Colorado Dreamin’ Tour – Great roads, high climbs and some over heating!
The gang all woke up and had a quick breakfast before heading out for a short days exploration. Today we had planned to do a longer ride, but some of the group preferred to make it an easier day. It all turned out for the best as we had a little event take place that altered some plans. No one got hurt so all was good, we just had to adjust.
We all headed out to Ride the Black Canyon. Rains were in the forcast and some of the skies were very dark. We had avoided bad weather so far. Would today be the day that mother nature caught up with us? Stay tuned.
The group spread out some on the ride up the canyon. As we reached the summit we decided to take a break and wait for the rest of the group. The view was spectacular and the air was crisp. Rain showers threatened from afar. It has been a fun spirited run up the mountain.
The event was not that big of a deal, as it played out in the groups favor. The VFR just got a tad overheated coming up the hill and decided to puke out fluids all over the ground. It looked a lot worse that it was.
The decision was made that some of us would continue the ride, while the others would make thier way down the hill, grab some fluids and come up and rescue the VFR. It was a good plan. Unfortunately for the group that ventured back to Gunnsion, the rains came and so did the hail. They got soaked and had to ride in some pea sized hail for 6-7 miles.
Jamie and I, Bob and Bill continued our ride. We ran into 45 seconds of hard rain and hail, but nothing more than that. Bill stayed at the top of the hill on our return as Bob, Jamie and I returned to Gunnison. On the way down we stopped at the Blue Mesa Dam. The water was raging and made for some cool pictures.
We finished up the evening eating at the Dive in Gunnison and folks the food was AMAZING! It was the biggest surprise of the trip. Great food and beer and the atmosphere was awesome. Not a bad way to end the day.
I would say that if you are anywhere close to the Dive you have to give it a try. Check out the website and don’t miss out! What a hidden gem in Gunnison.
Colorado Dreamin’ Tour – Gunnison Colorado here we come!
The air was cool and our spirits were high. It was 46 degrees when we loaded up and headed for the Southern Colorado mountain range.
We would be hitting the famous Highway of Legends to start off the morning. This is a great stretch of road that meanders through some of the best little towns in southern Colorado, including Stonewall and la Veta. We would stop in La Veta and have breakfast at a little hole in the wall, named the Corners Diner. Kris & Linda had eaten here in a prior visit. It does not look like much, but the food was great and the coffee was warm. What else could we ask for?
The critters were out in force and made us slow down a little. It was a tad scary running up to a group of deer and then a bunch of elk ran across the road. That was our queue to slow down and enjoy the sights.
One thing that I learned from the trip is that when we are riding with others, I need to pay more attention to the places that I pull over into. I am long legged and it really does not matter where I pull in as I can usually touch the ground. I must understand that this is not always the case.
We took our time, enjoyed the countryside and then rolled into La Veta for breakfast.
We were stuffed from breakfast, however we had visions of mountain roads in our heads. We would do some dull two lane until we ran into Creede Colorado. The scenery is still amazing and well worth the ride.
From there we would take Co 149 over Slumgullion Pass.
Slumgullion Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 11,530ft (3.514m) above the sea level, located in San Juan Mountains, in Colorado, USA. It claims the steepest grades of any fully paved and maintained road in Colorado.
The road over the pass is asphalted. It’s called Colorado State Highway 149, also known as Silver Thread Scenic Byway. The north side has the steepest grade of any continuously paved road in Colorado (9%). It has a few switchbacks and tight spots, but other than that, most travelers will find it an easy, scenic route. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado. This narrow two lane road road is usually open all year because snowplows clear the route regularly during this season. To reach the summit, starting from Lake City, the ascent is 11.3 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 783 meters. The average percentage is 6.9 %. The climb starts out immediately with near 10% grades and other than false flat in the middle for around 1K the grade never really lets up. (taken from Dangerousroads.org)
I have been over this a number of times and I have never seen it snow packed and beautiful. It was a cool ride going over the pass. I was glad we did it as I was mesmerized by the views. Fun times.
