Where were we? Oh yes, back in the Subaru, cruising south on County (Back) Road 14, "Moon Roof" wide open to better accommodate the often vertical views and near perfect weather...which is to say, threatening clouds, but at a distance.
To review, the road we took left off of C R 14, through the open gate, was a spur that dead-ends on the summit of Red Mountain Number 3. Yes, for those who can't hike as well or far as they'd like, you can drive clear to the top (with four wheel drive) on a pretty decent road and take in the same wonderful top-of-the-world views you see on the last two posts. Someday, hopefully later than sooner, that's what we'll be doing (sigh). It's not cheating to drive, it's just the reality of a seemingly sudden achievement, that age when the spirit still chomps at the bit, but the flesh is weak.
In my humble estimation, C R 14 provides challenging, but doable mountain biking opportunities, and the best part is that there are actually two places where 14 goes off...one just before Red Mountain Pass and one just after. Both bring you back to Highway 550's pavement, and both are mostly downhill, provided you started near the pass. Of course if you don't make arrangements for a ride back to your car on Red Mountain Pass, you'll have to peddle the pavement.
Will you have to get off and push some on 14? Yes, especially if you have Red Mountain Number 3's summit in mind, and not as much if you stay on 14 proper. Try to think of it this way, pushing your machine is part of the adventure. If that doesn't "add up" in your mind, then let me make a case that left brainers will understand. Sometimes you can push a mountain bike up hills faster than you can peddle. The glorious view is the same either way. The clean air is just as pure either way. The "Burly Man/Girl achievement is no less either way.
"Well, why even take a Mountain Bike," you ask, "Why not just hike it?" Well, because some people are "Bike Snobs," and they think the wheel is sacred...especially if it measures 29 inches. The other reason is that what goes up must come down...and it begs the question, would you rather walk down, OR FLY! :)
Now for a few more photos, including views of all the Red Mountains from different perspectives at the end of this post.
Have a great weekend. Now go ride a bike :)
|Yes Dear, I saw the lightening...|
|Red Mountain Number 1 from Red Mountain Number 3. Number 1 is above the jeep road seen in the distance (the furthest red mountain) We climbed it by hiking up Grey Copper Gulch on the other side, and then walked the road back down to our car.|
|Looking southwest PANORAMA!|
The remaining photos were taken on previous climbs, some showing all of the anomalous Red Mountain Range.
|Taken on Red Moun. number 1 near the summit and looking toward Lovely Ouray|
|From the summit of Red Number 1. IT was as if I was riding on top of a serpent or dragon...just an incredible scene and feeling|
|Red Mountains, all, taken from the ridge to Mount Abram, looking south|
|Again, taken from the summit of Mount Abram. Highway 550 below in the Ironton portion.|
|This photo taken from cross-canyon near Bullion King Mine. Red Number 3 is on the far left...you can see the road making its way to the summit...as well as other beep roads in the distance.|
|Same as above photo only closer...|
|A look at the entire Red range...early fall, misty day...|
|Red Number 2 is in the foreground, just below the skyline...our next destination. Then we will have bagged all three, not that that's important (yes it is-no it's not-yes it is-no it's not.....)|