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#705612 - 06/20/11 02:27 AM Day 10 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline


Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Day 10: Monday, May 23, 2011
Route: Gunnison, CO to Broomfield, CO
Distance: 257 miles

My last day of riding in the Rockies was relatively brief, just 257 miles taking me over Monarch Pass, through South Park basin, over Hoosier and Loveland Passes, into Central City, and then east to spend a couple of nights with my parents in Broomfield.

Looking north across South Park basin, elevation 10K feet, with the Front Range visible on the horizon:

(click on image to open a larger panoramic view – in a new window – that can be scrolled left and right)

For over twenty years now, Parker and Stone have made this place famous. The town of Fairplay (at the basin’s north end) has been mentioned more than once on the show, and its residents are well aware of their fame:

After leaving Fairplay, there was a long, scenic climb up and over Hoosier Pass. A view down the valley toward Alma and Fairplay:

Looking up toward Hoosier Pass:
(click on image to open a larger panoramic view – in a new window – that can be scrolled left and right)

After the descent into Breckenridge, I made my way up to the top of Loveland Pass where I spotted this monster, too big to pass through the Eisenhower Tunnel:

To the left of the truck you can see the last of a long line of vehicles that roared past when he pulled over. It’s a six-mile climb from the east side with precious few passing zones, and with a load like that, I’m betting he moved at a snail’s pace. grin

Also beyond the truck you may notice large quantities of snow. They have had record snowfalls in parts of Colorado this past winter. To better grasp just how unusual this snow cover is, check out this picture from a Torrey trip I took back in 2004:

That’s Rainy next to the avalanche warning sign, with Eebie climbing the stairs (and I think that’s actually me in front of Eebie). OK, so zero snow seven years ago? Check out that same sign now:

The steps up the hillside are buried, as is the fencing that forms the base of the sign. It’s late May, and there is literally several feet of snowpack here.

Oh yeah, the barefoot woman: she had come up from Denver to show a friend of hers around the area. She was having trouble walking on the snow in her sandals, and when I asked her to take a pic of me, she removed her sandals so she could get around better. I laughed at the disparity between what she was wearing (jeans and a shirt) and what I was wearing (multiple layers of insulation and waterproofing), and insisted that her friend take our picture together. grin

That was enough sightseeing for me, so I saddled up and zipped through the remaining miles to my parents’ house; good food awaited me there, but there was also a lot of work to be done.

#705833 - 06/20/11 10:08 PM Re: Day 10 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
tallman Offline
Picture Perfect Humorist

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 19610
Loc: Tallahassee, Florida
thumbsup thumbsup

If my mind wanders, should I follow it?
Conch Town Krewe
2003 K 1200 GT
1996 R 100 RSL
1980 R 100 RT
1972 R 75
1968 R 50
All now gone...

#705861 - 06/20/11 11:12 PM Re: Day 10 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Lmar Offline

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 1360
Loc: Prescott, Az / Cold Lake, Ab
Really enjoyed your ride!! Great pictures and write ups.

2009 R1200RT

#705877 - 06/20/11 11:45 PM Re: Day 10 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
dhanson Offline

Registered: 07/23/07
Posts: 1295
Loc: Doyline, Louisiana
Very nice tale!
14 KTM 1190 Adv

#705924 - 06/21/11 02:30 AM Day 11 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline


Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Day 11: Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Route: Broomfield, CO to Broomfield, CO
Distance: 3 miles
(I gassed up the bike at a nearby station grin)

Did I mention there was a lot of work to be done?

This was my task list.

I kid, I kid, it wasn’t that heavy. My parents had moved here recently, and had a set of odd jobs around the house that needed to be taken care of; I’m glad I could be there to do this stuff for them. Some of the work got done last week on my birthday – Shawn, my brother-in-law and I had worked together to hang a set of cabinets in the laundry room – but today I was mostly on my own.

First, the clerical work:
  • program the house’s external keypad to open all the garage doors
  • program the garage door opener in my mom’s new car to open all the garage doors
  • give my mom a lesson in how to operate her new car (seriously, those Jags are pretty damn complex, and the manual is a piece o’ crap…)
That was it for the mental stuff. After that, it was all sweat:

The cabinets.
All through the house, I installed door closers on all of the cabinet doors. Here’s one:

Look up near the top of the door:

That gray plastic finger at the top corner acts as a viscous friction brake, preventing the door from slamming shut. There were about fifty of them, but they installed pretty easily: hold in place, tap the screw to make a mark, drill the mark, drive the screw in. They’re pretty cool devices, and one of these days I may end up putting them in my own kitchen.

The fence.

The builder had used cheap, tiny nails to assemble a perimeter fence out of nice heavy cedar timbers. Although the house was only a few years old, many of the nails were already backing out. After a close inspection, I replaced a lot of them with heavier, longer nails with much better holding power.

The Sprinkler.

