Sunday, May 31, 2015

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Motivated by the recent ride done by Bridget, RichardM's lovely wife, to the sidecar rally event in Talkeetna, Alaska; Martha my loving wife agreed to ride with me to check out Trail Ridge Road in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Note: Monkey, is the title given a passenger in a sidecar rig.

It was officially opened for the season on Friday, May 29, it was a start for the road, after snows kept the crews working hard to clear off all the snow.

We left the house on Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig, Martha as the monkey of course.  The weather was just a tad cool but not cold and bright sunny skies warmed us as we made our way to Estes  Park via the E-470/I-25 super slabs and passed Longmont using CO State Road 66.

Traffic was lighter than I expected, which was fine by me.  There was an air show down by the SE portion of the metro area, near the Aurora Reservoir, which may have attracted folks.  Again, fine by me!

We made it to Estes park just shy of two hours after leaving the house.  We paid our fee to get in and it was time to ride up and see what we could see.  Martha did a great job shooting both video and photos using the Nikon AWS110 camera that I used to use before I bought the Sony A5000.  Check out the video at the end of this post, it was ALL Martha's shooting.

 At the Rainbow Curve Overlook

 A view of the Aspenglen Valley (I think)

It was cool but not really cold when we got above the treeline

 Just west of the Alpine Visitor Center on Medicine Bow Curve

 Not a bad pile of snow eh?

 D+M, we'll be historic for a few hours, days perhaps, until the snow melts!

 The view from inside the Alpine Visitors Center's gift shop
photo by Martha's Nikon Camera

It's the park's 100th Anniversary this year!

 Views of the Continental Divide mountains on the other side
of Forest Canyon below

 At an overlook before the Rock Cut

 Near the Rock Cut on Trail Ridge Road, possible views of 
Stone Peak and Flat Top Mountain

At the Rock Cut
photo by Martha

 Jackstraw and Ida Mountain peaks?

Near the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center as one exits the park.
Possibly Hallett Peak in the background?

Sadly, I have to put ? marks on the ID of the peaks in the pictures as I didn't take the time to break out the PeakFinder app I'd recently bought for the iPhone.  I'll try and do better about such things in future posts!

We stopped at Estes Park once we left the park and had us some pie from the Estes Park Pie Shop and Bakery.  Their sign reads: "You need Pie!", and they were right!

It was delicious Blackberry and Peach Pie
Photo courtesy of Martha

The ride home was without incident and in rather warm weather, probably in the mid-80s Farenheit.  Martha claims it was only for 20 minutes but I think it was much longer period of time where she napped in the sidecar!

Make sure you set it to 1080p or HD, the "moving frame" is youtube's efforts to
stabilize or remove shakiness from the video.


Bob and Sharon said...

Looks like you had a great day, Colorado is beautiful, the movie was great.

Unknown said...

I love the music "Americana" and the powerful blue sky scape.

Unknown said...

Beautiful day for a ride.. I considered coming from the north and meeting you on Trail Ridge but decided to do a flatland ride down to Wellington instead... it was 85° down there.

RichardM said...

The moving frame is an interesting by product of their anti-shake. Too bad there isn't an option to automatically crop the frame after their algorithm does its work. Beautiful photos. That's a pile of snow, no wonder the road just opened up.

Today, Bridget and I rode out the the Monderosa for lunch with several friends. The new air box seems to help with mileage though not with CHT. 28.5 mpg instead of the normal 25 mpg. And that's with the sidecar window installed!

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, yeah, the moving frame is kinda weird, didn't used to be a part of their anti-shake offering.

28.5 is pretty good for a carbureted rig....I got 33.8 today, with the windshield on in the tub as well.

Steve Williams said...

Hard to believe such grand scenery is only two hours from your house. The vast expanse of mountains and sky make for some mythic looking riding. Everything here is so closed in and dark in comparison.

Looking at the pictures I could not help but feel cold. Already I'm spoiled by the hot weather.

At some point you're going to need to have the monkey speak -- let Martha tell us what she's really thinking about riding in the tub. Is it the tub, or is it you that gets her on the road? Love does weird things to a person -- might even get them in a URAL...

