low 60s as I left the condo around 10:00AM after the wives and kids left for Glenwood Springs. My fellow husband is a bicyclist and he took off on his bike to go riding. Left to my own devices, I took CO9 north out of Silverthorne.

It didn't take long to shake off the miasma that is a ski tourist town here in Colorado. Soon I was riding on open road and enjoying the scenery:

This is either part of the Gore Range or Slate Mountain

South end of the Green Mountain Reservoir

The top of today's riding loop was to be the small town of Kremmling on US40. I got there soon after the above pictures and I passed through town to bag Gore Pass which lay on CO 134 just north of Kremmling by about 9 miles.

The notch at Kremmling

I have to mention that the road up to and down from Gore pass is a lovely twisting and curving paved road that will bring a smile to any rider's face. It was actually rather enjoyable, not too technical and the road was clear of traffic; had it all to myself mostly.

The requisite picture of the pass sign

Yeah, it's going to be an early Fall I think, a house in Kremmling

After riding around Kremmling, I turned back south on CO9 and took the exit for Trough Road heading for the town of Radium. Apparently, lots of uranium came out of that part of the state, hence the name I guess.

Cool cloud formation while on Trough Road

I found this keyhole shaped rock formation eye-catching

Nearing State Bridge

No town sign, this is as best as I could find for the vicinity of Radium

Road conditions on Trough Road were just fine, hard packed dirt road with a bit of gravel to keep you awake. I averaged perhaps 35 mph on the straightaways so it I would classify this dirt road as easy. Heck, there were even some paved and roughly paved stretches as well. So, street motorcycles will do fine on this road.

This is as far as I got on CR11, a bit rougher than Trough Road but still not too bad, just more washboarded and more gravel. The road went up from the town of Radium, hugging the mountainsides and heading North/Northwest.

Brigitta waits at the RR intersection for the gravel train to pass. They were "topping up" the gravel mounds to the sides of the rail tracks. Interesting operation, I had been wondering up until I saw the gravel drop why there were workers walking alongside the train!

The bridge which gives the settlement of State Bridge its name

Saw this dragonhead-shaped rock formation while riding south on CO 131

I got on US6 as I neared where CO131 junctions with I-70 at Wolcott. US6 parallels the I-70 slab eastwards and I rode it till I could turn south on US24 at Dowds Junction. This is also the starting point for the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. I took US24 through the small town of Minturn and twisted my way up to the Battle Mountain Summit. A very nice road, in spite of the fact that the skies had become gray and overcast.

Soon I was back at the vicinity of Red Cliff and the bridge over the Eagle River. I'd failed to take pictures of this gorgeous bridge the last time I was here. LINK.

The bridge over Eagle River

I then rode into the town of Red Cliff itself, hoping to get a picture of an old bridge there. I found the bridge but it's definitely seen better days, like most of the town actually. However, to the left and closer to me, there was this cool looking house:

Red Cliff dwelling and old bridge

I left Red Cliff and headed back north towards I-70. The way down from the Battle Mountain Summit was pretty much as fun as the way up in terms of twisting turns. You can definitely see the Fall season making its entrance into the mountain region:

Coming down from Battle Mountain Summit

I got on the I-70 Super Slab heading east towards Silverthorne which was about 30 miles away. On the way there, I was rained on briefly but not enough to stop and get my rain gear on. It did get a bit brisk though as the temperatures dropped to the low 60s once again. (It had hit a high of 78 during the day).

The view to the East at Vail on the I-70 Slab

Another pass bagged for the books

I got to Silverthorne and the condo around 5PM after tanking up in town. About 230 miles of riding with perhaps 6 hours in the saddle. Good days riding.

1 comment:

mq01 said...

looks like a FABULOUS ride to me!!!