Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Riding the Northern portion of the Gunnison Gorge Conservation Area

Monday, June 17:

Not much riding done.  Instead Rich K. generously offered to tow my trailer over to the local welder's place of business; just outside the town of Hotchkiss.

Materials are on order and should be here Friday, perhaps I can get the welder to do the work first half of next week.  More on this later.

Got some supplies from the local hardware store, chores around the URRV, a couple of brackets to help the left side bags stay away from the tool tube....not much in the way of work.

The day was overcast, spitting rain on occasion so that's why not much riding.

Tuesday, June 18.

A good riding day.  Though the forecast threatened light rain, we never saw more than a few drops while riding.  Rich K rode his Yamaha WR 450 and led the way to the entrance to Pleasure Park Road.

Taking the first dirt road to the right, we rose to the top of the cliffs/bluffs that form the northern edge overlooking the Gunnison Gorge.  Nice trails, not very hard or technical and some nice views from up there.

 A view of the confluence area and Pleasure Park Resort

 Rich K. and his WR 450, quite the speedy machine

We rode along the north rim trails and then ended up at the Eagle Rock area.

From this area, we ended up once again on the north rim of the Gunnison Gorge and stopped at several points to take in the views.

A far off view of the site I used for RV camping, 
turns out it was a parking area for hiking the trail
that goes up into the canyon above

Closeup of the campsite, the URRV was parked right
at the entrance into the canyon, pointing south.

A view of the South River Road that I transited several times,
at the end you can see the steep hill access road.

 Another view of the steep hill used to descend down
to the level of the Gunnison River, I should not have
driven the URRV down there but I was pretty much 
committed at that point in the travels that day.

Swing away from the north rim, we enjoyed miles of wandering trails, using relatively smooth downhills for me to practice bump-starting the T-Dub.  It proved very easy to do with the transmission in third gear before rolling down the hill.

After some more wandering, I noticed (finally) at a stop that my gas can was gone!  Dammit.  I thought the belt I'd put around it would act as a dummy cord but nope.

We spent perhaps 30 minutes retracing our riding, all the way back to the North Rim without seeing the gas can.  Rich led the way back down and onto a particularly rocky trail and found the can.

I could see him, in the distance ( I ride quite slow when compared to Rich, slower when also looking for the missing gas can ).  He'd dismounted and was looking back towards me approaching him:

 photo courtesy of Rich K.

Yep, there the can was.....you can see my head hanging low in the shame of it all....  :)

 photo courtesy of Rich K.

Gas can retrieved and secured better this time (hopefully) we motored on out of the Conservation Area and took Highway 92 back into the town of Hotchkiss after some more fun trail riding that paralleled the highway where the speed limit is 65 mph.  We would enter the highway where the speed limit drops to 55 mph so the T-Dub could keep up with traffic.

Note: The mods done by Rich K. previously to the T-dub's front fronts have lessened the times it bottoms out on the deeper holes by a lot!  I think I only bottomed her out twice today and I think if I'd slowed down some more before the dips involved, it would have been fine.

No issues encountered, and we went to the 133 BRGR burger joint near the town's grocery store.  Lunch, of course, was on me and we enjoyed our burgers in the uncrowded dining area.

I rested and worked the rest of the afternoon as the weather alternated between cloudy and clear skies and clouds raced across the skies.

The skies looked promising as sunset approached and so Rich K. and I rode out to the pre-selected spot from the morning's riding.

I'd say Rich picked a great spot, don't you think?

Rich K. doing his own shooting of the views
painted by the setting sun.

Soon after the lights started to fade, we geared up and carefully made our way back to Highway 92.  We made it back to Hotchkiss in the gathering darkness with no issues and no encounters with wandering animals.

Wednesday, the plan is to displace to the Dominguez-Escalante Conservation Area and see if I can find a camping spot for the URRV.


Andrew Thomson said...


If you think those WR450's are fast, you should see the 250's!

redlegsrides said...

To be honest Andrew, pretty sure a more skillful rider on another TW200 would also be much faster than I! :)

RichardM said...

I thought that there was a large handle that secures the gas can onto its mount. Does vibration loosen it up? Nice colors on the sunset!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM, the problem is the way I have the Kolpin bracket mounted, rotation can occur when on rough terrain, the can and mount moves forward to point where previous tightness of the securing bar is now loose, the can eventually works its way loose and off it goes.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Redlegsrides, for the pictures and cool write up of our enjoyable ride. Hope we can ride some more before you leave the area.
Rich K.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Rich K. for showing me all these trails....looking forward to learning about more of them. Thanks also for patiently waiting for me to catch up at trail junctions..... :)