The Big Trip – Day 4
Possibly due to my discomfort, possibly due to the cold, possibly just luck, I woke up early enough to catch the sun rise over the canyon, so I quickly went out and took some shots. Like everywhere on my trip, I probably could have spent a lot more time there. There’s lots of hiking, you can even hike in the canyon itself, and I’m sure there’s plenty of great angles one could get everywhere. But I got some good shots and then carried on my way to one of the better roads I rode on, US-92 towards Crawford, CO.
On the map above it looks like a tiny portion of road and kind of uninteresting, but if you zoom in on the white circle and follow the road up to point B you’ll probably see why I liked the road. For a good portion of it’s just tons of fun, curves all over the place, elevation change, it follows the canyon I slept next to and then yes, gets rather boring. But on this fun stretch of road I got a bunch of fun photos of Horo, and also remembered that my motorcycle boots are not for rock climbing. I climbed down into the canyon a bit from one of the rest stops/outlook points and then realized I couldn’t get back up, or well, it was exceedingly more difficult than I was expecting it’d be since I couldn’t twist my feet as you’d normally be able to do in running shoes. Luckily I got out, and luckily the wind didn’t pick up and blow Horo off her perch either. One thing I’m annoyed with with Dollfies though is how they can’t look up by default. Which is why Horo’s looking the way she is, it works, but I wanted her to look out more than down, but c’est la vie.
I stopped for gas in Crawford (I think) and another guy came rolling in on a BMW, we chatted it up for a bit and he recommended I stop for lunch at a place in Redstone called Crystal Club Cafe. Redstone was a small place just south of Carbondale, CO, and that man was right the food at Crystal Club Cafe was pretty good. I got a wrap filled with nice large pieces of chicken and it was just super good. I was also pretty super hungry having not had dinner or breakfast and only some snacks at the gas station, but I stand by my word and say it was scrumptious.
The ride to Carbondale from Crawford was quite nice, there were some mining operations, and lots of bikers. Unfortunately every single wasp in existence was exploding on my sun glasses. I like to keep the visor open on my helmet as I get good air flow that way and stay cool, but I had to close the visor. This did not help. Sure, the wasps were no longer exploding on my sun glasses, instead they were popping in to say hello in my helmet, up close and personal with my face. Luckily I have a modular helmet with a flip up chin guard, so I’d quickly throw the chin up and get the wasp out of my face. I don’t know what it was about this section of road, this day, or my bike, but my milkshake brought all the wasps to the yard.
From Carbondale I took a right and headed back down towards Aspen, CO, which was full of rich peoples private jets looking all super immaculate and shiny, but more importantly, Independence Pass. Yet another mountain road, this time it was paved! But it couldn’t be like any other paved road through the mountains, no it had to drop to one lane for both directions of traffic! Around corners! It was magical, I loved it, and that’s not sarcasm, it felt like Europe and I’ve never even been. Super narrow roads but awesome scenery. Eventually it opens back to to a proper two lanes and is more safe.
Independence Pass wasn’t the last mountain pass of the day though, next up was Loveland Pass. Unfortunately at this point of the trip the weather gets worse and my time limited as I still needed to make it back to the suburb of Denver for the night as planned, this meant less (almost none) photos. But I did snap a shot of a mountain disappearing (mining), as well as a shot of what looked like the Coors Light mountains (from a bad angle).