Friday, December 30, 2011

Loveland Pass on New Year's Eve's Eve

Nice and sunny weather today here in Colorado, though with a high winds advisory in effect.  It is supposed to be even worse in terms of wind conditions tomorrow so I elected to check out the area around Loveland Pass today.

The day's first pictures were at the Buffalo Herd Overlook exit on I-70 before Bergen Park.  As you can see, the buffalo herd was in evidence and the view one gets of the mountains was spectacular!

I left home at 10:33AM and by 12:25 PM I was climbing on US6, away from the I-70 Super Slab and heading towards the summit two miles away.  It was a bit chilly in the mountains but nothing significant to report, it was only noticeable when in the shadows of mountains and when flanked by pine forests.  In the sunlight, more than a mile closer to the sun than you folks at sea level, it felt like a perfect day for riding.

 Here's Yoshie at the first hairpin turn on the way up to the summit
of Loveland Pass

 I was shooting the same shot, first in "snow" mode, then dynamic ratio then 
in auto mode.  Snow mode was the clear winner today when it came to shooting
stuff with a lot of snow in the picture!

 Above and below, Yoshie looks towards the summit

 Above, Yoshie is past the summit of the pass, and using
the mountain range to the west of the Divide as background

 The sky was a gorgeous color of blue today, don't you think?

 A zoom view of distant peaks from the second to last hairpin one can
park at before arriving at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort

The view from the second to last hairpin before A-Basin

After I descended past the A-Basin Ski Resort and the full up parking lots, I soon arrived at the Keystone Ski Resort and after a bit of wandering, found the road to the town of Montezuma.

From Wikipedia:  The town, which is named for Montezuma, the Emperor of the Aztecs, consists largely of historical buildings and houses lining unpaved streets at the end of the paved county road that ascends the Snake River from Keystone near the west side of Loveland Pass. The town sits in a high steep valley surrounded by forested peaks offering good access to higher national forest land destinations. The paved road up from Keystone leads mainly through national forest right up to the entrance of town, which is marked by a sign over the county road.

The town retains many older structures, some of them dating from the late 19th century, such as the picturesque school house dating from the 1880s, now a State of Colorado Historical Site. The town is often included in lists of ghost towns in the Colorado Rockies, but it nevertheless retains a small population of full-time residents, as well as many absentee homeowners.

Montezuma has some of the most popular backcountry skiing, biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and hiking trails in Summit County. Montezuma is listed as one of Colorado's top scenic places in John Fielder's Best of Colorado

LINK to more info about the town of Montezuma

The above entry from wikipedia had lured me to try and ride to Montezuma and see what John Fielder meant in terms of it being one of the top scenic places in Colorado.
I found the town to be quaint, quiet and pretty but I'm not sure I'd put it in the top ten of scenic places I've ridden to in Colorado.  I rode through the town, all the way to the trailhead parking area leading towards Webster's Pass and had to turn around at that point.

 Looking towards the direction of Webster's Pass from the 
middle of  Montezuma town

I retraced my route back to Keystone (no real choice, there's only one road in and out) and before I started heading back up to the summit of Loveland Pass, I mounted the GoPro camera onto the sidecar.  Check out the youtube video at the end of this posting.  Here's some more pictures I took of Yoshie and the surrounding scenery as we made our way back towards the summit and eventually the I-70 Super Slab.

 One last shot of the mountain peaks near Loveland Pass

The rest of the ride was just making my way home, at which I arrived around 3:30PM.  A pretty enjoyable ride in spite of the unexpectedly heavy traffic both going up and down the mountains.  I saw about a handful of motorcycle riders enjoying the "warmish" weather today, hope you got a ride in as well!


SonjaM said...

Sitting in front of my fireplace with a cup of nice herbal tea warming my hands I really enjoy the snowy ride ;-) Brilliant pictures as usual. Thanks so much for sharing this year's rides with me.

Gary France said...

A great combination of snow on the ground and deep blue skies, such a good formula for a day’s ride. I think that is the only motorcycle ride video I have seen where there are snow skiers also in the same shot. How is that new helmet working out?

Happy New Year to you, Martha and the boys.

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM: really, with the right gear on you and the bike, the cold is quite enjoyable.... : )

Glad you liked the postings....looking forward to yours as well.


Charlie6 said...

Gary, thanks for your kind should have seen the looks on the skiers as I rode by.