One of the sprinkler heads (near the rocks in this photo) was sticking up a bit too high and was in danger of accidental decapitation by the lawn mower. I dug around it, and below it, and along the supply pipe for a foot or so, allowing us to shuffle some dirt around and sink it a couple of inches deeper. I was surprised at how deep the pipe is buried, a good foot or so underground.

Tree trimming.
My parents have a pretty nice view of the Front Range from their house, but their neighbor’s tree had been sending up tall shoots that were starting to block the view. They asked their neighbor if I could trim the tree; the neighbor, a nice retired lady, was delighted that somebody would trim her tree free of charge, and so I went to work, trimming it back aggressively so that it would be quite a while before it grew tall enough again to obscure the mountains.

Caught up in the momentum, I also trimmed the tree immediately outside her kitchen window, trimming it well back to let lots of light into her kitchen:

Finished with the work, my dad and I hauled away the trimmings. The neighbor was thrilled to have her trees brought into a civilized condition, my parents were thrilled to have their mountain view restored for the next several years, and I was happy to get some exercise; it was a win for everybody. grin

The Footpath.
Around the house, the original landscaping mulch was bark chips, but the wind moved that stuff around too much. My parents had had it replaced with fist-sized rocks. They stayed put nicely despite occasional high winds, but they were difficult to walk across without twisting an ankle, so it was deemed necessary to build a walkway. After a trip to Lowe’s and Home Depot, we returned home with the requisite materials:

After that, it was down to just a few easy steps. Step one, clearing a path through the stones:

Steps 2, 3, and 4: laying down a bed of leveling fill, placing the slabs, and filling the gaps:

And yes, upon completion of work the beer is mandatory. grin

All in all, a good day’s labor. Dinner? Mom’s corned beef and cabbage; good stuff. thumbsup

The evening’s entertainment? Casablanca, which I’d never actually seen before. I haven’t seen many “classic” films like this, but I quickly recognized many of the catchphrases that long since become embedded in pop culture; neat to finally see the source material. grin

#705947 - 06/21/11 03:48 AM Re: Day 11 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Killer Offline

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 9692
Loc: Wayne County, Utah, USA
Uh Mitch, could you come back to Fall Autumn Torrey please...
Bob Palin


#706141 - 06/22/11 12:51 AM Re: Day 10 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: dhanson]
norah Offline
Queen of Lean

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 925
Loc: Sunny So. CA
Originally Posted By: dhanson
Very nice tale!

07 R1200GS
09 Ducati Monster 1100S (WOW)
03 R1150 RT (the best)
90 Pacific Coast (fun)
89 Honda Hawk GT (too much fun)
250, 600, 750 Kawasaki Ninjas

"YEAH, BABY!!" as stated by our beloved Gleno

#706153 - 06/22/11 01:58 AM Day 12 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
Joe Frickin' Friday Offline


Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 17552
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI (USA)
Day 12: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Route: Broomfield, CO to Iowa City, IA
Distance: 781 miles

Well, the last two days of the trip were kind of like the first two days in reverse. grin

Leaving Broomfield at 8 in the morning, things started out mild enough – mostly cloudy, temps in the mid-50’s, light winds. After about 90 minutes, another rider on an R1200RT merged onto the highway, and we played leapfrog for the better part of an hour before I stopped for a break. He had a NY license plate, “RKSBMW” if I remember correctly. Anyone know who this feller is?

During the morning the wind blowing out of the north had been picking up a little bit, but my direction of travel – northeast – made it only a very modest crosswind. Once I got into Nebraska, the winds picked up even more, and my direction of travel – more directly to the east – made the wind into a pure and brutal broadside, the likes of which I had not experienced before. The official data from Weather Underground looks like this:

Fans of Murphy’s Law will not be surprised to learn that I passed through York right around 1:30 PM. It was a lot of work to keep the bike going in a straight line, and not just near York; the heavy winds were with me for a couple hours before and after that. By the time I had reached Des Moines, the wind had died down to 20-25 MPH, but it had also changed direction and now had a major headwind component. By the end of the day in Iowa City, I had experienced my worst fuel economy ever on this bike:

Just a few days ago in the mountains, MPG was around 46. Granted, it’s usually in the low 40’s for flat, windless interstate highway cruising, but 36.7 is quite a drop even from that.

That night in Iowa City, I picked a hotel with a hot tub; I needed it. grin

#706284 - 06/22/11 04:46 PM Re: Day 12 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: Joe Frickin' Friday]
russell_bynum Offline

Registered: 06/14/01
Posts: 27247
Loc: Wildomar, CA, USA
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

#706286 - 06/22/11 04:52 PM Re: Day 12 of My Torrey Oddity [Re: russell_bynum]
Lone_RT_rider Offline

Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 5891
Loc: Germantown, WI
Originally Posted By: russell_bynum

Didn't you look at his bike while we were there? LOL. Or, did you simply pawn if off as just another generic R12RT? If you did, you should really know better than that with Mitch. I mean, the GPS mount alone should clue you into the fact that the bike is really different! I think it doubles as a roll bar for the front windscreen. smirk rofl


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