Wow... wife and I discussed two options for our upcoming vacation:
Ride our recently purchased (March '11) touring bike to the Black Hills of SD so she can see the sights I got to see. (Was there by myself on a previous hot rod bike... no way she could do the 2800 miles of the trip sitting on that passenger pillion.)
If there's bad weather forecast for the Black Hills a few days before leaving... take our 4WD and go to Colorado. (Basically our favorite place to vacation.) Afterthought: Why not trailer our dual sport bikes along and ride a little bit?
As the time neared, we realized we needed to have Plan B better thought-out in case that's the direction we head. Soooo... out came my new "Motorcycling Colorado" book... and we begin to browse it for some ideas in case it was Plan B.
This is where Plan A began to fall apart. Long story short:
We'll do the Black Hills aboard our touring bike some other time.... we're goin' dual sportin' in Colorado!
There are too many unexplored (by us) passes still out in Colorado... and we've never done them on dual sport bikes. (Only rented Jeeps and our 4WD.) We think we've put together a ride that will be EPIC. Here's what we've come up with that will stay well within the wife's motorcycling skill level and still offer fantastic scenery:
* Day 1: Arrive Canyon City in our 4WD w/bikes on the trailer and lodge for the night.
* Day 2: Unload the bikes, pack a lite backpack and leave Canyon City and head north on Phantom Canyon Road to Victor and Cripple Creek. North of Cripple Creek take Gold Camp Road to Colorado Springs and lodge there for the night. (Notes: Phantom Canyon Road is the old roadbed of the Florence & Cripple Creek narrow gauge RR. Gold Camp Road is part of the Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek std gauge RR.)
* Day 3: Leave Colorado Springs, return over Gold Camp Road to the Cripple Creek/Victor area, then ride the Shelf-Red Canyon road back to Canyon City. Freshen up, load the bikes and head for Pitkin, CO to lodge at a favorite cabin we've used before.
* Day 4: Leave Pitkin and head over Wanuita Pass and Black Sage Pass to Sargents, CO, pick up Marshall Pass road and ride it to Salida for lunch n' fuel. Return the same route. (Note: Marshall Pass road is the old roadbed of the D&RG's line over Marshall Pass.)
* Day 5: Leave Pitkin for Taylor Lake via Cumberland Pass. Fuel and food at Taylor Lake and return.
* Day 6: Short day with a ride up to Alpine Tunnel and enjoy the ambiance of that historic area. That afternoon load up and head for Crested Butte to lodge for the night. (Note: We'll be riding the roadbed of the Denver South Park & Pacific to Alpine Tunnel, in itself a famed DSP&P location.)
* Day 7: Leaving from Crested Butte ride Ohio Pass over to Paonia, CO, food and fuel, then back to Crested Butte via Kebler Pass. Lodge at Crested Butte again.
* Day 8: Laid back morning. Bikes loaded, ready to head east. May do some of the Black Canyon in our 4WD and leave out for eastern Oklahoma that afternoon. Lodge somewhere that night while on the road.
* Day 9: Arrive home!
We're are gettin' so excited we're about to pee our pants!!!