Monday, June 05, 2017

The Buena Vista RV Trip: Day 2: Independence Pass

Sunday, or day Two of our short camping trip to the Buena Vista, Colorado area.

We left before 8:00AM and headed up US24 towards its junction with CO Hwy 82 or Independence Pass Road.  The weather was sunny, not too cold though there was some strong winds as we headed north on US24.

We made it to the small settlement of Twin Lakes and gassed up with the good stuff, 93 Octane Ethanol free gasoline!  Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol liked it, she got like 40 MPG from that tankfull.

 The view as one arrives at Twin Lakes, Colorado

 Descending from the summit of Independence Pass
headed towards Aspen, CO

In Aspen, Martha had arranged for us to meet with Barbara L.  She's the eldest daughter of a good friend of ours and she was Patrick's first baby sitter when she was just 11 years old.  We've known Barbara and her family a very long time you see.

After a nice brunch in Aspen, we said our goodbyes and headed over to the Maroon Bells area for pictures.  Enroute, we stopped at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch where Barbara got married a bit over three years ago.

They've got quite the backdrop for wedding ceremonies eh?

Continuing on to the Maroon Bells, we got one of the last parking spots there after paying our $5 (for motorcycles) fee.  A brief walk got us to the small lake that provides such a nice foreground for pictures of the peaks in the area.

Above, Martha had me pose after I took the
below shot

 A pic of Scarlett and Martha with the peaks of the 
Maroon Bells in the background as we left the park.

Then it was onwards, back towards the summit of Independence Pass.  As is my wont and required by the Ural, no stops on the way up, as it's hard on the clutch.  But once we reached the summit:

 The requisite picture of one's ride by the pass sign
12,095 ft or 3686 meters

As we descended back down the eastern half of the Independence Pass road, I tried to stop where safe for pictures.

 The last mountain peak one sees as one reaches the valley 
floor and starts turning towards Twin Lakes 

Gassing up once again on the good stuff in Twin Lakes' only gas station, we wandered around Dexter Point a bit looking for a spot for a final pic of the area:

 Pictures done, it was a straight shot down US24 towards Buena Vista.  We got back to the campground with no issues and spend the rest of the afternoon processing photos and video that we shot.

No sunset ride for this day, as I typed this, it had just finished hailing on us!  Mostly pea-sized hail though some of the hail was larger than that by a bit!  The impact noise of the hail hitting the roof of the RV made it sound like rocks hitting a plastic roof!  Very loud, we had to shout at times in order to be able to hear each other!

The hail storm didn't last very long and left the campground a slightly muddy mess.

An interesting end to a gorgeous day of riding, visiting and sightseeing!

Here's a video shot by Martha, using her iPhone6


RichardM said...

From what I remember, that's a pretty narrow and steep road out of Aspen to Independence Pass. There were a couple of nice stops but no "long views". Just canyon and river.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, there's a couple of stretches of CO82, on the western side of the summit road where things are pretty tight.

Not too bad on the eastern side of the road. Some spots here and there that a rig will fit in as you saw in the pics. With the snow still on the ground, the choice is limited.

SonjaM said...

You make me want to revisit the mountains. I guess another trip into the Alps might fix this. Martha did a great job with the iPhone, your "video-monkey", eh? Does she know you're calling her that? ;-)

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, pretty sure she saw her name in the credits.....

Unknown said...

Hey-hey!... I rode Independence Pass on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend--parked my XR1200 in the same spots at the summit and in the first pull-off on the east side (posted photos on Instagram @twowheelstothere)... What a beautiful ride--my first time there.

I'd met Lynne and Jerry Goebeler (@lynnegoebeler; for lunch in Moab on Saturday, stayed in Grand Junction that night, and then stayed Sunday night at the "haunted" Delaware Hotel in Leadville before riding the 40 back to Salt Lake on Monday. Good stuff, man, good stuff. I'm gonna have to head back to Leadville soon--I've more to see there.

redlegsrides said...

Ry Austin, thanks for the info and comments. Hadn't been aware of the haunted hotel but then again, I have an RV! :)

The first time riding the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway is indeed magical.

Unknown said...

I've now had the pleasure of staying at "haunted" hotels in Silverton and in Leadville, and I'm sad to report that I slept well--undisturbed--in both places. (sigh) Oh, well--more reasons to return to those spectacular, Colorado mining towns. ;-)

redlegsrides said...

I'd pick Silverton over Leadville for many reasons Ry Austin....Leadville is a bit tired looking shall we say.

Trobairitz said...

Gorgeous pictures of the Peaks. I think I say that a lot, but it is always true.

And that wedding venue is pretty stunning as well. A nice combination of snowy peaks and greenery.

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL! I haven't been to Twin Lakes, Maroon Bells, and some other spots in that area. Definitely want to go now!

redlegsrides said...

Motoventures, scenic adventures and riding await.....get cracking. :)

BeemerGirl said...

Thanks to Martha for the video. Must be handy having someone riding in the sidecar to take more action shots. :) Such a beautiful area, but still not sure about snow on the ground in June. haha

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, definitely really pretty area near Aspen.

BeemerGirl, what's wrong with snow in the picture?