June 15th - Day #4
Gunnison Co - Gateway Loop.
Last night was another chilly evening. Jamie and I slept in our riding liners and stayed pretty warm, but make no mistake.. that late night potty break was a chilly encounter.
We woke up around 7AM to the birds singing and a nice cool breeze blowing. We got together and loaded up for the short 2 mile ride to our breakfast location. We found the greatest little coffee and Bakery in Gunnison. The place was very laid back and had free wifi so it made for a great start to the morning. I wish we had The Bean here in North Texas.
This morning route was a new one for me. I had never been on this side of Colorado. We were shooting up to Grand Junction to the BMW/Harley Dealership and then head down Co 141. A friend of mine (Thanks Tom) had mentioned to me a few years ago that we needed to do this road if we were in the area. I was a tad concerned as this part of Colorado seems very dry, barren and not very Colorado like. We headed out and I was spot on for the beginning of the ride. It is not the green lush mountain area like the Colorado we all love, but it does have it's own beauty. We made a quick stop in Montrose at the Davis power center to pick Pete up some coolant. He had a few drops under his bike at breakfast, but after we ought this the issue never came back. I am sure it had something to do with the very cool temps we encountered in Gunnison. It was a nice dealership. Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda and KTM under one roof.
We rolled into Grand Junction and found the dealership. It was a strange combo, but a nice dealership none the less. We met Sam who was the sale manager for the BMW side. We found out that they sale 80% GS's and then 20% of everything else. That made sense as he was in the middle of some great dual sport riding. We hung out, bought a few things and then headed out for 141. They did have cool custom painted toilet seats.. Just sayin
141 was AMAZING! The view was spectacular, The roads were flawless and maybe the best thing about the entire strip of tarmac was the lack of people and cars. It was awesome! I would have never expected to see the types of terrain that we would encounter for the next 3 hours. It was an oasis out in the middle of no where. great stuff. I caught myself having to be careful. I wanted to ride faster as the twisties were great, but then I caught myself drifting around as I turned my head to enjoy all of the views. Visual stunning comes to mind. Great stuff.
When we collect ourselves and slice thru a left hander we are greeted by the oasis that is called gateway. Out in the middle of no where this beautiful resort pops up. It is owned by the guy who owns the discovery channel. The resort is beautiful. It is a Spa / Resort with horseback riding a world class car collection and some pretty good food. Oh yeah and they have fuel! Not a bad combo. We pulled in and gassed up and grabbed a bite to eat. It reminded me of some of the places around sedona AZ. Just beautiful!
With our bellies full we decided to head out and enjoy more of the desert like beauty we had come to love for the past hour or so. As we left the gateway oasis, it was very apparent that the scenery would be changing yet again. It got greener and greener the further we rode. We followed the Delores river for many miles. I can't say it enough. This was a great day of rising. Co 141 was becoming one of my favorites.
It was starting to get later in the afternoon and we still had 150 miles to get back to camp. We were on CO 145 when we came up on the first car we had seen in ages.. The bad news was the car was being driven by a Colorado State Trooper, sporting a radar gun. He swung a U and caught up to us pretty quickly. We pulled over. I could not believe that he had stopped us. We were going 71 in a 65. Or were we? I was later informed that we were going 71 in a 55. The performance award cost us $169..uugh! The trooper was a redass and not a very nice guy. It still kills me that he wrote us. We were out in the middle of no where and he writes us for that. Oh well. I guess that is the price to pay for some great riding.
We rode back to camp, making sure that we did not get to speak to anymore of the law enforcement protecting the fine people of Colorado. We got back to camp before the sun set. The last 10 miles was stunning as the sun was dropping and the clouds were beautiful. We got back to camp, got the fire burning and did some laundry. We laughed and enjoyed each others company while relaxing and telling stories by the fire. We could already tell that the evening fast approaching would not be nearly as cold as the two previous nights. I know when I laid down to sleep I had great visions of our day. Colorado sure is a beautiful place!