• Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Things don't go so well on the upper end of Yankee Boy Basin, above Ouray, Colorado. Trip almost ended here...
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Wyoming had plenty of variety left for me. After a trek through wet, boggy trail, the ground dried up through this stretch of Forest Road 807. 
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Then more snow as I climbed to the Colorado border on Forest Service Road 551 in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Dry land again in Colorado, over forested hill and through treed gullies on Forest Road 551.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Country Road 129 as the sun goes down on the way to Steamboat Springs, Hahn's Peak in the distance.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Some people are real serious about their barns.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • The only bear I've seen on the trip so far, in Fairplay, CO. And I'm fine with that.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Departing Fairplay, CO on the way to Montrose, CO. Colorado must have a million awards for the quality of its vistas.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Here's another, looking back into the valley before cresting the hill to Breckrenridge. These kinds of views make breakfast taste so much better.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Overlooking Breckenridge on the way to Boreas Pass. Not long after pulling out, I crept up to the bumper of two older women creeping up the snowy trail in a Ford Focus with Missouri plates, and followed them to the 11,482-foot summit.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Just over Boreas Pass, headed a long way downhill to Como, CO.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Back down to thicker air on Country Road 53 between ranges, near Agate Mountain.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Ute Trail in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron Comanche National Grasslands, with the Sawatch Range in Gunnison National Park in the distance. I think the cows and mining engineers in Colorado might have the best views.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • The McDonald's in Montrose, CO. Although this looks like a pirated version of McDo, or the Eye of Mordor, it's actually based on motifs used in early McDonald's stores, which used one arch.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • I got to Colorado too late to do Poughkeepsie Gulch, so I settled for Yankee Boy Basin above Ouray. Camp Bird Road begins the steep, beautiful journey to the top.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Break right onto County Road 26 and crawl under a cliff shelf next to a vertical drop.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • On Yankee Boy Basin Road, cut by deep gullies in a few places, pocked with puddles and boulders elsewhere.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • It got high enough and cold enough for snow to stick, and I decided I wanted to get to the peak in the distance, or at least reach the pass, wherever that was.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • I can't say I wasn't warned. I was ready. I thought I was ready.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • The base of the switchback where it all went wrong. I'd struggled a bit to reach this point, but was still committed to the pass. Bogged down one hundred feet up, I decided I only wanted to go further than the other set of wheel tracks.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • The trail didn't want to let me beyond this point. So I decided to lock up and put the left side tires on the rocks for traction. Those rocks form the left lip of the trail, and they're soft, not hard. I pushed off, getting further than the other wheel tracks. I backed up to do it again. The rocks, on soft dirt underneath, gave way. I dug in and got stuck. Then I tried to back up...
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • And couldn't get back on the trail. The rear left slipped over the lip, pulling the rest of the Jeep with it. Any time I tried to move, the Jeep slid further down the face. Doesn't look so steep here, but for a long moment I suspected my 800 pounds of gear would end this trip by shifting, sending me head over heels sideways down the hill. By reversing - and sliding further down every time I did - I was able to saw my way down the face.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • This was the mess I made half-falling down to the lower switchback.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Looking up from the lower switchback. I started a long way up the hill to make it back to here.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • The view on the way back down looks that much better when one is alive to enjoy it.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
  • Rubicon Alaska Cannonball
  • Back on Camp Bird Road. Time to get to Silverton, CO.
  • Image Credit: Jonathon Ramsey
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