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Old 03-18-2016, 10:09 AM   #11
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"I took some friends from back east for a 8 day ride through CO last year. ..did the million dollar highway twice, unfortunately once in the dark and in a driving rain" Wow, have your friends forgiven you? Just kidding, but I wouldn't want to go over that road on my bike in the dark and rain. My regional HQ is in Montrose so I've traveled that route in all kinds of conditions. Beautiful but deserves your full attention and respect as every year we have folks die up there.

I ride a Goldwing so it's strictly a pavement bike. It would be nice to have a dual sport to run the multitude of back country roads. Colorado keeps considering passing legislation to allow ATV/UTV limited travel on smaller roads. That would be nice and would allow more access to these roads.
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:39 PM   #12
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Did you ever wonder why a so-called Million Dollar Highway couldn't have a few guard rails?

But living in Montrose, have you ever concluded how it got the name Million Dollar Highway? I have traveled it quite a few times since I lived in Moab and used to run over and do Engineer, Cinnamon, Yankee Basin, Governor, Corkscrew passes and my two favorites, Black Bear into Telluride and Imogene out. (And a fantastic dispersed camping area on Corkscrew.)

Was told in Ouray by an old timer it was due to the cost, one million per mile, to build the highway; then told in the Cortez welcome center it was due to the gold that was mixed in with the ground base when the road was built, and someone in Durango told me it was due to the "MILLION DOLLAR VIEW!" My own personal opinion is it is due to all three. Had to cost a fortune to build, probably does have a lot of gold in the road base, and the view is spectacular.

I'll also add that the Amphitheater campground just south of Ouray is a great campground; however, not sure if anything larger than a popup could make it. All time times I camped there, I have only seen a few popups while most were like us; in a ten.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:43 PM   #13
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It is an awesome area. When we came though they were removing rock slides from the road and it was closed for several hours a day for the work. It was tough we had to sit in Ouray and eat ice cream and enjoy the views.


I heard another version of why it is called the Million Dollar Highway. Supposedly a woman said she crossed it once and would not go back across again for a million dollars!
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:54 PM   #14
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I was glad it was dark when we went across in the rain. When I saw what we had crossed in the daylight, the lack of guard rails and the drop offs, it was an eye opener. It was not planned that way, but trying to get 6 guys on the road and going is worse than herding cats.


It gets better, planed this trip out so there was no after dark riding, and sure enough; same thing on Trail Ridge road, it was dark when we got to the top and had snowed. Road was wet but looked slick as snot. I think we all learned a lesson on that trip.


Love the Montrose area, talked to my wife about moving there several years ago.


Here in AZ you can ride the quad or UTVs on the roads as long as you pay the registration fees. It is nice here and the Forest Service opened the roads today so will take the quad out this weekend and look for shed antlers. Probably take the camper down into the forest next weekend.


Ride on down this way, I promise we will not have to use our headlights!
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:44 PM   #15
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I understand what you mean about trying to get everyone on the same page during group rides. One of our members likes to run about 5 MPH below the speed limit. Woe be upon you if he's lead and you're tail gunner dealing with the tail gating - ticked off drivers behind you.

As for the lack of guardrails on Hwy 550 it's to allow snow to simply be pushed off the edge. Does give a lot of folks the hebejebes though. And not just if you're on the outside lane. I've come around curves to find the outside driver half to three quarters into my lane. Also have found big horn sheep standing in the middle of the road, like this guy.

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He was in the middle of Hwy 550 south of Silverton. Even seemed to be enjoying the attention as he ambled off the road and up the hillside. Stood there for about 20 minutes "posing" for photos.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:27 AM   #16
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Great Picture, awesome animals, the year before we had a band of the desert bighorns run across the road in front of us near Clifton, AZ.


The problem with our group on rides is that in the morning, they all have different bathroom schedules and can't get going until they get their "business" done.
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Old 03-21-2016, 06:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Plata View View Post
As for the lack of guardrails on Hwy 550 it's to allow snow to simply be pushed off the edge. Does give a lot of folks the hebejebes though. And not just if you're on the outside lane. I've come around curves to find the outside driver half to three quarters into my lane. Also have found big horn sheep standing in the middle of the road, like this guy.
Probably true or due to some of those really steep drop offs it might be next to impossible to put in a guard rail without taking away too much road. But my statement was actually facetious.

However, how do the snow plows push the snow off the road in the high country of ID, WY, MT? There are some guard rails.

As for the drivers coming at you on the wrong way? Been there done that from a highway in the mountains to a dirt two tracker switchback.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:38 PM   #18
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Apparently I am not the only one thinking ahead to camping in Southwest Colorado. Recreation.gov opened the reservations at Haviland Lake today and they are booked up for the season already! Started to check it at 1am when I let the dogs out, and should have done so!

Other campgrounds in the area start taking reservations later this week so I will keep my fingers crossed. If unlucky, I will just post for some members who live in that area to let me camp in their driveway!
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #19
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My better half will not let me go to CO because I told her I was going to smoke pot while I was there. Have a great trip.
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:05 PM   #20
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If you want to do some dirt riding; We used to camp north of Mancos every year to ride dirt bikes. There is a FS campground (no hookups) as well as tons of dispersed camping. Very remote and beautiful area if you are inclined to get away from it all! There is a pretty good system of trails for ATV's and Dirtbikes and alot of dirt forest service roads.

San Juan National Forest - Transfer Campground
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