Friday, September 7, 2018

Day 4 of our ride in the Rockies

Friday, Sept. 7, 2018
Today's ride was voted #1 by our crew.

The stats here prove it was a Rocky Mountain High kind of day.

Sunny, clear skies and we climbed to our highest elevation of 12,688 ft.

Some really cool pictures follow,

Our goal today was to do the loop up to American Mountain a.ka. Flag Mountain. It's about a 6 hour run round trip..

It's quite a ride so hang on,...

First stop on the way up was this old gold mining camp.

Pretty neat to see the old equipment still in place.

Another interesting spot along the way was this Lily Pond...

That's right...the entire lake is covered in Lily Pads..
now go figure how that happens.

And another mining camp, this one had several pieces of equipment and appears it was steam powered from the looks of the boiler.

Also had 10-12 log cabins surrounding the area...all of which were in about the same shape.

Lunch time at this beautiful lake along the way to American Mountain.

Christine fixed some sandwiches, chips, etc.

Nothin' better than a lunch at the lake.

This piece of trial was along an old county road so it's a popular spot for fishing and remote camping.

Now let's get on up that mountain in the background.

Just another vista shot along the way.

We stopped here for a Pee beak and these deer in the center of the picture were very curious.

We watched while they watched for about 15 minutes..

They appear to be Mule Deer from the size of their ears.

We have come upon a view of our destination for today.

This is a jaw dropping sight while motoring up the trail just knowing you are going to get there somehow.

The last few legs of this trail is pure rock. Loose rock at that. And yes, that is a sheer drop off to my left about 10 feet from the RZR. Straight down for ???? feet.

We are getting closer, Jimmy and Alison have already reached the flag.

We piddled around taking pics and videos and he got the jump on us,

We are almost in shouting distance. There is a canyon between us. A big'un.

Turn up the volume and check Christine's comments as we reach the summit...It's hilarious.

Top of American Mountain....flag is maintained with donations and is there all season.

This is the highlight of our trip to Colorado.
We hope we can return some day and do more of the trails.

If only you could see the sheer drop offs surrounding these two RZR's you would fully understand the magnitude of the summit.

Only in America.....

Maybe this shot will help...

if not the video below will do the trick.

I looked back and took this shot as we were headed back down the rocky trail.

Just the Flag and a donation box on the summit as we leave.

Very moving experience.....

As we move on down the mountain the trail forks off and goes thru a valley that must have been very active it the 1800's.

We come along this old gold mine and I start exploring the area.

I found a great spot for Curly, Larry, and Moe to get their pictures taken.

Let's see what else we can find.

Looks like I found the heart of this operation.

Another steam operated mine from the looks of the boiler tank buried in timbers.

And while I am taking pictures and tripping over timbers and old machinery Jimmy wanders off and discovers the actual mine shaft.

It was two thirds buried in rock and dirt that had washed down the hill but a look inside revealed the structure and support timbers that are still intact.

Well, it's getting close to supper time and we are still several miles from camp. So once we hit the county road it's ( Katy Bar the Door ) cause we are hungry.
For this next video grab some popcorn, a Coca-cola, and hang on.....

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Day 3 of our Rocky Mountain High

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

Got a late start today due to the weather. We were socked in at the campground until late morning.

We are going to try to make it to
Aspen today but we're told it's a full day ride and difficult trails.

We are heading for the mountain anyway.

Doesn't look like a hard trail to me. Should be a piece of cake.

But I am going to stop this process, the internet is sooooo slow here.

Will continue later...

Be patient, mama wants to stop and smell the roses on the way..
(or what ever they are).

We met this group on our way up the mountain...they had turned around and headed back.
They said it was too rough for them to continue.

Two dirt bikes and three 4-wheelers.

But we continued on...

It's getting a little rougher, but so far it's no hill for a climber.

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks,
We were told there was five miles of this terrain before getting back to dirt trails.

