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Crawdaddy

Crawdaddy's Denver to San Diego "Adventure"

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Flew into Denver on Sunday night the 31st after a 21st B-Day celebration with my daughter…..an old college buddy was nice enough to pick me up at the airport at O’Dark Thirty. Garr Rice, a new found friend in Denver and previous owner of the 1998 KTM620 Adventure bike was nice enough to pick me up from Mark’s on Monday morning…..we went over a few things about the bike and I rode it back to Mark’s……then we went for a bike (as in bicycle) ride around Mark’s house so he and his wife could pedal this flatlander into submission……I made the mistake of popping off early in the ride with a comment that went something like, “Is that all you got?”…….then they collectively dusted me for the next ~15 miles…..

After we recouped with a few cold ones we headed over to Wally World (Walmart) so I could snag trip essentials like super glue, duct tape, zip ties, JB Weld, bungees…..AND the lucky find – an ATV seat cover……the seat cover made a tall bike even taller (probably adds an inch or so in height and maybe the same in width, but it was well worth the investment)

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Packed up all the gear Monday night so I’d be ready to roll on Tuesday morning…..here I am in Mark’s driveway ready to rill out at 8am:

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I stuck to the plan and followed the tracks I set up for the first two days…….the ride out of Denver began on highway 285 towards Buena Vista…..a few sights along the way:

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Then it was up to Cottonwood Pass……the Continental Divide…..the road turned to dirt for a while after this photo:

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Looking down from Cottonwood Pass:

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Looking over towards the dirt road that awaits:

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It was a beautiful twisty descent down into the valley below:

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Random shots on the way down from Cottonwood Pass:

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Taylor Park/Reservoir:

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Once I left Gunnison things really picked up….literally……clocked the day's top speed along this dirt road ;) :

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Another small reservoir off the beaten path:

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~30 miles to night one destination in Lake City:

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The road dropped down along/through this valley on the way to Lake City:

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Another random shot along the way…..so many “Kodak Moments”:

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Snagged a small cabin for the night in Lake City…..cool little town….deer walking down main street:

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Pretty good day overall…..274 miles & ~19K elevation:

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Stay Tuned for Day 2……”AWESOME”….

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Day two…..THE day……set off on a portion of “The Alpine Loop” out of Lake City.....Cinnamon Pass over to Silverton….then up Ophir Pass and down through Telluride…….then up Imogene Pass and down into Ouray…..then, rather than taking Engineer Pass back over to Lake City, I opted to take some other Pass (can’t recall the name at the moment) back down to Silverton before jumping on the 550 for ~50 miles down to Durango…..the second was ~100+ miles of dirt……nice….

Leaving town on Cinnamon Pass road I stopped to let half a dozen deer cross……unfortunately they were pretty much out of view by the time I got my camera out…..deer are EVERYWHERE around that area......like over grown bunnies:

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The ride up to Cinnamon Pass was beautiful……here are some shots along the way:

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My only “bike down” incident on the trip……the kickstand sunk in the dirt and the bike fell over after I snapped this shot….whoops…..

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Looking back the other way:

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Getting higher:

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Almost there:

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Made it….Cinnamon Pass:

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Dropping down the other side to Silverton:

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At the intersection of Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass I met up with these two KLR riders on their way up Engineer Pass……they were on their way around the Alpine Loop from Oklahoma via Durango…..David Ensey said he recognized my “Crawdaddy” handle from ADVRider (I put up a few posts looking for routing suggestions)….small world…..his website is David Ensey Webpage......nice guys…..we took photos of each other and headed our separate ways……funny, I was raving about my Walmart Seat cover and David’s buddy (don’t recall his name) had the same seat cover……he also had the Walmart ATV saddlebags around his tank…..who knew Walmart could be a good/cheap resource for outfitting your bike……not so with the Walmart’s in our area but the ones in the central part of the country cater to the off-road/hunting crowd.

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Just down the hill from the intersection of these two trails is Animas Forks…..and old/deserted mining town from the early 1900’s……

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Don’t think this truck has been rolling for a while:

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On to Siverton…..

