Leaving Salida, the weather gods were merciful -- the rains from the day before were replaced by the beautiful blue skies Colorado is known for. The plan today is to ride west through Gunnison to Montrose, then south on Hwy 550 to Ouray.
Hwy 50 west of Salida
Monarch Pass is only around 20 miles outside of Salida and I got there in no time. The pass forms a part of the Continental Divide. There's a tourist stop at the pass complete with a scenic-ride cable car. Quite a few bikers stopped by for coffee, most of them on big Harley's, with a few BMWs here and there, plus the occasional Gold Wing.
Continental Divide at Monarch Pass, Colorado
After the pass it was another hour to Gunnison, where I topped off the gas tank. Out of nowhere heavy rain started to pour down, but it didn't last long before clear skies returned. Weather really do change rapidly in the mountains.
Gunnison is home to the Pioneer Museum and I decided to take a look.
The Pioneer Museum in Gunnison
The museum was quite a bit bigger than I thought it would be, with 18 buildings on six-acres of land. Its mission is to "[preserve] the history of the pioneers of Gunnison County". Among of its major artifacts is a wonderfully preserved Baldwin locomotive #6002 (DRGW 268) which was part of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.
Nicely preserved Baldwin DRGW 268
They also have an extensive collection of classic cars (including the Ford model T) and even a couple old motorcycles!
Frame of a Simplex Servi-Cycle (circa 1950s?)
A newly-donated Indian at Pioneer Museum
The Indian was a brand-new donation to the museum. In fact it was so new that the staff did not yet have any additional details on the bike's history available.
I really enjoyed the museum. It was time to go, so I continued west along Hwy 50. There are many scenic views along this highway, and the area near Blue Mesa reservoir is no exception.
Overlooking Blue Mesa
Two more hours of great twisty roads from Gunnison, I finally reached Ouray!! Then I dropped the bike, making a left turn on a hill, while going like zero-mph. Oops!!!
The bike wasn't even scratched, but my ego sure was bruised!!!