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Old 08-28-2021, 10:10 AM   #21
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Day 14 – Buena Vista, CO to Ivanhoe Lake, CO – 100 miles





We left Buena Vista this morning and headed northeast through an OHV area (this is the area where we camped). Some of the trails in the area are limited to vehicles less than 50” wide, but the BDR travels on the Lenhardy Cutoff which is open to all vehicles. Still, the predominant users are ATVs and motos, so the trails are narrow and twisty…and FUN!



After the OHV area, the route travels northeast to a short stint on US 285, and then back onto dirt and up towards and over Weston Pass (11,921 feet).







Down to US 24 and into Leadville for groceries and fuel. Back out to US 24 and a short jaunt by Turquoise Lake.

Then up Hagerman Pass (11,925 feet). Hagerman is very mild at the bottom. A few miles from the top it turns into a rock garden of imbedded baby heads, which, though not technically difficult, made for some very slow going.



We let pass a Toyota Tundra who we were holding up. We would see him again, stuck for a little while in the hardest section of the road. He aired down a little, and with the help of a Jeeper who was coming down, got himself out. This worried me a little, but the van went through with no complaints.





There were still a few deep snowbanks near the top.





Down the west side of Hagerman was better, but still slow going. Through a fun water crossing, and we doubled back to Ivanhoe Lake, and found a spot right by the lake. There appeared to be no other campers there, which made us wonder…
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:14 PM   #22
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Day 15 – Ivanhoe Lake, CO to Red Dirt Bridge, CO – 115 miles



This was easily the coldest morning of the entire trip.



The road down from Ivanhoe Lake follows an old railroad grade, and is a pretty easy drive. At Ivanhoe, a railroad tunnel was built in 1891 which essentially goes under Hagerman Pass, and ends just above Turquoise Lake on the Leadville side. It replaced the shorter Hagerman Tunnel, which at over 11,500 feet, was one of the highest tunnels ever built. The new Busk- Ivanhoe Tunnel allowed much easier rail traffic across the Continental Divide.

The tunnel was converted from a rail tunnel to an automobile toll tunnel in 1922, and renamed the Carlton Tunnel. It was abandoned in 1942 and collapsed in 1945. Beginning in 1921, the tunnel was also used to steal divert water from the western slope to the eastern slope. Water could still flow through the rubble, and the tunnel was repaired to a degree after the collapse. It is still used to divert water to this day. The eastern entrance to the tunnel is just above Turquoise Lake, but I missed it on the way up the pass.

We had to divert off the BDR and down Frying Pan Road due to a large wildfire at Sylvan Lake. The diversion took us by Ruedi Reservoir, where we used to sail when I was a kid, and down into Basalt. Onto Highway 82 and then up an over Cottonwood Pass (8,280 feet) to Gypsum, where we rejoined the BDR after getting fuel and supplies. This, obviously, is not the same Cottonwood Pass we traversed a few days ago.

In fact, there are 3 Cottonwood Passes in Colorado! Additionally, there are two Arapaho, Big Horn, Browns, Buffalo, Denver, Grassy, Hoosier, Muddy, Pawnee, Ptarmigan, Spring Creek, Squaw, Storm, Taylor, Narrows, and Windy passes, three Columbine, Red Mountain, San Francisco, Notch, and Yellow Jacket passes, four Gunsight, and Saddle passes, and six Ute passes, just to keep things confusing!

From Gypsum, we traveled north to the Colorado River, where we found a nice camp spot at Red Dirt Bridge. Bill noticed the rear seal on his Jeep was leaking, and changed it before dinner!





Today, the smoke from all the wildfires became really noticeable, and would get thicker throughout the rest of the trip. For this reason, I took fewer photos, as many of the cool vistas were obscured by smoke.


Day 16 – Red Dirt Bridge, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO – 115 miles



We set off in the morning along the Colorado River, with a few diversions here and there. It was an enjoyable easy drive until I got a puncture just past the Radium Recreation Area. We plugged the tire and, once again, the compressor struggled to air it up. We continued a short way and met up with the motos, where Ardell noticed that the tire had a big bulge in the tread, apparently a delamination had occurred. We changed the tire, but not without a couple setbacks, including a failed Hummer H-1 scissor jack and a broken lug nut socket. The rest of the day I was a little nervous about the wheel, as we could not torque the lug nuts down to spec.



At the intersection of Highway 134, we were forced to take a second detour due to wildfire activity. We took 134 to Yampa where we had a good late lunch at the Antlers Café & Bar. The Bearpaw Bakery next door was closing for a couple days and was having a half off sale on everything! Sweet!

We continued on to Stagecoach Reservoir, where we regained the BDR, continued into Steamboat and camped at the KOA so we could shower off! A good pizza dinner at How Ya Doin Pizza topped off the evening.


Day 17 – Steamboat Springs, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO – 235 miles



The guys decided to take a rest day today. John had to work (ugh), he had a zoom call and needed wifi, and everyone was a little tired out. I took the opportunity to drive to Glenwood Springs to get a couple new front tires. I had hoped I would get one more trip out of them, but not so lucky.

I got up early and went to throw out some trash, and it was evident that a bear had made itself a midnight snack, trash everywhere. After taking to John when I got back, the bear had also visited the site next to them, but did no damage there.

