Thursday September, 8th - La Junta, CO
Definitely in the West. You don't normally think about the elevation because it's usually just a bit of trivia when you visit the mountains. We've been climbing steadily since Kansas (1,500 ft.) to around 6,000 now. The thin desert air robs both the motorcycle and the rider of horsepower. Hopefully we've brought both in abundance.
This morning we had a decision to make; take the Northern route through Pueblo (where you send all of you self addressed stamped envelopes) or South through the Cheyenne National Grassland. We chose South to stay away from the traffic in the big city.
You know what they have in the big city? Gas stations......
Town after town passed by without a single gas pump unit we rolled into Trinidad. A town with odd signs on their bathroom and a good restaurant.
Fortified with chicken fried steak and eggs we set off in search of rain. Well, we didn't but Howard's more accurate than a fucking dowsing rod. Stop and guarantee getting wet (while you put on your rain gear) or soldier on and hope that it's short lived.
Rolling into the Southern tip of the Rockies.
We got wet then pulled over to remove iPods and cell phones from dripping pockets and relocate them elsewhere. The high scrub grass around 7,500 ft. This is where the Earth meets the sky.
The Great Sand Dunes or as we like to call it Howard's $9.00 bathroom break. Actually it was pretty impressive but the park was swarmed by officers more than happy to harass tourist for speeding and a ridiculous 10-30mph speed limit.
There you go, a picture of me, not climbing a flippin' sand dune. We have those in Michigan and I don't climb those either. Not without a dune buggy.
Why what do we have here? The lovely San Luis Valley Brewing Company.
Bikers eat salads! At least this one does, particularly after a breakfast of chicken fried steak and eggs. Salad an IPA, Grand River no less. I've been living in a Miller Lite sized ration of hops while in the UK, I cannot get enough IPA into my belly.
Mountains make their own weather. We rode through the Kansas prairie that hadn't seen rain in weeks because these ranges stripped it from the clouds. Rain gear back on we approached the Sangre De Cristo Mountain range.
This was some of the best riding we've done; alpine forests, mountain rivers and twisty canyon roads. Enough to get the adrenalin going.
Unfortunately its tough to get good pictures because you're too busy riding the bike.
Coming off of the peak around 10,000 feet into Durango.
40 miles left to Durango, laundry then pizza and beer at the hotel. To be honest, beer at the laundry, after the doors have been locked and then pizza at the hotel.