We rode up into Lake City, before heading into Gunnison for the evening. I love the ride between lake City and Gunnison. It is a nice smooth surface and has some amazing views. Jamie and I love this part of the trip.
It was a great day of riding. Jamie and I never get tired of this part of the world. We have always thought that the Gunnison area would be a great place to have a summer getaway.
We had a nice dinner and then went to bed to recharge for tomorrows adventure. I love moto vacations..
We entered the Cimarron Canyon State Park and we were surprised at the lack of traffic. The road is twisty and the views are breathtaking. This was a fantastic way to start the day. Fires ravaged the area a few years ago and the signs of damage are still present. It was a beautiful ride and the majestic views, made Jamie and I realize how much we love the Land of Enchantment. We were both born and raised in NM and we are proud to call it home.
Our first stop was breakfast in Angel Fire at the Bakery & Cafe. The food was great and it was a wonderful start to the day. We all enjoyed our time together. it was great getting some opening tour miles under our belt.
The next stop on our journey was the Angel Fire Vietnam Memorial. David Westphall Veterans Foundation. If you have not had the chance to visit this memorial, I would recommend you visiting. It a great memorial and a place to give thanks for all of those that paid the ultimate price in that very chaotic era. It does not matter your political view from that time, this place will move your heart and soul. It is well worth the stop. I was glad to be able to share this site with our friends.
I know we all left the memorial with a feeling of sadness. We are so honored to be able to take advantage of the freedom that these brave soldiers fought and died for.
We did a nice ride enjoying the the mountain air and awesome scenery. We bypassed Taos NM as we would be back in the area on the final leg of our Journey. We took the long way round and made it to Red River NM. We decided to stop and have an ice cream and explore this great little mountain getaway.
There was a car show in town so Jamie and I decided to go check it out. the rest of the group just walked around the shops and took in the cooler temps. This town welcomes you to walk around and soak up the good vibes. As you can probably tell, we love this little mountain village called Red River.
The car show was a wonderful surprise. The entry fee was $2 and well worth the price of admission. The people were friendly and the cars were amazing! It was a great break from the riding. Check out these cool rides. If you want to check out all of the pictures go here.
It was starting to get late and we needed to get back to Raton. Tomorrow we would be headed into Colorado. The ride home was a good one. The weather stayed nice and we avoided those dreaded mountain rain showers. We finished the day with a fabulous Pizza and some beer! It was a great ending to a wonderful day of riding. Nothing beats long rides with good friends.
The day had finally arrived. We had been planning this adventure for almost 3 months. The bike was loaded on the trailer and our bags were packs. Colorado here we come!
One of the main reasons I ride a motorcycle is for adventures like this. I love road trips. The type that take you on the road from 7-10 days. The kind of trip that covers many miles and takes us to places that are different than the normal riding we do. What better place than Colorado? It has been a couple of years since Jamie and I explored beautiful Colorado. It has always been one of our favorite motorcycle destinations.
This trip has been in the works for 3-4 months. The routes were planned, the hotels booked and we were all excited to hit the road. This time around we would have our friends Bill (Kawasaki Versys 1000) & Gayla (Kawasaki Ninja 1000), Kris (Kawasaki H2 SE) & Linda (Kawasaki 1000 Ninja), Lisa (Honda VFR) and Bob (Yamaha FJR) joining us. Jamie and I were so excited to show them some of the sights and sounds of one of our favorite motorcycle destinations.
Thursday was here and I was like a little kid at Christmas time. I had to work in the morning, so when I left the house, all I could think about was getting the day started so I could finish up and we could hit the road. I got out of work around 2PM and headed straight to the house. We were already loaded up so all that we had to do was hook up the trailer and throw our bags into the jeep.
