My Dad and I took off on a Wednesday night to scout out the “Eastern Utah & Western Colorado” ride. I hadn’t ridden this loop for 5 years, so I needed a refresher before the 2014 season. We took off on a Wednesday afternoon, or that was the plan anyway. We wanted to get to Moab and have our tents setup before dark so we rolled out of my driveway around 2 PM. When we were near the freeway entrance my Dad’s bike started sputtering. It was losing power then regaining it. We pulled over and had a look. I remember that I had to have an ignition wire soldered on after it came loose a few years ago. Sure enough that was the culprit. We taped it on and headed to my Dad’s to fix it. It took us a couple hours, because we were soldering upside down and in a very tight area. In the end we got it done and were on our way.
When we got to Moab it was dark and we ended up finding the last camping spot available at fisher towers. We had a heck of a time trying find a level spot to put our bikes on their center stands. After setting up our tents and making some dinner, we hit the sack for the night.
The next morning we got up, snapped a few pictures of the area and rolled. We headed straight for Arches National Park, riding along the Colorado river and into Moab as the sun was rising. It was a beautiful day for a ride through the park and I got some excellent photos.
After Arches National Park we rode out to Pot Ash Road along Wall Street. Then we jetted for Colorado. We rode around to the La Sal Mountains and into Colorado. We rode highway 141 that went toward Grand Junction. What a beautiful ride! It is another 100 miles or so of Moab like scenery.
Once we started headed south again from Whitewater, Colorado the scenery quickly changed to traditional rocky mountains and trees. We ended up in Telluride and camped at the city park. We weather looked a little rough over night, calling for rain and snow. We were not sure what we would wake up to and what they roads would be like. We ate dinner and then hunkered down in our tents. The rain started around midnight and was very heavy until around 9 AM. It kept me awake, but my tent worked great! When we got up we put our rain gear on and tore camp down while it was raining. Then we bundled up and rode over to Cortez, Colorado. The roads had just a dusting of snow in a couple spots as we hit a couple high mountain passes just outside Telluride.
We made our way to Cortez and then over to Durango. It was then time to ride the Million Dollar Highway, also known as the San Juan Skyway. We were curious to see how much snow was up there and if it was still snowing after the rain in Telluride. The skyway started out a little rough as it was snowing, but luckily not sticking to the road much. we topped out at 11,000 feet as found some snow on the high mountain passes. Luckily as we made our way further north the weather and conditions improved. The falls colors were out and it was a beautiful ride. We dropped into Silverton and then over to Ouray. What an epic stretch of highway.
After eating some lunch at the town park in Ouray, we took off and headed for Vernal, Utah home of Dinosaurland. The ride to Vernal from Grand Junction is really cool. We thought we would have to put our rain gear on a few times as the storms were looming. Somehow the road kept taking us around the storms. We arrived in Vernal and setup camp in the dark again at the KOA. It was supposed to get really cold that night and it did! We bundled up for the night after dinner and we woke up with frost on our tents. After taking down camp we rode through Dinosaur National Monument and checked out the Quarry and Museum. Then we bolted for home.
What an awesome trip! I look at all the routes that are planned for 2014 and I have a hard time picking a favorite. This one was better than I remembered.