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Rocky Mountain High

September 17, 2011

With laundry done and Dorothy roused from her 12 hour coma, we left Cortez optimistic about the weather. Sun was out and roads were mostly dry…..mountains socked in with fog and clouds but didn’t look threatening. Heated gear was in full effect. When packing for the trip, we debated about bringing the heated gear….we would’ve never made the day without it.

As we headed into the pass before Durango……roads were wet and it started dripping rain. We stopped for gas and after speaking to a local bus driver about the weather, we decided to wait around a minute to see if the mountains would clear. Got a snack at Mickey D’s and dried my boots and socks with the hand dryer in the bathroom.

Back on the road under drier conditions and some breaks of bright sunshine…we climbed into the Rockies on our way to the Continental Divide. As the elevation increased, you needed more and more throttle, it was like climbing toward the sky. We passed through a town called Pagosa Springs. Very cute town with old Victorian resorts dedicated to soaking in hot mineral springs. We hit occasional showers but could always see breaks of blue sky around us.

Then, as we headed for 10,000 ft………

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Socked in

We continued on and found the roads wet and drippy but not raining. We just took our time.

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My bike is strattling the imaginary line of the Great Divide.

At this altitude Dorothy’s bike was giving her trouble. She was running with her choke wide open but at idle she kept stalling. She has a sea level carburetor. And we have sea level lungs! Running around at Mesa Verde yesterday, my legs and lungs were on fire!

Anyway, she didn’t want to nurse her bike to the sign, so I vouch that she did indeed cross the Continental Divide!

20 miles past the Divide, was pulled over for a driving rain in South Fork and actually donned rain gear. Layers as follows….T- shirt, Underarmor, heated liner, leather jacket, rain gear. You try to drive a motorcycle in the Rockies with all that crap on!

Things dried out, but we were constantly running from spritzes and storm clouds. Past Alamosa, we could see Blanca Peak which is at 14, 000 ft capped with snow. The scenery was beautiful with pine trees and Aspens. We followed a mountain river for a while, some Aspens are turning gold. It smelled so fresh. We hit Walsenburg and stayed at a Best Western where we had a nice parking place for the bikes.

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Our room even came equipped with an iron, and a fly swatter……don’t laugh, we needed it!

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Passing the Rockies closes the book on the western part of our adventure! Even with the challenging weather, I can’t find the words to describe all that we’ve seen and done out here. All I do know is that I”ll be back at some point to get more than a flyby.

Tomorrow we’re in the flats of the Midwest as we head into Kansas with a stop at Dodge city.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. kenny permalink
    September 17, 2011 12:08 pm

    All I can say is WOW !!!!

  2. marcia permalink
    September 17, 2011 6:41 pm

    sept 17, 2011 6 pm great pics hope kan. is dryer

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