Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall Colors on the road to Mount Evans

I was able to take off early from work today, and yes I checked with my boss first, to try and get some shots of Fall Colors before the maddening crowds hit the mountains this weekend.

We got onto Squaw Pass Road from its eastern end near Bergen Park.  I was riding Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol.  The weather was warm, the skies were partly cloudy and just a bit windy.

 The taller peak on the right is North Arapahoe Peak

We didn't really see Fall colors until we gained a little bit of elevation above Bergen Park's altitude.  First it was one Aspen which had turned color, then more were passed by us and soon it was time to start stopping for pictures.

 Near the summit of Squaw Pass

 The sun made the yellows leaves among the dark pines
seem like spots of fire

Soon after the above shots, Scarlett's lost power and acted like she'd run out of gas.  I had filled up the tank in Morrison so that wasn't it.  I checked two of the three relays under her seat, nothing, no noise from the fuel pump.  I couldn't get to the third relay easily and then it occurred to me it could be the ignition switch again somehow (even though the starter was cranking).

Took me over an hour to swap it out with the new one I'd gotten from the dealer.  Managed to bugger up the connector as I had to forc the old wire assembly off.  Still, I got the new ignition assembly in place, still no joy, the fuel pump remained silent.

Since now I had all my tools out, I got out the flat tip screwdriver and levered the third relay off, tried my spare relay and Bingo!  I could hear the whine of the fuel pump and the engine caught!  Buttoned up Scarlett, put away my tools and it was on to Echo Lake.

It was getting overcast and windy by the time we reached Echo Lake, rendering pictures there not worth a stop.  So instead, we went up Mount Evans Road to see what we could see.  

Near the start of the Mount Evans Road, came up on a tourist from New Mexico.  The driver was so scared of the road edge, that the car was straddling the double yellow line!  So scared, the driver would not go back into his lane and downhill traffic had to come to a halt  or pull over in order to avoid hitting the car.  Truly amazing.

Luckily, the scaredy cat finally found a pull off spot on the side of the road away from the edge and got out of everyone's way!  

We went all the way to Summit Lake where the road was blocked for the winter season.  The gray overcast skies precluded much in the way of pictures.

I posed Scarlett at a couple of spots to show you the colors splashed all over the nearby peaks and mountain sides.

The following pictures are from the western half of Colorado Highway 103:

I started exploring Vetterman Gulch, turns out to hold a few National Forest camp sites and some mountain cabins.  As I was picking out a site for pictures, the engine died on me again.  Dammit.

I pushed Scarlett over to the side and reached for the new relay which I'd left hanging since I didn't want to remove the seat to properly mount the relay.  That had been planned for tomorrow you see.  I checked the relay, it seemed nice and secure.  I tried the ignition one more time and the engine started just fine!  Weird.   I wonder if the jostling along Vetterman Gulch Road (dirt road) caused the relay to act up?

I placed the third relay on a small platform at the front of the seat and didn't experience any further issues all the way home.  I plan on securing the relay in the morning, probably go and buy a couple more spares.  I hope, that's the end of that particular problem.

Although I had ScooterBob with me, I never thought to dig him out of his storage box for pictures.  Sorry about that.

There's more riding planned for Fall Colors, so hopefully I'll be able to show SB with the Colorado Gold we get around this time of year.

24SEP Update re electrical issue.

I think I found the problem and it wasn't the relay.  Somehow, the connection for fuse 6 (parking lights) had come loose enough to cause intermittent connectivity for power to the fuel pump!  How parking lights are involved with fuel pump power is unclear to me now but I could definitely replicate the symptoms by wiggling that connection.  It's now much more secure so hopefully that fixes that!


SonjaM said...

I love this time of the year, Dom. My favourite season, and you did a great job capturing the Colorado Gold. How odd that Scarlett acted up, but obviously you managed to fixed the issues along the way. Good for you.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, I like Fall Season a lot except for the crowds of leaf peepers but getting to the less traveled roads almost always fixes that. Getting to those roads is the hard part.

Learning to Golf said...

What beautiful colors! Arizona is supposed to have fall colors and I think I will go try to find some in the middle of the week. They won't be as beautiful as Colorado's, but any excuse to get out works for me.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks AZ HD, I bet Stella would look really nice in some AZ Fall Color pics!

Oz said...

Awesome photos! I just happen to be in Colorado Springs this weekend for a nephew's wedding outside of Woodland Park and the colors are beautiful. I had breakfast with family at my favorite place iin WP, the Hungry Bear. One day I need to ride up My. Evans in the fall.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Thomas Osburn, good to know Woodland Park is experiencing Fall Colors already, might ride out there soon then. Just remember, after Memorial Day, you can't get to the summit of Mt Evans, just to Summit Lake which is a few miles short of the summit.

RichardM said...

Beautiful photos! They kind of look like around here with only yellow leaves. It would be nice to have more reds. Most of our trees are bare now and things just look dreary (and wet). If we get as much snow as rain the whole state will be buried.

The fuse selection would make more sense if they had more circuits and more fuses. But then it wouldn't be a Ural...

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, thanks, yellow or "colorado gold" is I'd say 90% of the Fall Coloration, followed by burnt orange and sometimes red but it's rare!

Don't get me started re Ural fuses....

Anonymous said...

I love the colors! Great job with the images, and glad you made it home without major incident on the issue.

redlegsrides said...

thanks motoventures, the incident was eventually it's all good.