Sunday, January 01, 2012

First Ride of 2012

This morning I met up with fellow Uralisti John S. aka Spat who rode his immaculately white Ural Patrol and Julie and Craig H on their Winter Camo Arctic Patrol.  We had a leisurely breakfast at the Red Rock Grille in Morrison and caught up on things as it had been a while since we'd all ridden together.

After breakfast, we left the Morrison area and planned to ride to Sphinx Park and the Bucksnort Saloon area just to get in a short but quick first day of the year ride.  They all had social commitments this afternoon so we chose a nearby destination.

At the Red Rock Grille, getting ready to ride in the cold.
The temperature was around 32°F at this point.

We rode west out of Morrison along Bear Creek Canyon Road heading towards Evergreen.  The small towns of Idledale and Kittredge were transited with no issues and in very light traffic.  The sun was out and painting the rocky canyon walls along the way very nicely.

Once in Evergreen, we turned south along CO73 heading towards it's junction with US285 in Conifer.  After a brief stint on US285, we arrived at Pine Junction and from there took CO126 southwards towards Sphinx Park.

CO126 is a downward trending, twisty as heck road at times, two lane highway that lets one plunge down towards the South Platte River valley area.  It was quite enjoyable as traffic was pretty much non-existent and we could cruise at our pace without worrying about cagers piling up too much behind us.

From Sphinx Park, we took the South Elk Creek Rd which winds you through thick pine forests and eventually drops you off back at US285 somewhere east of Pine Junction.  It's a nice little twisty loop for those so inclined.

 Here's where we parted ways with Craig and Julie, they were going to
go home via Deer Creek Canyon road.

Now, even with all the gear on, don't they look like a happy couple?

Spat and I went our own way on US285 back towards Conifer and its junction with CO73.  We were retracing the route out as I'd seen a possible location for some photos.  I stopped at the Flying J Ranch Open Space Park and we got a few photos and the short movie.

 The road looks clear here but behind us were large patches of 
ice covering the road.

Close to the park's parking lot, the road was, as you can see, 
covered in hard-packed snow.

John and I parted ways at the intersection of CO73 and North Turkey Creek Road.  I continued wandering about at bit, eventually taking this last picture of  the day from a road called Skyline Drive.

That's Mount Evans in the distance

I got back to Evergreen and took CO74 back towards Kittredge.  It was there that I took the Parmalee Gulch Rd southwards once more.  This is another nice little twisty two lane road in the mountains which links CO74 with US285.

Once I was back on US285, I took it homewards.  First ride of the year is in the books so to speak, I hope you got a chance to ride today!


Andrew said...

Good to see you enjoying New Year's Day regardless of the weather. No snow for me - warm but very wet at times:

SonjaM said...

Good for you. First day of the new year and you're riding already. We spent the day carefully recovering from food coma, and went for a long walk hoping to clear our heads. Happy New Year!!!

Charlie6 said...

Thanks for the link Andrew, you had yourself quite the day ride. You probably know this already but if want folks to be able to just click on a hyperlink, like you posted, instead of cut/paste it into their browser, just: LINK. Cheers!

SonjaM: food comma? how much food was involved that kept you two from being on two wheels? : )

Happy New Year!