We'll see......

Don't think these videos will load with this internet service (or lack there of) up here in the mountains....they are good un's.
Looks like one of the videos sure to select 720p for best quality. This is the 5 mile section that the other group turned around at. Some of the rocks were as big as the 4-wheelers, very technical trial riding through here. We loved it.

If you enlarge this photo you can find the Moose grazing in the valley. He's the black spec in the middle of the shot.

Taylor Lake, just before we start the steep climb up to Taylor Pass.

The hardest part is over, that was the 5 miles of rock trail, in and out of the creek.

Sure hope the videos will load.

We made it to the summit first (we always win)...
So I got this shot of Jimmy and Alison motoring up the switchbacks to the top.

Check out that background...

The  view from the summit was not as awesome as some other summits, may have been because we were in and out of clouds most all day.

Maybe I spoke too soon about the view,,,,this pano shot ain't too shabby.

This one ain't too bad either.

It just ain't possible to describe the beauty and vastness of these

Rocky Mountains...

We padded by this abandoned snow mobile on our way to Aspen.

From the mud caked over the skies, I would say it's been here awhile.

Not a bad looking Artic Cat.

Once we got off the summit and on our way to Aspen there we many of these beautiful places along the way.

We paused for a break here to let the dogs run.

Annie seems to really like the mountains....
She loves to woller on the ground.

Does the same thing every time we hit a beach.

So far it's been a great ride, our necks are a little sore from the rocking and rolling try the rock garden,

We certainly enjoyed this little break.

Now off to find Aspen, Colorado. I hear it's kinda popular.

Talley of the last couple days riding.

Speeds are not accurate but altitude is.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Day 2 of Taylor Park ride

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018

Looks like it might be a rainy ride today....

Is that going to stop us?
I don't think so.

Alison didn't want to ride today so Jimmy had an open seat and as soon as a raindrop hit the windshield my trusty navigator took advantage of it and jumped in with him.

Jimmy has side windows....guess that will be the next accessory for the General.

We have a lot of cattle guards and gates to go thru today as we cross thru Union Park Cow Ranch.

The gates are not locked but riders must leave them as they found them.....if it's open leave it open and if it's locked you damn sure better lock it back.

As we make our way up the valley we follow along Gold Creek and find many of these Beaver Dams.

Another one of natures engineering marvels. These creatures are really good at what they do.

Almost look man made...

We also find several of these old mining shacks along
Gold Creek.

Several remnants of the mining that took place in the 1800's are scattered throughout this region.

Sure hope this video will load, it is a good indication of the ruggedness and the climb to the top of Cross Mountain.

We made it the top of Cross Mountain, elevation about 12,000 feet, where we find this wind battered American Flag.

If anyone doesn't think America is Great... they have never stood under this flag, on this mountain, a felt the Greatness of this Country.

And as Jimmy said, if you think you are something special then all you need to do is come up here and realize just how small you are.

Mom and I are feeling pretty proud about now. I just wish everyone could feel as we do about this Great Country.

But on the other hand, I'm damn glad we are the only ones on this mountain right now.
It sure would be crowded up here with all those snowflakes.

It's kinda obvious how this mountain got it's name...

And it's looking like the rain might catch up to us as we head back down the mountain to see what else we can find.

Maybe a few good pictures, huh?

Lunch time on the mountain...
more bologna sandwiches, chips, and grapes....mmmm good.

How about this shot?   Taylor Lake in the valley, our campsite is an the right behind the pine tree.

Or how about this one?..another view as we come down off the mountain...

That's Tin Cup, Colorado down there in the valley. We were there yesterday. See day one blog posts for pics.

Really proud of my little woman....she has hung in there like "chewing gum on your shoe".

Got her rain suit on and ready for what ever.

Looks like we won't make it back before the rain hits us...
Oh well, we knew it was coming.

Makes for a interesting ride coming down in the rain......