Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Denver, CO
CO: Telluride Blues & Brews, Automotive Admiration and a Leafer Trip
Figured you would humor a first time touring rider with a trip report. Note the total trip for me was 9 days, 13 for my friend, but as there were layover days & I don’t have his pictures… it went in the shorter trip forum. **Note- These photos were taken from a variety of cameras, one of them with a blurry lens. Sorry in advance! Also, for whatever reason, it was much more humid then usual in CO, so a lot of the usual crystal clear views were hazy and did not turn out too well.
The Background: And old friend of mine and I had been joking about taking a distance Motorcycle trip for quite a while, neither of us having done more than 200mi in one stretch. We both have ridden for quite some time- both learning on dirt/sand, and then eventually evolving to street after a couple year hiatus. Both of us were riding supermotos (though his stable contained several dirt bikes as well) at the time. Now, all we needed was an excuse…..
The Excuse: A backstage pass to Telluride Blues & Brews, in scenic Southwest Colorado!
The Trip: With the above excuse (and dates to be in Telluride), we quickly picked the week after to continue our trip, and started with the logistics. My friend Kris lives in San Diego, while I had the relatively short trek from Denver. I would be riding my F800GS, which I picked up earlier in the year and finally Farkled to my liking, while he would be riding…. A question mark. Kris was still riding his SM610 Husky- a bike relatively unsuited for long distance cruising, considering the distance he needed to cover on a daily basis to get to Telluride. After 6 weeks of trying to sell his bike, a buyer finally materialized the same day he agreed to buy a 2004 V-Strom 650 from an acquaintance. With less than a week to go before departure, what could possibly go wrong?
Day 0: While I am finalizing my packing and prep the night before my departure, I receive a phone call- Kris has made it to his halfway point for the day- Flagstaff, AZ- but sans wallet. He suspects it was lost somewhere after his last fuel stop, when perhaps he left it sitting on his lap and rode off. Whoops. Calls to the gas station prove fruitless, and I hang up hoping this is the first (and last) of our setbacks.
Loaded & ready to go!
Day 1 (~350 Miles- Route: http://goo.gl/maps/MWwdU) : A bright and early departure from Denver, on one of our first ‘cold’ nights of the year. 43 degrees when I pull out of the garage. I am bundled up in thermals and down jackets under my riding gear, wondering just how cold it will be when I hit the top of the pass at 8am. Answer? 32 degrees. While I’m feeling fairly decent except for my cold hands, I decide it’s in my best interest to stop & have breakfast with some friends in Dillon. Shed a layer, snap a quick photo (The scenery was of course horrible), and I’m on my way.
Luckily, here in Colorado, we are blessed with pleasant scenery even on our Interstates. A quick I-70 jaunt to Glenwood Springs, and then I’m dropping on Hwy 133 to Paonia over McClure Pass. It’s not long before I realize a very vintage Ferrari has just passed me. Followed by another. Then by an Alfa, Olds, another Ferrari… what is going on here? Dozens of classic (and VERY expensive) cars later, I’m feeling remarkably poor & underclassed and I pull into the small town of Hotchkiss, and find that I’m smack dab in the middle of the Colorado Grand Concours (http://co1000.com/). I stop at their lunch point, hop off the bike and admire all of the beautiful cars. As it was late in the day and many had already departed for their ending point for the night, I only had 75 or so cars to choose from, but here are some of the gems below:
After a few minutes of chitchatting with the drivers, and dying in the 85 degree heat while still wearing thermal underwear (which, may be burned- I’m not sure I can ever get the smell out), I hop back on the GS for a relatively uneventful (though beautiful!) ride into Telluride. Kris arrives a few hours later.
Day 2 (Layover Day): Not much to say here, other than life doesn’t get much better than this….
Courtesy of someone I knew, I was able to get this shot as well- it’s interesting to get to see yourself from Space!
One photo from the midway station at Telluride Gondola, looking North.
Last photo from the day- for all the gearheads out in the crowd, this is the ‘barn’ of the friend’s house we were staying at. Try not to drool too much over the vintage Power Wagons.
tenmile screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 09:31 PM