Day 5

Wednesday July 11th, 2001

Monarch, Old Monarch, Original Monarch, Black Sage,Boreas and Waunita Passes--also Pitkin, Colorado.

    Today we were wanting to move the campsite to a new area to do some riding and passes in the Lake City, Telluride, and Ophir areas. I had to do Black Bear Pass before I went home----as it was suppose to be the most ominous of all !!!!!

 So Don graciously volunteered to drive the truck to Gunnison—I think he was wanting to relax a little and catch up on his  laundry. So Don drove us to the Monarch Pass where I unloaded my bike-----“Iron Butt” Kenny was having nothing to do with hauling his bike and followed us on his DR650. Me and Kenny agreed to meet Don later at a campground West of Gunnison.

        So me and Keeny once again headed off by ourselves on the “Old Monarch Pass” road. There are 3 Monarch passes. Original, Old, and Monarch Pass. We tried to find the original pass but thought it was down a gated no trespassing road. So we went over Old Monarch Pass and down into a lush valley. Then we went further West over Boreas Pass and on to Waunita Hot Springs. We looked this over from the road and wasn’t sure what was going on here. We didn’t drive up as it seemed to be a horse dude ranch with lodging and we thought the springs were out of sight behind the lodge and horse barns.
     Kenny Gibbons going West down Old Monarch Pass Road.
Mark Sampson at Blacksage Pass. Elevation 9,745ft.
      Kenny gibbons "The Man" at Waunita Pass--elevation 10,302ft. There were trails going everywhere up here. We will come back and ride them !!!
Kenny in Pitkin, Colorado. We had a pizza here a relaxed a while. This was an easy but enjoyable day for all of us. Me and Kenny were doing some very scenic riding and Don was reading and doing his laundry and kicking back at the campground. It was rumored that he was a very good cook, but he wasn't cookin this trip. We also visited a friend of Kenny's for a few minutes that is lucky enough to live here.
        Pitkin is just right. Not to many people, a very small town, very quaint and original looking houses and lodgings from the 1800's.. Yet it had a place to eat and get gas. This is a town I could live in—it was so quiet here-----we rode our bikes (with quiet mufflers) thru the town very slowly and quietly so as not to disturb any of the residents----we didn’t  want to promote any “no noisy dirt bike” attititudes. It has taken me way to long to realize that other people don’t want to listen to my loud motorcycle, and they shouldn’t have to. From Pitkin you can access many cool mountains passes and things, but we had been to all these wonderful places from previous trips so we moved on South    

        We did some single track trail riding on some trails South and West of Pitkin. This was some great riding and we tested out some of our navigational skill and even once got out a map--An avid GPS guy usually won't get caught doing this :) We rode these trails till we almost intersected the "Fossil Ridge Trail" which we had ridden before. We decided we needed to get to Gunnison to meet Don and head back to the road to Pitkin and on in to Gunnison where Don was waiting for us at the campground.

        After a good shower we headed into town for dinner. It was a nice relaxing day for all.

Click Below for Day 6.

Day 6   Owl Creek Pass, Box Factory Canyon