Goin' big and doing some soul searching on the divide - lotsa pics- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    ride
    Reputation: ignazjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,273

    Goin' big and doing some soul searching on the divide - lotsa pics

    "He was born in the summer of his 27th year
    Comin' home to a place he'd never been before
    He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
    You might say he found a key for every door"

    Or at least that's how the late great John Denver puts it. For me, it was 22. Back in '95, my good friend Bryan and I road tripped (with bikes, of course) from Nebraska to Boulder over Labor Day Weekend. Bryan had lived in CO that summer so he knew his way around the Front Range relatively ok. One of the goals for that long weekend was to hit up a ride that Bryan had described as legendary, or something to that effect. It was Jenny Creek to Rollins Pass and back from Eldora. I was on my Tange Ultimate tubed, Judy SL forked ParkPre at the time and Jenny Creek was about as gnarly a trail as I had ever witnessed. Technically, JC is not a trail but a Jeep Road, but it's still something to be respected. I came away from that ride in love. In love with Colorado. And in love of a strange new way of riding. Hiking up boulder fields and root gardens to get the great view at the top. And then to bomb back down in the saddle. Ahh, memories.


    I think it's safe to say that without that ride, without Jenny Creek, and without Rollins Pass, I may not have made it to Colorado. Definitely a game changer. How did John Denver put it? Oh yeah, "Comin' home to a place he'd never been before, He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again." That pretty much sums it up.
    Over the past 15 years (has it seriously been that long?) I've managed to make the pilgrimage up to Jenny Creek every few of years. We've done it quite a few different ways, even starting in Nederland. Bummer about that one, as starting in Ned involves a poach on private property now (well, technically it always did, but we didn't know, and now the landowners cares). Unfortunately, I think the last time I was up to Rollins Pass was probably about 5 years ago.
    I started getting the itch a few weeks ago. When I get the itch, I start pouring over maps, even though I know the route. It gets me hyped up, almost to the point where I can't get it out of my head. I know, I know, I'm and addict. Admitting is half the battle, right?
    My time came today. It was a rare occurance where all the moons aligned for me. Kid's in school and at playdates til 3, then time for Z's dance class. I can do all that and still be home by 3, right?


    The ride starts right at the gate of Eldora Ski resort. Why they don't build some trails for bikes to ride in the summer is completely beyond me. They could have some great riding there, even lift accessed. But I'm not going to rant on that too much today.
    After a short grunt of a climb, a nice and beautifully rocky singletrack leads from Eldora Resort over into the Jenny Creek drainage.


    After not too long on Jenny Creek, a spur trail goes up the Guinn Mountain Hut. I've actually not ever been up that one so, always having a mind for adventure, I decided to climb it.


    The sign did not lie. I had to hike about 1/2 of the trail. But it was great. I finally made it to the hut. A quick trip thru a meadow and I dumped out on the pipeline trail. It's not really an official trail, but it follows the gas pipeline from Eldora up to the divide. It's narrow and wonderful and super steep. Not technical, just steep. Almost to the top...


    And then views! Yankee Doodle Lake below. The tallest peak in the background is James Peak.

    And the Needle's Eye Tunnel that collapsed in the 80s. Rollins Pass was, at one time, intended to get a little bit more traffic than it did.


    From there, it was a major PUSH up to the twin trestles road and over to Rollins Pass. Probably not a good ride for folks that don't mind hiking thru scree filled old and closed jeep roads. Probably not a good ride for folks having issue with vertigo or heights, either. Or rickety old structures that creak eerily when you ride across them.


    And FINALLY to Rollins Pass. After all these years, this area kinda feels like home to me.


    I actually made it to Rollins Pass ahead of schedule, which meant I had time for more riding! The thought had crossed my mind earlier in the week, but I honestly didn't think I'd have time to do it. Rodgers Pass. The start of the Rodgers Pass trail was only a few miles down the road and I had never done it, even though it had been on my list for at least the last 10 years. There's no time like the present so it was down the road and past Mount Epworth and Deadman Lake. Outstanding views towards Winter Park, too.


    Rodgers Pass Trail starts on the East side of Riflesight Notch. This is one trestle that is anything but safe these days.


    Once on the Rodgers Pass trail and up out of the trees, the view towards Rodgers Pass was heartbreakingly cruel and discouraging. Nothing but a looooong, windblown and rocky switchbacked climb up the side of the mountain. I entertained thoughts of turning around. The one thing that kept me going, though, was that it had taken me over 10 years to get to this point and it would likely be another 10 before I made it again. Up! The final stretch to Rodgers Pass. That's James Peak again, too. Closer now.


    And finally Pass Number Two of the day - Rodgers Pass, 11,860'.


    Big Big views. Heart Lake.


    And James Peak was looking pretty damn big at this point.


    By now, of course, I was under the impression that I was running late, so I forewent my beer and lunch and made onward progress back down the mountain. And back down the Rodgers Pass Trail to Corona Road.


    And back on Rollins Pass Road heading towards the trestles. It was easier to make time going down than up and I was quickly back on schedule.


    A quick stop for that Dale's Pale Ale, then back down the pipeline.


