Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Boondocking on Independence Mountain, CO

Aug 02, Sunday

Decided to do another recce of Jackson County Road 7B, this time with an eye for turn-around points just in case.

Rode out on Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol and 24 miles later, I was at the junction of CR 6W and CR 7B.  Note, there's an RV park if you turn left instead of right at Lake Johnson Wildlife Area.

I discovered a Class A RV tucked in the treeline as I wandered about getting pics of Scarlett at the top of the mountain:

The presence of the Class A, who had taken the harder BLM road up, pretty much made up my mind re trying to get Umarang and trailer up to this spot!

I talked to the RV owner, he turned out to be a fellow sidecar owner.  He's got a 1957 Chiang-Jang 750 rig and lives somewhere near Fort Collins, CO.

I rode back to the vicinity of Six Mile Campground in Wyoming, broke camp, and mounted up both motorcycles.  Soon we were all at the junction of CR 6W and CR 7B again, the mountain beckoning us forward.

From google maps, to give you an idea....we basically drove up one of the ridges!


Initially, it was not bad at all, pretty much a gentle grade at most:

In fact, up until perhaps the last 1/2 mile or so, I kept the automatic transmission in Drive.  I wanted to see when Uma would require manual intervention.

The last 1/2 mile was a bit worrisome but Uma did great.  I did have to hastily shift into the lowest gear and floor the accelerator in order to maintain 4000 RPMs and 20+ mph headway!  I had thought she'd just automatically shift further and further down, like when climbing high pass highways and be able to hold higher speed but I guess not.

Still, Uma got us to the top with no issues.  The previously reconned campsite was still empty and I set up camp, finishing around 1:30PM for a late lunch.  Nice spot amidst the big Aspen trees which should provide some shielding from any high winds that might develop up here.

This is the view of Medicine Bow Mountain and other peaks
less than 50 paces from the URRV.  Not too shabby eh?

Not too many folks up here.  I have seen a group of about three ATVs drive by but not much else.  

I like it!

Later in the afternoon, I went out to check out the "neighborhood".  I found only one truck, occupants somewhere else; and the Class A I'd seen in the morning was gone.

I was measuring the length of the "steep part" of the road where I had to manually go to Umarang's lowest gear which turned out to be just shy of 1 mile from the top.

Part of the "Last Mile"
Doesn't look too bad.....

As I was riding up with Yagi, I spotted a trailer light on the side of the road.  Uh Oh....what were the odds?!

Yep, it was the one I'd recently bought and installed on the right rear of the trailer!  Dammit.

Besides all the damage to the plastic, I found that, Oh, wonder of wonders, the bulb whose filaments were busted and was hanging loose from its mounts,  isn't replaceable, you basically have to replace the whole unit.  Dammit.

Still, given all the other stuff that could possibly have gone wrong today, I'll take this as the price of a nice boondocking spot.  I'll just pick up a replacement at the NAPA store in Walden in a few days and this time am going to use weather sealant to hold the sucker in place!


CCjon said...

Wow, great find with that spot. Looks like a place you could spend a few days or week just waiting for fantastic photo opportunities.

Wondering why you are having so many issues with trailer lights. Is the trailer so light it just bounces around on those roads?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon I’m planning on a few days here for sure.

You could be right , all the bouncing around that the trailer endures could have loosened the oem lights or the first time I removed them to work on the wiring led to me not reinstalling them correctly.

As to the replacement lights, neither side was an exact fit . The most recent one is too deep and pops out easily I found out last night when I put second similar light in and sealed with sealant...I watched it slowly moving out! But I’ve secured things with wire in later post.

RichardM said...

I was going to suggest drilling a couple of holes and holding the light in with zip ties.

That looks like a fantastic campsite!

redlegsrides said...

A bit of effort to get up here, RichardM. But yes it’s a great site! As to the tail lights, a future post will show the hopefully robust and long lasting solution I implemented.

SonjaM said...

Amazing location... as much as I love Europe, you won't be able to find such a secluded yet accessible spot over here any close to what nature has to offer on your side of the pond. Expecting more pis soon, Dom.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, it’s definitely in the top three of boondocking locations for me! More pics inbound.....