The bike is cleaned up, the oil changed and I am ready to roll. This will be a 10 day adventure, that will take me into TN, NC and all of those magnificent roads they have to offer. I will be doing the Dragon, Cherohalla Skyway, Wayah Rd, Wolfpen gap and many many more.
We will end up in Birmingham AL, for the MotoAmerica races so stay tuned for more videos and pictures.
225 miles on great Arkansas Roads. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!
It has been 10 years since I had the opportunity to have a Labor Day weekend off. The retail management field does not offer many holiday weekends off. This one did however and we took advantage of it.
Jamie and I got up and on the road around 7:15am. We were rewarded with a beautiful cool morning. The skies were overcast, but the threat of rain was minimal. We had sent out an invite to some of the social media groups that we frequent, with no response. So we figured we would be on our own. We rode to the departure lounge, had a quick coffee and headed out at 8am.
We took off over the lake and hit a nice twisty stretch to start our morning. The weather looked threatening in the distance. That did not dampen our enthusiasm and we plugged along. We came across some wet roads but never got any rain. I think we just followed it to breakfast.
We stopped in Kingston and took a little break. This is just a little hole in the wall place but it seems to be the cross roads of traffic. We enjoyed a quick 15 minutes and then headed down to Boxley Valley. We got to see some elk and just enjoy the valley. This is just another gem in our beautiful state of Arkansas.
We were both starting to get hungry so it was time to load up and get to Jasper so we could eat. We love the Ozark Cafe and today did not disappoint. We had a good breakfast and just hung out and enjoyed the morning. As we got loaded back up we decided that we would take the long way home.
After a nice little jaunt up the beautiful and scenic highway 7, we decided to make our way over to Eureka Springs. We understood that the holiday traffic would be a little rough in the Springs, but it was not that bad. We stopped and had a little snack at the Cat House. It is a great location to watch the world go by. I think we were the only non cruiser in the parking lot. We spent a good hour just enjoying our day together. Jamie and I need to slow down and do this more often.
When we arrived the lot had a number of open parking spaces. As we rode off, the lot was full of American made motorcycles. I always love hanging out here. It is such a great atmosphere for the motorcycle enthusiast.
We finished the day by riding up into Missouri and taking one of our favorite roads (hwy 90) home. We logged 219 miles and had a fantastic day. We hope that you all enjoy the pictures. You can see the entire gallery here. Thanks for reading the blog. Until next time.. Ride Safe!
8 friends exploring Colorado on two wheels! Fun times and great memories were made. Check it out!
We have been home for almost two weeks now from our trip and I am still thinking about it everyday. We logged over 1700 miles on two wheels, taking in great views, smelling clean mountain air and enjoying the company of friends. We will have many stories to tell and will never forget this adventure. It was an epic journey and one we will not forget.
I have linked all of the blog posts so that you can read about our journey in the chronological order. I will also be doing a video report as well on youtube. This will take a few weeks as we have many hours of video to edit. So stay tuned. Until then we hope you enjoy the blog version of the ride report. Shoot us a note if you have any questions or comments. Thank you.
Colorado Dreamin – Red River and then back to Raton to load up and hit the road home.
I think it hit us while we were loading up the bike this morning to head back to Raton. the trip was ending and we were not ready to give it up. We decided to head over to red river for Breakfast, to get our last minute mountain fix. It was the right choice. As we made our way up the hill, we could not help but talk about the trip. It had been awesome, one that we will remember for years to come.
Jamie and I joke that in the last days of our lives, when we are sitting on the porch, reminiscing about our younger days, no one will be able to say that we did not have fun, did not have great adventures and did not have amazing friends! I truly love my life!
We got into Raton around 11am so we had plenty of time to load up and then get some miles in so that Sunday would not be a long day. Jamie and I loaded up the Versys and then went over to get Bill & Linda’s bike loaded in the back of the truck. This was easier than anticipated as bill found an abandon loading dock and we were able to back the truck in and just ride onto the truck – easy as pie.
People always give me a hard time about loading and using the trailer to certain destinations. I used to be of the mind set that you ride all of the time. This sounds great and if I were retired and time was not a limiting factor I might not trailer… Who am I kidding, I will never ride across the boring, HOT plains again on a motorcycle if I can avoid it. I have rode many many times across the great state of Texas. I never have to do it again. This trip was across Oklahoma and I have to say I did not miss anything by taking the jeep and the trailer. Here is my advice for those that will jump on the trailer trashing bandwagon..
Just do you! whatever works best for you, may not work for all of us! lets just enjoy this great hobby and do it the way we want to!
The entire loading process for all of the group was less than 3 hours. Not bad at all.
We all did the caravan thing until we got to Claytin NM. We had lunch at the Eklund Hotel. Kris & Linda had eaten here in the past and it was a great find. The bar was amazing and the history emanated from the hallways. It was a very cool place.
It was hard saying goodbye to Kris, Linda and Lisa but we will ride again soon. It was amazing having them on the trip. The rest of us made it to Enid Oklahoma for the evening.
We woke up to a driving rain storm (another great thing about utilizing our trailer) and drove for 3 hours in sub par weather. We broke free of the rain just outside of Tulsa. Jamie and I made it home and unloaded the bike without issue by 3pm. We got to enjoy some down time before heading back to our regular lives. It was a fantastic trip.
