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Bullett's Ouray IV Ride Tale


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Or, "The Tale of the Felonious Bullett, In Which Our Heroine...."


Bullett has made a grave mistake, asking me to write this up <>.


Note: Nearly all photos by Bullett on the little P&S, post processing by me. The dSLR never came out on this trip.


It all started way back when Bullett threatened sedition in the form of going to the Beehive Beemer's Red Rock Rendezvous in Panguitch, UT instead of Ouray. Realizing that threat of trial would have no effect on such a nefarious criminal, I resorted to subterfuge, asking Mrs. Whip to call the recalcitrant felon regarding the room reservation. Somehow this strategy worked, and to my surprise I was soon informed that we had a condo reserved.


But all was not well. Soon I found that new tires had been ordered for the dirt bike, and I was expected to help mount the little f'ers. The price I pay for success <>.


Now Bullett was not feeling confident in her little Yamaha XT 250, no not all. On her first real outing at last fall's Torrey she took a hard fall on her first steep climb, ruining a week old helmet, wasting her bash plate, and sustaining a knee injury that took months to heal. She was left feeling that the bike was just not up to the job, being smaller, lower to the ground, and weaker than it's brethren. A winter's shopping had resulted in a new set of purpose built dirt riding gear, the aforementioned new tires, and a new upgraded bash plate, all for added protection and confidence. But this proved scant reassurance.


At spring Torrey our Bullett only rode dirt one day, and had Killer ride the bike up the hardest part, though she did do some climbing. And so it was that confronted with the prospect of riding some of the rockiest, steepest, highest roads in North America, our little felon was in a rebellious and fractious state. First threatening to ride her street bike down whilst I trucked the dirt bikes in, then opining that perhaps she would not ride dirt at all, and all variations in between. As the date grew closer, however, she agreed to the plan, and we both joined the dirt bikes in the truck, Bullett opining that if Killer could ride the XT up that hill then it was just a matter of her gaining confidence. I advised throttle, and we were good to go.


And so it was that we arrived in Ouray with the two dirt bikes in our little truck. Tom has done an admirable job of of covering the arrivals and Saturday's ride. We took no pictures on Saturday, being on the bikes in the rain and snow, and riding for all we worth. I'll just say, before skipping ahead to Sunday, that I think that ride proved to be Bullett's breakthrough on the dirt, as she rocked that little XT up Engineer Pass. Those of us that rode (Oh yes, we'll be coming back to that issue, have no fear <>) in that blizzard at 12,000 - 13,000' agreed that the ride qualified as a "true adventure", lacking only the need to make camp, and days isolation from aid to bring it into the world classes of such genre. To put it in other words, the riding just don't get any better than that! From this adventure, our little felon emerged warm and smiling, wondering what all the fuss was about. Confidence earned, she was now raring to go on Sunday.


As Tom has stated, the riders and the truckers went their separate ways on Sunday. So this tale begins in earnest with Sunday's ride. We set out for Ophir Pass at Bill's suggestion. Now it seems that Mr. Whip, whose idea the riding was in the first place, and Mr. Killer, who had consistently indicated he was along for the ride, had not joined us on the bikes Saturday. No they had not. Those two instigators remained comfortably snug in rented jeeps during the rain, the snow, the steep slick rocky ascent to the top of the world, even having the temerity to stick poor unsuspecting Jamie out in the unprotected back when the going got rough. But Sunday would be different. Mr. Whip agreed to join us and the riders numbers swelled to six, Joel having recovered his Big Muddy. Soon it became clear that eddd was in too, on his little Yamaha TW (it's good for farms <>). Now numbering seven, we set out through cool and cloudy conditions over Red Mountain Pass, and then up the dirt to Ophir Pass. It became clear that the little TW was not jetted properly and eddd was having troubles, but he nursed the machine up and over Red Mountain, despite the most awful stuttering. I thought he would turn back rather than bring it up the dirt. The east side of Ophir Pass is not particularly challenging until you near the top, where there is a bit of a climb. Somehow eddd brought the TW up the grade, with me riding sweep (looking East from Ophir Pass, eddd and I:




We lounged about on the pass for a bit, and made a few photos there:


Looking West from Ophir Pass, Oh my, does it seem steeper than the East side?




Over on the right, there's eddd adjusting his carburetor:




Danny likes it:




This is what megapixels are for Danny:




Joel bags a pass:




The XT is not to be outdone, Eva Bullettini sits her steed:




Personally, I know what high, sunny, passes are for (I said we were lounging, right? <>:




Though I did snap a few picks from that position:





In the next installment: The Descent of Ophir Pass, in which the Felonious Mobsta Eva Bullettini meets Ranger Rick of the Mounties...



