Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dillon Reservoir and Loveland Pass

Based on webcam recons, I decided to ride Scarlett over towards the mountain town of Dillon, just west of the Continental Divide along the I-70 super slab.

Traffic was heavy from Floyd Hill west, slow and go until I managed to bail at Idaho Springs where I fueled up.  I then took frontage roads while the herds of cagers continued up the super slab towards the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Soon though, I was at Georgetown and had to join the herds of cagers in the final miles before the tunnel.  Third gear was in order even with the heavy traffic as I could feel a pretty strong headwind buffeting us from the west.

Finally, we were in the tunnel and we crossed the Continental Divide 2 hrs and 10 minutes after leaving home, usually it takes us perhaps 1 hour and 30 minutes!

After a rapid and steep descent on I-70 from the tunnel, we got off on the Dillon exit and after plodding our way through town (it was packed with skiing tourists), we got on US6 and shortly after we passed the Dillon Marina (Highest deep water Marina they claim), we turned off on Swan Mountain Road.

Swan Mountain Road allows one to get a nice shot of the Dillon Reservoir and a ridgeline with some really fancy houses built to enjoy the view.

 Dillon Reservoir, frozen over and quite scenic

I then turned Scarlett around and we merged back with US6, now heading east towards the summit of Loveland Pass.  The ski resorts of Keystone and Arapahoe Basic came and went, and I felt sorry for the masses of skiers queued up at the lifts waiting their turn.  Still, it wasn't really crowded though the parking lots were full.

The sun started to get past the mostly cloudy conditions at the summit and I took my time posing Scarlett at several stops.

 On the hairpin turn overlooking the Keystone Resort,
I think that's Ten Mile Range in the distance?

 As you can see, the slopes were not very crowded

 Ascending towards the summit from the A-Basin area

 At the major hairpin turn perhaps a mile from the summit
of Loveland Pass

 Now nearing the summit, the sun was painting the nearby
mountain peaks quite nicely.

 Near the sign for the summit of Loveland Pass
11,990 feet

Looking east as one descends from the Loveland Pass Summit

Scarlett and I used the I-70 Super Slab to make our way back to the Metro Denver area.  We did stop briefly at Georgetown to get a closer look at what appeared to be ice racing by jeeps and cars.

 Now those are some serious spikes on the tires!

There were less than ten vehicles and perhaps a couple of dozen of folks watching.  I ventured out onto the frozen lake a bit but had zero traction with my motorcycle boots!  I managed to make it back to shore without falling and left the ice racers merrily spinning about the ice.  

I did try and take some video but for some reason, it didn't record.  Weird.

The rest of the riding was just super slab riding in medium to heavy traffic all the way home.  About seven hours in the saddle, but it felt good to be out riding in the mountains.  Hope you got some riding in.....

Previously: Sunset with Motorcycle


Steve Williams said...

Your description of the escape from metroland and the super slab helped me remember some of the great joys of riding -- the willingness to step away from the rat race, if only for a short time.

Photography in the mountains is wonderful. I kept trying to imagine the Vespa in the pictures instead of the URAL but it just doesn't work for some reason. You've claimed the mountains for the URAL.

Stay safe!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

bluekat said...

Beautiful images as always. Well worth the trip!

Trobairitz said...

It sounds like a lot of super slab, but at least you were rewarded with such pretty views.

The ice racing rigs are intriguing.

Still raining here. Our view is misty at best.

SonjaM said...

Reading about your battle of getting out of the metro area makes me appreciate living on the country side. Ok, mountains might not be that spectacular in the Black Forest but I am out of town and into the woods in ten minutes tops.

Your pictures are impressive as usual, and should I ever come your way you will have to take me there...

Thomas Osburn said...

Great photos. Never been there sure looks great.

Charlie6 said...

Steve, slab time usually sucks, yesterday it was worse than usual. Thanks for the kind words.

Bluekat, Loveland Pass rarely disappoints. Thanks.

Trobairitz, the ice racing looked fascinating...I wonder how my rig would do on it without spikes.

SonjaM: Naturlich, get yourself and your hubby here, come visit, see the mountains....

Thomas Osburn, thanks for commenting and visiting.

Richard M said...

Time to get some get some time on the ice? Obviously it's permitted...

It looks like you have plenty of snow.

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, it's a club-based activity and there's fees involved to cover Georgetown's liability insurance.

Charlie6 said...

Forgot to mention, RichardM, the snow is all in the there I must go, which involves some slab time.