Road Trip to Colorado, Day 3

We headed out to breakfast at 8:30am, at the local Denny's in Cortez. Around 9:15am we got back on the road headed towards Durango. Al...

We headed out to breakfast at 8:30am, at the local Denny's in Cortez. Around 9:15am we got back on the road headed towards Durango.

Along the way I saw several highway patrol cars cruising the highway, several others pulling over cars, so we kept our speed to about 5mph over the speed limit.

The temperature along highway 160 to Durango was pretty cold. When we got into Durango, Tom wanted to pull over to put an extra shirt on, so I found a McDonald's.

We headed north on US-550 towards Silverton. The highway is surrounded by tall mountains. The road ascends almost immediately after leaving Durango, and hits a peak of about 10,600 feet at Coal Bank Pass. We pulled off the side of the road at the pass to get some photos.

Further down the road we stopped at another place, which had a higher elevation, around 10,900 feet.

We got to Silverton around 11:00am. The place was full of bikes, and the whole town was taken over by bikers. We mostly walked in and out of shops, and taking photos. Lewis bought a sweatshirt, and Tom and I bought t-shirts.

As we headed out to our bikes, it started raining. Lewis wanted to sit it out, while Tom argued that we need to move on. I agreed with Tom, and we got back on the highway, heading to Ouray. The rain didn't last that long.

We stopped at another rest stop, called "Red Mountain", which is named after the town nearby. Further down the road, we stopped at another location where a bunch of bikes were parked. There was a waterfall here. Water from Mineral Creek ran down a mountain, and crossed underneath the road through a tunnel, and came out the other side. I took photos, while Tom, Lews, and Bob were more interested in talking to a biker couple.

The gal in the couple was named "Trish", who looked she was in her thirties, while the guy she was riding with looked he was in his sixties. But she was a really lively character. Tom mentioned that we were headed up to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and they insisted we go there. But because we took so much time in Silverton, we were not going to make it. So, she said she would e-mail Tom some photos, and he gave her his IHRC business card.

We got back on the road, and made our way into Ouray. We weren't really supposed to do too much here, but since we were not going to make it to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we chose to get a bite to eat. Then we rode up to Box Canyon Falls, which is just outside of town.

Box Canyon Falls was a lot of fun. The Falls is located at the very beginning of the canyon, where the water appears come from behind the rocks and boulders. There's a "cat walk" located about 50 feet above the water. The walk takes you close to the falling water, and then gives you a stairway down to the base.

After the falls, the time was about 3:30pm, and we still hadn't reached the half-way point of the route. We headed up to Ridgway, and then got on CO-62 to Placerville. Then we got on CO-145 south, headed to Dolores. CO-145 ran past several small town towns, eventually taking us to Telluride. Our original plan was to stop in Telluride, but the time was getting late so passed it by.

Eventually, the road took us up to Mount Wilson, which offered a spectacular view. We stopped in a town called Rico to get gas. There we met another biker couple taking a break. The guy went by the name of "Cowboy". He rode up here from Mobile, Alabama a couple weeks earlier. The girl he was with he had only met since arriving here. She worked up in Telluride, and he was giving her a ride back home.

They took off first, and we took off just a minute later. Eventually we caught up to them, because he got stuck behind some slow moving cars. It turned out there was another biker at the very front holding everyone back. We were able to pass all the cars one-by-one, and pass the motorcycle rider.

We got into Dolores, and then continued on to Cortez, and made it back to our motel around 6:15pm.

About 8:00pm, we got back together and headed out to dinner. We went into Main Street Brewery. We ended up seeing "Cowboy" there, and we chatted with him. Then we discovered his girlfriend working there. She said she works parttime there, in addition to working in Telluride.


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