Pictures: Day 11

Day 11 / Monday, September 7, 2009

While the ladies spent a cold night outside (frost on the seats), we bunked in a hostel in Breckenridge.

The Fireside Inn at Breckridge, where I took my first shower in 6 days since Lincoln, MT :)

Going through a rock pass right outside Breckenridge.

Fall colors beginning.

Looking west into the Breckenridge valley.

A beautiful morning ride up to Boreas Pass.

At Boreas Pass

At Boreas Pass

Mike, waiting up for me and taking in the awesome view. Note the pockets of color in the trees below.

Looking south past Como towards the high altitude plains we would be riding through.

South of Como on Elkhorn Rd riding through South Park, a high altitude grassland. In remote places, you can always rely on bovine companionship.

Washboard road at times, but generally a nice high altitude ride. Road was above 9,000 ft heading to Harstel.

Big blue skies and clouds, hardly a boring view.

The road gently rolled around the high meadows.

Very peaceful riding.

Crossing a little stream

South of Hartsel, heading through the San Isabel National Forest towards Salida.

The change in scenery with close-by trees was welcome after all the open range riding.

Looking across the valley with Salida and Poncha Springs towards Marshall Pass.

Heading down into Salida.

Heading up to Marshall Pass on Chaffee County Road 200.

Looking down on O'Haver Lake, a nice place to camp.

The road was well maintained and an easy ride.

Lots of dense forest riding.

Marshall Pass, 10,842 ft. This road was part of Denver & Rio Grande's narrow gauge train route in the late 19th century, heading west to Salt Lake City.

Looking south from Marshall Pass.

Heading down the west side of the pass towards Sargents.

Closely placed aspens make for some great riding.

Tomichi Creek Trading Post at Sargents, at the junction of Marshall Pass Road and US 50.

Heading south from Doyleville towards Cochetopa Pass. Looks like a nice sunny afternoon...

And then we see these dark wall of clouds with heavy lightning up ahead.

Again, we didn't get wet. Mike informed me of this Colorado weather phenomena known as Virga, where the precipitation evaporates before reaching the ground due to higher air pressures near the ground. I still stopped and put on all my rain gear... just in case.

Riding the historic Saguache - San Juan Toll Road commissioned by Otto Mears and other wealthy businessman in the late 19th century hoping to exploit silver mining possibilities in these mountains. The railroad route mentioned above robbed these roads of traffic.

Cochetopa Pass on the divide at 10,032 ft. It's a Ute Indian word meaning "pass of the buffalo." In the mid 19th century, expeditions were sent to find a route through here for the intercontinental railroad. After skirmishes with harsh winters and protective Native Americans, it was decided to go through Wyoming and the Great Divide Basin.

Setting up camp for the night, just east of Cochetopa Pass.

Getting a fire going before the sun completely set.

Nothing better than sitting around a fire after a nice day of riding through the forests and high mountains.

Fire with fallen branches from a pine tree that looked like it hadn't been disturbed in ages.

Watching the moon rise over the ridge.

Next: Day 12, Into New Mexico

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