Day 22 - 287 Miles - Colorado Mountains
Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
53Trip End Sep 24, 2008
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Where I stayed
I woke up this morning at 3:30 am to an extremely loud thunderstorm. Mary said when these happen you have to get up and see it. I went upstairs to the sun room to watch and found Mary was already there watching.
The storm was clear across the sky from one end to the other. You could see about tem miles Major lightening and thunder so loud it shook the house. It even set of some alarms and turned on motion detectors. It was a great show.
The morning started with Joe and I loading our bikes and getting ready to go. We realized it was pouring outside and Mary asked if we'd like breakfast before we left and maybe it would slow down by then. It was the first time I ever cooked with my chaps on. Oh baby baby! I cleaned up and we were ready to go
We met Trooper Rudolph Johnson who rides motorcycle patrol through the Canyon. He was originally from Maryland. He said he doesn't put his motorcycle away until about mid November here. What a great job! Patrol the Canyon on a cycle. The only bad part is that he has to work shift work and most weekends. Bummer! We exchanged some good stories. He also told us the two things to watch out for while traveling the Canyon. The first is falling rock and the second is wildlife especially mountain goats who will cause rockslides. The rain slowed and we rode through the Canyon which was an awesome winding ride through a deep canyon with a wild whitewater river down the middle. There were rafts on the river and an antique train on the other side doing sightseeing. Some of the rafts were set up for fishing. All along the route there were fishermen. It rained off and on. We saw two mountain goats up in the hills but not close enough to do anything to us. We stopped at the end of the Canyon in the little town of Salida. Which means exit in Spanish. There was a restaurant called The Windmill which had the biggest helpings of food anywhere. Joe and I had the chicken fried steaks
We got hit with 2" hail again as we rode in the Sand Dune National Park and Preserve. Great pics. The clouds were coming over the mountains and closed in on us. We kept moving. We saw Elk. Two females and one large male with a rack that had to be 6 foot across or better. These Elk are taller than the bison we saw. Much taller. We wouldn't want to meet one in the middle of the highway after dark while riding.
Then we rode through the Rio Grande National Forest . Again the views were spectacular. You have to see the pics to appreciate it. 1/2 way through we stopped at Wolf Creek Pass for more pics which is where the Rio Grand National Park and the San Juan National Park meet. It is were the Continental great divide is. The average snowfall here is 38 feet. Not inches ... 38 FEET. We had pics taken of us standing on both sides of the Continental Divide at the same time
We made it to the town of Durango around 9:45 pm settled into the Dollar Inn Motel and headed off to Serious Texas BBQ at the motel managers suggestion. They closed at 9 pm. Back to Denny's for some good old Chicken Noodle soup and a Superbird sandwich which was a hot turkey, cheese, bacon and tomato sandwich. Lots of hot tea and some Ibuprofen. Another great day!
Daniel and Joe