The first day on the bike felt like such a long time coming, took a whirlwind of activity to actually make happen, and then was such a relief to actually set out on the trip! Our target date of departure was May 1, we ended up leaving May 2nd about noon, and that turned out to be the best slip in schedule ever...
Ready to go:
One of the benefits of sticking that extra day was that we got to spend one last evening with our good friends and gracious hosts Kyle and Janelle. They cooked us some amazing fried tacos for our final meal before departure, which deserved a celebratory sip of tequila as well. They also saved us a major hassle by volunteering (whether they knew it or not) to help us out with a couple of final errands so we didn't have to try to coordinate those on the Transalp. Thank you guys!
We met up with Mike Williams for a last good bye on our way through Denver, but it was a short stop as the clouds were already building.
Just south of Denver, over Monument hill, snow flurries hit us but luckily didn't stick to the road. But they sure kept us cold. We pushed through past the Springs on down to Pueblo where we thought we were free from weather for awhile so had a taco for lunch. That route took us straight down I-25, far from the best road to ride, but the alternate route down 285 showed highs in the 30's and snow the whole way. So at least we made progress. As we finished lunch, clouds were building again, so off we went. Heading west over La Veda pass, the snow was still piled up along the roadside, temps were just above freezing. We did not stop for photos because our hands would not have been able to work the camera.
Due to that cold weather, and snow on the mountains where we planned on camping, we opted for a room that night. There was a nice little old motel in Antonito, CO that gave us a screaming deal for their winter rate. That was the best $37 I've spent! The hotelier was nice, and informed us that they got hammered with 6 inches of snow the day before, so it was good that we didn't end up leaving on the 1st.
Had a celebratory dinner in town, and then got some rest. Tomorrow we start focusing on our planned budget of $50 or less per day. Today we focused on staying warm.