Colorado Dreamin – Back to the land of Enchantment, Taos and more!
We got up to a beautiful morning in Pagosa Springs. The air was cool and the sky was clear and blue. It has all of the makings of a fantastic day! We went down the street hoping they had water so we could have some morning coffee.
We went to the Colorado cafe and the coffee was amazing! Our friends have laughed at us this entire trip as jamie and I have been taking advantage of the local fare as much as possible. You can never eat too much green or red can you??
As we walked into the cafe we noticed a balloon getting ready to explore the day. Not a bad view to start the day.
We took off and headed down into New Mexico. Our first stop would be the little town of Chama NM. Their claim to fame is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. On our way we ran across a real life cattle drive. We just pulled over and let them go by. It was very cool.
We got there in time to see the train load up and take off. We enjoyed a easy morning walking around the town, enjoying the backdrop and playing tourist.
After Chama we jumped on NM 64 and headed over to Tres Piedras. This has always been one of my favorite rides in NM. The road was not in the best shape, but the beauty and smells more than made up for that. Still one of my favorites.
Our next stop was the Rio Grande Gorge bridge. We have done this a number of times, but it is always a nice stop. The weather could not have been better. it was beautiful and not too warm.
We have always passed by the earthships as we ride by, so we decided it would be a great time to stop and check things out. It is very fascinating! You can read and learn more about the Earthship Biotecture Project here.
We finished the day by running into Taos and playing tourist the rest of the afternoon. We walked around the square, had a few adult beverages and just enjoyed being together.
I am truly blessed to have Jamie in my life. She enjoys our adventures and makes every trip so much fun. I love that girl!
We were starting to have post motorcycle trip depression. Yes it is a real thing. That feeling you have when you know you are headed back to reality. No more open road, no more enjoying time with good friends. There will be many more trips, but this trip was almost over and it always makes us sad. Until the next one that is..
The Million Dollar Highway stretches for about 25 miles (40 km) in western Colorado and follows the route of U.S. 550 between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado. It is part of the San Juan Skyway. Between Durangoand Silverton the Skyway loosely parallels the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The road climbs up to 3 very high mountain passes. Coal Bank Pass (10,640 ft /3,240 m); Molas Pass (10,970 ft /3,340 m) and Red Mountain Pass(11,018 ft /3,358 m). The road is fine as long as you don’t drive too fast for conditions. But if you do, the consequences are severe. (Taken from Dangerousroads.org)
We started the day off in heated gear as the temps hovered around 50, but we knew that we would be doing some serious elevation changes. Our first stop was Silverton Co. We enjoyed a great breakfast and then walked around town for a little while.
Breakfast was very good at the Brown Bear Cafe. I would have linked to them, but could not find a website for them. We did some shopping before hitting the road again.
I love these little places, where you can walk up and down the street, shop at local shops and just enjoy a nice little jaunt after a good meal. The temps were perfect. It was a beautiful day. Sure beats working.
Our next stop would be around Durango. The plan was not to stop in downtown as the traffic can be very bad. We did have some miscommunication on this leg of the trip. Some of the group stopped to take pictures, others went back to look for them and before we knew it, everyone was a little discombobulated. Things like this happen from time to time. Looking back on it there were some things we could have done to avoid some of this frustration. Part of that is the old adage
“Ride your own ride”
If you want to stop, then stop. If you don’t feel comfortable stopping then don’t. We all knew the final destination.
I also look at things this way. Anytime you have a group of friends together for this long of time, something is bound to happen. Its like family. You have words, then you get over it. I would not have changed a thing about traveling with this great group of friends. It will be a trip I remember for a long time. Now back to the cool scenery.
I have never ridden this pass when there was so much snow present. I have done this pass 10-15 times on a bike and today, it was the most beautiful I have ever seen it. The blue skies, the snow on the ground and just the over all magnificence of it all. I was so glad, we were here and we were able to experience this in all of its wonder.
We stopped in Durango and we were correct. the traffic was crazy and we did not spend any time there. Bob broke off to visit a friend in Farmington NM, while Jamie and I headed to Pagosa Springs. The rest of the gang went on to Mesa Verde State Park. Jamie and I have visited the park a number of times. I will try and get some pictures from the rest of the gang to add to the blog.
We enjoyed a little snack and then decided to run up Wolf Creek pass and see how much snow was up at the Continental Divide. What a nice little ride.
We stayed at the Alpine Inn in Pagosa Springs and lets just say our stay was very disappointing. We did not have water the entire stay and what made it worse was the management NEVER even came to check on anyone. They did however take the FULL payment for the room without question. I thought we might have heard from them, when we returned home, but have not heard a word. I would not recommend the Alpine Inn in Pagosa Springs for anyone’s stay.
We did have dinner at the Coyote Moon Bar & Grill and it was a great experience.
They were dealing with the lack of water, like the Alpine Inn, but they went above and beyond to take care of us, They even left the kitchen open later than usual to take care of our group.
I would eat here again and would recommend you stop by and give it a try if in the area.
Just another day on our adventure. Tomorrow we will be heading back into New Mexico. Until then stay tuned.