Rattlesnake Reservoir

Posted on 18th March 2010 by Electra Glide In Blue in Living,Motorcycle Rides - Tags: , , ,

With highs reported to be in the upper 60’s today, and a storm warning for Friday (5 to 10in of snow) I took off on the 49 Pan with no particular place to go. I headed west, when in doubt, head west young man. That’s what I’ve always been told.

Heading into the foothills on hwy 34, I was picking up the smells of spring. After crossing the Big Thompson River the second time and I hung a left onto County Road 29. Any farther west and I’d be dropping into the Big Thompson Canyon, which wasn’t a bad idea I thought, but I wanted to get high today and look to the east. A good place around here to get high enough to maybe see Kansas is the road up to Rattlesnake.

County Road 29 follows the foothills and is a nice curvy blacktop. If you run this for about two miles, you come up on County Road 18E, you can only turn west and it’s clearly marked for Carter Lake, Flatiron Reservoir, Pinewood Reservoir,
and Ramsay-Shockey Open Space.

When you run County Road 18E all the way up, you gain about 2640 ft in elevation. Rattlesnake ReservoirTrying too keep your eyes on the road is a challenge, for the views are breath taking. So is the thought of the small guardrail that separates you from nothing but air.

The road ends at Pinewood Reservoir, or Pinewood Lake as it is sometimes called, or Rattlesnake Reservoir as it is called locally. There is good fishing I have been told, and it’s a nice place to have a bagged lunch.

Built in 1951 and named Rattlesnake Reservoir because of its location in Rattlesnake Park, the names were officially changed to Pinewood in 1966. I think it had something to do with tourism.

I saved taking any road pictures for the trip down. This shot is at the highest point of the trip and looking west.
Rattlesnake Reservoir

And all the rest are east bound pictures and you can click on them for a larger image.
On a clear day you can see Kansas…….
Rattlesnake Reservoir

Going down……..

Rattlesnake Reservoir

And curvy…….

Rattlesnake Reservoir

More Kansas…….

Rattlesnake Reservoir

Rock wall………..

Rattlesnake Reservoir

Ride Safe and enjoy,
Rattlesnake Reservoir

Riding the Narrows of the Big Thompson Canyon

Posted on 16th April 2009 by Electra Glide In Blue in Living,Motorcycle Runs - Tags: , , ,

The Big Thompson Canyon is a heavily wooded area of scenic beauty with rugged cliffs and high mountains bordering the Big Thompson River. As you enter the canyon heading west out of Loveland on Hwy 34, you find yourself in what we locals call the Narrows. The road follows the river, and winds around walls of granite, some rising thousands of feet in the air. Remember to keep your eyes on the road.
When you first enter the Narrows, you go under what we call the tube. This is a nine-foot wide syphon pipe that carries water from Carter Lake into Horsetooth Reservoir above Fort Collins. Back on July 31 1976 this syphon pipe was completely sheared off at the sides of the mountain during the Big Thompson Flood.


Thousands were enjoying themselves in the Big Thompson Canyon area near Rocky Mountain National Park in the evening of July 31st when a most usual storm gathered overhead. The scale of the resulting flood caught everyone by surprise. The record flood waters rumbled down the narrow canyon (see picture below) taking out everything in is path. Officials would later report 145 dead and $41,000,000 in damage.

Photo by W. R. Hansen, USGS. Aug. 1, 1976

In this shot My 68 FLH is parked in the area were the pavement ends in the above photo.


About in the middle of the Narrows


After only 1.83 miles you clear the narrows and ride into the open canyon.


I just needed to clear my head so I dropped down into Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park to take in the sites and sounds of the Big Thompson river.


I then headed back to town and reality. Ride Safe.