Enjoying God's creation (people and places) ........ and fulfilling our desire to conquer and explore.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Weekend...... Day Two of an Adventure Trip

Day two revealed that we had a cool night. We awoke to a little ice on the bikes.

As I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, the sun rose over the eastern ridge revealing a spectacular sight of steam coming off the pond with the rock formations in the background.

After riding away from camp, we found "The Gravel Pit", as it is called by the locals. It was a blast riding the bikes around the pit.

After riding for about an hour, on the loop that Duke had suggested, we arrived at the top of Aspen Ridge.

And here is where the trip got interesting. After resting and spending about 20 minutes on Aspen Ridge, I asked the boys to hike off the ridge with me to the West, about 100 yards to a group of rocks where we could sit and take in the Collegiate Range. After about 15 minutes, I caught a glimpse of a black object moving through the aspen trees, down and to our right. At first, I thought it was a big bull elk, but as it emerged...... it was obviously a very large Black Bear. Due to a tree concealing us, I sent the boys running up the hill to get Terry and Matt.

Terry's pic shows my proximity to the bear. I was only about 50 yards away.

The green line is the obscure, rough road that we traveled. The GPS spot is the location of our bikes.  The red dot is the location where I was sitting.  The yellow line is the traveling route of the bear.  And the red line is my attempt to sneak up on the bear for a great photo.  Unfortunately, once he entered the aspens, I didn't get a good photo.

Once we got back to camp, we packed up the bikes for the trip home. Notice how heavily loaded we are. My Suzuki VStrom got a new knick-name..... "Little Pepe", my pack mule!!!

Being low on gas and hungry, we rode in to Salida for fuel and a Hamburger.

On the ride home, I caught the boys on photo, giving each other a "fist bump"..... I suspect, in celebration for another successful Adventure Ride!

Father's Day Weekend...... Day One of an Adventure Trip

Back a couple of months ago, I asked Audra for permission to escape to the mountains on my bike. Originally, I had planned a very challenging trip on my dirt bike….. but with the boys free to join me, we changed our plans. I invited my two good friends, Terry and Matt to join us.
After some research, I decided we would ride the Four Mile area, just east of Buena Vista, CO….. right in the middle of the state. This choice of geography was ideal for early season riding, as all the snow has melted from this area and there is a lot of great double and single track access.
We packed up and left one evening, arriving just after the sun set below the Collegiate Range. Fortunately, we were greeted with a full moon to aid in our visibility to set up camp.

The ride to 4-Mile.

The next morning we awoke to the campsite that Matt had chosen. It was nicely located next to a little pond and amazing rock formations.

By 9am the riding began. We challenged ourselves with the toughest riding of the weekend, attacking some aggressive double-track on our 500lb bikes. The boys have become outstanding riders and I am incredible proud of their skills that they have worked hard to hone.

After riding south for about three hours.... only covering about 20 miles, we arrived in Salida. Unbeknownst to us, this little town on the Upper Arkansas River was smack-dab in the middle of a four day River Festival. We enjoy a phenomenal lunch at the Boat House Restaurant and then headed to the “booth area” where Matt and Terry treated us all to a funnel cake.
Next we walked up the street to see a fellow ADV’er and his wife, Duke and Tami Sheppard. They own two stores, an Artisan Bead Shop and a TShirt Shop. Duke and I discussed the TShirts for RMAR and then asked him for riding suggestions. He sent us to Aspen Ridge, back toward our camping area.

Due to our quick pace of riding, we always have a couple of spills. On this trip, it seems that nearly everyone dropped their bikes at one time or another. In this pic, Tyler picked a great place to loose control..... except for a hidden rock in the deep sand. Tyler had a soft fall, buy his rear brake lever took a direct hit by the rock. After a bit of pulling and prying and bending, we had him ready to go.

Evening activities were fun. Unfortunately, the little pond did not have any fish..... but Terry was able to land a massive Salamander. The boys enjoyed a couple of Matt's firearms and a few games of marksmanship with Tyler's pellet pistol.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Audra's Second Day of Riding

After Day One in the back yard.....Audra had some confidence and was ready to tackle bigger challenges. She hopped on the back of my 650 and Bryce rode her bike up the street to the High School. Then, it was "Jenny Bar the Door".....getting her to stop. She rode all around the parking lot, around the high school..... Shifting gears..... Going fast..... She was awesome!

While Audra was honing her skills, Bryce was messing around on my 650.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Audra's first ride on her bike!!!!!

Spiffing up Audra's 250R

The primary obective in all this work, was to make Audra's little Honda.... street legal. We also reworked her handlebars so that they are in a "more comfortable" riding position.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

23rd Anniversary Ride

Today Audra and I celebrate 23 years of marriage. How better to do that, than with a ride up to Woodland Park, beers at Bier Werks and Brisket Sandwiches at Phil's Pig Out BBQ.

Work'in on the VStroms

This weekend the boys and I tore into our VStroms to "ready them" for the 2011 Adventure Riding Season.

We checked the valve clearances and basically went over the bikes in detail.