Photography and commentary by Paul Yarnall

Posts Tagged ‘KTM 690’

Eight Glorious Days In Colorado

I am again reminded of the increasingly rapid passage of time when I see my last posting and gallery was from last early spring. I still take plenty of pics… thousands since then and of those there are a few I think you will enjoy.

This little travelogue gallery shows a few highlights of a truly epic dual sport motorcycle adventure I shared with my brother Dave this past July. Farther down in the postings below you will find Riding the Continental Divide… A Two Wheeled Adventure. That experience in the summer of 2012 whetted my appetite for more of the great riding found in the western states. When I learned of the Backcountry Discovery Route series produced by Butler Maps, I immediately focused on the Colorado Route in particular.

It is a little confusing to people when I describe exploring our great land on two wheels in a way that purposely avoids paved roads as much as possible. For one thing there is little to no traffic. Another is getting to see miles of pristine “wildness” where the only sign of humanity around you is the primitive path you are on. It is well worth the dust, the heat and cold, and the tired and sore muscles at the end of each days ride.

Dad was a motorcyclist, and my siblings and I all grew up riding. My brother Dave is perhaps the most talented rider of the four of us. He is as equally at home on a race-bike at NASCAR speeds as he is in the woods on a dirt bike with knobby tires. I pestered him relentlessly to go on a dual sport adventure with me until he finally relented. On the faith of my assurance that he would have a good time we set about getting him the right motorcycle and other equipment he needed for the adventure. I hoped I could deliver.

The published Butler Colorado route starts in the southwest corner of Colorado at the “four corners” and works its way east and north finally ending at the Wyoming border. Since we had to trailer our motorcycles to Colorado, we needed a start and finish that was the same place. I modified the route by creating a loop of 1000 miles. Half was 90% of the Butler route and the other half I pieced together sitting in front of my computer. This part of our route was “untested,” but turned out to include some pretty great trails.

A friend of Dave’s lives in Buena Vista, CO, a small town right on the route, and he provided a spot to park our truck and trailer. Thus we started our adventure heading west out of Buena Vista and descended out of the mountain trails north and east of Buena Vista eight days later with 1000 miles and half a dozen 12,000′ passes in between.

This gallery, Paul & Dave Do the COBDR, shows a few of the highlights of the epic ride. To tell a better story, I included some of Dave’s photos, too. He has a good eye!

Oh yeah… I think I delivered on my promise that my bro would have a good time. Dave is ready to do it again!

The next new gallery will appear shortly and covers our recent trip exploring Iceland… an island of endless photo ops!


I published daily trip reports during the adventure.  They are collected together into one PDF file which is available for download here.

An additional resource is a collection of hotels organized around major towns near the route we took. They are available here.