Wednesday, July 1, 2015

RockSTOC I, June 25 - 28

Karla and I have been considering hosting an event through the motorcycle forum we belong to, I've been a member there since 2009. Well, we finally got around to it! We scouted about 16 different campgrounds last year and picked our favorite, oddly a KOA just outside of Ouray. We've never stayed at KOA, never really seen one we liked. This one was excellent AND they allowed dogs. Set a date, posted it on the forum along with some ride suggestions and a motel nearby, and waited. All of a sudden our RSVP list was to 65 people! Whoa!! The event was last weekend, the weather cooperated and the company was excellent. While you can't please everyone, the response was overwhelmingly positive with folks calling for it to be held next year.

We had a wonderful time going back to Ouray, seeing it in the summer as last time we were there was for our wedding (and several feet of snow). What a place. Our favorite town and area in Colorado, hands down.

We left Thursday morning and enjoyed Loveland and Independence Pass on the way out.

Independence, my favorite paved pass in the state

On the other side of Independence we found a great spot for lunch

Made our way to the KOA well before dark, gave us plenty of time to say our hellos and get settled in before night fell. Bikes from the forum everywhere!

Our friend Carole snapped this of us

Our site, back in the corner

Looking the other way, Derby nap time

That'll do. First trip on the new bike!

Friday we decided to do a short ride with loads of picture stops and a nice picnic lunch. Breakfast first!

We went through Ouray to the Million Dollar Highway, up to Molas Pass where we snowmobiled before our wedding for lunch, then back down again. BEAUTIFUL.

Derby's first trip with her bright red doggles

Over that is Telluride somewhere

Lots and lots and lots of waterfalls! They were everywhere!!

Love this one

Our view at lunch, up on Molas Pass

This guy was having a nibble

While his chatty friend was keeping a lookout

We snowmobiled out to that cabin last time we were here!

Picture stop at Molas Lake campground

The columbines up here were breathtaking. I can see why they're our state flower!

Another stop at the top of Molas Pass

As always, massive view and Karla's found the flowers...

Here we go, she took this shot with the flowers AND the view!

Heading back to Ouray, more stops for views going the other direction. Yes that's the road, yes it's awesome!

Where we got married at the end of February with 11 of our closest family and friends! Built in 1886

Derby had a nap in the shade of my bike while we went to the Ouray Brewery

Had a brew and found the ice pick we decorated at dinner the day after our wedding! We found it, but they put a coat hanger in front of it making it impossible to see and photograph. :(

Picked up some beer for the campground at the liquor store across the street, then back to the campground to make dinner and hang out with friends the rest of the night.

Carole got another picture of us!!

Fun night! More folks came over later too. One thing I really liked about the setup is there were multiple campfire hangouts going, making it easier for people to socialize.

Slept in a little Saturday morning. Karla had to head home, she had her improv/comedy class on Sunday. I planned on doing my first bit of off roading with my new bike.

Derby diligently guards the tent until we're both up. No fly shall pass!

Karla really enjoyed her solo ride home. It's the longest she's gone by herself. She's decided she wants to start doing some solo weekend trips!! I've been encouraging her to try it out for years, I'm so pleased she's gonna give it a shot.

She managed to dodge most of the rain

But not construction!

Looks like she found a nice lunch spot

Derby and I headed up to Ophir Pass, one of the easier high dirt passes

At the top! 11,789 feet

Came up that way

Heading down this way. That's a full size, heavy duty pickup to give you an idea of the size of that snowbank!

Down we go

Stopper here to catch our breath after tip toeing down the most difficult part. I let Derby out of the bag just in case I fell over, which I didn't! Hurray!

It was incredible. The bike took me places I'd never been before.

That's the route down, those are some very big lifted Jeeps for scale

Stopped down in the trees for lunch

I officially fell in love with my new bike this day

Walked down a little to find this view

Heading down this way

Views every direction

Can you see the bike?

More fun to be had

Creek crossings are super duper uber fun!!

Of course it felt far more dramatic than the video shows. Crank up the quality to 1080 by clicking on the gear icon in the lower left. We crossed a lot more creeks that day, one was deep enough to splash the top of my helmet!

A few bikes and suvs/trucks on the trail today. Had a nice chat with Eric from Ridgeway, took some video of him crossing this creek for him.

A little bit of pavement riding took us past the Telluride airport, then onto Last Dollar Road. This was the best riding of the day! Not many pictures of the super fun stuff, was having waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun. Did get plenty of good ones on the easier bits. Will absolutely do this again next year, hopefully with Karla on her KLR we intend on buying this winter.

Glamor shots

It's fun to have a bike again that I really find good looking!

This is my favorite bike picture of the day

Vista sans bike, but with dog! Haha, didn't realize she was in the shot til I put it up here.

Did I mention views everywhere you look?

Last Dollar Road headed into the trees. Stuff like this, to stuff more rutted and a little rocky. All easy and !!!

After a good bit of narrower stuff in the trees it opened back up to a dirt residential road and look!!

One of my favorite pictures of the day

Topped off the day's ride with this

A short hop on the pavement back to the KOA for another campfire night with friends. No pictures this time, I just put down the camera and enjoyed the last night. Sure was missing Karla though, the day's ride was something she would have loved. Having her with me would have only heightened the experience. Hopefully next year she'll have a bike capable of doing it!

Derby and I packed up and left Sunday morning for a leisurely ride home. Fantastic having such great riding so close, not requiring a huge trip out and back.

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Monarch Pass, 11,312 feet. Just missed the rain up there. Derby said hurry up and get a picture, it's cold up here!

Fooled around on some dirt roads just past Buena Vista. Rode around trying to find a nice spot for lunch where I could get the bike in the shade. Then, light bulb! I'm on a bike perfectly capable of getting off the trail a bit to get under a tree! Hahaha!!

We arrived home in great spirits and happy to see Karla at about 4:30pm. What a trip. I really missed Karla those last two days, but I'm pleased she still decided to come and just head back a day early. We will absolutely be hosting again next year!

Full album
Pictures of folks and the campground

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