June 17, 2011
Cruising the Million Dollar Highway, Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek Canyon.
Jamie and I had thought about back tracking, heading back up to Gunnison, then dropping down Co 149 into lake City and Crede on our way to Pagosa Springs. The construction from yesterday changed our minds so we decided to do some sight seeing on the [URL="http://www.motorcycleroads.us/roads/co_us550.html"]Million Dollar Highway[/URL]. We have done this a number of times, however it never gets old. It is a beautiful drive, somewhat slow in places as it gets very tight and some of those RV people think this is a good way to get up into Colorado. I enjoy it every time I am on it. You do have to be careful as a mistake up here could be bad. No guard rails and some pretty steep drops.
We left the hotel around 9AM letting it warm up a little, we also had to clean the bike up as the sprinklers made the bike a muddy mess. It was not too bad for us, but the 2 Harleys that were blinged out were not as fortunate. It would take days to detail those bikes back to bar hopping status. (sorry I had to say it) The owners were very nice and we crossed paths with them all day down 550.
Leaving Ouray we took a shot of why they call this village the Switzerland of the west. (again sorry for the pictures. the cell phone is all we had.)
We enjoyed the cool ride and made a few stops to add more layers and to take some pictures. 10,000 ft makes for a cold morning even in the month of June.
We rolled into Silverton looking to get do some walking around and get warmed up. It is a cool little town, with many shops and friendly people. We had some coco and coffee and just enjoyed a lazy morning. We ran into 2 couples on bikes with trailers from Kansas City. They were puzzled that we could ride two up for 9 days and carry everything on the bike. They said that they needed the added room of the trailers but hated pulling them in the mountains. I guess the extra space would be nice, but losing the ability to enjoy those roads would be something I would not want to miss.
We left Silverton and headed over to Durango. It was a nice ride and we just took in the scenery. We did stop for a quick fill up and a drink in Durango. We got out of there pretty quickly as the traffic was bad and it was starting to warm up. We did find this little diner that was pretty cool Just a long bar with stools. It was a true greasy spoon.
We were heading to Pagosa Springs to spend the evening and hook up with the Lone Star BMW club riders that were getting to do the ride that I planned a few months prior. They had been to Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and now Colorado on their way back to Big D.
Jamie and I would join them for dinner later that evening and then ride back with them to get home. We made the short journey To Pagosa in good time and decided to get lunch before planning the afternoon activities. We enjoyed yet another Green chili Cheeseburger. We always load up on the green chili when we get a chance.
While eating lunch we decided that it was to early to end the day. it was only 2:00PM. We decided to check into our hotel and then we would shoot up through wolf creek pass and get some desert in Crede after a short ride up beautiful 149. We were glad we made this choice the ride was awesome, the scenery was great (yeah I know we say that alot) and we always enjoy our stop at Kips in Crede.
We got back to the room just in time to catch up with all of the other riders coming in from Utah. We took a quick shower and headed down to JJ's Riverwalk for dinner.
The entire group was going and it was awesome swapping ride stories. I was really into hearing about their trip as it was my creation. I did the leg work for the hotel and dinning establishments. I also laid out the general routes. It seems as everyone enjoyed themselves. They loved the routes and no one said anything negative so it was a good evening.
I do have to say a special thanks to my friend Herman. He was thrust into the ride leader role due to my change of plans. He is a great rider and friend and I so appreciate that he took the reins and ran with this ride. I owe him a big big beer! (that is Herman in the middle. Not from this trip but wanted to put a face with a name) Thanks again Herman.
This was a great night, but it was also sad as well. It reminded us that our journey was almost over and we all would be headed back home tomorrow. But for the evening.. tales were told and many laughs were had. It was a great way to end the day. Till next time.