Friday, January 20, 2017

Loveland Pass in January

Took yesterday, Thursday, off as I get to work this Saturday.

We had a narrow window of sunny weather this week, with Thursday being the last day of the sunny stuff before the next series of snow showers hits us.

Pikes Peak was not clear all the way to the top so Fiona, my '99 Bural and I headed through the miasma that is Metro Denver commuter traffic to Loveland Pass.  Note to self, next time, wait till 9AM, the lighting is better on the mountain peaks at the pass; and you don't have to fight commuter rush hour.

Fiona powered on up into the mountains along I-70.  It was an enjoyable change, not having to downshift to third and even then only maintaining 45 mph as when I am riding Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol.  Fiona can not only hold speed while in fourth gear going up a hill but can actually slowly accelerate all the way to 55 mph!  Probably could have gone faster but this was enough for me today.

The new speedometer matches the GPS pretty closely up till 50 MPH, then it reads 2-3 miles slower than actual speed per the GPS!  Good to know.

Got to Loveland Pass about two hours after leaving the house or shortly after 9:00 AM.  Traffic was light as it was a weekday, the sun was out, the skies were mostly clear....temperatures were in the low 30s so perfect riding conditions!

 Seven Peaks off in the distance

 There was so much snow piled up that I was able to get a 
higher view than normal

 This was around 10AM, the majority of the nearby peaks are 
still a bit shadowed since the sun was still climbing up in the sky.

As I waited for the sun to get higher in the sky, I retraced the eastern half of Loveland Pass Road to get the below pictures.  Everything had been in the shadow of nearby peaks when I first drove through in the morning.

It's hard to tell, but with all the snow, it was hard to see where the road's edge was, and Fiona's sidecar wheel dropped off a couple of times....a little power and she was fine but still a bit unsettling.

Retraced my way to the vicinity of the Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, as you can see the peaks that form the basin had a bit more lighting.  Very tough to shoot though as the sun ruined a lot of the shots I took. Oh well.
 Which one of these two similar shots do you like best?

 The view from the summit parking lot

As I descended back towards I-70, I spotted a car which had gotten stuck off the side of the paved road. He'd definitely gone too far in and gotten stuck all the way to the car's belly pan area.   I stopped, offered up the use of my tow straps and the driver flagged down a passing pick up truck who agreed to help.

Took two attempts, the first time we tried with the truck pulling uphill, didn't get very far.  Next we tried pulling out of the snow bank by pointing the truck downhill.  That did the trick!  Sorry, no pics, busy putting the strap into position, watching for careening cagers coming off the mountain and just trying not to get hit.

The Buffalo Overlook area....nice shot of the continental divide eh?

Just for grins and to show how easy it is to manipulate "reality"
same shot but without cars/trucks

Fiona powered her way back to the metro Denver area with no issues, holding 55-57 mph easily.  If only she had cruise control, my right wrist cramped up a little bit as the heated grips add bulk to the grips.

From 28°F  (-2°C) at 7AM, it would soar to 56°F  (13°C) by the time we got home shortly after 3PM!

A great day of riding.  Fiona is doing great as my backup rig.  Scarlett's engine has been pulled and Ural is deciding whether to ship parts to Randy or have Randy ship the engine to them.  More to follow as I find out.


Oz said...

Now that I have ridden over Loveland Pass the last two summers your pictures bring back great memories. I love the pass in the summer, can't imagine riding up with all the snow. Of the two similar photos I like the first one. I like the view of the mountains in the background better. Good job, yet again.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the feedback Thomas Osburn! The roads were not bad at all for two was the stopping on the side of the road for pictures where I was happy for three wheels under me.

RichardM said...

Picture comparison, the first one…

Beautiful mountain scenery. My favorite is the continental divide.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you RichardM for your feedback as well.

SonjaM said...

Dom, I like the first of the similar shots better (more symmetry, and the tree tops aren't cut of). However, your pics and scenery are marvellous altogether. And it's seems so warm in your neck of the woods... we currently experience two digit minus temperatures in the Black Forest (make that 10 - 0 on the American scale).

redlegsrides said...

Thank you for your feedback as well was quite warm. Today and next few days, not so much. Pretty chilly on your side of the world!

CCjon said...

Like the last shot best. You have a good eye for getting the right combination of elements in your photos. You even make dead grass look interesting. A successful outing.

Are you using any filters on your camera to handle the intense brightness of the snow?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks to your question re filters, none are used. I tend to bracket exposures depending on the light, up to three F-stops lower or higher for same shot, then later some post-processing using Pixlr photo editing software. I've tried many online photo editing tools, Pixlr delivers best results for me....I do spring for the monthly $2 to get the image selection feature which allows me to isolate portions of the pic, like the rig, and boost contrast/colors/light just for the isolated portion, it helps.

redlegsrides said...

Playing around with the photo editing software, added a version of the last pic, but with all the cars/trucks erased....

Trobairitz said...

Great pictures Dom. It looks like a lovely day to be out on three wheels even if it started rather chilly. Good on ya for helping the motorist too. I bet they really appreciated it.

Out of the two photos you asked about I like the top one. Even though your rig appears further away it seems more in focus to me. Nice job editing the cars out of the one pic. You have some talent in photo shopping.

RichardM said...

Hmmmm, such photoshopping talent. Maybe the rig never really left the garage at all...

(Just trying to cause trouble here)

redlegsrides said...

Just goes to show RichardM, you can't trust any digital media.... ;)

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Still not sure about the 2 comparison shots though my favorite of your day was the Continental Divide from the Buffalo, a place I remember.

Great that you can be out Dom. We've got sooo much ice around here, your 3 wheels would be wishing for 4; it's taking skill to even just stand.

redlegsrides said...

Coop, ice is definitely no fun when on wheels.....unless of course, they're studded, but that's RichardM's schtick!

redlegsrides said...

belated thanks Trobairitz, it really wasn't very cold, I had to remove two layers.