Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Ride So Far...,

We left Birmingham Thursday week.. The sky was a frightening black as if we were entering some deep dark abyss.. We caught  the tail end of a ferocious thunderstorm...questioning our sanity at this point for towing the motorcycle across the country to explore Colorado...between the clanking u hual trailer and the bizarre weather we moseyed  on.. We eventually found ourselves in Henrietta Oklahoma ...getting gas.. It was sweltering out...Steve did a bike check and much to his chagrin  a clip that holds the ratchet straps in place broke.. Lets just say ..U Haul was less than helpful.. They wanted Steve to go find a lowes and buy a new clip and repair the broken one.. Steve was non to thrilled with this news.. Then they said they could have someone to us around 10 pm... ( this was 4 pm in the afternoon...) Steve basically said he would rig something that we would not wait 6 hours for them to show we are finally on our way to just south of Oklahoma City .. We get checked in to a Hampton inn.. And the mother of all storms was headed squarely our way... The wind was scary... We both wondered if the bike would be there in the morning,..lucky for us the storm though threatening missed our area and we kept heading west.. Things were flat through Kansas.. i did find the windmills interesting..
 We made our way through intense heat through Denver and heavy threatening clouds.. We are approaching lyons and BAM a storm exploded with white blinding rain and hail.. Pounding the  Cx9 , the trailer and the bike we pulled into Lyons .. Where a surprised little town surveyed the damage from the hail storm..From dented cars to trees stripped of green leaves and other assorted Debris..
Eventually we made our way To Steve' s Brother's place..that was a whole other journey up that road pulling a thousand pounds of motorcycle..... We got settled and Bam another Hail storm.. No damage thank heavens .. A nice dinner and off to bed.. Trying to start acclimating to a higher altitude..We spent two days getting ready for Monday.. The Journey was just beginning..
Up bright and early Monday ..heading out to Estes Park...the day was beautiful not a cloud in the sky..,.yet...... The roads twisted and curved and curved and twisted as we carefully climbed up the mountain traversing a part of the Rockies..traffic was heavy .. On the upside ....we also noticed the wind getting stiffer and lo and behold big fat splattering rain drops...we pulled over at a scenic outlook walked down a bit to take some photos.    
Yes this is July 1 and still snow capped mountains... About at this point the altitude was leaving me a bit breathless...but we kept going up . 13,500 feet high.. I was feeling it.. Steve was doing great.. It was tough for me ..not to mention the apprehension of just this challenging ride.. We were above the tree line....I felt better on our descent .. I later came to find out I was in the early stages of altitude sickness...we chatted with a volunteer at the visitors center who told us stories of rangers who had to go to the top and drive folks down who were so frightened of the height they could not handle overall I did okay ... We did see some elk but it was to crowded to stop and look for long ..we headed on to Eagle Colorado and relaxed for the night.. I have to say its daunting when the speed limit is 75 and you are on two wheels., if you are on a straight thorough fair.. It's okay but remember  this is Colorado...even the interstate had sweepers and steep deep curves so riding at an angle that fast is a little wild...
 We continued on Tuesday morning... I tell you from the high mountains the high desert country is bizarre soooo it's like another planet.. How can I describe this....??? Tuesday we explored the high plains desert ... From sage covered buttes to ridges with small trees ... It went from chilly to HOT! We had lunch in the little town of Hotchkiss and talked to locals who sent us on a 65 mile adventure around the Black Canyon riding on the outer rim of a mountain  with out guard rails can not be described...
We decided to stay in Gunnison for the night.. ..a nice pleasant evening and a brisk start for Wednesday.. We Wound our way through more of the high plains occurred to me that the majority of our trip has been poised on the outer rim of mountain passes at a angle as we followed switch back after switch back  with little or no gard rails and on the outer rim...deep curves that pushed you through mountain passes such as Monarch Pass at an elevation of 11,835 feet .. Once again I was short of breath..but took some rocking photos still..

We wound our way down the pass through Buena Vista ..had some coffee and headed to  Leadville camping out at a lodge at 10,200 feet  to relax... More to come as the journey continues ...

1 comment:

  1. You ate in one of my little hometowns. I miss, miss, miss this Colorado. So glad you got to visit and experience it's awesome beauty!