2019 Rim Rocker Colorado to Moab Misadventure - Trip Report

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Some friends and I are putting together a bike adventure for this July. We'll start in Nederland, Co (up the front range from Boulder, Co.) and travel only two lane roads (no interstate), dirt roads (Rimrock trail) and mountain passes to Moab, Ut. We're looking at being on the road 4-5 day and camping and eating along the way. This won't be a Dakar race run we'll be taking it easy, challenging ourselves and just having a good time. The longest stretch will be 160 miles between Montrose, Co and Moab, Ut. Each rider is responsible for their our bike, gear and expenses. But, we'll have a volunteer chase truck that can respond to haul back any bike or rider to the Boulder area if there is a breakdown. If interested let me know and I'll add you to the Facebook group for all the updates.

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Well, I guess getting this trip report done is one of the small, inconsequential benefits of being home!

Day 1)
KB and I met at my house in Nederland. Colorado. I was packed and ready when he arrived. We got his bike unloaded and learned that it wouldn’t start! KB spent the next hour trouble shooting it and eventually got it going. Our route for day 1 was Nederland, Rocky Mountain National Park, Granby, Kremling, Leadville and up onto Hagerman Pass to camp. All two lane roads, western slope pasture lands and then into the mountains. The weather was sunny, warm and very windy. No mechanical issues. We stopped in Leadville for some additional water and typical road snacks/supplies. Since it was late July in the high mountains the snow pack was melting and we learned that with that much moisture it brought out the mosquitoes and small biting flies so, made for an interesting dinner. After a meal of spaghetti on tortilla shells and bourbon, we prepped our bikes for the morning and grabbed some sleep. Good day.F492217E-B6D1-4FC2-B015-FAEDC24AFB71.jpeg34FE6088-CE8C-46BB-A4D9-1B9EC4F209D5.jpeg92ED52F4-6879-42BB-A36B-387196DB4A50.jpegEF9E167D-C0DC-485C-91B4-FDFD6F0E116D.jpegF3289300-F506-47C6-93F5-ECE689A1DAE1.jpeg13DC7B87-31DE-46B8-ADD2-0EFBFF9B569D.jpeg16495073-FB07-4977-A080-2A89CC95BC5C.jpegA7F5CEC5-AE4A-44DB-B70A-37AF4610E267.jpeg
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Day 2)
Lesson #1- Starbucks instant coffee is gods gift to camping! After a light breakfast we break camp and head out over Hagerman pass. The day before no one could tell us if the pass was actually open, so we were a little apprehensive as we headed up. The trail was rocky and a bit eroded but nothing too bad. We were thrilled to find the pass open and headed west to Carbondale, Hotchkiss, grab lunch in Delta and then onto the Montrose Visitor Center to grab the latest RimRocker map. The weather was hot and dry, probably close to mid 90’s. Once we grabbed the map and refueled we headed to the town of Nucla for our final water, food, snack and fuel before heading into the wild.

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Day 2 continued)

After restocking/refueling at Reds and a very pleasant chat with a couple of very flirty and chemically enhanced young ladies and their very jealous boyfriend/cousin/brother and his cousin/brother/friend we headed out into the wild. We had some friends camping at the Buckeye Campground and was hoping to get there before dark but, with limited cell service and my old gps finally dying we couldn’t accurately determine how far out we were, so after a long day, miles of technical trails, creek crossings, Boulder dodging, hill climbing we found a level campsite just off the trail and on the edge of cliff and setup camp. The weather was clear and hot. This brought the nastiest biting flies yet and they ran us into our tents for dinner. One of the best pieces of kit was my MSA dromedary bag with a flip top nozzle. I could fill it with water, set it in the sun to warm, walk off into the forest, hang it from a tree and get a nice shower to wash off the road grim and not have to use wet wipes. It was to hot top put the rain fly on my tent and I had a great nights sleep watching an open sky.....with a bourbon toddy.

