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  1. #1
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    700 Miles, 2 Wheels, and Lots of Sand -- Many Photos

    Not a MTB report, but a DB (dirt bike) report.

    Since I had a long 4th of July weekend, I decided to pack one of my bikes up and head out for an adventure. I chose my DR650 because I knew I'd be doing a lot of dirt riding.

    Here she is all packed and ready to go. My photography backpack made for a nice backrest, and it was easy access to my camera for photos along the way (don't make fun of the beaded seat, it makes long miles more endurable )


    5-July-2013-1 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    About 100 miles of riding later, after riding up 285, here's what waits on the other side of Kenosha Pass.

    Riding down into South Park Basin (yes, South Park is real )


    5-July-2013-3 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    A couple of passes later, this is the view you get as you drop down into the little town of Buena Vista, Colorado. The Sawatch Mountain Range to the west is incredible.


    5-July-2013-4 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    Many miles later, riding down the flat, dry and hot San Luis Valley, I finally arrive at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.


    5-July-2013-5 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    I set up my camp, get out of my riding gear, and head out into the dunes. This is a very strange place, it can be absolutely still and silent, and at other times, the wind can be brutal, sandblasting you until any exposed skin is abraded raw. Luckily, the wind didn't show up during my short stay. The weather on the other hand wasn't the greatest (very overcast) and the smoke from fires down in New Mexico and Southern Colorado filled the skies.


    5-July-2013-6 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    The sunsets here can be otherworldly at times


    5-July-2013-2 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    That evening, I planned on staying up to try my hand at some astrophotography. But, the clouds moved in and didn't clear off, after midnight, I tried a couple of shots, then called it a night.


    5-July-2013-7 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    The next morning, I got up before sunup and headed out into the dunes once more. Sunrise and sunset are the best times for photo oportunities, besides, during the heat of the day, that sand can get to 150 degrees.


    5-July-2013-8 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    5-July-2013-9 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    5-July-2013-10 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    Later that day, I'd had enough of the sand and wanted to get into some high country, so I packed camp back up on my bike and headed up to Cottonwood Pass. The road is nice asphalt on the east side, and maintained dirt on the west. The west side of the pass descends down into Taylor Park, a heaven on earth for outdoors people. Hunting, fishing, camping, miles and miles of off road trails and a lot of old Colorado history is down there, ringed by 14,000 ft peaks.

    The east side of the pass


    5-July-2013-12 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    The west side of the pass, looking down into Taylor Park.


    5-July-2013-11 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    I didn't get but one (bad) photos down in the park itself, I was tired from the days ride and hiking the dunes. I set up camp, ate some food and lazed around.


    5-July-2013-13 by Colorado CJ, on Flickr


    The next morning, I rode some trails, visited the old mining town of Tin Cup (really kicking myself that I didn't get any photos there), then broke camp and headed home. 700 miles all told, I need to do something about that dirtbike seat, near split me in two in that many miles

    Thanks for the look.

  2. #2
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    nice shots thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Team Fearless Descender
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    CJ, GREAT STUFF! So beautiful!
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


    Stuff

  4. #4
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    Man, those pictures are stunning! Are those HDR?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    nice shots thanks for sharing.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salt View Post
    CJ, GREAT STUFF! So beautiful!
    Thanks, glad you liked them.

    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanTerrain View Post
    Man, those pictures are stunning! Are those HDR?
    Thank you. No, they aren't HDR. I use a Nikon D600 which has huge amounts of dynamic range compared to many cameras. That, and using an assortment of filters, and a steady tripod, gives you a certain clarity that can't be beat.

    My Pentax K20D (an older DSLR) made just as clear photos in these web sizes, but using the same filters and steady tripod, so it isn't all the camera either.

    If you are interested, I'd recommend a Cokin P filter system, along with a 2 stop or 3 stop graduated ND filter, a linear polarizer and a blue/gold polarizer. You'd be amazed what these can do to your photography.

    I rarely shoot landscapes without filters since I started using them.

  6. #6
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    Sweet pics!

  7. #7
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    Great photos

  8. #8
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Gorgeous pics. I especially like the dawn dune shots. Thanks for sharing!

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