copper cdt

Dirt bagged at a shopping center in Dillon, parked against the side of Sports Authority. No interruptions to my sleep.

Drove to Dillon public park overlooking Dillon Reservoir to enjoy self prepared breakfast. Passed a motorhome parked on shoulder of road, out in the city open with a wonderful view. I assumed people spent the night. How brazen! Next time I’ll push my envelope.

Drove back uphill to Copper Ski area for more CDT riding. Copper has I70 roaring right uphill of the parking lot. No mountain road driving for these skiers. Area has grown since my 1988(?) visit. Hard finding the trail from the parking lot: rode blind roadways trying to cross the creek to the trail.

CDT is well maintained and is shared by multiple user groups, most noticeably by the horses & dudes riding them. Rode thru horse riding section. Climbed almost constantly; what went down on the way up would be climb up on way back. A bit of hike a bike over rocks & roots. Getting more proficient but still act conservatively & walk. About 2 hours to ride to Searle Pass. Saw Annie’s cabin which is part of the 10th Mountain Division hut system tucked in the trees just at treeline. Big cabin, saw propane tank, chimney flues, & solar panels.

Windy before pass. Dropped bike & hiked the last bit to the pass. Saw No Snowmobile signs at pass as the Breckenridge side is more gradual easier to snowmobile in. Short break & retraced my track walking less as gravity provides an engine to get over obstacles.

Back to Copper parking lot. All day i saw 1 runner, a backpacker and 2 hikers. Go CDT. The mountains are so spectacular.

Back to Dillon on way to Winter Park. Found laundromat & low and behold a coin operated shower. $2.00 for 5 min water pressure shower. Clean clothes & cheaply cleaned body.

Back on I-70 East to rt 40 & up & over another 11,000′ pass to Winter Park for tomorrow’s ride. Picked a FS dirt road & drove 3 miles back up in toolies for a dirtbag camp. Passed a guy riding a recumbant loaded with all kinds of gear towards the dead end road.

Looking up towards Searle Pass

Just another 2684″ climb topping out @ 12,100′ for a 15.8 mile out & back ride. Some of that elevation is from the downs on the way up.

Catch up from Minturn, CO


Here’s the deal, I am a dirtbag traveler. Mountain bike rides so far have been out Internet coverage ahn I usually camp that way also. Many days go between updates and or, like tonight I am wrung out from a mostly technical big climb @ elevation and hot & dry.

I still have 8 more days in CO before I head out onto the plains. make them count. There aren’t these mountains in Indiana or any other place except CO. Most rides start around 8,000′ for lowest & top out @ 12,000′. My body is adjusting to these elevations somewhat. Now I just seem to pant because of lack of conditioning.

Today I rode from my camp @ a reclaimed tailings pond into Minturn, cross Eagle River, and ride back upstream almost across the river from my camp. Two Elk is a National Scenic Trail. It climbs thru a fissure in the mountains up into the alpine. Vail Ski Resort has made use of the trail’s upper reaches. Mostly tight technical rocks, exposure. I still know how to walk for safety although I am gaining confidence in myself and my bike handling skills. The Turner Spot will give it to me, I am the constraint this time.

Turn your screen sideways

Next is out in open meadow with aspen.

22 miles & 3,000′ elevation climbed in ride time of 3 hrs 39 mins, total time out 5 hours. Some of the cumulative time is a function of my stopping to walk, the computer doesn’t record I am moving while I am trying to get either into or out of my clipless pedals.

On saturday I drove over Independence Pass on Route 82. At least Going to the Sun highway has 2 full lanes. This pass on the Aspen side is carved into the mountain faces at times there is not enough room for 2 full lanes. No vehicles over 35′ length. Not white knuckled but apt attention paid to oncoming traffic.

The highway dumped me into the heart of big money land of Aspen. Time is money and I obeyed the speed limit to get the heck out of there.

I later turned up the road to Snowmass Ski Area, another showy place minus the airport. I heard about the Rim Trail that skirts the basin on the North side. Numerous outlooks on the trail allowed views of yours and others palatial temporary dwellings. The trail itself climbed quite a bit but was mostly hard packed clay. Almost buff.

But the views into the mountains were incredible. Somewhere back in there is Snowmass Mtn that a buddy & I ski climbed at Christmas years ago.

And other rides:

Around Turquoise Lake near leadville, CO, the only real ride so far that was relatively flat albeit I still climbed 1300′.

Twin Lakes out & back on Continental Divide Trail ( CDT).

A reast day in Salida, CO putzing around.

Bear Creek to Methodist Mtn on Rainbow Trail above Salida, CO.

Big ride: Monarch Crest but then you read about that earlier.

I am done for today. I need to plan rides and places to be for the next several days before i lower the bed.

The Norcold Refrigerator works on propane consistantly at elveations below 9000′ Once i leave for the flatlands I just might be able to store ice cream in the freezer.

Continental Divide trail

Brenda drove me to the Monarch Pass ski area to start my ride. My first coaster geek experience. I told her that, she smiled and said, “its not all downhill.” She was right, my computer showed like 2600′ climbing and 6500′ descending. High point on the ride was 11,900′.

Trail undulated in the alpine for 10 miles to marshall Pass, an early get off. 3 more miles took me to Silver Creek get off. Big descent a bit of scree, side hilling above the creek to the creek finally being both a raod and trail. passed quite a few beaver dams and 1 fisherman having a go.

Picked up Rainbow Trail for 9 miles till the highway. This piece turned out to be the best part but by then the effects of the altitude and length of ride caused me to walk up some of the climbs.