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Old 05-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
gothamAlp OP
happy to be here
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: flagstaff, az
Oddometer: 805
to ft.collins, in may

wherein i:
- ponder signs and wonders
- encounter a bit more weather than hoped for
- party like a conservation biologist
- revisit murals of the rural west
- come across wieneries, wineries and whiners
- and discover paragliding (sorta)

gothamAlp ride report index™
moto: 2004 moto guzzi v11 ballabio
miles: 1523
riding days: 3
states: 2 (AZ, CO)
flats, roadside repairs, speeding tickets or other mishaps of note: 0
best roads:
- CO 133 from carbondale to paonia
- CO 145 from telluride to dolores
(i'd ridden both of these roads before but enjoyed the heck out of them this time too)
best meals:
- neapolitan pizza at pizzeria locale in boulder
- fish tacos and killer margaritas at rio grande in ft. collins
- fatbelly burger in carbondale
best discovery (town category):
- i'd never been to boulder, co before but see what the attraction is. reminded me of ann arbor, mi and berkeley, ca, set in the shadow of the rockies. pretty sweet. but i also understand folks who regret how much the town has changed since the 70s and 80s, given that the same can be said of those other college towns as well.
- i'd been to carbondale before, briefly, but enjoyed my stay and the vibe there once again.
wildlife: deer, elk, a fox, bighorn sheep and a veritable plethora of eagles and hawks
would happily go back to: the whole ride, only a bit drier and warmer, please
will be too soon if i never see it again: that kind of wind coming back across the navajo reservation. jeebus.

living in water-starved arizona, i'm a sucker for any road that winds alongside a river. of course, in colorado, that just meets about the definition of 'road.' bonus, tho, for snow-capped peaks in the distance on this one (along the aforementioned CO 133).

daily reports and pix to follow.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Chapel Hill, NC.
Oddometer: 444
Patiently waiting.

I love CO.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
gothamAlp OP
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: flagstaff, az
Oddometer: 805
day 1: sunday, 5/22/11

day 1
sunday, 5/22/11
flagstaff az
to boulder, co
694 miles

i wake to birdsong in the predawn light.

at the beginning of a journey it seems we as a species are somehow wired to look for signs and omens. red sky morning and all that jazz. will mine be a safe journey? what sayeth the oracle? can i get an amen? if you are looking for signs, they are everywhere. and if paying attention is something you strive for, how not to make note of them?

i'm not much for superstition, personally. i like the 'hat on the bed is bad luck' notion, which i first heard about in 'drugstore cowboy.' because something about a hat on a bed just looks wrong, like it's asking for trouble. i also like the idea that you shouldn't give the gift of a knife, because it will somehow cut the friendship in question. you should sell the knife (for a token sum) which i've always done. and then there's the one (from julio cortazar's famous 'hopscotch') that if you drop something and don't pick it up immediately, something bad will happen to a friend of yours whose name begins with the same initial as the thing you've dropped. pretty elaborate, but it gets you thinking, surprisingly enough about people you may not have thought about for a while. but like i said, i'm not much into superstitions. which begs the question of when is it a superstition and when is it a belief? seems to me the power of the two is very different. being a skeptic, it's easy for me to back away from the power of the latter while remaining curious and attentive to the power of the former.

which leads me to exactly the question that's on my mind as i begin this ride: do superstitions connect us more strongly to the here and now or provide a buffer from the moment? prolly, like all too much, this can go either way.

there it is, the rosy-fingered dawn...

there's no good way into southwestern colorado without going through the navajo reservation (which is the size of connecticut, for reference's sake). it's wide open and always feels to me like somewhat of another planet.

i never know how to capture it, either.

irregardless, about 325 miles and 4.5 hours later i'm in durango, at the venerable 'bread.'

had a tasty sammich and a cup of joe (which somehow i forgot to photograph, my apologies) and then got back on the road.

headed east on CO 160, things start looking a bit less rosy...

i turn to see the clearer skies behind me (and won't be seeing their kind for a good while yet...)

saw this train car around del norte, i believe. perhaps it once had the same paint job as my goose?

after that it got pretty nasty and i dodged rainstorms all the way up 285.

here's a bit with some snow and rain in the background.

as i came up around salida, to the west everything in the direction of gunnison was shrouded in snow.

in a word:

i didn't have to be in ft. collins until noon on monday, but i really didn't want to fight my way through denver on monday morning either, so despite the cold and fatigue i powered up to boulder and finished my long day at just about sunset. parked to next to this friendly-looking steed...

aw, she deserves a closer look...

then sought out this place...

ate like so...

and called it g'night.

gothamAlp screwed with this post 06-02-2011 at 12:43 PM Reason: d'oh! wrong date...
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:51 AM   #4
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Estes Park, CO
Oddometer: 12
Wow, great stuff!! I'm actually in Pagosa Springs right now; about to head out to Del Norte and up 285 towards Denver. Going back home up to Estes Park after a couple of weeks in Phoenix. I hope the good weather I'm seeing so far lasts!! The ride down was definitely a wet/snowy mess...

