We made it to our motel in Colorado Springs without further incident, thank God. However, frankly, I just wasn't "okay" with her riding so soon (the next day) after a scary spill. (More for my sake than hers?) I knew she was already sore... and suspected that she could be even more sore the next day. Further, we had to do that Old Stage Road and it's fool traffic AGAIN tomorrow. (We were to reverse our route back to Victor, then take Shelf-Red Canyon back down to Canyon City.)
No, I was NOT okay with this at all. Plus, I felt Honey Buns needed a day OFF the bike so as not to push anything physically and see where we were at in regards to her soreness level.
Therefore, after arriving at the motel and getting checked-in, I made the decision to hot-foot it back to Canyon City via hiway 115, load my bike up on the trailer, and return to Colorado Springs to load hers up. We would then drive over to our next destination point: Pitkin, CO.
This I did.
The next morning, she was feeling better... still sore... but not as bad as last night. This was encouraging. I was ready to scuttle the idea of riding the bikes anymore on this vacation, but she wouldn't hear of it and said she'd be fine and we should continue with our plans. Hmmm... I'll mull that one over.
In the meantime, it was off and away to our next destination: Pitkin. Along the way, we intended to do the Royal Gorge.
Royal Gorge is indeed royal! We road the Skyway tram, descended to the bottom via the incline cable cars, and even walked out onto the bridge. The Royal Gorge is too much for words!!!
Here's a pic from the Skyway Tram. BTW, that tiny railroad at the bottom is a full sized, sure'nuf railroad!
And here's a pic looking UP at the incline we had just ridden down through that crevice. This thing has a 100% grade! That is, for every 100' it travels, it has descended 100'! Amazing.
And here's a pic of Honey Buns on the bridge. She's still smiling and gettin' around pretty good!
As we trailered west on US 50, the road follows the Arkansas River through the canyon for miles and miles. It was a great portion of road to be traveling.
Soon, lunchtime rolled around. We stopped at about the only town out in the canyon: Cotopaxie, CO.
Here we were, out in the middle of a canyon... and what do we see? Two small bore motorcycles fully loaded with tents n' stuff: Adventure Riders!
I had to find out who was doing some Adventure Riding. Turned out it was this young couple...
They had ridden those things all the way from Georgia... and were on their way to Oregon!! They had already been riding for nearly a month.... and they were only about half way to their destination!
They were very interesting to talk to.
This is one of the neat things about being a biker, be it on-road (cruiser, touring) off road, or whatever road... just being a biker opens you up to all sorts of neat encounters that only bikers experience! I've done this for 43 years, now... and I could fill a book with some of the neatest things I've experienced being a biker/motorcyclist. I can't imagine life without motorcycles... but I guess if I live long enough, one of these days it will be time to hang up the helmet. But until then... RIDE ON!
The general store was very typical for and old general store, and has some great food. Took a quick pic of the inside as we wait for our vittals...
Leaving Cotopaxie the next towns of significance were Salida and Poncha Springs. We would be returning to Poncha Springs the next day aboard our motorcycles... but our route for tomorrow only had about 4 miles of pavement... the rest of the 60+ miles would be mountain passes, and we would do it both ways: Out and back.
As we climbed Monarch Pass, we begin to really see some gorgeous fall foliage. Though a cloud zapped the sun at the last second, this at least gives you and idea of what was unfolding before us as we headed toward Pitkin...
Eventually, we ended up at one of our favorite Colorado towns: Pitkin!
Here we are in front of what will be our home for the next three days: Our own cabin. Inside is no TV, no internet, and no cell phone service. WE LOVED IT!!!!
As for Pitkin:
Pitkin was an important small town on the Denver South Park & Pacific narrow gauge railroad. Pitkin was the helper station at the foot of the eastbound grade to Alpine Tunnel. That is, they would add engines to the train to help it up the steep grade to Alpine Tunnel.
Fortunately, many DSP&P artifacts remain in the area. This is one of the main reasons that Pitkin is one of my favorites... that and the gorgeous setting!
Speaking of the DSP&P... here's the nicely restored depot, still sitting in the original location...
See that dirt road heading up into the mountains? That's the roadbed! We'll be on that all the way to Alpine Tunnel before we leave Pitkin!
We were soooo PUMPED to be back at Pitkin.
BUT... there was a dampener to our spirits of the dampening variety: Rain was forecast for the next two days: 40% tomorrow (our Marshall Pass day) and 70% the next (our Cumberland Pass day).
Wonder how this will unfold???
To Be Continued.