We awoke to a nice day with a light fog in the hills around us. After the previous couple of days early starts we both were feeling a bit lazy so we took some time to take in the view, shoot some photos, and just enjoy being out there. We knew we only needed to get to Crested Butte today and we knew we didn't have all that far to go.
Here's the obligatory shot of our campsite. Coffee all around. We even had a couple of nice cut logs to use a tables.
Here is a tone mapped High Dynamic Range image of the view to the west from our camp site. I really enjoy playing with HDR images – more to come.
I also took a few Macro shots. Here’s one of a couple of little yellow flowers. I liked the way the dew drops came through in this image.
Finally, another tone mapped shot of our tracks coming into camp from the night before.
When I was out getting water the night before I noticed another camp site that sat up on a ridge, just off the main dirt road we had come in on. It had a splendid view to the west. I could see camping here next time I’m up this way.
Feeling a bit more at ease and less stressed than we do at the end of the day we decided to try one of the not-so-good roads to get us out to Hwy 114 near Cochetopa Pass. The route had one tricky bit – a series of schwoopty*
switchbacks up the side of a hill – but was otherwise pretty cool to ride. I believe Kerry even enjoyed this one. Sorry, no pics enroute. (*The term schwoopty is usually reserved to describe tele turns in fresh powder or bermed out single track such as the Ring Tail trail south of Denver or Doctor Park just outside of Almont.)
We made it out to 114 pretty quickly, rode about 300 yards to the west on pavement and then picked up NN14 which basically paralleled the highway up and over Cochetopa Pass and dumped us out back onto 114 just above the super fun twisty section along the river as the road drops down towards 50 just east of Gunnison. We had a bit of rain along NN14 but nothing like what we rode into on the highway. We ended up pulling into one of the picnic shelters by the river and waited out the worst of the rain for about an hour.
When we finally reached Gunnison we went straight to Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods store as they were having a side walk sale and we needed better rain gear. We found some motorcycle specific outfits called Frog Togs on sale for half price. At $38 per set we were a bit skeptical that these would work but they had to be better than our now soaked Marmot stuff. We left the Marmot stuff in the trash can and put on our Frog Togs for the ride up the valley to Crested Butte. We experienced a bit more rain and these suits kept us comfy and dry, though they look silly ‘cause they are like wearing giant garbage bags. We ended up getting out money's worth out of these things as we experienced a fair bit more rain throughout the rest of our trip.
Anyway, we found our friends place up on the hill in Mount Crested Butte. When we arrived they had a fresh batch of nachos coming out of the oven and brownies in the mixing bowl for dessert later that evening. We took our first showers in a few days (though I really don’t mind using the river) and settled in for an evening of catching up and hanging out. Through our stories I think we may have managed to convince one other visiting friend that perhaps motorcycle touring is just a bit more fun that bicycle touring. We'll see.