We were meeting Bill & Gayla in Woodward Oklahoma. This would get us good 300 mile jump start on our journey. The drive was long and boring and justified our choice to trailer the bikes to New Mexico. Jamie and I made it by 9PM and Bill & Gayla rolled in after 11PM. They were not able to hit the road until after 5PM. There were no issues and the bikes made it safe and sound.
After a great nights sleep, Jamie and I awoke and were excited to hit the road. We had planned the route so that we would be in New Mexico no later than mid afternoon.
The drive to Raton was easy and we rolled into the Raton Pass Motor Inn around 2pm. The little motel was just as quaint as we had remembered. Our hosts as amazing as our last visit to this little gem of a motel. We love this motel and we would recommend staying there if you are ever in the area. Tell them Jamie & Jerry sent ya.
Everyone got to the hotel around 4pm and we unloaded the bikes, so we could take the vehicles and trailers to our staging area. The Summerlin RV Park has been our “go to” for storage of our vehicles for a number of years. They have a nice place and the fee to park is very affordable. The owners are awesome and they make you feel like family.
We had a great dinner and enjoyed a few adult beverages while discussing the next days ride. Dinner was at a good little local spot named La Cosina Cafe. The food was very authentic and reminded Jamie & I on how much we missed NM food.
We were all excited for the adventure that lay ahead of us. We would be riding the famous Enchanted Circle on our first true day of the tour.
We finished up our evening by enjoying the wonderful evening with a fabulous sunset in the mountains of New Mexico.
I got up on Friday morning to a cool breeze and a feeling of peace. I made my coffee and got ready for the day. Today was not a work day, it was a ride day and I could not have been happier. I had packed the bike a few days earlier as I was excited to head off on my first moto camping trip of 2019.
Jame would not be riding with me as she had a prior commitment, so this was one of those rare times where I would be heading out on an adventure by myself. I needed a break as work had been very challenging heading up to this wonderful Friday.
I loaded up on the bike and hit the road with a big smile on my face. My first destination was Eureka Springs where I would have some breakfast and log into a mandatory work conference call. I am fortunate to live within 3 miles of some of the best roads in NW Arkansas and Southern Missouri, it is a great way to start the riding day. I rolled into Eureka Spring at 8:45. It was perfect timing. My call was at 9:00 am and this allowed for me to order food and have it in front of me at the start of the call. So far the stars had aligned and it was starting to be a fantastic Friday.
I was back on the road around 10:00 am. The sun was shining bright. My next stop would be at the T-31 Rally sight in Marble Falls Arkansas. It was only 80 miles away. I wanted to get to the site and get my camp site set up so I could rendezvous with some of my MSTA riding friends. I arrived to find that I had my choice of camping sites. I chatted with the owner of the Marble Falls Resort, she said I could pick a site anywhere on the grass out in front of the resort. They also had left room 101 open so that all of the campers had a restroom and shower. I was the only camper so this was awesome.
I pitched my tent, got all my camping gear out and in place in record time. I loaded up again and headed down the scenic byway that is Arkansas 7. As I headed south on 7 I was grinning from ear to ear. The scenery was amazing, the smells intoxicating. It was a great way to spend the day. After a few miles, I see the gang heading north. Kris & Linda Poole in the lead with Gayla O’Brien close behind. I swung a quick u-turn and caught up to them pretty quickly. We headed off to the Cliff House inn to get a piece of pie and a refreshing beverage. It was awesome getting to catch up with my MSTA friends. It was all smiles and storytelling. My root beer float tasting even better as I enjoyed it with these wonderful friends. The view from the Cliff House is breathtaking.
We finished the day hanging out at the resort, fellow shipping with all of the riders who had started to show up at the rally site. I counted 32 bikes, as I walked to the restaurant for dinner.
