Day 6 (~184 mi- http://goo.gl/maps/kCS9s):
With yet another bright and early wake up by the sun to 30 degrees, we were off and on the road (in 38 degree temps) by 9a or so. This involved some harder starts by the V-Strom, as it didn’t seem to appreciate the cold soak in the freezing temperatures.
A couple of shots from our campsite:
We ran up to the Maroon Bells (and saw some amazing scenery), but as you might expect, it was overrun with tourists and in the couple of mile stretch to the visitor’s center, we encountered several bonehead maneuvers in cars. With some mileage we wanted to cover today, we elected to leave and head on our way to Steamboat Springs.
The Chaos at the parking lot at the top:
No sooner then we hit the highway out of town, did we come across an overtly aggressive gent in a modded Porsche Cayenne Turbo. After edging me out in a roundabout, he proceeded to drive like a complete idiot down Hwy 82 to Basalt. We maintained our speed (due to much construction- tis the season in CO), and ended up passing him a few times, which always resulted in a high-speed fly-by. Somewhere around Carbondale, said ‘gent’ decided he wanted to race. If only I had the Go-Pro mounted…. Needless to say, he was remarkably pissed to learn a loaded GS can hang with his $100k+ SUV.
Some lunch and many laughs later, Kris and I hopped on I70 through Glenwood, then exited at Dotsero to take the CO River Road. They had recently done construction and the road was not quite clean, so the going was slow, until it finally petered out in dirt/gravel. Despite the slower going, the scenery was great, passing several fisherman in the water and the train (which at one point, runs essentially on the road next to a cliff). We eventually popped off this road, jumped on Hwy 131 to Hwy 134 (Gray Pass, IIRC), then to 40 to take Rabbit Ears pass (a road I’m familiar with) into Steamboat. Hwy 134 was relatively unknown to me, but after coming around a corner on Hwy 131 and being overwhelmed by the vastness of the view, then seeing all the gorgeous trees on 134, I was sold.