    This time, after rolling by the Guinn Cabin, I opted for the "other" Guinn trail back to Jenny Creek Rd. This trail went the less direct way and would allow me just a bit more enjoyment of Jenny Creek Road. It was all too short. A quick climb out of the Jenny Creek drainage (which felt way steeper on the climb out)


    and I was back to the resort. Goodby Eldora,


    and thanks again. My urge for the pilgrimage had once again been satisfied. I felt fulfilled like I had not been in a long time.
    Oh, I made it home by 3, too. Everyone was happy with that one.
    Last edited by ignazjr; 09-21-2010 at 10:14 AM.
    Redstone Cyclery
    intense*transition*rocky mountain*turner
    web - tweet - FB
    Lyons, CO

  2. #2
    making tracks
    Reputation: Goatski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    37
    Mmmmm.. Dale's only gets better with elevation. Looks like a sweet exploration

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: slayer27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    233
    Awesome!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Carraig042's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    890
    Looks amazing, very nice pictures!

    -Brett

  5. #5
    I Have Cookies
    Reputation: ae111black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,644
    Neat Pic's! Say the pic with the bike what's with the colored cards in the spokes? I see some guys in fixies around town with those......
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

    ____
    Kimo

  6. #6
    ride
    Reputation: ignazjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,273
    haha - those aren't hipster fixie cards. Those are the diamonds on trees used to mark winter use trails. I pick 'em up when I see them on the ground and put them in the wheels. I was pretty stoked - I found a red on on that ride.
    Redstone Cyclery
    intense*transition*rocky mountain*turner
    web - tweet - FB
    Lyons, CO

  7. #7
    I Have Cookies
    Reputation: ae111black's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,644
    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    haha - those aren't hipster fixie cards. Those are the diamonds on trees used to mark winter use trails. I pick 'em up when I see them on the ground and put them in the wheels. I was pretty stoked - I found a red on on that ride.
    cool! they sure look like "hipster cards" what is the purpose of the hipster cards? Gang affiliation?
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

    ____
    Kimo

  8. #8
    ride
    Reputation: ignazjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,273
    Maybe I should take them out, then. I have no aspiration of being a hipster. Fortunately, we're in a small enough mountain town that I don't think anyone rides super narrow barred fixies.
    Redstone Cyclery
    intense*transition*rocky mountain*turner
    web - tweet - FB
    Lyons, CO

  9. #9
    Hates rain
    Reputation: mike11204's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    104
    Awesome pics and story dude. I could only dream of a ride in scenic country like that.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,461
    Awesome TR. Thanks for the stoke

    Speaking of stoke I finally got the Spot that you helped me with built up and went for a break-in ride this am. Climbs like one of those Rocky Mountain Goats you were probably shooing out of the way.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JSumner13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,586
    Wow...great pics of a truly epic ride

  12. #12
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,847
    Nice one, Dave!

    Only made two attempts at that, both cut short by still too much snow. Made it to the lake view as the high point. Shoulda' made another try.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  13. #13
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
    Reputation: Leopold Porkstacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    8,469
    Wow, Im not normally a history expert, but this Rollins Pass and toll situation sounds more like the work of the notorious Hedley Lamarr!!!
    Dont frail and blow if youre going to Braille and Flow.

  14. #14
    Y no grease?ლ(ಠ益ಠლ
    Reputation: greasemeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    770
    Man, 11.6k feet elev. That is mountain biking. Crazy that you have it to yourself like that.

    In any case, Colorado, John Denver references, riding a Tomac.. well done sir.
    Climbing ain't easy
    when you're fat and greasy
    - 2 Bigsteve

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    903
    Thanks for the excellent post.

    Terry

  16. #16
    rollin
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    221
    everyday I pine to ride in locals like this, but alas here I sit behind my desk in Ohio

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    375
    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    cool! they sure look like "hipster cards" what is the purpose of the hipster cards? Gang affiliation?
    to scare the bears?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    263
    Quote Originally Posted by Cday1616
    everyday I pine to ride in locals like this, but alas here I sit behind my desk in Ohio

    Oklahoma here. At least you have trees.

    I ride in sand, rock, and cactus, but very few trees. On Monday we rode 8.5 miles in a 40 mph wind. We consider those days our "hill climbing" days.

  19. #19
    ride
    Reputation: ignazjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,273
    That's the nice thing about the bike shop being closed on Mondays If I'd have done this ride on a Sat or Sun morning, I would've encountered all types of folks. As it was on Monday though, I ran into a few people at Eldora and a few people on Corona Rd. Other than that, I saw absolutely no one on the entire ride. It was quite excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by greasemeat
    Man, 11.6k feet elev. That is mountain biking. Crazy that you have it to yourself like that.

    In any case, Colorado, John Denver references, riding a Tomac.. well done sir.
    Redstone Cyclery
    intense*transition*rocky mountain*turner
    web - tweet - FB
    Lyons, CO

  20. #20
    Team Inflexible
    Reputation: Jaydude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,943
    Nice ride. I can appreciate a man who embraces hike-a-bike!

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.