Yep, time for that time-honored tradition, the Family Summer Vacation. Some teaser photos: Dramatis Personae: Me, 4Rider, your host, Susie, fearless Adventure Partner of 30+ years, sons Mike & Sean Steve (our first time riding together) Matt, aka Snooker, X-Country Guru, Enduro Rider, Colorado Local The Lead-up to the trip: Last winter my wife and one of my sons took me to one of the premier showings of the Colorado Backcountry Discover Route Documentary at BMW Motorcycles of Riverside in Southern California. At the end of the showing Susie flatly stated that we should plan a ride on the COBDR sometime later in the year, like maybe when the weather was agreeable. Mike agreed. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, we did have a few minor details to sort out, like acquiring a couple of more suitable bikes, outfitting them, upgrading panniers, GPS units, riding gear and a few other small, little things. No problem. Let the research begin. First, when to go. So, history suggests that the high Colorado passes dont reliably clear of snow/ice and open until mid-summer (remember, we are from So Cal where summer generally starts in mid-February and ends sometime around Thanksgiving). There is also this pesky little Monsoon Season weve heard about that means rain and mud. Fortunately, the monsoon rains dependably end by late July. So a plan is born ..a family trip to the COBDR in early August when we can depend on good weather, temperate conditions and a dry route. We mentioned our plan to a number of riding friends, many of who expressed interest, but in the end its only our family of 4 (4Rider, get it? Never mind) plus one acquaintance committed the trip. A Colorado Inmate, Snooker, also told us that he would try to meet us somewhere along the route for a day or two No boring details, so fast-forward to July. Prep almost complete. Much money spent, bikes ready, gear ready, credit-cards ready, what more could we need? Jump-off day, August 5<sup>th</sup>, give or take a day or so. Weather check ..still some lingering wetness in Colorado, but all looks good for the week of our trip. The plan- Tarmac to Colorado to check out a friends house in Salida (another story all in itself), more tarmac to the 4-corners area, meet Steve in Cortez, ride, camp, eat, photograph, and ride some more. Stay on the dirt (rocks, talus, mud etc). Find Wyoming Coming into and crossing Colorado we seem to be skirting a wee line of thunderstorms and encounter quite a bit of rain for the supposed dry-season. Torrential rain. Canoes in the streets, cars floating by, head-for-high-ground kind of rain. More rain on the road down, but, Cortez is dry, and the forecast suggests improving weather. Cool. We are first to arrive at the hotel, and Steve arrives a few hours later. Early departure scheduled for tomorrow!