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Old 06-12-2009, 02:51 PM   #46
SplatteredBugs
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Great thread, keep the reports coming! I'm jealous.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #47
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I didn't see it in the report, probably missed it, but are you heading towards Ouray, and over to Silverton/Durango area? Don't miss the cliff dwellings at Green Mesa if you head out towards Cortez.

Loving your RR, keep it up, and stay safe.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #48
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Great report.........thanks for posting. If you stop in Durango, try Francisco's at 619 Main Ave for mexican food. Been stopping by there since the 70's and always a great meal.

Keep it coming.......
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #49
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did Telluride today (gorgeous) and then down through Cortez...now camping at Mesa Verde National Park (wifi at the store). Report coming today or tomorrow!
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #50
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Hi Grad,

Good that you could stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We stopped there last year, and it did not disappoint!
If you can take some of the ranger-led hikes in Mesa Verde, try to do that. I recommend the Balcony House tour.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:42 PM   #51
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I'm another one on the Clamato bandwagon. Great stuff! I like to use vegatable juice instead at home.

Colorado =
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:22 PM   #52
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Good job, keep it coming.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:55 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grad


A dinner of Mexican food, followed by a walk in the woods near our campground, helped to cap off a nice and easy second day of riding.



Great report except for one thing, that so called Mexican food. I asked my wife what that stuff was, she could not identify it and she is Mexican! You have to try some out in New Mexico, West Texas, Arizona or California; there you will see some Mexican food!
Those photos of Colorado have me itching to get out there. But I still have a month and a half until WestFest.
Oh and not all of Kalifornia is fruits or nuts! Although the bay area,,, well ,,,uh,,,you know.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:54 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grad

Just outside of Montrose I saw the turn off for Black Canyon National Park. Having a National Parks pass (thanks Mom and Dad!) I thought it would be cool to check it out. This turned out to be a wise decision.
Really been enjoying following your ride

When I saw where you were headed a day ago I was hoping you would take the turn off for the Black Canyon. I think it's one of the least talked about jewels in the rockies. So glad you had the chance to experience it, nothing like stumbling onto something so amazing like that!
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #55
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Awesome, thanks
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:12 PM   #56
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***due to less than stellar Internet access, I am a day behind on the ride report. This report is from our ride on June 11th. Hopefully I can catch up when I get to a hotel with reliable access***

Day 7 - 160 miles to Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Once again, we had a beautiful day of riding in Colorado. We had a choice to make this morning...two possible routes of equal distance. I think we made the right one.

We got a late start in Montrose, mostly because we were tired and slept a bit late. Val had lost her sunglasses the day before, so of course we have to roll over to Target so she can find a proper replacement.



After that, we started rolling down Hwy 550 towards Ridgway.


The views, as always, were incredible.


In Ridgway, we broke off on Hwy 62 towards Telluride. This highway had very little traffic and really felt off the beaten path. We enjoyed the ride as well as the mountains.







As we neared Telluride, the scenery changed a bit.


The drop down into Telluride was incredible...we felt like we were in another country. Words cannot describe how majestic, how larger than life the mountains were. Telluride is nestled into the little area where all of these mountains meet...there is one major road in and out and that's it. What a location!


The town itself was very cool...although I think it is a mecca for wealthy people who try not to come across as wealthy. It was a Friday and it seemed like nobody was working, just chilling outside and chatting with friends. We had a great lunch outside, looking up at the mountains as well as the passerby.



We spend several hours walking the streets, doing a little shopping, and loving this little town. Leaving Telluride, we decided to head south towards Cortez.


Hwy 145 was excellent, with very little traffic and great views in every direction. Here is just a sample:






I love these mountain streams...it seems they are everywhere in Colorado.




Spring is finally here and things have begun to bloom.


At Cortez, we hung a left and rolled a few miles over to Mesa Verde National Park. Here you can see the mesa that we would be camping on.


We entered the park around 4:30, plenty of time to set up camp.


The ride up to the campground was really nice.




We got a great spot with a view across the valley to another mesa. The campground was busy but not overly crowded.


On the way back from showering, this mule deer greeted us.


We had a typical dinner of hotdogs (with chili!) and marshmallows, topped off with cheap wine. We walked over to the amphitheater to hear the park ranger give a talk about the coyotes of the area, then headed to bed in anticipation of another long day. The setting sun over the mesa was a perfect end to an excellent day on the road.


