Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 16

8/23/11  A fun day today.  We left the motel after a good breakfast of eggs, bacon, and hash browns.  And some fruit.

Part of the day was to make some miles east; Indianapolis is about 1,500 miles from where we're staying, and we'll be in Indianapolis Friday night.  So, we hopped on I-70 and rode east to Grand Junction, CO.  There, we had lunch and jumped on US 50 South to ride some roads that are known to be scenic and interesting.

Several miles south of Grand Junction, we got on Colorado 141 and went south.  WOW what a road!  I've ridden now over 150,000 miles on a motorcycle, and this is the prettiest road I've been on.  It didn't start out so pretty; they were paving the road; it was 102 degrees, and we were sitting still on the  bikes in the sun waiting for traffic to move.  About 15 minute delay, and the scenery started.  The road went down a canyon, with green mountains on one side of the road and rocky mountains on the other side.  It reminded me of the Icefields Parkway near Banff, Canada, which was one of my prettiest roads.  Note the "was"; this road is better.  After some miles, we were riding along with red cliffs going up about 1,000 feet high on both sides of the road.  Beautiful.  Then it changed to mountains on both sides again.

The road itself was in good condition, and it winded along with enough curves to be interesting and fun.  We did witness one thing that could have been a problem, but wasn't.  We were following a truck pulling an air compressor behind it.  I noticed the trailer swaying back and forth, with each oscillation more pronounced, when suddenly it was no longer attached to the truck.  The trailer started sliding on it's tongue, throwing up sparks and dust.  It stopped on the side of the road and didn't turn over!  The weird thing was that the truck never realized it no longer had the trailer.  It kept going!

We speeded up to catch the truck and caught it about 5 miles down the road.  As we passed the truck, we motioned that the trailer was not behind the truck.  It slowed down and stopped.  It was a DOT truck!

At a scenic point, we stopped to see the suspended plumes.  When the area was being mined for gold, they needed lots of water to produce the gold.  So, they built a wooden sluice or plume on the side of cliffs for 13 miles!  The plume carried 23 millions of water a day!!  Amazing to see and to think about how difficult a feat it had to be.

A while later, we veered off this road to ride a high mountain pass.  The road went through Ouray, a quaint town at the bottom of Big Red mountain.  We rode to the top of the pass (altitude 11,110 feet).  It was fun and exhilarating to ride.  Then we backtracked down the pass and rode the 50 or so miles to the hotel in Montrose.

That was it for the day; 450 or so miles, including about 250 miles of smiles.

Tomorrow--more high passes and then visit a friend.

No pics tonight; it's getting late.  But come back later and I'll have some posted.

1 comment:

  1. Nice feature on your Garmin Street Pilot program. Just love all the high tech stuff you can put on motorcycles these days :D
    Ride safely!