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Day 12- Mount Evans & Independence Pass

This is going to be a busy and long day! We're riding with our friends, Scott and Karin. First we're taking backroads to Mt. Evans, then thru Leadville, then up and over Independence Pass, then thru Aspen and on up to Glenwood Springs.

Leaving out early...




...almost thru the traffic...we were just here yesterday, this is the road between Colorado Springs and the base of Pikes Peak.





Fantastic riding all the way to Mt. Evans...




Even though the occasional 2 wheeler slowed us down in the curves. lol




Most of the riding was traffic free.




The TG's laugh at these signs...




30 mph seems like a more comfortable pace.




This is absolutely beautiful countryside! I think I already mentioned it a few days ago, I wonder if the folks in Colorado know how good they have it!




We're starting to climb higher now, seeing little spots of snow on the sides of the road....




...and seeing the snow capped mountains are getting closer and closer!




Starting to head up the "serious" part of the road...




...to the summit of Mt. Evans. It is in poor condition, and, as always, little room for error. But...




...the views are stunning!





Always good to see a fellow biker enjoying the ride!




A nice photo showing the treeline. Even though the trees can't breathe up this high, we are doing fine with the oxygen boost. lol




Past the treeline and into where it is cold enough that there is still plenty of snow and ice!





I started laughing when I saw this sign, because pretty much the whole road is damaged...





...but then we saw that there were some pretty good potholes...




...then there were a couple of these 10" deep trenches across the entire road...BUT, they did put rocks in them so if you placed your tires on the rocks in the hole you did not drop down as much. lol





There are a bunch of fun switchbacks on the way up!




Continuing up to the summit. Here are a couple of photo's riding close to the edge of the road for some photo's...




...and another...




...this is a fantastic ride with...




...amazing views!




I wanted to touch the snow while riding...




...guess what? It isn't snow, it's very hard ice! Burned a bit. lol

Check out the view in the upper left of the photo....yeah, where the road just disappears into the sky.




Lotta mountains in the distance.




I did not count the switchbacks, but there were a lot, and they were all fun!





Just breathtaking views! This is a ride we'll always remember!




Hey! There's a traffic jam at the top! lol

As soon as we parked, Mary saw some Mountain Goats and went up close to get some photo's. This was the last photo she took...this one was starting to get to close for comfort. lol




We all ate our lunch up at the top, enjoying the views...but I discovered, we did not take very many photos at the top.

Here we are at the sign, 15 feet higher than Pikes Peak.




Left to right- Scott, Karin, Mary, Kevin.





There used to be a house at the top here...




It was destroyed in a fire back in 1979 and never rebuilt.




We're on our way back down now...looking up, you can see what is left of the Crest House.




Whole different perspective when we headed back down....




...we're encountering less slow moving cages too, so that is nice.




Saw this little guy on the side of the road in a switchback.




Either Scott & Karin, or myself and Mary....one of us is going the wrong way! lol




Mary grabbed this photo as we were riding down the mountain...




...and this one too. Just one of over a dozen switchbacks still to go.




Came up on a 2 wheeler who was riding cautiously...




...and with good reason! The road is bad, rocks fall, and any variety of other challenges to keeping those 2 wheels on the road.




Plus the view is absolutely amazing!




All three of us in a turn...




...and another one.




We are out of the snow now, down where the trees are, and no big drop-offs. The bagger is more comfortable to go.




Awesome riding. Can you see we are behind a different kind of 2 wheeler now (in front of the truck).




On the I-70 for a short distance, headed for Leadville, and then Independence Pass.
 ​​


The Eisenhower Tunnel. It's over 1.6 miles long and at an elevation of over 11,000 feet! eeek!




I really don't like caves, and this is just a man-made cave...at least it's well lit. But riding through it I was thinking of all that rock above us!!!




Just WOW!




Taking the turn-off toward Leadville, and then on to Independence Pass.





Scott and Karin have gone out of their way to take us on some great rides...




...photo's of them taken at 70 mph on our climb to Leadville.




One of hundreds of amazing views taken while riding today!




Downtown Leadville....been there a long time!




This is the first curve in the ride up to Independence Pass. A great way to start!




We've just barely started and the views are stunning!




These couple of pics of this curve give an idea...




...of how sharp and at an angle they are. The TG's eat them up, but you can see a cage has a bit of a time with them.




We're climbing higher and...




...the views are absolutely amazing!




The pics from just today are already so many....the ride up was full of scenic views and great riding...but skipping ahead, here we are arriving at the summit....




...which is also the Continental Divide.





Playing in the snow, and, yes, I got her right in the leg a split second after this photo. lol




Headed down the other side, just as spectacular views...




...and still a lot of snow in places.




A look back!




What an epic day of riding and scenic views! I am not sure...




...I would ever get any work done if I lived in Colorado! The riding and the views are fantastic!





Well, actually, I am pretty sure that I wouldn't get a lot done. haha




As we roll down the back side of Independence pass, getting closer to the bottom, the road continues to narrow...




...getting very comfy, not even a center line. This is a small cage and a TG, imagine two trucks!!!




We're rolling flat now...headed toward Glenwood Springs for the night. This is just one of a thousand views, seen at 60 mph.




The TG is running great. I'm liking this new tune I got from Fuzzy. That's an average of almost 42 mpg over the last 120 miles. Which included a bunch of miles at 70 mph, climbing up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, then rolling thru Leadville, then climbing and descending Independence Pass.




Riding thru the uppity town of Aspen, Colorado.




Manufactured snow in Aspen-




Shadow pic as we're rolling toward Glenwood Springs on the 82.




Wow, I'm liking this tune more and more. At 154 miles now, rolling between 65-70 mph and MPG is still going up!




A look back...




A look to the side...




And a look ahead!





It's been a long day, about 9 hours of actual riding, and close to 400 of some of the best miles to be ridden. We are in Glenwood Springs for the night.




 ​​​Tomorrow we head out to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, then on back to Colorado Springs!