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Day 3)
We woke to a lovely cool and cloudy morning. Since we had a lite dinner due to the flies we decided to have hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy with eggs and sausage (dehydrated camp food) but, it was fantastic and fueling! As we broke camp the sun started to break through and the flies started to show up.....and started biting. Our plan for the day was to get to Buckeye campground and visit with our friends then head on into Moab for lunch, restocking and hit some trails and maybe camp. So, off we went we found the campground and visited with our friends and handed off a RR map since they were thinking about doing it on the way home. We continued west Into Utah.
On a side note, The RimRocker map and trail is very well marked as long as you concentrate on the little trail markers, miss one and you can end up miles off trail. To this point we had been very successful until....we’re heading west on the RR and somehow we ended up heading up the LaSal Mountains onto Peale Pass. The ride up was magical since as we climbed the temperature got cooler and Aspens got greener. As we stopped on Peale Pass for a break it was then we realized we took a wrong turn. Eating lunch and looking at our options we noticed that a 4wd trail heading north would get us to Moab. The decision was made that if a Jeep could do the trail our trusty dual sports could do it! (Forgot to factor in the riders). As we headed down the other side it became clear very quickly why there was all the warning signage!EA307CFE-F2E7-403E-A0A9-847CA2B3B4F0.jpeg6640CE5D-A717-4D23-A42B-025778F4CF33.jpeg6FB11A90-1CAB-403E-83A0-03DAF0584F64.jpeg350AB6BE-DCEC-48F1-80E3-7E176596A0A8.jpeg46C5EC50-A6E8-4132-906B-131A19501C13.jpegFB5380EA-416C-4257-A6DF-53E45FA82C9B.jpeg
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Apparently the La Sal mountains, Peale Pass Trail is well known within the 4wd world as a technical OHV trail and that it can be exceptionally challenging after the spring melt.......yep, we didn’t know that!
The first indication of our bad decision was the mud pits, water crossings and snow banks in the shady parts of the forest. A liberal application of throttle got us through those. The next was the scree field/rock fall shelf trail crossings. This consisted of boulders the size of Coleman coolers that you had to ride over, through and around while not getting thrown off the trail and into the valley below. Next, this is free range cattle country....what do you do when your on a shelf trail and you run into a herd of cows, calves and bulls on the trail and they aren’t moving? You Honk, yell, yippee, do your best cowboy impersonation and pray they don’t decide to go through or over you instead. Next is more mud, super tight off camber switchbacks, boulder fields (one got me!), gravely descents that grabs your front tire, erosion ruts, etc....KB is a skilled rider and I just followed his line the best I could.
As we descended the Moab temperature went up, by the time we hit the bottom it was 100 degrees. We headed towards Moab for lunch when at about 50 mph the front end of my bike started to wobble like crazy. I get pulled over and it turns out I have a flat! It’s too hot to fix it in the direct sun so I limp it to a shade tree in the front yard of a vets office. I ask if they minded if we worked on it in their driveway and they were ok with it. I carried a tire repair kit and spare tube but, decided to see if a local repair shop could do the fix. We called one in Moab and he was still open. We pulled the wheel and lashed it to KBs bike and he ran it over and got a new tube and balance done. Once back we put the bike back together and ran into Moab for a smothered French fries lunch, restocking, refueling and headed west out toward Hurrah Pass to explore and maybe camp out towards the Colorado river. But, the temperature was over 100 degrees, no shade and our asses were dragging. So, we decided to get back on the road and head east to find a campsite. Once on the road we stopped and rested for about an hour in the shade of a ghost gas station and made the decision, due to the heat, to head back up into the La Sal mountains to camp in the cool altitude. The Aspen grove we found was cool, beautiful, no one for miles and bug free! This was the best night so far!38BFEEF7-08E9-417A-98F9-FDA5ED4594E2.jpeg347131B2-4EFB-44A4-9130-7E1159675EC9.jpeg3DD5562F-D514-4103-AE4E-FA8F6078E889.jpeg92901031-5A71-4BF4-B01B-EE0A49E4A19A.jpegB09AC024-C2A1-4347-95BC-8091AAFFAF02.jpegDCF04C43-A6FC-49CE-BC0F-6788267BF1F9.jpeg4A9BD854-FD84-42E5-A867-832D42C63E57.jpeg51174D7B-4130-4CDB-80A8-406307324A3C.jpegDCAFDC37-D9B1-417F-BA01-67CBC5B8489B.jpeg900454CE-5BF3-48B2-9EE6-29249D3D6274.jpeg
 
