7/26 Day 3 of the TAT: Lake City, CO to Monticello, UT aprox.207 miles
Matt says that when he's riding in the dirt, every day is Christmas. I always thought he was insane, but on this trip I finally understood. Every morning was so exciting and I couldn't wait to get going and get on the trail. We knew this kind of enthusiasm can't last (and it wouldn't), but on day 3 we were still pretty stoked.
Lake City is so lovely in the morning
Went to the Mocha Moose for coffee. Met a nice couple on a GS, they have a rental bike company in Phoenix and get to tour in the slow season.
Really looking forward to Cinnamon Pass - from the photos we've seen, it's going to be beautiful.
I was excited about this rainbow until Matt reminded me that it meant it was raining. oh, right. It's still pretty.
As we were in the rain, going towards the pass, we ran into Paul, Julian and Andrew! We were hoping to ride with them today, but they were still snug in their tents and had decided to wait for the rain to stop. I wish I had had the camera out but I didn't think of it until we took off...
The rain stopped long enough to snap a shot along the trail. The edge of the cliff just drops off into nothing. It's pretty scary to look down, especially when the rocks are wet and slippery...
We thought the roll chart said to turn into American Basin, but Paul later said his roll chart said to skip it. Oh well. I'm glad we went in - it was one of the most scenic stops of the day. This was one of the many places where we wished we had our camping gear.
Obligatory falling-down-mine stuff at Animas Forks
Took a break and watched the chipmunks eat berries and flowers. I love these little guys! I wish the ones in the road weren't so suicidal, but at least we didn't squash any.
California Pass, with Lake Como in the background
Is this Corkscrew Pass? I can't remember. I do know that Corkscrew Pass lived up to its name and was a windy MF. My arms got tired from holding onto the back bars. It was still pretty, though.
*edited to add - it's not Corkscrew Pass, but is close to it.
The rocks at Ophir Pass
Matt recognized this view from the TAT ride reports - he said we must be getting close to Ophir Pass. We waited and waited and then we got down to the town of Ophir and realized that we had just done the pass. Doh!
It was getting ready to dump when we got to Ophir. A kind woman offered to let us hide out in her barn until the storm cell passed. It was so nice of her! Unfortunately, all it did was waste an hour and put off the inevitiable, for as soon as we got back on the road another cell came and soaked us completely. Oh well.
We had been looking forward to the jeep road (727) that was coming up next. Sam noted "Fun, Fun, Fun" on the roll charts and we figured it would be something good. Yeah. It turns out that Sam is a fan of sarcasm - that road was 13 miles of horrible. Nothing but baby heads and slick mud puddles that went on forever - not rocky enough to be interesting, but really uncomfortable at speed. Ugh. It was raining the whole time so I didn't take any pictures, but here's the trail map if you want to have some "Fun, Fun, Fun" of your own.
Had more rain and hail and got lost on the way to Monticello
Found some really nasty, sticky mud - the fender got packed solid and the bike just stopped. One of the things that Matt would have done with more planning time is get the high fender for the 950. The stock one just sucks.
The bike was a mess, as were our boots. I think I was 2 inches taller after walking around in the mud. We got to Monticello and found a car wash
And then some lunch. The waitress said that earlier in the day, Monticello had torential rain and lightning strikes. A tree next to the restaurant was struck and almost smashed her car.
Later that evening, we ran into Paul, Julian and Andrew again. They enjoyed the "Fun, Fun, Fun" about as much as we did. It was always nice to see those guys and commiserate about the trail.
Tomorrow - Moab!