The rally offered hot dogs and chili for dinner, however that combo was not really something I wanted to take part in before crawling into a tent for a good night’s sleep.Besides that I ran into a couple of friends from Dallas that I had been riding with for over 10 years and they asked me to join them for a steak dinner. It sounded like a great idea. Dinner was great, as the steak was good and the conversation was even better. I was beat as I said good night and headed to my tent. It had been a fantastic day.
Saturday arrived with the sun trying to break free from a cloudy sky. The weather report looked very ominous for later in the day. Some severe weather was headed our way. We had a quick breakfast and then loaded up to hit the road. The riding for the day included great roads like AR7, 123, 16 and 27 and a few more scatter within the daily route.
We had pie in the small town of Dover AR. In fact we helped the wait person win a contest for selling the most pieces of pie during a shift. She got 9 just from our table. Yes we like pie!
These rallies are so much fun for so many reasons. It is so great meeting new friends, catching up with old friends, while enjoying this great hobby. Everyone loves kicking tires, telling stories of past and future rides. Then you throw in some of the best riding roads in America you have a fabulous event. The T-31 Rally did not disappoint.
The afternoon sky was starting to show signs of the severe weather that was forecasted for the evening. We followed the twisty road back to the resort. I wanted to get back in time so that I could take down my camp before the winds and rains arrived. Plus I wanted to be done so that when the T-Rally dinner was served at 7, I was not late. I wanted to take advantage of breaking bread with my MSTA friends. I got all of my things taken down and packed up, just as the rains came.
It was not an awful storm, however there were 30 minutes that was pretty intense and I am afraid that my tent might not have fared very well. I was thankful for my friends taking me in.
Dinner was great, I don’t think I have laughed that much in a long time. It is so enjoyable to hear everyone’s stories, to take part in their ride, even if you were not physically present for their ride. It is always one of my favorite times of any rally. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Sunday arrived and the skies were again clear and the sun was coming out. The last day of any rally are always bitter sweet. You remember all of the fun times, but you also know that the time is coming to an end. That reality is pushing its way back into your life. The cool thing of the last day, is you have another day of riding before reality calls.
We loaded up and found more twisty roads, more spirited riding. The day was a perfect ending to the event. We enjoyed the ride, while we also noticed that some areas were impacted by the storms more than we were at the resort. We took our time, stopping frequently and not wanting to say goodbye.
As we parted ways, we knew that this was not the last time we would meet. We would have many more miles in our futures together. I smiled as I rode off, remembering all of the fun times over the past three days. I was thankful for having such good friends, having the opportunity to get together and enjoy our wonderful hobby together.
I stopped and reflected on the weekend and the day. I came to the conclusion that life was good and I was glad to be sharing it with my MSTA friends. Until next time. Ride safe!
Jamie & I got up and headed out on a little Sunday adventure. It was just the two of us and we had no time line or place to be. The weather was looking great and we were very excited to see what the day had in store for us.
We had a fantastic day exploring a part of NW Arkansas that we had not ridden in before. The Boston mountain scenic loop is a beautiful ride, with plenty of places to explore. We thought we had a place picked out to eat breakfast but they were closed, so we ventured on. We found dirt roads, beautiful places to pull over and enjoy the rivers, with roads that never disappoint. It was just another fantastic day of riding in NW Arkansas.
We found a cool little place to eat lunch called Grandma’s House cafe. The food was ok, but the place was packed. I am sure that if we had gotten to order off the menu, we would have enjoyed it a little more. Buffet food always seems rushed. There was a wait, but it was such a nice day no one really cared.
After eating we made our way over to Devils Den State Park. The ride was so beautiful. The road is tight with plenty of traffic so its not a fast road, but well worth the ride. It was awesome! Great weather and the views were breath taking. We took our time and stopped to enjoy the sights. It was a perfect Sunday ride.
We finished the day with just over 200 miles on the Versys. The Big V now has over 1800 miles on the clock and we are loving it more and more every ride.
We found a dirt road and got to put on 8-10 miles of off roading… haha it was pretty and no one was around. I could see the off road appeal.