The Big Trip – Day 3
Day three, remembering all the ground I covered up to this point feels like it was a heck of a lot more than just two days but it was just that, two days. Day three I took a ride out into the desert, going south from Cortez down to the four corners of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. It didn’t take long to arrive at the monument there but it was kind of sad that it was on private property and you had to pay a whole $3 to enter. I didn’t spend a lot of time here and there was always someone in the shot so I eventually gave up and took a quick photo of Horo and moved on. In some ways I wish I’d spent a little bit more time and got some better photos but like the previous two days I had a lot of ground to cover and not much time to do it.
From the monument I went back up US-160 to US-41 which headed into Utah. Once into Utah the road got a little more more interesting, with some curves and houses out in the middle of no where. After a while I arrived at my turn Ismay Trading Post Rd which would eventually turn into CR-G. This was an interesting road that no one was on, some reasonable pavement and random horses on the road, again there were cattle guards from time to time. The scenery was nice, at times a bit barren, but the closer I got to Cortez the more civilized things became and the more interesting the scenery. If you zoom in on the map and look from point D to point E/A you can probably seen why it became more interesting.
From Cortez I headed on my way towards Telluride, CO up the other side of the San Juan mountains. The last time I visited Telluride I had the most attractive waitress on my trip that time there, I wasn’t expecting to see her again, but I was hoping for more of the same. Plus, it’s a pretty awesome place to visit, like Ouray it’s surrounded by mountains.
The ride up had mixed weather but I did manage to get some nice blue sky for a good amount of it and even some more Horo shots, though as you can see it was quite windy. By the time I reached Telluride it was a torrential downpour, the roads were flooding in Telluride and I wondered what on earth I was doing there. I rode around in the rain trying to find the restaurant I was at previously as it didn’t matter how long I stayed in this rain at this point I was already soaked. Eventually I found it, but the place was packed, which probably made sense everyone ran for shelter when it started to rain. I grabbed at spot at the bar and grabbed a quick bite to eat, hoping to dry up some before I went out to the flooded streets again.
By the time I finished eating the roads were some how nearly dry and the sun was back out. The mountains are weird! I don’t know where all that water went, except down, down a river, down a stream, flooding somewhere else? Who knows! With this new warm sunny weather I hike a bit up the mountains trying to find an interesting shot for Horo but came up pretty blank and just sat on a rock for a while. Eventually pulling her out there and taking a couple of rather mediocre shots.
I’ll need to visit Telluride again in the future, there are two passes I’d really like to travel, though they’re not really for my kind of bike (maybe a Jeep).
In fact, I think one is just flat out impossible on it. Apparently not! They are Imogene Pass and Black Bear Pass. They both originate in Telluride but go in different directions. Imogene Pass ends in Ouray, going right over the ~4,000 m mountains between the two towns. It’s the easier of the two passes and is passable on a motorcycle like mine, even with stock tyres, however it’s not recommended at all, at the very least a set of knobbies is preferred. Black Bear Pass however is an all together different beast, part of it doesn’t even really seem like a ‘road’. It ends a considerable ways south of Ouray on part of the “Million Dollar Highway”. Here are some videos, the first is Imogene Pass, the second is Black Bear, and the third is also Imogene but is an hour long and at a much more ‘realtime’ pace, though it transitions a bit.
On my way back to Ridgway I came across a certain set of scenery I remember and had to stop in and take some photos. Unfortunately I was kind of an idiot and didn’t take any without Horo in them, well I did but it’s a smartphone photo. If you’ve been reading my site for a couple years and you remember my very first trip to Colorado, you’ll recognize this scenery. If not, here’s the original post, though the best version of the photos apparently were never uploaded, I’ll have to rectify that somehow in the future.
Having planned yet another day full of too much everything I entered Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park a little too late, this time however I decided to camp out there for the night so I could spend some time looking around in the evening and morning. This did however mean I didn’t eat dinner because I had no food with me at all. Which turned out to be a good thing because bears. Lots of bear warnings everywhere, great place to decide to camp eh? Also, remember how I mentioned deer? Yeah there were lots of deer here, always jumping out in front of my motorcycle too, no going fast through this park. I quickly set up camp while it was still light out then motored along the road to try and see as much as I could before I went to bed. Horo took a couple snaps of me as I was getting undressed for bed, cheeky.
So it stormed that night. Two storms. Seemed to be in two different directions, and it rained. I choose the best places to camp, bears, rain, and thunder for much of the night. But I did sleep and I woke up quite happy being outdoors.