|Our view from the back porch in Evergreen.|
Waking up at our friends house in Evergreen is always a great way to start the day. We got up and packed up pretty early. We said bye to Spootz (Pete & Vebeke's dog). We road out and had breakfast at Aspen Perk in Conifer Colorado. It was a nice little place.The food was good and the coffee was just what the doctor ordered.
When I was making up this route for today's ride, I remember sitting at the table at home trying to avoid the busy highways to get to the Pikes Peak Highway entrance. I stumbled across Colorado 67 &126, its called the Deckers area, After do some research (This is a great site to have bookmarked) I found out that it was a paved road and one of the favorites for the local motorcycle community. It was FABULOUS! One of the best roads I have ridden in a while. Great tarmac, the scenery was amazing and absolutely NO TRAFFIC. It was a great way to have some fun after breakfast. We will be back on that road again in the future. I can assure you of that.
I have always wanted to do the Pike Peak trip. It has been years since I was in this part of Colorado. Turning onto the road to get into the park we realized that we would not be getting in any type of hurry. It literally took us an hour to go 3/10 of a mile. It was bumper to bumper and HOT! Not the best 55 minutes we have ever spent. We finally made it into the gate and was headed up the 18 miles on Pikes Peak Highway.
The drive up to the peak was not as bad as I thought it would be. I figured since we waited in traffic, that the entire ride would be that way. This was not the case. The traffic spaced out until we got closer to the summit so the views were not blocked by vehicles. It was a cool ride. Kinda tense from time to time as the corners are tight and the cars crossing the yellow lines were plentiful. It was a good ride and we enjoyed the ride to the summit.
Yes! We made it to the summit. We spent a good hour just talking with folks on the summit, while getting a drink and enjoying the views. We took the tourist photo in front of the sign, hell we were having fun. We did the gift shop shuffle and then watched as the train arrived and herd after herd poured out of the train and into the shop. That was our hint to head down the hill. Plus Jamie needed a restroom and the long line was not going to be in her future. We put on our gear and headed down the hill. I don't know if I would rush to do it again, but I was glad that we made the trip.
We headed down to Canon City and over to Salida vis US50. This is another great stretch of road with winding trails and beautiful mesas. The traffic was not too heavy and the weather was great. On the way back to Gunnison we stopped at the Coyote Coffee den. Its a nice place out in the middle of no where. The food was good and it was a nice place to sit out and take a break.
We had to go back over Monarch pass to get back to the camp site. Today was much different than the previous day. Today the weather was 60 degrees and not 41. It was overcast but with a big threat of rain. There was a lot of construction that made us stop from time to time to wait for the one way traffic. It was slow getting back to Gunnison but we really did not care. We knew our trip was coming to an end, so we just enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.
We battled fierce winds heading back to camp. At one point I thought about stopping. The bike was all over the place. We made it into town with no issue, We stopped and ate at the Twisted Fork in Gunnison. The food was really good. We had the Vietnamese Pork Baguette sandwich and it was amazing.
We had a great conversation with a local couple, Jason and Erin. Jason is the Athletic director at Western State University. They were so friendly and welcoming. They spoke fondly of Gunnison and the University. It was a perfect evening made better by friendly people. Riding the bike has always been a great tool for meeting fun, friendly and interesting people and tonight was no exception. We had a fantastic desert and then headed back to camp to get picked up and packed up for our journey to Albuquerque.
I think it finally hit us as we got back to camp and started to pack things up that our trip was coming to an end. It also brought to the fore front that we needed to try and get all of the things we acquired during the past 4 days packed on the bike. Would we be able to fit all of the stuff on the bike. Along with all of our camping gear and everything else we had to pack, this task would not be a small one. We made it happen and even had time to spare to take a long walk around the camp site. Tomorrow will be a long day as we head back to NM. We are looking forward to attending Keri's wedding and spending some time with family.