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After a few minutes work, eddd concluded that the TW needed different jets, and elected to nurse the bike back to Ouray. Our numbers so reduced, the time to move on approached. Danny, on Bill's big airhead GS for the duration, took my DR-Z for a spin around the pass. He came back grinning, and muttering something about about running out 3rd gear. I think he's crazy, but that boy can ride.


Now the Godmother, Eva Bulletini, a most notorious criminal, known for sedition, treason and mafia wars activities throughout the Western Hemisphere thought that here she was safe from the law. Completely unawares of the dragnet surrounding her, our heroine mounts up and prepares to ride.


The way proves steep, but the intrepid and devious criminal mind always finds a way. Here Ms Bullettini snaps a photo of the descent. See how she implicates the other riders in her schemes. Not only has she documented Joel on Big Muddy, but in her rear view mirror she catches Bill and Danny, stopped at the first hairpin turn.




Not yet content in her schemes, Ms. Bulletini snaps yet another incriminating image:




Somehow Mr. Whip escapes her schemes.


We ride down the steep, rocky, grade, making way for passing vehicles. Ms. Bullettini is shocked to find she is being surveilled by sophisticated electronic measures. Slowing to pass a white jeep, she notes a ranger, running radar, up on the pass, WTF???????? Stopping for a chat, she escapes this time using only her natural charms and ways. Well, and it proves she has been clocked at only 11 in a 15 mph zone. Radar up here WTF, WTF, WTF??????!!!. There is a speed limit up here WTF, WTF, WTF??????!!! But the law is not yet done with the Godmother of Crime, no. Escaping for now, and believing herself saved, Ms. Bulletini continues on her way. We stop at a fun little stream crossing. Ms. Bulletini makes more photos, and shoots a short vid.


Bill makes a nice splash:




But the airhead kicks up a bigger spray:




Danny takes the WR for a short spin.



Our Floridians are having fun.


Now some, the most astute amongst you perhaps, may have noticed a most a most mysterious absence. Where has Mr. Whip been? Yes, the same Mr. Whip that went in a jeep yesterday has been mysteriously quiet today. What could he be up to?


We ride back up Ophir Pass, a challenging climb. Up top we marvel at some of the side roads, and trace their routes up and over the ridge lines. Back down the east side we go until we find Mr. Whip pacing in circles, his manner agitated:




Mr. Whip has found a bridge. A bridge with a river running under it. It's a nice steep defile, with a 30' crossing of three foot deep ice cold white water at the bottom. Mr. Whip doesn't think Danny should use the bridge, no he does not. Mr. Whip believes that Danny must earn "redemption".


"You son, go that way, there.":




"Say what, there?"




Bill opines that the rocks will be slick as snot. He is right. Eva Bulletini and I used to cross this stream for Chanterelles back when we lived in Durango. Challenged, Danny tests the waters:




I know where I belong, if there isn't a place to nap, a comfy overlook is the next option:




In the next installment: Danny's decision... and Godmother of Crime Eva Bullettini runs afoul of the law....



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Jan, you must have studied creative writing under Whip. I feel as though I were there. :grin:


I'm gettin' more excited by the minute! :lurk:

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Very nice Jan....looks like it will be up to me to tell "the rest of the story"



BTW....Where's that pic of Danny getting saved by Richard D?????

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Now Joel had left us at the Ophir town site to pursue a few more passes for his portfolio. He would run down the smooth graded dirt to pavement, and meet us back in Ouray. So we were down to five riders.


I'm not sure what was running through Danny's mind at this point, the five of us on the trail, and Danny is standing in running ice water contemplating a serious water crossing. He's not riding a modern dirt bike, but an 80's airhead GS, and it doesn't belong to him. He's ridden it for two days through rock and stream, blizzard and rain, high and low, but it's not a high performance machine, and this is a high performance crossing. Perhaps these thoughts pass through his mind, or perhaps not. I only know that I wouldn't have tried that crossing on that day. In the end, Danny decides that no redemption is required: He did ride across that other stream, that other day. Just had some help is all.


We ride on to Silverton for lunch.


I think Mr. Whip may be disappointed, but I console him:




We got all five bikes in one parking spot, woo hoo! The guy on the right strikes up a conversation and it turns out he's ridden Whip's bike before. Friends with the prior owner down in Tuscon. Crazy, but that's riding.