It was a quick trip down to I-70 and west through Glenwood Canyon to the Springs, new tires, and back. Didn’t even get a soak at the hot springs.


Day 18 – Steamboat Springs, CO to Rawlins, WY – 150 miles



Today is the last day of the BDR. As we were packing up, we noticed that
Bill’s Jeep was leaking coolant. Bill figured out it was leaking at the heater core, so we made a trip to NAPA and he bypassed it in the parking lot. I think he can fix anything!

The day started out drizzly rainy as we made our way to the Wyoming border. At one point near the border, the route took off on a small two track that was essentially impassible for the bikes. We were discussing where to detour when a logging truck rolled up. The driver was mighty nice, and told us the best route to take, and roared off. Those guys drive fast in those big trucks!

We crossed the border, and came to an intersection where we would split up.





The others returned to Steamboat and ultimately back to Cortez and then Arizona. I continued north to Rawlins.





There I did laundry, had a good chicken fried steak at Buck’s Bar & Grill, and spent the night in a crappy motel.
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Old 09-05-2021, 03:20 PM   #23
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Sorry for the hiatus, I had to go to DC to see my mom.
After I posted day 14, I was re-watching a couple of the videos that @larrie posted that showed their CO BDR trip last September. Watching the Hagerman pass video, I noticed this car and immediately recognized it.



That same car was in the same place when we went over Hagerman in August of this year, almost a year later!



The car was very near the top of the pass, and kind of precariously parked it seemed. It's funny that Bill remembered the car from our trip, and so did Larrie from his. It wasn't in a spot you'd expect, so it stuck in our minds. According to GAIA and OnX, there is no private land inholding or mining claim there.

The car sure didn't look as though it had been there all winter, and didn't look damaged or abandoned, but it seems to be in the exact same place.

So, what do you think? There all year? Just coincidentally in the same place? Mushroom hunter? Pot grow? Who knows?
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:00 PM   #24
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Awesome. Well done, thanks for posting.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:22 PM   #25
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Day 19 – Rawlins, WY to Pinedale, WY – 235 miles



Not him again!



Out of Rawlins, I traveled North on the highway a few miles, and then turned east into BLM checkerboard. The trail loops around back to the west, by and through some sand dunes.



This is dry, rolling open country, perfect for Pronghorn, of which I saw a lot. Back across the highway and by the town of Barsoil and across a huge swath of BLM land towards South Pass City.



The track ranges from well-maintained ranch roads to two-tracks, none of which was too difficult, at least when it was dry. At one point, there was a non-descript marking the crossing of the Pony Express route, which I was on, and the Oregon Trail.





I continued on through South Pass City.











On to Boulder, and then a short stint of pavement into Pinedale. I hadn’t expected to get this far, but the roads were generally good, and traveling alone I find I tend to press on. I really should stop and explore more, it’s not like I’m on a schedule!

I had a good early dinner at the Wind River Brewery in Pinedale, and headed out to find a campsite. After checking several campgrounds at Fremont Lake and Half Moon Lake (all full), I returned to Pinedale and headed north into the BLM for a dispersed site. The evening was very smoky, resulting in a stunning, although somewhat disconcerting, sunset.

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Old 09-08-2021, 05:19 PM   #26
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Thoroughly enjoying your updates and photos velo47 !
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Old 09-08-2021, 11:09 PM   #27
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Yeah great report. I'd like to visit that area. As far as the car, I had a similar experience in the sierra's I frequent during the year. I saw a vehicle in a spot I had seen before or one I thought I'd seen before. Then months later I saw a gal climbing into the same looking vehicle and noticed she had some kind of clip board and toughbook tablet. Figured she was some kind of forest service worker. It looked like some kind of 4WD Subaru, not a government vehicle.

Then on the other hand maybe your encounter was a random incident.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:02 PM   #28
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Thanks Dave. It's a headscratcher for sure.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:20 PM   #29
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Day 20 – Pinedale, WY to Mesa Falls, ID – 255 miles



The sun rose this morning to an even smokier sky than last evening. Again, a beautiful sunrise, but one I'd gladly forego in exchange for clear skies. The smoke would continue all day.





Out of Pinedale, the route follows the highway for quite a ways until it turns to Union Pass Road. The terrain changes from desert hills to wooded forest, and crosses the divide at the top of Union Pass.





Along the way is a cabin, built specifically as a shelter for snowmobilers in the area.





I got a kick out the supplies that had been left inside!



Once I neared Grand Teton National Park, all the campgrounds were full, and traffic increased substantially. At the turn into Teton at the North Park Road, traffic was so backed up I decided to go into Jackson and get a burger and a beer.

Big mistake! Traffic into Jackson from the North was at a standstill over a mile from town. There were so many tourists that you couldn’t even walk on the sidewalks! Instead of going back up to Teton, I grumped and grumbled off-route over Teton Pass into Idaho, to Ashton, disappointed that I got off track when I should have just continued on across Grand Teton Park. I'm sure it would've been more scenic and less frustrating in the end.

I got the last spot at a nice tiny campground at Lower Mesa Falls.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:14 PM   #30
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Somehow I missed a few pics from Day 20. These are in the mountains before I got to Grand Teton.

Northern Wyoming and Montana are officially grizzly country.









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