Monday, July 27, 2009

Day Eight--Denver, CO to South Fork, CO

Our exit out of Denver wasn’t exactly smooth this morning. Just as Brian staged to take off from the hotel, I realized my helmet strap wasn’t fastened, so I started hollerin’ and honkin’ trying to get him to wait. But he didn’t hear. It took about fifteen minutes for us to finally reconnect. The next obstacle came trying to navigate out of the city. These were the instructions: 287, to I-25, to US-6, to Co-88, to US-6 (again), to I-70, to Co-470, to US-285 to CO-112 to US-160. Okay. So on a motorcycle, it’s not like you can drive and check a map or GPS. You have to memorize the directions. How do you memorize something like that?? Needless to say, we got lost a couple of times, and had to stop to look at the map again. Once we hit 285, it was smooth sailing.

The 285 had lots of great stuff to enjoy—traditional mountains covered in high grasses, pine trees, and lots of wildflowers, with an occasional stream running alongside. Lots of pretty towns, and one kind of weird one: Saguache. We needed gas, and thought maybe we’d have some lunch, so we turned onto a street with a sign marked business district. I swear, it looked like a movie set. Super colorful. Totally abandoned looking. Not a single functioning business. But the photo potential… man! I could have stayed there all day getting shots. Instead, I snapped a couple, and we were on our way. (check out my feller's site for more pics of Saguache Even though we didn’t eat breakfast or lunch (other than Cliff bars), we decided to ride all the way through to our final stop in South Fork.

We hit bugs galore as we trekked through the mountains. This was my view through the helmet for the last hundred miles. Nice, huh? Ew?! (To truly appreciate the disgusting nature of this, you need to click on the picture and see it in it's full-sized glory.)

Speaking of being inside the helmet, man I sure am glad I’m all alone in there. The second we started climbing the Rockies, John Denver started speaking to me again, making me sing Rocky Mountain High (It’s all my mom’s fault. She was obsessed with John Denver when I was a kid). Even I cringed at the sound of my voice echoing in the helmet. I’m not a good singer. No one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to hear me sing. When I was in Australia covering the Olympics, I started singing one day in the car (I was delirious. Really) Our driver Jess groaned and said, “Please don’t sing!” That’s how bad I am.

But back to this trip…

Along the way, we’ve tried to mix up the places we’ve stayed. Tonight, we’re at a B&B. My feller and I were a little uneasy about doing the Bed & Breakfast thing because we’ve had not so great experiences in the past, but this place, The Apple Dumpling Inn, is pretty darned cool. There are critters (chipmonks, hummingbirds, moles) and wildflowers galore. We have great views out of all of our windows. The hosts, Bill and Robbie, have been very friendly and easy to be around, and they have a very cool kitten named
Yoda who is having a heck of a good time watching the hummingbirds buzz around, and we’re having a heck of a good time watching her.

Right now, I’m sitting on the porch swing watching the sun set below the mountains, the sounds of hummingbirds and dusk critters filling the air. It’s so insanely relaxing and beautiful.

So I reckon I'll sign off and enjoy the peace and solitude. Tomorrow, it’s on to Bluff, Utah and Monument Valley.

Until then…

Later gators

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