Bill and I decide to take a bench, here's Bill:




The fellow from Tuscon directs us to a restaurant down the block. I don't enjoy walking in my MX boots, but go along with the crew.


There is a lot of taxidermy inside:




During lunch we discuss options for the ride home. We decide to run up Yankee Boy Basin. It is here that the law closes in on the Godmother, Eva Bulletini.




Yes, it is the same Ranger Rick, and this time he has clocked our criminal mastermind at 30 in a 20 WTF????? He wants to know why she is going so fast. Now everyone understands how organized crime works right? If you're on the bottom of the organization and you get busted, you take the hit and keep your mouth shut. But if you are the Godmother, the kingpin of crime, your gonna flow all the s*** downhill, aren't ya? So Ms. Bulletini tells the nice ranger man that she is just trying to keep up with her friends... thanks a lot Bullett. By now Danny has pulled up and been waved over. Ranger Rick decides he needs to talk to the entire Criminal Organization. He orders the two of them to follow and starts up the road. And you know, at first they do follow the nice ranger man. But then Danny runs out of gas and drops back.


Now he's thinking the ranger's gonna think he's run, and all hell's gonna break loose. Soon Sharon notices Danny's absence and goes back to find him. By now Bill, Larry and I are stopped up on the trail 4 or 5 miles ahead, and getting worried. I go back down, clear a few side routes, but worry that they may have slipped past me on the way up. I go back up, only to encounter Bill and Whip coming down. I tell them the side routes are cleared and they proceed down while I get my bike turned around.


When I get down it seems there's a full scale party in play. Ranger Rick has gotten up after laughing himself silly over Danny running out of gas, and had given them all the safety spiel. And we thought 30 was slow :S . Ranger Rick goes on his way, but we aren't entirely done with him yet, it turns out.


Whip runs off for gas. Danny coasts the bike down, almost overtaking Ranger Rick in the process.


The evil criminal mastermind makes a few more images:




Looky what we find (well but this down low where the houses are, not up on the rough stuff):




Danny pulls in at another bridge:




Help arrives in short order:




Mr. Bill Walker comes along:




Soon we are all back in town. I think the criminal has not learned any lessons:




At dinner, Bob gets a six minute pour with a shamrock inscribed in the head, but look at Mr. Whip. You just gotta know something is brewing in that mind.




The lighting is getting good outside:




Whatever Whip is up to over there, looks to me like Tom has it too.






Tom is always the banker, 'cause he's fast:




Bob didn't get the memo, and is in woe.




Driven in his extremity, he turns to drink:




As usual, I don't know what Tommy's excuse is.


Well, it was a great time! Bullett loved the riding, the friends, the place. We'll ride again next year. Jeeps are for Glocksters.


Oh yeah, and ole Ranger Rick... well guess who's Jeep we found parked 150' from our condo in the morning.... Yeah the law is still keeping an eye on old Bullett.



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Yep, that's about how it happened, except Ranger Rick was behind Danny, who was behind me, and didn't see the Ranger's flashing red and blue lights. :grin:


Thanks for writin' it up for me, Sweetie.



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Yep, the one time I was bringin' up the rear, that hoon on the XT got me in trouble. Whodda thunk?


Ranger Barker was an aweful nice guy. Turned out Bullett & I had both talked to him up on Ophir, at different times. He recognised us both immediately. Upon checking our licenses, he came back to announce that since there were no warrants :eek:, he'd just give us a warning. WHEW!!!


Next time I ride with Sharon, I'm stayin' in front. That girl's dangerous. :grin:


P.S., Turns out the mighty GS wasn't out of gas. On the way to Albuquerque, I was running thoughts by Bill. Then it hit me. Water in the gas! Upon arrival, I pull both float bowls. Not enough H2O in either to cause a problem, but,,,,what's this? A jet & a washer in the bottom of the right bowl?


Yep, the idle jet had vibrated loose & fell into the float bowl. Replaced & tightened, & it fired right up & ran like new.


In all of my thirty eight years of riding & wrenching, I have never, EVER, seen a jet fall out. I subsequently felt like an airhead for not thinking to drop the float bowls Sunday afternoon. :dopeslap:


Seein' as Jan has posted a worthy tale of Sunday's ride, I'll just throw up some of my pics in another thread, without all the commentary.


After all, enough's enough.

