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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Out of the Mountains, Into the Canyons

I can pretty much sum up yesterday's ride with one word, or picture:

I used the Pano App on my iPhone for this photo; this was in Utah. I have driven through this area many times back when I lived in Boise and would go home to New Mexico. I honestly don't remember it being this beautiful. I guess it was because I was in my early 20s and these kinds of things don't often make an impression at that age.

But first, as I mentioned yesterday from the Starbucks, we started out in Denver headed to Salina on I-70. As much as I wish we could get off the Interstate and ride all back roads, we are on a mission at this point and that is to be in Mammoth Lakes by this evening for a couple of days of skiing. We will have more time to go back roads when we leave Mammoth on Wednesday. But, having said that, I-70 was an absolutely gorgeous ride. We were able to pull off the road a few times for photos. Here are a couple from the mountains in Colorado.

We wanted to get off the road for a photo op as we were driving along the Colorado River where the mountains come right to the edge of the road, but there was construction going on in this area and no opportunity to pull over.

We did finally get a chance as we came out of the mountains into the desert. I saw a frontage road on the side that crossed over the river, so I took the next exit and headed back to that spot. This also gave us our first "off-road" excitement. Well, more so for me.

This is where my smaller F650GS that I used to have would have been better, I think. At least this time, I had time to get my camera out before Steve rushed to pick my bike off the ground. Usually, I'm barely getting up myself by the time Steve has my bike up for me. He had to circle back to me and I was rummaging through my tank bag for the camera and he's asking me if I'm all right as he walks up. I gave him the camera to take a picture of me trying to lift it. No luck, he still had to do it in the end.

We pulled right down by the river and thought this would be a great place to camp if we still didn't have a couple hundred miles to go for the day.

I had noticed that my mirror had bent down during my fall. Luckily, Steve brings a bunch of tools with him, so he got it all straightened out for me.

I was able to ride my bike out of this area without dropping it. Yay!

As we continued, the desert and canyon landscapes were breathtaking. I-70 in Utah has "View" Areas instead of Rest Areas, very appropriately named. 

I have never seen so many 4-wheelers and dirt bikes in one area as I did along this stretch of road. The landscape definitely lends itself to off-road exploring.

We were starting to challenge the clock at this point, possibly arriving in Salina after dark at the rate we were stopping at the View Areas. But we just couldn't help it.

We finally rolled into Salina at about 7:30, still light outside. We pulled into the campground but could see the Econo Lodge across the street, with about two cars in the lot. Hmmm, sleep on the ground where the temperature is going to drop below freezing, or sleep in a nice warm bed? Tough choice...

Getting back on the road shortly this morning to start our 500-mile day to Mammoth Lakes, mostly not Interstate. Finally.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, I see Steve has cornered the market on the leather pants.

    If ya'll decide to put together a long-way-around type deal sometime let me know. I would like to apply for the Claudio type job, if necessary I can provide character references.

    It is good to see ya'll got to do some off-road riding. Stay safe.