Saturday, November 03, 2012

A Four Mountain Pass Ride

Darrell S., a fellow Uralista and I met outside of Morrison, CO at 8:00AM this Saturday, to check out what turned out to be four mountain passes, three of which Darrell hadn't traversed yet on his Ural sidecar rig.

It was brisk as we headed west on US285, at a low point my onboard thermometer read 21.6 degrees farenheit!  Still, things were bearable once the sun came out in force.  By then, it was around 9:30AM and we were refueling in the small town of Jefferson, CO.

All fueled up and slightly warmed up, we headed north on county road 35 till it branched off to county road 54.  We would take this road all the way up to Georgia Pass.  The road was dirt and full of rocks in spots, sometimes quite a few rocks which made for a bumpy ride at times.  Then there were the stretches of snow/ice covered road which caused the pusher tire to slide out a few times for both of us.

 Going up the road towards Georgia Pass
That's the South Park Valley in the distance and in 
the below closeup.


We made the summit of Georgia Pass with no issues to speak off.  At 11,585ft, it was a bit cold up there as we took a break and took pictures.  We decided not to take Forest Road 355 which would have eventually gotten us near the town of Breckenridge as the way was very steep and the snow was deep enough to give us pause.

 We believe that is the top of Boreas Mountain in the background

 Darrell poses by his 2006 Ural Patrol

 The view from the summit of Georgia Pass


Descending from the summit of Georgia Pass

To avoid slipping in the ice and snow on the way down, we both engaged the 2WD on our Ural rigs.  It was steady going all the way down to where things were dry enough to allow for the disengagement of the 2WD. The way down was without incident as well, we were passed along the way by a couple of pickup trucks with men in hunting gear, I think it's Elk Hunting Season around here.

Back on County Road 54, a view of the Continental Divide behind us

Once back at Jefferson, we went north past Kenosha Pass to check out a forest access road I'd spotted on the eastern side of the summit.  The road proved a dead end onto private property.  Once we got back to the junction with US285, we decided to go for Boreas Pass as Darrell informed me he'd never ridden it!

Back on US285, southbound, we cruised through the small town of Jefferson again,and minutes later we were turning off the highway onto the small town of Como.  Back in the day, it was a railroad town as apparently three separate rail lines met here.  Now its just a small gathering of wooden dwellings, with the remains of a train roundhouse serving as a landmark.

Once past the town, the dirt road that leads one to the summit of Boreas Pass is quite firmly packed but still rocky in spots.  We made good time though, ascending quickly up the narrow road, past large stands of Aspen; presently shorn of their leaves and standing starkly against the sky in their bare branches.

Once you go past the timberline, you get some pretty good views of the nearby mountain peaks:

 Our first stop along Boreas Pass Road for a picture.
Note that my gopro camera is still mounted to the tripod 
sitting on top of Valencia's spare tire.



 A stop further long the road, note the camera is now gone
from the tripod!


A picture of the rigs at the Boreas Pass Sign.  
Even at this point, I'd failed to notice the camera was gone from the tripod.

After a brief interlude where Darrel and I were enlisted by this woman to help push her Dad's jeep to get it to start we continued onwards, heading north on Boreas Pass Road.

It was perhaps 3-4 miles later that I looked in my right side rearview mirror and finally noticed my gopro camera was missing!  I turned around immediately, hoping Darrell, who was in the lead would come back once he noticed I was no longer behind him.

I retraced my way all the way back to the area near the Boreas Pass Sign, thinking wrongly that surely I would have noticed it missing before we left the sign area.  I was wrong of course and both Darrell and I search fruitlessly in the wrong area.

Feeling a bit bummed out, we continued towards Breckenridge, arriving in town without further incident.  I led the way out of the town, and towards the town of Dillon which is near the I-70 Super Slab on the west side of the Continental Divide.  I detoured around the Dillon Reservoir using Swan Mountain Road and we stopped at my preferred picture spot when near Dillon.

 A view of Dillon Reservoir, we were both amazed at how low
the water level is!

I bet the folks in the houses on the ridge paid a pretty 
penny for the priviledge.

Exiting Dillon, I made a wrong turn but Darrell caught up with me and got me turned around heading South on CO9 to the town of Keystone where we picked up CO103 and the road towards the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort and Loveland Pass.

The ascent towards Loveland Pass was in very light traffic and nice weather, heck it had warmed up into the 50s by this time of the day!  Once at the summit, Darrell parked his rig near the summit sign. Turns out, he'd never ridden up Loveland Pass either on his Ural!

Darrell, on the fourth mountain pass of the day.

We then headed back down towards the Loveland Valley Ski Resort and got onto the I-70 Slab heading east towards the Denver Metro Area.  Our only other stop would be for fuel in Georgetown. Since we'd lost some time searching for the gopro camera, we elected to ride the slab all the way back into the city.

Traffic was moderate and the rigs performed flawlessly, holding 60 mph or so with no issues.  I waved goodbye at the I-70/C-470 interchange and Darrell headed home to Northglenn while I would take the usual roads back to my home neighborhoods.  I got home shortly after 5:00PM, a long day of riding, with perhaps nine hours in the saddle.

Looking over the pictures, I've narrowed down the area on Boreas Pass Road where I lost the camera, I might go back there tomorrow to look.

Thanks Darrell for a great day of riding!

2 comments:

SonjaM said...

Bummer that you lost the camera, I hope that you'll find it when backtracking your trip.

The white powdered mountains and hey what's that? Can it be blue skies? make me think of Alberta.

Charlie6 said...

We actually get about 300 days of sunshine here in Colorado.....as to white powdered mountains, more snow is needed.....

Thanks for visiting, come by tomorrow evening....why don't you.