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Thanks for giving me a great Friday morning here in my office.... (yeah right)..... now wondering what on earth float bowls are (do we have them on the dinner table?), what happened with the pictures of Danny crossing the stream (or did he???), why there are policemen up in the mountains where there's no traffic, and no driving schools to speak of, what Mrs. Whip finally came up with after grinning at that menu card and whose truck that was whip was sitting in all of a sudden.....


Yeah, you got it, now my entire Friday I'll be fretting about all these things because I am 9 hours ahead of you guys... although it doesn't feel like it.


Oh, and I read something about the 'Grapefruit Crew' somewhere !? Hey, don't go making fun of my buddies !! There ARE no grapefruit in Florida, nor are there alligators.... I know, I've been there !

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>>>> Note: Nearly all photos by Bullett on the little P&S, post processing by me. The dSLR never came out on this trip. <<<<<




As nice as the pictures are...... DSLR pictures would've been even nicer !!! Tsk tsk tsk...... !!!




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A great tale, well told and illustrated. :thumbsup:


I admire the riders' assault of Engineer Pass, and I admire Bullett's even more now that I know the rest of the story.


Thanks so much for your hospitality. I was wonderful to spend time with everyone over the weekend, and I look forward to doing it again.


Everyone's been exceedingly polite (so far) about part of Saturday, even toward someone who was not part of the Treaty of 2009. I'm working on my own tale, but I'm lacking some key illustrations. Someone needs to spill it (pun intended) or email me the pics.


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>>>> Note: Nearly all photos by Bullett on the little P&S, post processing by me. The dSLR never came out on this trip. <<<<<




As nice as the pictures are...... DSLR pictures would've been even nicer !!! Tsk tsk tsk...... !!!





The poor dSLR got soaked Saturday in my day pack. It's very hard to use when on the dirt bike anyway, because getting the pack on and off is a PITA. As you can see, we ended up with extra layers on over the pack and all, which puts it into the nearly impossible category. Plus I don't like the extra ten lbs on my back. There is a lot of risk to the camera, from weather, vibration and impact and it is used little, if at all. All in all, I've pretty well concluded that dirt riding is a P&S endeavor.


I think it was you once that told me that sometimes you have to choose whether a particular day is a riding day or a photo day, as the two are sometimes mutually exclusive.

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Also very politely, and without visual carnage. :)


Well, I didn't see it and neither did Sharon. But for our part, we just figure dropped bikes are part of the game. That's why we are all on bikes that are more tolerant of drops than RTs. I counted you brave for taking that big thing up there at all, and doing it again on Sunday.


Now, if you are just feeling the need to get busted up a bit on line... I guess you'll have to keep begging, 'cause so far no one has stepped forward... :grin:

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Also very politely, and without visual carnage. :)
Carnage - I like carnage.


One minute he was doing this



then we found this



just a routine GS nap.

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Also very politely, and without visual carnage. :)
Carnage - I like carnage.


One minute he was doing this



then we found this



just a routine GS nap.




Thanks, Bob!

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Also very politely, and without visual carnage. :)
Carnage - I like carnage.


One minute he was doing this



then we found this



just a routine GS nap.




Thanks, Bob!


Is it facing the wrong way? That looks like something Russell would do...

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See Joel, you should be careful what you ask for. You went from no pics of the "nap" to three sets of the same two pics in the course of one afternoon. :grin:

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I think it was you once that told me that sometimes you have to choose whether a particular day is a riding day or a photo day, as the two are sometimes mutually exclusive.


Might well have been, but many short term AND long-term memories are both shot..... :rofl:


With my bad back and some other parts gone to the dogs, I don't do dirt riding anymore and kinda didn't think about the associated problems....

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Dayum. Now I wish I'd let Bill talk me into riding the KLR on Sunday. I prolly maybe sorta coulda done it. S'pose I coulda rented an oxygen tank in town?

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Dayum. Now I wish I'd let Bill talk me into riding the KLR on Sunday. I prolly maybe sorta coulda done it. S'pose I coulda rented an oxygen tank in town?


Prolly? Maybe? You looked like a pro ridin' Whip's 450.


Rule #4: Never turn down an opportunity to ride someone else's dirtbike. :grin:


It was great seeing you Bill, hope we get to do it again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...
Now I wish we had an Ouray trip planned for this year!


Start planning!

Bob, me thinks we heard the gauntlet hit the floor.

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  • 3 years later...
that whole area in that corner of colorado is the best. Someday I will be back. 2012 trip was so enjoyable.


Wow, 2012 seems so long ago!

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