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High Country Ride

Wednesday morning finds Crested Butte under partly cloudy skies after soaking overnight rains. With rain showers making up much of Tuesday’s weather pattern, as well, it’s safe to say that CB is pretty well saturated at this point. But that won’t likely deter the forecasted for heavy rains again today and tonight.

Wednesday’s shots are from Monday’s high country motorcycle ride. Starting in CB South, Steve and I headed up Cement Creek Road, over Reno Ridge, down to Spring Creek Reservoir, over Rocky Brook Road to the Taylor road and then south to the Taylor store where we took in the astounding number of ATV enthusiasts prepping their four wheelers and side-by-sides for a day out in the Taylor Park area. From Taylor Park, we headed through Union Park, intersected with the Cumberland Pass Road (where the skies opened up on us), then zipped up to the top of Cumberland Pass (where the sun was still breaking through) and were able look back to the north and take in the storm we had just ridden out of. Even though the lightning strikes were a few miles away, it’s amazing how much more articulate and nasty the thunder sounds when you’re listening to it from a mountain pass at over twelve-thousand feet. We didn’t stay long to hear more.

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From Cumberland, we dropped down into Pitkin for fuel and a bite to eat. While the service was very friendly at the cafe we sat down at, their old time wagon prop out front, signed “Road Kill Chuck Wagon” was a little too “on the money” in terms of describing the fare. But the porch booths were a good vantage to take in the stream of motorcycles and ATVs that rolled through the tiny town, heading off for their next Gunnison Country adventure. From Pitkin, we headed back, up, into the hills for Hancock Pass, where today’s first shot is from.  This pic doesn’t do the character of the road justice–both the Hancock climb and the decent keep you honest when you’re on two wheels . . . while the multitudes of ATVs we met and passed could creep through boulder-packed jeep roads, the trick on the motorcycles was to keep things moving and stay up on the pegs to let your legs work with the dirt bike’s suspension to absorb the rocks, bumps and drops.  Once off the pass road and back to the old railroad grade, things smoothed out nicely.  There is much old mining and rail history embedded in these mountains . . . some of it appearing to be on the move, in fact.

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After passing through St. Elmo where the rain found us again, we pointed our bikes up the rocky jeep road that took us to the top of Tin Cup Pass and then down, past Mirror Lake, through Tin Cup itself before heading out Taylor Reservoir where we caught a window in the weather and today’s last shot is from. From there it was down the Taylor Canyon road and over Jack’s Cabin Cutoff to darkening skies and a soggy run up the highway to home.

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My bike’s odometer showed 153 miles on the day . . . figuring in three twelve-thousand foot passes, all the high country scenery and fun of getting out for a ride (to say nothing of doing it all from your front door step) . . . it was a very good day. Have an excellent day, yourself, out there—stay dry!

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Posted July 30, 2014 by robbpennie in Crested Butte Shot of the Day

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