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Arrastra Gulch just short of Silverton…..you can barely make out the buckets suspended from the wires leading down from the mine in this photo…..more info in next picture:

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Main street Silverton……I’d be back through here a few hours and 3 passes later:

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Heading up Ophir Pass:

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You could say it was a bit rocky to the top…...the 620 just ate up…..no sweat:

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Peering over the other side of Ophir:

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Making my way down towards Ophir/Telluride:

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Took a side trip over to Alta Lakes…..the road leading up to the lakes was a blast:

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Didn’t spend much time in Telluride…..I’d been there before, it was hot, and I wanted more peaceful/isolated/off-road bliss…….so I quickly started up Imogene Pass…..AWESOME……

The view down towards Telluride as I leave it behind and head for Ouray:

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Tunnel bridge along Imogene Trail:

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Got some folks in a jeep to snap this photo and prove I was there:

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The trail got pretty nasty with loose/rocky baby head boulder climbing/steps for the next few miles……no sweat for the big 620……I hammered right up that crap passing jeeps left and right…..ran into a couple of ATV guys near the top of Imogene and they snapped this photo…..we were pretty close to the top when they snapped this photo:

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Made it:

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Clearly I wasn’t the first one to make it:

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Heading down Imogene towards Ouray….equally “bouldery” with a few minor water crossings on the other side:

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Day 2 continued....

Ouray

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Leaving Ouray and heading back over some other pass leading back to Silverton:

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Another view of Silverton coming in from the north this time:

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Had about ~50 miles of pavement from Silverton to Durango via 550……nice to be able to tear it up all day then “Pyro” down to Durango……I think I like this Adventure concept

Totals for the day:

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Stay tuned for day 3…..

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Very nice pics -- looks like a great trip.

I saw a sign in the pics from 'some other pass' you went over.

Was it corkscrew pass you went over?

I want to go......

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Very nice pics -- looks like a great trip.

I saw a sign in the pics from 'some other pass' you went over.

Was it corkscrew pass you went over?

I want to go......

I think we ALL want to go.... ;)

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Was it corkscrew pass you went over?

Yes, turned off 550S out of Ouray and went over CorkScrew Pass on the way back to Silverton.....I took that pic as I rounded the corner so I'd remember the name.....so much for that plan.....I didn't remember ;)

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As some of you know, day two was filed with incredible highs due to the terrain/scenery on the bike and a major low when I checked my voicemail upon arriving in Durango…….my father passed away earlier in the day……he was 86 and in frail condition/health…..he led a wonderful life, he was my hero, and I’ll miss his wisdom, laughter, and the twinkle in his eye……

Needless to say, this news altered my game plan……I was originally thinking I’d take 3, maybe even 4, days to meander back from Durango…….lot’s of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) roads to explore between Durango and the Grand Canyon…….and I’ve never been to the south rim of the Grand Canyon……..but no time for that now because I had to get back to make travel plans for me and the kiddos to get up to my father’s funeral……so I went to a local shop and had them put a fresh 606 on the rear……then high tailed it to Sedona around 10:30am so that I could get home in two days……found a bit of dirt along the way near Flagstaff…….I had a pretty good system…..ride with the GPS at .5 miles…….and when I saw something interesting coming up I’d scan ahead to see if it was just a spur or if it would dove tail back near or into the major highway……using that system I was able to get off the pavement a few times…..but not much…

A few pics near Flagstaff during one of my explorations:

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Found some nice dirt between Flagstaff and Sedona as well:

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Heading into Sedona:

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I stayed at some little motel…..nothing special but cheap at $60/night:

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Needless to say, I was thankful for the spa:

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Pretty big day at 351 miles:

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So, day 4…..need to get home…….but there’s so much to see in Sedona (I’d never been there before)……so I somehow managed to turn a ~50 mile/40 minute ride to Prescott into a 4+ hour ~110 mile ride of which 60(?)+ miles were “dirty” ……..I couldn’t help myself….the Adventurer’s path is NOT the quickest line

Once I left the motel, I was on dirt within 10 minutes……it was early and the sun was just coming up……I knew it was going to be 110 degrees over at the CA. border so I figured I’d better get an early start :D:D …..but then I started exploring the area between Sedona and Prescott….and…..well……I didn’t reach Prescott until ~11:30am and I still had ~300+ miles to cover after Prescott to get back to Ramona :o …..I was in for a LONG day…… ;):D

Here are a few pics between Sedona and Prescott:

