Monday, June 24, 2019

A Ride to Hike Needle Rock and later a ride back to the North Rim of the Gunnison Gorge

Sunday, June 23

Prepped the trailer for tomorrow's tongue extension welding by removing the spare tire mounting assembly and the support wheel assembly to get them out of the way.

Also lengthened the wiring cable on the trailer by three feet and then got some wire loom to protect it as well, lights still work so I guess I didn't mess it up.

I geared up and rode in cool temperatures (mid-50s) and would return to temperatures in the low 60s but which would feel much warmer as the sun is out today, even though there's lots of puffy white clouds.

As I approached Needle Rock Road, I was forced to stop by a large herd of cows being moved from one pasture to another by their cowboys:

Just another Sunday event on the Colorado Western Slope

Got to Needle Rock's Trailhead, parked Yagi, stashed my riding jacket and pants nearby in the bushes and set about hiking up the narrow, sometimes steep, winding and rocky trail up towards the base of Needle Rock.

It was a long hike up, with perhaps 3-4 stops to let my panting lungs catch up.  I didn't make it all the way to the base, it was really steep and narrow at that point and I found myself slipping and sliding more than gaining any more ground.

Here's some pictures I took on the way down:

 What a lovely location for a home, don't you think?

 Not so distant Mount Lamborn and Landsend Peak

 See the little gray triangular area?  That's the Trailhead.
You can also see portions of the North Fork of the Gunnison

 One doesn't get a good angle on Needle Rock from
the trailhead, so one must hike.

Here's a couple of shots as I left the Needle Rock area.  

I avoided using CO 92 by using Crawford Road all the way back to Hotchkiss, turning on Fobare Road to link back up with CO 92.

It had warmed up nicely in the afternoon so after processing the above shots, and lunch, it was time to head out again to take advantage of the sunny yet cool weather.

I headed out to the North Rim of the Gunnison Gorge Conservation Area again, first going to the areas available via the Pleasure Park Road entrance off of CO 92.

  Overlooking the area around Pleasure Park

 An interesting canyon than one can ride into but
I chose to save that for another day, perhaps with another
rider along just in case.

I came upon this carcass of what I think is a wild pig/boar.  Note the large canine like teeth.

The trail then heads inwards and since I wasn't sure where it led, I decided to turn around.

One more shot of the interesting canyon

I then retraced my route back almost to the entrance to Pleasure Park Road, but turned west on the dirt trail that parallels the highway all the way to Eagle Rock Access Area where a greater portion of the North Rim becomes available.

 This is the portion of the North Rim that overlooks where
I camped with the URRV before.  It's as far as I went
today on this trail.

Retracing my route once again, I stopped to let a couple of cars go by on a narrow portion of the trail.  Here's today's artsy shot.....a view of the second car in the side mirror as it drove away from me.

Before descending back towards CO 92, I took another short detour and ended up posing Yagi here;

Back on the trail that parallels CO 92, just before the "big hill" which really isn't much of one but looks steep for a bit.

Took this about halfway back towards Pleasure Park road then saw and took an exit gate back onto CO 92 which I used to get back to Hotchkiss and the URRV campsite with no issues.

Lots of pictures I know, I hope you liked them.

Sunset in the Delta County Fairgrounds:


RichardM said...

Nice pictures, even the cloudless sunset at the end.

CCjon said...

Interesting areas you find to explore. You are very comfortable exploring solo those remote spots. not sure I could do that.

Where will you be middle of July? I am riding from Angel Fire up to Coeur d'Alene for the USCARally, planning to ride 550 north since I have yet to experience the million dollar highway.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM.

CCjon, interesting places sometimes, but I ride slow and turn around quite easily these days when riding alone, especially on two wheels.

I'll not be attending the rally, not sure where I'll be in July. Please keep me apprised as to the time window when you'll be transiting Colorado....

SonjaM said...

You really got the eye, Dom. And what a spectacular scenery. I really love the shots of Yagi 'overlooking' the canyon.

redlegsrides said...

Danke SonjaM, very kind of you to say.