We left Austin Tx. on July 13th for the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, the 16 hour drive via Texas Panhandle was very nice, because the scenery is quite good, and the roads are not populated with semi-trucks (unlike using Interstate 10). After 16 hours, we pulled into the Great Sand Dunes!
Locked and Loaded and ready to tackle the Medano Pass Road... or so I thought!
The road starts out pretty easy, and this was my wife's first big ride on the DRZ...
The road quickly turns to deep sand, hmmmm.... I guess that's what you get when riding at the base of a sand dune!
I took the DRZ to scout out how long the sand lasted before climbing Medano Pass
The deep sand looked to continue for a few miles, so I turned the DRZ around and we headed back, to get more information about the road.
I was concerned that a long stretch of deep sand would do Sarah in before we even got to Medano Pass.
We had already picked up the DRZ several times and the level of exertion at 10,000 ft was being felt!
After struggling in the sand we found out that:"The Medano Pass Road is closed beyond the Castle Creek Picnic Area (3 miles from start of the road near the park campground) due to the Medano Fire."
Even though I was disappointed that we missed out on Medano Pass, it was a blessing in disguise, because we really needed to spend the day acclimating to the high elevation. We loaded the bikes and spent the night at the Dunes.
I don't get it... she is smiling and making me breakfast after letting me talk her into riding a motorcycle in the dirt!
After our pancakes, we re-evaluated what to do for the day. Since Medano Pass was not to be, we left the Dunes for one of my
back-up camping locations - O'Havre Lake. The lake is it located at the base of Marshall Pass, loaded with trout and warm enough to
We headed for Marshall Pass.
After relaxing at the summit, we took the Poncha Creek Jeep Trail. This was the first test of Sarah's skills in rocky and steep trail conditions.
Luckily her previous mountain biking experience came into play here, and all was well!
A hairy beast was spotted in the lake... we think he ate a Buell rider.
After winning the wet t-shirt contest, I took off for a little session on the DRZ up the Jeep trail!
Needless to say, it was a fabulous day of riding and swimming!... more to come...