Andrew Thomson said...

More great pics! Love all the snowy mountains!

Chiller said...

Wow thats a heck of a lot of snow and your coming into summer to.

SonjaM said...

The frame was rather irritating but the pictures awesome. Well done, Martha. From her smiles I'd like to think that this little outing might have a sequel...

Love picture #6 by the way ;-)

Artie & Leinen's Grand Adventure said...

What a beautiful trip! I didn't mind the shaky frame in the video. Looks like Martha had a grand time. There was no snow on our Alaskan adventure. I'm looking forward to a day in a few years when we meet up with you in Colorado and the four of us go on a trip like that.

Enjoy your big adventure coming up.......

Trobairitz said...

Mmmm pie. Perfect to give you the energy to get home.

Hooray for Martha being such a good monkey. She looks like she was having fun.

And that pile of snow is quite something. Haven't seen that much since we lived in BC and would drive over the rockies into Alberta.

Andy & Laura said...

I'm glad that Martha rode along with you. She's a terrific photo-monkey-journalist. This was certainly a good trial run for your upcoming travels. I'm looking forward to living vicariously through you guys and am excited to see all the great videos you will shoot "over there".

redlegsrides said...

Sorry for the delay in publishing your comments folks, for some reason, I didn't get an alert email from blogspot that comments had been made.

Bob and Sharon, thanks for your kind words.

Bruce, thank you to you as well. Almost the same blue as your rig's eh? I like the music as well, almost haunting.

Mark Corwin, it was much cooler up there...the ride home was "warm".

Steve Williams, folks seem to be asking to here from the passenger aka monkey. I will ask. As to what gets her to ride along, must be love, god knows there's no other reason she'd put up with me all these years. Thanks for your thoughtful comments and kind words.

Andrew Thomson, mountains do look better when covered in snow, don't they? Thanks for commenting.

Chiller Tek, yep, a lot of snow, nice isn't it? We had a late opening this year too due to late snow fall.

SonjaM, thanks, she's got a pretty steady hand but I chose to have youtube stabilize it. The moving frame is irritating, didn't use to be there. Thanks for your comments.

Bridget, thanks. Hopefully it won't take "years" before we meet up again, and we go riding the mountain passes of Colorado together!

Trobairitz, thanks, you know what a sucker I am for snow.

Laura and Andy,thanks very much. Hopefully the stuff we shoot "over there" will tell a good story.

Again folks, my apologies for the late publishing and comments. Gotta figure out what's going with email from blogspot.

Martha said...

Yep, it is the driver that brought me out of my homebody mode. That and the fact that I am on summer vacation mode and felt less pressure to tend to the chores of the day, more willing to take a Sunday drive with my guy.

Without going too sappy, this motorcycle hobby has brought Dom such joy through the years that I was honored to be able to spend the day by his side, catching a glimpse of the joy first hand.

As for the weather conditions, it was perfect riding weather at the base, and as we climbed in altitude, I did feel the change in temperature but it wasn't bone chilling cold,,but instead more of a brisk cold that you feel out here when the sun sets, or as the seasons change. That and I knew as soon as we reached lower ground it would be very warm so I knew the cold wasn't going to last too long. Had to go gloveless to shoot the video since I couldn't maneuver the buttons with gloves or mittens.

And yes, I napped, while listening to an audio book. This was the first time I had some sort of listening device to help with the boredom of riding the slab and I think it helped lull me into snooze mode.

Now I am sort of wondering if we should just send the Things home alone and I tag along with you on your Alpine adventure? Yeah, probably not, I don't think I am ready for that much ridng.

SonjaM said...

Martha, maybe to early to go on the Alpine adventure (this time...)? But never say never... the Things will outgrow you guys, and soon they will be just embarrassed when having to travel with their parents. I foresee more three wheeled outings in the future.

redlegsrides said...

Sonja I suspect that the time is nigh for when they're embarrassed to be seen traveling with us....the next few weeks should be interesting