Colorado Cruise 2006 – Destination: Telluride!

Our final approaches to Telluride on July 1st
(Click map to enlarge)


Thursday, June 29 – Saturday, July 1

Riders:

  • Scott & Trev:
    • Day 1: Seattle, WA to Boise, ID / 513 miles
    • Day 2: Boise, ID to Moab, UT / 565 miles
    • Day 3: Moab, UT to Telluride, CO / 138 miles
  • Paul, Grady & Eric:
    • Day 1: Eric – Van Nuys, CA to Greer, AZ / 631 Miles
    • Day 1: Paul & Grady – Tucson to Greer, AZ / 357 miles
    • Day 2: Greer, AZ to Telluride, CO / 350 miles


Highlights:


We make a bet that the last rider to walk into a pub in Telluride chosen by the first rider to arrive will pick up the tab. Trev and I stack the deck by leaving Seattle a day earlier than planned, in case my spine gives me more trouble than usual, which places us in Moab, Utah after two days of riding while the Southern contingent is camping far to the South in Greer, Arizona.

Trev and I make it to Boise, Idaho on our first day and call it a night around 8 PM. We end up dining in a sports bar and due to them closing at 9 PM, all we can get are appetizers but the beer is cold and the red wine is nice so we’re content. The next day takes us through Salt Lake City and heavy highway traffic in very hot weather which really takes a toll. We take refuge in an air conditioned Wendy’s around 2 PM and take our time eating lunch. We finally get a break by heading through the Wasatch Range on Highway 6 where rainfall cools us off. We skirt a massive lightning storm that is parked above the Wasatch Plateau and if we get any closer, we’re going to have to take shelter but we slip past and get one hell of a show while we’re riding.

We arrive in Moab at 9 PM in the dark and it is still 90+ degrees. A decision to walk a mile through town to a recommended pub leaves us dehydrated and exhausted after a long day of riding. After a nice dinner, we each purchase a bottle of water for our hike back to the motel and it feels good to stretch out our backs and legs.

After eating a hearty breakfast in Moab at a diner recommended by a local, Trev and I go for a ride through Arches National Park. Of all the National Parks I’ve been riding in, this one is utterly non-conducive to riding. It’s a place that beckons you to pull over and walk around slowly with amazement. We take advantage of some clouds obscuring the Sun and walk a quarter mile to the Double Arch and it is well worth it. The Sun comes back out just as we return to the bikes and it heats up again mighty fast. So we take off for Telluride across the La Sal Mountains and experience some top notch mountain riding on a very isolated road. We drop down onto the Colorado Plateau and then head for the San Juan Mountains where Telluride is nestled in a box canyon at 8,750 feet with sheer mountain walls on three sides.

Satellite photo of Telluride area
(Click photo to enlarge)

As Trev and I are first into town, we select a pub on the main street, park our iron ponies outside and settle in rather comfortably. The guys show up about an hour later and Grady, the new guy in the group, gets stuck with the tab as his companions skedaddle right off their rides and into the pub. But he doesn’t mind though and he’s clearly enjoying the adventure and camaraderie of it all. We dine in an upscale Mexican restaurant across the street, grab some supplies and go looking for a campsite. Everything’s taken around town so we end up in a field high above Telluride where horse riders load and unload their trailers. We set up our tents among their campers and the piles of horse manure, start a campfire and proceed to have a delightful evening of story telling, beer drinking and cigar smoking.

We do some ride planning and decide to pay a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison tomorrow. Beyond that, we’re not sure where we are going but we have made contact with our Aunt Judy and Uncle Dan who happen to be at their vacation home in Breckenridge and they have invited us to come visit. So be it. It all sounds like fun to us.

(Click photo to launch slideshow)

Go to Day 4: Telluride to Redstone

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