Keep posting up those fabulous pics!!!
My Rides:

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Old 06-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
gothamAlp OP
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: flagstaff, az
Oddometer: 805
days 2 & 3
monday, 5/23/11 - tuesday, 5/24/11
boulder & ft. collins, co

not a lot of riding these two days so i'll keep it short and sweet.

ended up back next to locale at their new coffee shop, caffe, for breakfast on monday morning.

great java.

attended a conference at colorado state university, but got to stay at the home of friends in the livermore valley, about 25 miles north of town. stunning place...

i mentioned in the opening about 'partying like a conservation biologist." mostly i hung out with these three trouble-makers. coming home, i told canyon-k that it was like being a struggling songwriter who got to hang out with hank williams, waylon jennings, and kris kristofferson for a few days.

oh, and i should add that the house had a real cherokee teepee, but waylon jennings had already claimed it. beautiful, tho.

here's daybreak on the final day.

that's it for the non-moto shots. i get back on the bike a few hours later.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:54 PM   #6
gothamAlp OP
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: flagstaff, az
Oddometer: 805
day 4: wednesday, 5/25/11

day 4
wednesday, 5/25/11
ft. collins
to carbondale, co
242 miles

left ft. collins around noon, under clear skies but still chilly. plan was to slab it, down 87 to denver and then across i-70 to glenwood springs.

the pass through rocky mountain park was still closed due to the incredible amount of spring snow, so there really was no other way to go.

here's an exit off i-70 about half way there...

and then the last stretch through glenwood canyon has got to be one of the nicest pieces of interstate in the country. sadly, i don't have a pic to back up that claim. but damn, it's pretty.

pulled into carbondale, got a room and hit this place for dinner.

they serve a nice bit o' local, antiobiotic- and hormone-free cow.

then stopped in here for a cerveza...

and called it a night.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Location: Finger Lakes
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
gothamAlp OP
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Location: flagstaff, az
Oddometer: 805
day 5: thursday, 5/26/11

day 5
thursday, 5/26/11
carbondale, co
to flagstaff, az
521 miles

here's a carbondale mural.

i've written before about 'murals of the rural west' and came across some good ones on this day, so i'll include them throughout this post.

morning coffee here.

nice place, nice folks, good joe.

then enjoyed the aforementioned spectacular CO 133.

it was quiet and empty for long stretches and i enjoyed the heck out of it, all the way to hotchkiss.

then across CO 92 into delta...

howdy there, pardner!

down CO 50 into montrose...

if you've seen either 'true grit' you know which rooster this is...

and just about ran out of juice in ridgway...

for those of you who noticed the 'wienery' in carbondale, here's the rest of that bit...

i've seen a lot of self-aggrandizing town signs. a few modest ones. but this one stands on its own. doubt the chamber of commerce is behind it.

pulled into telluride for lunch.

here's the most expensive fried chicken i've ever had.

tasty, but guess i shoulda seen that coming.

and here's a look back at telluride. here again, they've had over 85" of snow since closing the mountain on april 1.

then down along the equally glorious CO 145, which follows the dolores river all the way into the town of the same name.

oh, dolores... how it pains me to leave you in my rear-view mirror.

gassed up south of cortez for the blast back across the rez and saw this impressive overland vehicle.

Hltoppr, this one's for you.

then spent the three windiest hours i've ever spent on a bike coming back across the navajo reservation. it truly was more like paragliding than motorcycling, just getting slammed by forty mph gusts and mini-tornadoes and sandstorms. even focusing on staying relaxed it was friggin exhausting.

here is my last shot somewhere between kayenta and tuba, once again falling short of capturing the wide open middle of nowhere feel of that stretch...

after that, just kept twisting the throttle and got home at dusk.

and dat be dat.

thx for reading
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: N. AZ
Oddometer: 1,174
Originally Posted by gothamAlp View Post
day 5
thursday, 5/26/11
carbondale, co
to flagstaff, az
521 miles

and dat be dat.
Awsome - Colorado Rocks!
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Chapel Hill, NC.
Oddometer: 444
Thanks for taking me along!
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Kingwood, Tx
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Nice report...
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:05 PM   #12
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: AridZona
Oddometer: 22
nice job, wordsmith

Nice ride report as always. Don't know that I'll have the chance to do Colorado this summer like Lynn and I always do. Downside of being new guy on the job is no time off accrued. This was a nice taste of why we love that area so much. Thanks D.

And the word is "regardless" - not irregardless. Yankees.....

See you next weekend with my lanky blonde - I keep sending folks from the Valley to your burgerfest.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:22 AM   #13
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Flagstaff AZ
Oddometer: 420
We probably saw you coming across the rez on your way home Thursday. We were headed up to T-ride for a few days on that same day. The wiind was brutal!! It was one of those rare times I was glad we were in the cage (wasn't a choice as we had family +1). My heart went out to each and every moto I saw on that day.

Thanks for the report.
"Knobby tires and a GS do not a dirt bike make" - from Coco's sign-in book.

'81 R80G/S-SOLD (sad but I think the new owner is a really happy guy)
'81 R100RS
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:06 PM   #14
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Location: Northern Arizona
Oddometer: 500
Very cool! I'm living vicariously through you for a bit!

Quamquam ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?
-Horace, Satires 1

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