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Unfortunately the gate was locked when I reached the ruins (it was ~7am and they don’t open until 9:30)…….oh well, it was a fun ride and the road to the ruins dove tailed into a few other roads/trails for this Adventurer to explore……

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This particular trail was a bit sketchy in places…..and a ton of fun

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After going through Jerome (funky little town) I hit the twisties of Hwy 89A…..really fun road……but hey, I wanted more dirt!!!.......so looking at my GPS I saw a another option that was slightly out of the way…..Ok, it was going to take me WAY out of the way…….SO WHAT……it was probably ~30 miles to Cherry on this fire road…..a bit muddy/rocky in places…...probably added 40-50 miles onto my…….wait for it………Adventure

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After Prescott, the good times were over……pavement, pavement and MORE pavement……no photos along this stretch……nothing to see…….I think it was a 110 in Blythe……not fun……

Believe it or not, I actually saw a couple of knuckleheads camped out at Glamis ;);) …..snapped these pics from Osborne Lookout so some of my ADV brothers from out of state could see what the sand dunes look like….too bad you can’t get a perspective on their size from this photo…..trust me…..they’re HUGE…..

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Arrived home around 9:15 pm……long day….sore ass…….I don’t care what type of bike/seat you’re on……after about ~300 miles I’m just not interested…….the final day was ~10.5 hours in the saddle and ~469 miles (of which 60+ were dirt)……ouch

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This ride showed me what can be done a big/touring thumper......never thought I'd be into one of these big pigs (I know it's not THAT big but it's big to me)......I'm stoked with the versatility of my new (to me)......... Adventure Bike :D

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[

This ride showed me what can be done a big/touring thumper......never thought I'd be into one of these big pigs (I know it's not THAT big but it's big to me)......I'm stoked with the versatility of my new (to me)......... Adventure Bike ;)

Now you see what us founders of "San Diego Adventure Riders" have been doing for years on our bigger bikes-exactly this kinda of stuff!

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Aw, ----. $10,520 is my new goal. Be lucky none of you are my clients, because that's what I'll be charging you for whatever the next job will be. $10,520 = 800gs.

Thanks for the pictures, I guess.

fn

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Awesome pics and writeup Chris, Looks like a ball, sorry about your Dad, sounds like he lived a long and good life, but its hard to loose your dad, I lost my dad 4yrs ago at 74.

I looked at a 690 used when I was here about a yr ago almost bought it but didn't have all the adventure stuff on it, ended up with the 530 as I was really only looking for a dual sport bike, your ride is very enticing for this venue who knows maybe someday? ;)

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Gee Chris, with all of your riding and enthusiasm with new dirt at every turn to try out, I am surprised you didn't air down and try out Glamis for a few laps. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Prayers and condolences to you! Dad's are speial. Sounds like you had a great one.

Todd

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Wow what a killer ride. I wish I could've joined you like we talked about. Well I'll eventually get a new bike and then we can do some adventuring around the Cali and AZ deserts. Sorry to hear about your dad.

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What an awesome trip! It looks like you've already gone a long way towards getting your money's worth out of that bike.

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What an awesome trip! It looks like you've already gone a long way towards getting your money's worth out of that bike.

Absolutely......the sale of my EXC 400 covered the expense of the 620A and the airplane ticket to get it :blink: ......and I'll tell ya, I was loving that big 7.4 gallon tank and ~50MPG fuel economy out on the road.....kinda nice to have a bike that I can play around with off-road in the morning then cruise along at 65-70mph on the highway (for a sustained duration) and pull off into a gas station after 210 miles to put in a measily ~4 gallons of fuel..........I was thinking I'd flip it if I didn't care for it once I returned......I think I'll be keeping it for a while ^_^ ......it IS a bit vibey.....and it IS a bit high in the saddle......and it WON'T carry as much luggage as the bigger bikes.......but it's weight/off road manners/fuel economy more than make up for those trade-off's (IMHO).....I'm already thinking about my NEXT Adventure.....though my ass isn't too interested......yet :angry::ph34r::D

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Nice - The bike was worth it just for the Adventure of bringing it home! I like the GPS pictures with average speed etc... I think I am going to get a GPS too!

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Chris,

Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. I would love to be in those places on an adventure bike. Maybe its time to trade in my touring bike for an adventure bike. When I start thinking like this, it usually happens within a year! :rolleyes:

Steve

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