September 15, 2009

Day 2 Tour Map

Total distance traveled - 32 miles.

GPS data recorded on this day can be seen at Garmin Connect.

Sunrise Day 2

The morning of the second day we awoke to a beautiful sunrise. As soon as a glimmer of light shown on our rain flies we climbed out of our sleeping bags, and made ready for another day of bike riding. Today's ride would be much shorter than yesterday's ride; however, the difficulty of climbing Cameron Pass would make for a challenging ride up the steep grades towards the pass. Even though the climb would be difficult, the approach to Cameron Pass holds some of the most spectacular scenery in the Poudre Canyon.

Day 2 ride begins


Dale in the lead


Break time


Aspens in mountain glen


Aspens starting to change color

The south face of the mountain slope, in the distance, shows how the Aspen were starting to change color. However, as seen in the foreground, the trees at lower elevations had not yet turned color. This picture was taken at a turnout at Spencer Heights, where once stood a fishing lodge and several rustic cabins before the US Forest Service purchased the property.

All along the way, we stopped to take pictures and view the wonderful site of Aspen leaves turning gold. The picture, below, is of Poudre Falls.

Poudre River Falls



Nokhu Crags

With Nokhu Crags in sight, in the picture above, we were finally nearing the summit of Cameron Pass (el. 10,276 ft.). Thunderstorms dropped rain and sleet on us while we rode the steep road grade above Poudre Falls. The rain and sleet let up for a short period of time, just until we decided to cook lunch at the Cameron Pass picnic ground. During lunch, we were pelted by sleet and rain; then the rain let up, only after we had finished eating. A huge mass of black clouds forming over the mountain peaks was causing us to be wary of more rain, yet to come. To be safe from getting drenched we kept our rain gear on while descending the west side of Cameron Pass. The next picture is of the Crags and Thunder Pass, on the other side of the pass.

Nokhu Crags and Thunder Pass


Time for rain gear


The Never Summer Mountain range

The Never Summer Mountain range, in the photograph above, are the highest mountain peaks in the distance. After descending the pass, we stopped a turnout in Gould, where we stripped off our rain gear because the temperature had gotten much warmer at this lower elevation. Although, the threat of thunderstorms still existed, we felt that we were not in danger of getting drenched by cold rain. Lighting and thunder could be seen and heard coming from the clouds hanging over mountains to the south, which caused us not to linger too long, at this turnout. Fortunately, for us, North Michigan Campground was only about five more miles from Gould. After a short time of riding, we came to the Colorado State Forest entrance station, where we paid the campground fee for the night. After registering for a campsite at the entrance station, we rode along on a gravel road for a few short miles until we had to climb one last hill before we came to the campsites on the southwest side of Michigan Reservoir.

See the map below, for location of North Michigan Reservoir in respect to the surrounding area encompassing The State Forest and Cameron Pass.

State Forest Map

The next two pictures are of our campsite at the North Michigan Campground. In the first picture, Dale can be seen setting up his tent, while Doug was snapping pictures. The last picture shows the calm water of North Michigan Reservoir reflecting the sky, and the mountains surrounding the lake.

Day 2 campsite


North Micigan Reservoir

More pictures and tour information can be seen on the next page, Day-3.

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