Day 2 – Hanging out in Durango.
Not a lot to tell… hung out with Mom… saw some old stomping grounds and rested up for the day. Here’s a few pics…
Where I lived for a while with the parents…
Where I use to work on my car(s)
Animas Valley… the tint at the top of the windshield made this cool effect
Baker’s Bridge. Where they jumped off the cliff in “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid”
The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train
The matchbook collection at Sweeneys
Day 3 (part 1) – Silverton, Ophir, Telluride, Mt. Sal, Moab.
– Route (Ophir isn’t on Google Maps… so there’s a detour)
This was a seriously action packed day. I still can’t believe what I accomplished and saw on this one day. I will attempt to describe the day and not drag on… but it was spectacular…
My mom checked the weather for me along my route. Shit. Thunderstorms the whole way. Of course there wasn’t a cloud in the sky including the direction I was going in… but I’ve seen that before… you never know when and where it will happen in that part of the country. I decided to forge ahead and deal with it if I came across it.
(leaving Mom’s place… she was nice enough to take my picture)
I rode through Durango and up 550 towards Silverton. I passed the Durango Ski Mountain which use to be called Purgatory. Like Sears and Infineon… the people that live(d) there still refer to it as Purgatory.
Silverton was just like I remembered it from 20 years ago! There’s something special and beautiful about a place that shows almost a complete lack of progress and growth. Durango is of growing like crazy… but Silverton was a little more like coming home. My intent was to stop in Silverton and take a little break before tackling the pass, but I was so excited I never even put a foot down in Silverton. I was off to Ophir!
(looking back at the direction I came from)
The entrance to the pass is only about a 1/2 mile out of town and if you aren’t looking for it… you could easily miss it. As I started on the dirt road I couldn’t help but be excited. This was only the second time (the first time – http://www.northbaysportriders.com/forums/…?showtopic=9903 ) I had taken the GS off road and it only took a thousand miles of slabbing to make it happen 🙂 As I made my way up the road, I couldn’t help but think… what’s the big deal? This is a piece of cake. Of course as I progressed up, it got more and more challenging. It wasn’t nearly as challenging as Imogene Pass or Black Bear Pass, but considering this was my second time off roading with the bike… the intimidation factor was growing.
The Ophir Pass Trail
As I approached the trail summit… it had that feeling of like being on the moon. Narrow trail made up of crushed rock with no clue what would be on the other side waiting for me.
(approaching the summit)
I had seen pictures before… but of course nothing is like being there. The view was phenomenal and if I thought the trail was intimidating before… looking down the trail now was pretty wild. To be honest, after it was all over with I was thinking all the worry was for nothing. If you’ve ever ridden in the dirt… this was actually pretty tame.
Of course after getting to the top unscathed, I had one of those dumbass moments. As I was getting ready to leave the summit, I wasn’t thinking and had the front wheel cranked to the left. I started to move… front tire hit a rock and well…. DOH!
This was my first drop with the GS. I immediately was thinking… “Oh Shit! This thing is way to heavy for me to lift and it’s pointing downhill!” I immediately got my wits together and unloaded everything I could. I figured if I was going to upright the bike… I need to get the weight off. So I took off everything except the left case it was lying on. I made sure the bike was in gear, took a deep breath and went for it. Wow… it was incredibly easy! It hit me that with the heads sticking out so far, and the crashbars even further… the crashbar actually acted like a fulcrum. I got the bike up no problem… put the kickstand down and everything was fine… a couple of scratches… but all good. I was immediately grateful that I got the crashbars and the custom shift lever with the hinge.
I got everything back on the bike, and started down the first part of the hill with a pretty sharp switchback at the end. Of course just as I was coming up on the turn up in the middle of no where at 12,800 feet… a guy was coming up in his custom 4×4. He looked at me like I was completely insane and of course we all know how silly that is… of course I’m insane!
(rest of the trail)
After making it around him… I continued down the trail and eventually found my way down into the town of Ophir. Small little town that is so isolated, I’ve never seen anything like it.
(town of Ophir)
(looking back at what I just came down)