The plan: leave Wednesday afternoon, ride from Boulder to Las Vegas with as little interstate riding as possible, get back by Sunday. Day 1: Boulder, CO to Ouray, CO (324 miles, riding 2:15PM to 8:00PM) I wrap up work around 1:45PM, finish packing, and am off the driveway by 2:00PM. My first stop is still in Boulder, at Mike's Motorcycle for a tire repair kit (better safe than sorry). On the way over, I realize how hot my Icon TiMax gloves are, and decide that a pair of summer weight gloves are in order. I buy the kit and the gloves, and am quickly on my way. The FirstGear gloves, mesh with leather palms, are a definite improvement. I head down 93 to Morrison, and then onto 285 toward Fairplay. It's pretty, but I'm still trying to dump the last week or two of work from my brain, and to convince myself that I'm where I belong. It's a struggle. Listening to Boz Scaggs on the headphones helps, as does getting into the mountains, and getting some cloud cover. In a short passing lane, a truck thinks he's fast and stays in the left lane after passing a car. I quickly pass him on the right, and the passing lane ends. Maybe he honked at me. Don't know, don't care. He's behind me, where he belongs. 285 is nice, but unremarkable, and the towns blur into one another. I have my first fill up just past the intersection of 285 and 50, right around 5:30PM. I send a text message to my lovely wife, and go inside to drink some water, have a candy bar, and clear the insects off my face shield. Back on the road, I head west on 50. I go over Monarch Pass. Riding past Blue Mesa Reservoir is pleasant, the only down side being that I'm heading due west, into the setting sun, and its low enough to be an annoyance. But the landscape is finally inspiring me to stop and get out the camera. Not sure why I like it so much, but I always feel better riding near water. Water and deserted roads. I keep riding, and my next gas stop is Montrose. It's 7:45PM, the sun is still up, and it's 90 degrees. I decide to push on into the mountains, and head south on 550. Good decision. The road begins ascending, it gets cooler, and the views are better. But unfortunately, it's getting darker, and the last thing I want to meet is a grazing deer or elk around a blind corner. At 8:30, I decide to call it a night in Ouray, and find a room at the Ouray Chalet, trying my best to ignore the assonance. The room is expensive, but it's the mountains. I feel safe leaving the motorcycle in the full parking lot, since there are at least half a dozen Harley and Yamaha touring motorcycles there as well, each worth at least $10,000 more than my ride. Dinner is an indifferent corned beef sandwich and a cup of Guinness beef stew at the town's Irish pub. TV till 11PM, then sleep.