Up next, our ride up to Moab!
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:41 PM   #57
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Fruits and Nuts

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLRoger
Great report except for one thing, that so called Mexican food. I asked my wife what that stuff was, she could not identify it and she is Mexican! You have to try some out in New Mexico, West Texas, Arizona or California; there you will see some Mexican food!
Those photos of Colorado have me itching to get out there. But I still have a month and a half until WestFest.
Oh and not all of Kalifornia is fruits or nuts! Although the bay area,,, well ,,,uh,,,you know.
According to Drill Sergeant Thomas E. Byrd of Philadelphia, PA, a self-professed true authority on anything that matters, as quoted during boot camp at Fort Ord during October of 1969....."all you Fruits and Nuts from San Francisco and LA......" (the rest of the statement being unquotable in mixed company). So there you have it.

The rest of California is OK.

And I completely agree on the Mexican food. There ain't much that's authentic east of Texas.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:25 AM   #58
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Loving this RR, Grad!
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #59
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Day 8 - 145 miles to Moab

We woke up relatively late, considering we were camping. Usually when I am in a tent, I am up at the crack of dawn. Maybe it was the wine or just the exhaustion of the previous day, but we didn't unzip the tent until well after 8 in the morning. A simple breakfast, plus some coffee from the Jetboil, got our day started nicely. We broke camp and motored 15 miles through the park to the information center, where we proceeded to buy tickets for the ranger-guided tour of the Cliff Palace dwellings.



The ride over the mesa was excellent


You could see for miles and miles from the top


On the way, we passed by several wild horses that are running free within the park. They originally had escaped from the Ute Indian Reservation to the south of the park, and since then have reproduced and begun to spread out throughout MVNP.


Some of the overlooks were quite amazing. The canyons were very deep and stretched out to the horizon.




Over 100 Indians lived in these dwellings, built into an alcove created from the eroding sandstone. With some of these structures dating back to 600 A.D., the whole experience was fascinating and educational. Considering how difficult it was to climb down the side of the mesa to visit these dwellings, I have a great deal of appreciation for how these Indians lived.










After visiting the pueblo, we hopped on the GS and set off for Moab. The skies were clouding over very quickly, so we knew we needed to get moving.






We hadn't yet eaten lunch, so we stopped at an excellent Mexican place in Cortez.



We might have spent a bit too long eating, because when we came outside, things were looking ominous. We had just made it out of Cortez when the sky lit up with lightning and very dark clouds. I didn't feel comfortable riding through these storms, especially since the land was very open and sparsely populated. We turned around and holed up in a gas station for an hour or so, watching the bolts of lightning arc out of the sky and the rain pound the asphalt. I took the opportunity to charge up my phone and talk with some of the locals as they sympathized with our predicament.





Eventually, the skies somewhat cleared and we headed north towards Moab. It was late, around 4:30, and we had 100 miles to go. Fortunately, there was little traffic and very few towns so we made quick progress. The landscape changed significantly over these 100 miles, as well as the sky. Cloudy skies turned clear blue, then back to cloudy, and then back to rain as we passed through Monticello.







The scenery changed again as we closed in on our destination for the evening. It was quite nice:





We got a pretty good soaking for a little while, but no lightning so it was all good. Around 20 miles outside of Moab, the wind picked up as gusts came out of the north with ferocity. We hunkered down and knocked out the last few miles into Moab, arriving at the Moab Inn pretty exhausted, considering the low mileage this day.



After a quick shower we walked across the street to The Moab Brewery, where we sampled several excellent microbrews and had a small dinner as well. Val was a champ and did some laundry while I caught up with work as well as these ride reports. I know I will sleep well tonight, and tomorrow we will explore Arches National Park.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:17 PM   #60
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Oh man!!! Mesa Verde (green table/ green plateau) to the four corners area to MOAB. What can be better then that? Not bad eats or brewskis at the MOAB brewery either.
But we have to get you to a real Restaurante Mexicana. I don’t think any place named Mexican Party will fit the bill. Now if it says Cocina Mexicana or Comida Mexicana you should check it out.
If your wife rides you might want to rent a couple of small bikes or even a jeep and check out the area. Driving the slick rock is like driving on concrete, but the views …the views!!! It sounds like you are making great time. Why not spend an extra day in Moab?
Great ride report. Great trip!
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