Thursday, June 13, 2019

T-Dubing in the Gunnison Gorge Recreation Area

Wednesday, June 12

A rather warm day here in the Gunnison Gorge Conservation Area!  It would top 86°F (30°C) in the shade in the afternoon.

Before it got too warm, I went for a short hike at a nearby trail called "Cool Rock Trail".  Saw lots of rocks but cool ones?  Not so much.

The rest of the day was working out of the RV, trying to stay cool under the blazing hot sun; luckily no winds to speak of so deploying the awning helped a lot in keeping cool.

Work day over with, clouds formed in time for today's riding.  Still quite warm though so I dunked my riding jacket in the nearby Gunnison River and it kept me quite cool till more clouds moved in.

I rode the three miles back out of the gorge and decided to check out the Smith Mountain River Overlook.  About 3-4 miles away from the junction of H.75 Road and South River Road.  The last mile involved a pretty steep and rock-strewn dirt road but Yagi was put into mountain goat mode (1st gear) and she motored up, easy as you please.

Got to the overlook and posed Yagi on a thin spit of land extending from the gravel parking lot at the Overlook.

I had some trepidation about negotiating the steep hill, this time in a downward sloping angle but all my worries were for nothing.  Using first gear and engine braking plus light touches of rear brake, made it down with no issues:

The steepness really doesn't show.

Next, I went perhaps a mile up the Smith Mountain Jeep Road, also from the junction of H.75 Road and South River Road.  No big deal at all, not very steep and not too rough.  I wouldn't take my RV up this road mind you, but Yagi had no issues.

View of the Continental Divide mountains

I returned back down to South River Road and road it all the way till it ends in a small parking lot with a pit toilet; right at the edge of the Gunnison River.  Further motorized travel isn't allowed but here's a hiking path.

Retracing my steps, I decided to try what looked like a smooth and not too steep dirt road going up the side of a hill.  It turned out to be the other end of the Smith Mountain Jeep Road.

Going up the side of the hill wasn't too bad with Yagi in Mountain Goat mode but soon as we rounded the hill it all went to shit, big rocks, ruts, large loose gravel but we made it!  I wasn't about to go back down though; you see, I'd run out of courage points by this time.  Bock Bock Bock.

 Views from top of this end of the Smith Mountain
Jeep Road

I assumed (fervently hoped) that since the sign back down the hill had call this road the Smith Mountain Jeep Road, that it was the same road that I'd found so easy to descend on the other side of the mountain.

So I rode through miles of sage brush bushes and small trees, down a dirt road with the occasional sign confirming I was still on the right road.  Soon I spotted a sign that said: H.75 Road, with an arrow pointing the way.

I got onto that dirt road and a few miles later, I started recognizing the terrain.  Soon, I was happily seeing the junction of H.75 and South River Road down below and I made my way down one more time.

Rode on South River Road the 3 miles back to the URRV, no falls, no issues.  Dead tired too.

I think I've seen all there is to see in this particular section of the Gunnison Gorse so will be moving on Thursday morning.


SonjaM said...

What a beautiful camp spot (and a beautiful pic, too).

redlegsrides said...

It was a great site but the road conditions would not be conducive to returning....thanks for the comments