Day One of Riding (Sunday):

We had purchased many maps and videos instructing where the best rides were so we had a pretty good idea where to begin. After a big breakfast we headed down U.S. 550 ( Million Dollar Highway) to the entrance of the Alpine Loop. This trail would take us up onto Engineer Mountain and down Engineer Pass. Going up Engineer Mt. Steve experienced a front flat tire. We had forgotten the fix-a-flat at camp so we flagged down a passing rider who had some extra. The tire was quickly fixed and we rode on. Engineer Pass was rated moderate to difficult but we had no problem getting up and down. Mike and Steve had noticed a significant loss of performance with their bikes at this high altitude. Even with the loss of performance they still were riding with vigor. We all had some experience with riding in the dirt. Steve had the least while Mike and his Dad were quite proficient with a great deal of experience on trials bikes. We rode the Loop to Lake City for Lunch a local café. While eating lunch it began to rain. Leaving Lake City we continued on the Loop over Cinnamon Pass. Once on top of Cinnamon Pass we stopped for a break. There we found a challenging hill to climb that was relatively steep, and we all made it up with varying degrees of success. Cinnamon Pass was also rated moderate to difficult, and again we were not terribly challenged. The view on all the mountain peaks was particularly spectacular. We continued to run across a number of jeeps and other four-wheel drive vehicles. Occasionally we ran into other motorcyclists, but we were far outnumbered. When we came upon a four wheeled vehicle we flew by with ease. The only difficulty we had was with the big multi-passenger tour vehicles. These guys had no intention of getting out of our way, and made passing as difficult as they could. Down the backside of Cinnamon Pass we came into the ghost town of Animas forks. There is a collection of old buildings, mostly in support of the abandon mine there. In Animas Forks I made a mistake by listening to some cage driver who steered us in the wrong direction (probably on purpose). We ended up going down Colorado 110 into Silverton. We made the best of it however by stopping for a couple of brews. After that, we headed back up U.S. 550 and to the KOA (our campsite) in Ouray. We were done for the day.