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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
The best campsite ever! And that moment you realize you trusty bike is also your: best friend, closet, trashcan, bar, kitchen, shower, bookcase, towel rack, clothes hamper, shoe rack, butler, etc....FB3C7F6A-D142-47A0-9142-ECC681988C85.jpeg6D38CFE6-F4ED-46B4-A979-4008978226C2.jpeg55E093DD-51E9-4118-8FDD-7F994879677E.jpeg24CAB408-148E-43B2-9E22-7E5CD5FF22A7.jpeg
 
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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Day 4)

Everything about that night was the best.....the site, meal, bourbon, cigar, shower, cool temp, clear night, super bright full moon, hard sleep!
The next morning was an easy start. coffee, breakfast, break camp and head East to Telluride. On the way we traveled through some very beautiful Colorado valleys and stopped for a mid morning coffee in a picture perfect little town. Once in Telluride we headed north via the Last Dollar Trail to Ridgeway. Grabbed a couple hotdogs and gas (literally) at the Ridgeway gas station and then continued off road towards Gunnison were we refueled and rested at the central grocery store. From there we headed over the pass to Buena Vista, all white playing “hit and miss” with a big thunderstorm. Once in Buena Vista KB known of a off road camp area and we headed north. We grabbed one of the last sites and setup camp. We visited with another rider that was traveling from northern Colorado to Texas for his sons wedding. Very interesting guy. After dinner it was clear we were going to get hit by a massive storm cell heading our way. We dug drainage around our tents and added an additional tarp to the tents and waited. Wow! It hit hard! Thunder, lightning, wind and heavy rain. My tent is probably 15year old and it’s never leaked and I wasn’t sure if it was still water proof due to the power of this rain storm.....happily it was still waterproof!

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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Day 5 Final Ride)

I hate packing away wet gear.....the rain storm soaked everything. But, we stopped in Buena vista and had a real bikers breakfast and headed north/East on the final leg of our trip. We traveled along 24 hwy and along the high plains. The rain had brought in much cooler weather and we had to stop and add some layers. We got to Grant and went over Guenella Pass into Georgetown. Continued along the outer roads into Idaho Springs and then it happened........due to construction we had to get onto I-70 for 1 mile to get to Peak to Peak highway back to Nederland. Damn it.....after about 1200 miles this was the first interstate we had traveled on! Anyway, we took it easy till we got back to my house. KB was an excellent travel partner, skilled rider and I greatly appreciate his willingness to go on this misadventure!C0626960-661E-4D1B-854C-07D47C15E539.jpeg38AED1CC-4334-463B-A00E-39300B88227D.jpeg264AAC3A-00CA-43DC-AEBA-D184AA36555E.jpeg1B1B5F65-93EB-4D7B-AB35-4DA60B5D9880.jpegCC4D7078-14B5-41C8-80B3-1F24EF5022A5.jpeg
 

BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
2020 Ned to Moab Misadventure in July/August is currently in the planning stage. If you live along the front range of Colorado or anywhere for that matter and interested in joining use lmk. Cheers.
 
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BritKLR

Kapitis Indagatoris
Hey everyone. My apologies for some of the typos. I’ve tried several times to go back in and edit them but, apparently due to all the photos within the thread it won’t open for me to correct them. Thanks.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Thanks for the write-up, looks like a great trip. I love the older KLR's, they are much better looking bikes than the 2008+ models. We were in Ridgeway, CO the third week of July last year after coming off of the Million Dollar Highway which we dropped onto after Ophir Pass down into Telluride. We ate at a little Taco bar called Gnar, pretty decent stuff for tacos not in Texas or southern California haha.

I have to admit, I am kind of bummed that you didn't include any pics of those chemically enhanced flirty ladies you joined up with haha. What are your plans for this years ride?
 
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