Hi everyone, sorry for the sparse updates! The trip so far has been very different from how I imagined it would be.
After Texas, I headed to Colorado instead of crossing into Mexico right away. I grew up in Denver and it would be nice to visit some old friends there.
Leaving the 100° F Texas heat, it was a bit shocking to climb up Raton Pass. In mere minutes the temperature dropped nearly 40 degrees and pretty soon it was thunder and lightning in heavy rain.
The temp continued to drop and I had to flip on the heated grips. Then hail started to hit me! Yikes!! Good thing them ice pellets were small, still hitting them at speed weren't exactly pain-free. Welcome to the Rocky Mountains. Crazy!! I kept on riding until Trinidad, Colorado, where I spent the night. At least the rain stopped and the clouds started to lift.
Near Trinidad, CO, post afternoon thunderstorms
Just before I left Toronto, I had some intermittent issue with my front brakes. Sometimes the front brake lever seems to get "stuck" on initial pull for a brief instant, just long enough to give me that "oh s**t" feeling -- then everything works fine.
I planned to be in Denver in a day or two, so I called the BMW Motorrad "exclusive" dealership in Denver to have the brakes looked at and schedule a service, but they didn't even bother to return my calls. Fed up, I gave Pikes Peak Motorsports in Colorado Springs a call, and Larry the service manager said "come on by!"
So off I went to Colorado Springs where Larry and crew gave the bike some TLC right away. Thanks guys! And it turns out their master tech who worked on the bike is also Canadian, and from Ontario too, what a small world!
At Pikes Peak Motorsports, Colorado Springs
Denver has grown a lot since I left there more than a decade ago. I spent a few days hanging out with friends & family, and visiting my old college in Golden. The Dragon Boat Festival was going on and it was fun to visit.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Sloan's Lake
Departing Denver, it was time to head out to the mountains. The plan is to overnight in Salida before heading to the beautiful south-western part of Colorado. The weather wasn't cooperating and it pretty much rained all the way from Denver to Salida.
Bleak weather at Buena Vista, 30 miles north of Salida.
Once in Salida I rode around to see where to spend the night. It was then when a bunch of rowdy FFs waved me down: they were walking back to their motel from -- where else -- the liquor store!
A collection of ADV types at the Simple Hostel
BgDaddy, advtenn, COONDOG, kenny & friends were all there for the 2011 Rocky Mountain Adventure Ride. They were all staying at the Simple Hostel and I would soon join them.
BgDaddy re-united with his set of keys
The next morning we all said our goodbyes as we headed separate ways. I should have joined the gang for the RMAR, but it was time for me to head for Ouray and The Million Dollar Highway.