Thursday, October 14, 2010



After four days on the road cooped up in the cab of Big Rich's F150 pick-up, we finally got the chance yesterday to unload the KTM EXCs and spin a little earth beneath their wheels.

But don't get me wrong, I am not whining about the road-trip, because it has been awesome so far.

In true Griswold Vacation fashion, we've hit the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, the Goosenecks and Four Corners in Utah and Arizona, while the past two days through Colorado have been simply spectacular, in a totally different kind of geological way.

We've gone from mighty big holes in the ground and rugged red rock outcrops in the desert, to ginormous mountain ranges covered in snow here in Colorado.

We've stayed the last two nights at Silverton in the south-west corner of Colorado, which is an old gold and silver mining mountain town caught in a time-warp. On Main Street the buildings all retain their original facades and shop fronts, while the Bent Elbow Hotel we've stayed in is an old saloon straight out of the Gold Rush days. It's been way cool.

With perfect autumn weather on our side, Rich and I took the Katos for a spin from Silverton up and over Ophir Pass, which is a rugged old track up and over the mountains that tops out at a whisker under 12,000 feet in elevation -- which is almost 4,000 metres in Aussie-speak.

Stop and think for a moment that Mount Kosciouszko reaches 2,227 metres and you will get the idea of just how close we were to the sky.

The photo attached here shows Rich on the track up the Pass -- which you can see cut into the mountains above him. Yeah, it was a killer day and a ripper ride!

We nailed down just on 100km before getting back to Silverton, where, with another 90 minutes of light left, we went for another quick ride up into the mountains in the opposite direction to Ophir.

Not far out of town we happened upon a deserted old miner's cabin and then found a goat-track down in Deadwood Gulch, which is precisely where Rich jabbed his foot into some rocks at all of two miles per hour -- and now has three toes the size of sausages and the colour of Black Pudding.

Rich's toes are tingling, but he's not going to let it slow him down for the weekend's big KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Utah.

The venue for the Rally is Moab, which is a town made famous by wild west movies and slick-rock red canyons that look like something straight out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

It should be an awesome venue for some awesome trail, enduro and adventure bike riding ... and yeah, we just can't wait to get there and get into it!

-- Clubby,

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