Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

Another terrific day! We left Montrose and decided to ride over the Rockies towards eastern Colorado. Our goal is to ride Pikes Peak tomorrow. There are several very scenic roads crossing the mountains and we took off on a remote two lane road that weaved through mountain passes, beautiful valleys, and lush farm lands. The few people I spoke to along the way were so friendly. I think it is true that small towns and country life make nicer people, but it certainly is a hard life style to make a living off the land. We passed many many cattle ranches and I am pretty sure no one that worked these ranches had a gym membership anywhere. They get plenty of exercise. They also seem very self reliant. Many of the ranches were so remote there was no such thing as running to the store for anything including minor aches and injuries…
About half way to our final destination we stopped for lunch and a group of motorcyclist came in and we started talking. When we told them the route we were going to take the warned us not to go that way due to long delays because of repairs. They recommend a mountain pass that was only partially paved but was passable… I like off road riding so it sounded great to me. Also Brian and I have knobby tires so a little dirt would be fun. Duane was a bit concerned since he had street tires and no off road experience but he was game and off we went. 
What a great decision! The road wasn’t to bad and the views were amazing. At the peak we stopped at a road marker that designated the exact spot of the Continental Divide. That is the ridge of the Rockies that is the highest point dividing east and west in the USA. The elevation was over 12,000 ft!. As we were enjoying the views two more motorcycles pulled in, a husband and wife. When then got off I started talking to them and recognized there accent. They were from South Africa. (Brian riding with me is from S.A. too!)  So I introduced  them to Brian and once they started talking it turns out they are from the same town in South Africa. Neither had lived there is many years but what are the odds to meet at the top of the Colorado Rockies!!
We also ran into large groups of German tourist riding rental Harleys, with new leathers, and a moving van chase truck to carry enough spares and clothing for a year! Seems this type of adventure is very popular in Germany..
By the end of the day we made it to Manitou, Co. A very charming old mining town with lots of good restaurants and shopping. We finished off the day with a great meal of Cajun food!
Tomorrow we are heading over to Pikes Peak. Some of you may not know that Pikes Peak is the home of a very famous race. Cars and motorcycles start at the bottom and race against the clock to make it to the top which is at 14,000FT. We are going to ride the entire road. I plan to set a new world record tomorrow . I am going to attempt to set a new record in the Heavy Weight Senior Medicare division, riding a BMW GS, with knobbies, riding from San Luis Obispo, and just to narrow it down a bit more living on Corbette Canyon. I think I can do this one!
One thing we have to deal with in the morning is Duane’s motorcycle. IT has slowly been shaking itself to bits and needs some repairs. Hopefully we can get it resolved quickly.
I have some great photos of today so look below.
Until tomorrow.

One of the allures of the open road is you never know what you are going to find next...
Brings the "COWBOY" out in me.

Poor Brian was getting a bit lonely out of the road without his wife... On the other had I could not figure out a graceful way to get off the dam thing...

Spectacular views everywhere!

The next leg of our ride was down the side of this mountain to the valley below to catch a highway running down the middle of it.

A bit of Buell maintenance..

Literally right in the middle of the Continental Divide..

Welcome to Manitous Springs CO.

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