Saturday, October 24, 2015

Snow! Loveland Pass and Dillon

This past week, we experienced a couple of rainy days in the metro Denver area.  What was a wet soaking for us was snow at the higher altitudes!  Yay.

Pikes Peak was only open, as I type this, 15 of the 19 miles to the summit so it was not a ride candidate for Scarlett and I.

Pictures from the Loveland Ski Area looked quite promising yesterday and so Scarlett and I motored away from home shortly after 7AM to see what we could see.

Near Buffalo Herd Overlook, one gets one's first 
glimpse of distant snow-clad peaks.

We took super slabs all the way up to the mountains, traffic was light, the sun was shining and temperatures would be in the low 40's Fahrenheit all the way to Loveland Pass Road or US6 exit from I-70 just before the Eisenhower Tunnel which crosses under the Continental Divide.

The roads at 9AM were wet looking which kept my speeds down as the temperatures dropped into the low 30s as I gained altitude on Loveland Pass Road.  I was glad for the light traffic conditions, once the ski resorts open up, the road can become jammed with frantic cagers rushing to stand in line at the ski lifts.

 Near the summit sign, which was crawling with selfie-taking folks

 A bit west of the pass summit, there's a small parking area near 
a small pond .  There was only perhaps six inches of snow so it
was still trafficable.  Later on in the season, a couple of feet or more of 
snow will bar motorized access to this area.

 Looking back east towards the summit of Loveland Pass

 Pond-side pics

Scarlett and I then motored slowly down from the summit towards the curve which overlooks the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort.
 That's the Ten Mile Range Mountains in the distance.

So little traffic today, I elected to motor on down further instead of turning around which is what I usually do when here in the Winter; this is to avoid the ravening hordes of frantic skiers and cagers you see.  Today however, it was light traffic past A-Basin, then the Keystone Ski Resort and finally to the side of Dillon Lake where I stopped for pictures of Ten Mile Range once again:

 Lake Dillon

Scarlett and I next retraced our steps a bit and took Swan Mountain Road to get a closer view of Ten Mile Range from a camping overlook:

Retracing our route along Swan Mountain Road, I stopped Scarlett by a part of the Dillon Reservoir/Lake and admired the nice view presented by the small "peninsula" which projects out onto the lake, dotted with really nice homes.

Since all the ski resorts are still not open for the season, I stopped Scarlett in one of the large parking lots provided by the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort; to get a look at the surrounding mountains.

Now motoring back up the road to the summit, I stopped several times to get a view back towards the west as the sun was now shining fully on the western mountain peaks near Arapahoe Basin:

 Ski slopes of Arapahoe Basin

Light traffic, shallow snow depths, allowed for the next few shots with little hassle.  Sometimes I had to engage the 2WD to get going from a standing stop while pointing up slope but no big deal.

The pass summit was now packed with parked cars, cagers wandering aimlessly taking pictures, and snow-boarders crossing the road.  I rode right on through the summit, wanting no contact with the crowds.  Just a little east of the summit, it was once again light traffic conditions and there were several good spots to stop and pose Scarlett.
 The Summit is just a little past the curve above.

 Looking east and heading down towards I-70.

The rest of the ride was just super slab riding.  I noted that the temperature on Scarletts' engine heads climbed past 400 briefly as I was keeping speeds on or about 60 mph.  Temperatures would remain above 370 or so anytime I went above 55 mph.

I got home in a short time, arriving just a little after 1:15PM.  Temperatures in the metro area had soared to almost 69 degrees Fahrenheit so I was quite warm in all my riding layers!

Hope you liked the pictures, I was quite delighted with the amount of snow on Loveland Pass, it augurs for some nice Winter riding ahead of me.

What are your thoughts on the watermark I am putting on all the pictures now?  It really won't stop the theft given enough motivation on the part of a thief, but it's at least a reminder.


RichardM said...

Really pretty area! And the watermark was hard to find and too easy to crop out.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM, I look upon the watermark as what a lock does, it keeps honest people honest....thieves can always get around locks.

redlegsrides said...

Besides, the rig is really my watermark.... :)

Learning to Golf said...

Beautiful pictures and I had to go back to look at the watermark. Never noticed it at first looking, even though I did read you were going to start using it.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks AZ HD, not sure it'll make a difference but it's something.

Steve Williams said...

The snow, mountains, blue skies and red URAL provide all the visual elements for some dramatic photos. While I don't have scenes like this here I do occasionally run across areas of drama and can get overwhelmed with the photographic possibilities. Not sure what goes through your head when you're faced with this kind of scenery but I always wish I could figure out a way to cover what I'm seeing.

Anyways, great stuff and a fine ride.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Steve Williams for the kind words and comments. It was at times quite overwhelming the scenery I beheld. The pictures really don't do much justice to what the eye sees in person.

bouls said...

Beautiful scenery, I am always amazed at the beauty on the eastern slopes of the Rockies! Equally the sky is quite often just as dramatic! Great pics, thanks as always!

redlegsrides said...

Thank you for your comments Bouls.

SonjaM said...

What a contrast, Dom. Your rig is mighty photogenic in the white stuff. Great pics!

BMW HACKER said...

Great Photos! What kind of camera are you using?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, it would be much harder with the darker color choices for sure!

Unknown said...

Though I'm more a fan of non-winter activities than I am of winter activities, there's nothing like a good snowstorm to really crisp up the sky and freshen up a landscape. Yet again, Dom, you captured it all very well.

As for the watermark, I think that your assessment is spot on: It'll just keep the honest honest. The only real alternative is to post no photographs, undermining the purpose of most blogs--to share words and pics with the like-minded.