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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Taylor Park Reservoir, CO - SxS Rally - Aug 2016

Summed up in one word, "Rocky",

in Three words, "Thank Gawd for Skid Plates"

From Craig, CO, I went through Steamboat Springs, CO which was nice to see the ski slopes.  Driving up and out of Steamboat, the views were pretty kewl.

Finally arrive, pretty drive on part of Hwy 50.  My "Arch Nemesis, Garmin" couldn't find the address location so sort of winging it, but seriously, just how many roads lead to there...  Aimed towards Gunnison, CO, bigger than i thought and Reservoir was just an hour away..

Through a beautiful canyon with an apparently busy stream, fishing and rafting..   Very nice.

Came up and over the dam area and there was the Trading Post.  I

could see all the RV/Trailers/Toy Haulers on the top of the hill/plateau and the Trading Post surrounded by RZRs... this is a RZR Rally, so no surprise there.

Directions? None, I'm sure they put them on the website and emails, but no internet connection.  Pulled the parking area, asked for directions (and yes, I do ask, too old for pride) and advised "...Just go down the paved road, turn at the first dirt road..."

 Ok, but but would be nice if there were some signs posted for new arrivals... Went to top, Dry Camping Area full, advised to go down another dirt road towards Tin Cup and find a spot.

I did, finally, apx 7 miles East of Rally.

It's like moving Furniture.. what spot will work best.. view, angle, traffic, sun for solar.. didn't get them all but just got fed up trying to find something already used for prior camping..  In looking at the maps it was looking like Quartzsite, where anywhere would work, but not exactly correct as sage brush areas, you don't want to damage them.

(Dry camping spots at Rally)
It was pretty crowded already and the Rally doesn't really start until the weekend, so  not sure if  this will be a fun one or not...  Heading down to the Dry Camping to register.  Currently light rain, 57F.

Thursday, just drove around, headed to Tin Cup, little "Outpost Village, one road town" and was good to see.

Amazing that people rough it out there, log/wood cabins and all.


Went up to Mirror lake and more amazing is the peeps haul trailers/ 5th-wheels up that road.

While it looks ok, it and ALL the roads are 'Rocky'....

I signed up for two rides, no miles listed so had to choose the lower mileages, max was supposed to be 62 miles which is fine and they didn't want anyone to carry gas due to fire hazards etc... so I signed up for the "Loop" and "American Mtn - has a flag on it".  Later changed it to another, shorter, ride.  Very well organized on the signups as they had the "Neck Tags" with ride info and colors to match the line up flags.  Only issue was that they needed a bigger and wider place to line up.  A little confusing and ending up in the wrong line both times per volunteer's directions.

Both rides were "Rocky" and became a PITA in riding with the ACE.  ACE has a smaller wheel base  which means it climbs pebbles it seems.  Bottomed out numerous times and thank Gawd for the skid plate, the most important piece of options you can get.

Luckily the new ACE XC has a higher and wider wheel base which will help.  I finally figured out that driving the ACE at 40-mph is about the same as driving the XP1k at 65-mph on dirt/rocky roads and so I was proverbially "Left in the Dust".

All in all, the Rally was a good one but made for the bigger "RZR" which was the main idea.  While the ACE could certainly keep up with them with a more aggressive driver than I, it was a constant "Catching up" and over the rocks and whoops, it became a PITA...

Views were outstanding

The trails varied through forests and barren mountain tops, max elevation was apx 12,800 ft, higher than Mt Rainier for you Seattle folks.  Normally in the past I get tend to get altitude sickness above 7,000 ft but seemed to work out ok as base camp, campsite was at 10,000 ft and you notice the "Out of Breath" scenario.

(and NO, I took the level road to the right, just didn't feel like trying to climb it - the ACE could of course, but had enough of the rocks etc.)

 A lot of traveling on Dirt roads and then forest roads all built by a "Vengeful Cobble Stone Layer" with mismatched stone/rocks.

I know now why they call Colorado, the "Rocky Mountain High", but for me & Li'l Nel, it was a PITA.

While I'm glad I did it, it is a rally for the Bigger machines, most were XP 1000s, no turbos that I saw, forget why.

On to the next stops of Bishop's Castle, Giant Sand Dunes, Durango train ride, Creedence, and then Bryce, UT for another Rally...

Slowly making way back to La Pine (Bend), Or for VA appt.

Gallery Pics Here

Location Map here