Punching a Hole - Part 2
I don't have the heart to rewrite the original, detailed post, which Blogger lost. So, as Joe Friday is so often quoted as saying, "Just the facts."
We ended up camping north of Woodland Park, in a wooded area with plenty of trees for the hammocks, and some nicely placed rocks for lounging around, eating, and drinking beer.
We stayed up late, drinking beer, swapping stories, and watching satellites go by, with the Milky Way as a backdrop. I used the Star Map app on the iPhone to identify Saturn, Uranus and Mars along with a plethora of constellations and stars.
In the morning, Tom spotted this, between our two hammocks. It made us feel a bit weird to realize that we had slept in a mountain lion litter box!
We broke camp and headed out at about 7:00 AM. After a bit of scare when Tom thought he had lost his wallet, I bought us some gas and we headed on to Florissant, where Tom conveniently found his wallet in his saddle bag. I gave him a hard time about scamming me out of two gallons of petrol.
We spent the rest of the morning lost, trying to find our way to a supposed dirt road which would take us down to US-50. Eventually, we gave up and just hit the paved route. We finally arrived at the Texas Creek trailhead about 3 hours late. Tom's buddies, Tommy and Rod, were waiting for us on 4-wheelers.
We unloaded the bikes and stored our stuff in the other two guys' trucks, and embarked on 5 hours of hell, for me. By the time I realized that the trail was a lot rougher than what I was comfortable riding, we had reached the point of no return.
I broke both pegs off of the bike, in two of my seven separate crashes. I moved the passenger pegs to the front, so that I could continue. After that, I bent the clutch lever, scratched the gas tank and the left engine case, broke the peg off of the shifter and removed a bit of material from the cooling fin on the bottom of the crankcase, all while bonking due to the heat and the fact that I neglected to carry any food along with me. (Thank goodness I wore my 100-ounce CameBak!)
When I got home, I repaired it by removing the threaded stub from the original peg, cut a piece of cromoly tubing and bolted it to the lever. Then, I covered the tube with o-rings, and put heat-shrink tubing over that. I plan to get a folding peg, at some point...
When I broke the shifter peg, I think I may have broken my foot, as well...
After we finally got back to the trucks, we loaded up and headed back to Denver, by way of Salida and Buena Vista, to US-285. We stopped at the intersection 219 and 285 (Johnson Village/Buena Vista) and ate dinner. Then, we headed to Denver, as the sun set behind us, beyond the Collegiate Range.
On the way down 285, we hit a thunderstorm with some pretty vicious winds at Kenosha Pass, but at least we didn't have any deer walk out in front of us. We rolled into my driveway at 11.20 PM, a bit over 15 hours after leaving our campsite, that morning.
The next day, as I was working on fixing the damage to the bike, I managed to snap the clutch lever the rest of the way.
I still haven't heard from the pegs...but I put the passenger pegs back in their place, and transferred the passenger pegs from the Trident onto the Scrambler, as a temporary fix.
I touched up the engine case and the tank, while I was at it, and continued on.
One thing, for sure: I won't be riding that sort of trail, again, on that bike. If I feel the need to ride that kind of stuff, I will get a real dirt bike. I like to ride the trails at Rampart Range, and cruise the jeep trails and gravel roads. But, rock crawling with a 600 pound bike is not a lot of fun...
Having said that, though, I did have a good time on the ride, overall. It was a pretty epic adventure, and I certainly improved my off-road ring skills!