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Trip to the Mountains

 Photo10th Mountain, that is.

Recently I had some time to head off on my cycle and enjoy what Colorado has to see on a nice ride.  I had planned a long route to take in all of the best of Colorado, from Aspen to Telluride to Steamboat, but had to cut the trip short, to only 3 days.  I had planned to camp wherever I could, just relying on me, my cycle, and what I was carrying.  But it was impossible to find camp spots open, and just camping out in the open by ones self is not advisable in the mountains.  Just ask the bears.

The route I did end up taking took me thru some of Colorado's highest areas, and of note to Blackfive readers was my visit to the former 10th Mountain training area and monuments.  Located above 9,000 feet are the remnants of Camp Hale, the camp where the 10th was formed for WWII and its first training area. (That link is to the wiki site; its a strange entry, focused on their Tibetan training for some reason, and not WWII).

At the top of the ridge, in Tennessee Pass, is the 10th Mountain Division's memorial for WWII.

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A gorgeous ride up from the south, thru Leadville, CO, and down into the valley where Camp Hale was located.  (that link is from an .edu site that has a decent history).  Let me say that the ride DOWN from the Camp Hale area was just spectacular.  And not for those who have a thing for heights.  I can only imagine what it was like back in the day when they were just building up there.

Camp hale

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Riding at that altitude can take a toll if you are not properly prepped.  Storms come up rapidly, but thankfully dissipate just as fast.  But, they can be extremely violent- lots of lightning.  You really don't want to be riding thru the passes when they hit.  I love riding in Colorado, and it had been far too long since I had a chance to ride like this.  I think the last 3 years, I've put a combined 500 miles on the cycle.  I'm trying to make up for that this year.  (My longest trip to date took me from Denver to Las Vegas, into Fresno, CA, up thru Yosemite, Reno, NV, across the Salt Flats to Salt Lake City, then down into Sturgis.  You MUST ride that route sometime- it's quite choice.  On that ride, I was able to hit Roundup and Sturgis in one trip) 

Next year, I plan on making the full ride I wanted to this year. And I won't be riding across a weekend, either.  Colorado just needs MANY more camping spots.  Seems they haven't added many since the '50's around here.

Coming up, I'll be joining the American Legion Riders on their Legacy Run from Indianapolis to Milwaukee, via St Louis and Minneapolis.  I'll be covering the ride aboard my Harley (thanks to Indy West Harley Davidson in Indianaopolis!) starting in about 3 weeks.  If you are so inclined, come meet with us, join us on the ride even.  All the money collected goes to worthwhile programs in the Legion.  So far, just about 300 bikes will be joining the ride this year.... hope to see you there!


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