700 Miles, 2 Wheels and Lots of Sand -- Adventure Ride

Started Jul 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Colorado CJ Contributing Member • Posts: 502
700 Miles, 2 Wheels and Lots of Sand -- Adventure Ride

Since I had a long 4th of July weekend, I decided to pack one of my bikes up and head out for an adventure. I chose my DR650 because I knew I'd be doing a lot of dirt riding.

Here she is all packed and ready to go. My photography backpack made for a nice backrest, and it was easy access to my camera for photos along the way (don't make fun of the beaded seat, it makes long miles more endurable

About 100 miles of riding later, after riding up 285, here's what waits on the other side of Kenosha Pass.

Riding down into South Park Basin (yes, South Park is real

A couple of passes later, this is the view you get as you drop down into the little town of Buena Vista, Colorado. The Sawatch Mountain Range to the west is incredible

Many miles later, riding down the flat, dry and hot San Luis Valley, I finally arrive at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

I set up my camp, get out of my riding gear, and head out into the dunes. This is a very strange place, it can be absolutely still and silent, and at other times, the wind can be brutal, sandblasting you until any exposed skin is abraded raw. Luckily, the wind didn't show up during my short stay. The weather on the other hand wasn't the greatest (very overcast) and the smoke from fires down in New Mexico and Southern Colorado filled the skies.

The sunsets here can be otherworldly at times

That evening, I planned on staying up to try my hand at some astrophotography. But, the clouds moved in and didn't clear off, after midnight, I tried a couple of shots, then called it a night.

The next morning, I got up before sunup and headed out into the dunes once more. Sunrise and sunset are the best times for photo oportunities, besides, during the heat of the day, that sand can get to 150 degrees.

Later that day, I'd had enough of the sand and wanted to get into some high country, so I packed camp back up on my bike and headed up to Cottonwood Pass. The road is nice asphalt on the east side, and maintained dirt on the west. The west side of the pass descends down into Taylor Park, a heaven on earth for outdoors people. Hunting, fishing, camping, miles and miles of off road trails and a lot of old Colorado history is down there, ringed by 14,000 ft peaks.

The east side of the pass

The west side of the pass, looking down into Taylor Park.

I didn't get but one (bad) photo down in the park itself, I was tired from the days ride and hiking the dunes. I set up camp, ate some food and lazed around.

The next morning, I rode some trails, visited the old mining town of Tin Cup (really kicking myself that I didn't get any photos there), then broke camp and headed home. 700 miles all told, I need to do something about that dirtbike seat, near split me in two in that many miles

Thanks for the look.

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