Tony arrived in Salt Lake City from Houston on Saturday morning. We unloaded his bike and sorted some gear, then he was off to the hotel. Later in the evening Ray and I picked him up and headed south to meet Brad for dinner in American Fork. We ate some Mexican food while talking about the tour itinerary for the next 7 days. I had bought a map for Tony and Brad, then spent some time highlighting it with a different color for each day.
We got up in the morning, finished loaded some gear and headed out for Moab. We took the scenic route into the mountains past Park City, Jordanelle and Strawberry Reservoirs and eventually into Moab. It was a nice ride and one of the longer days. We basically had to burn some tarmac to get us over to red rock country in Moab.
Once we got to Moab we rode along the Colorado River toward Fisher Towers to find a place to camp. Luckily it wasn’t crowded and we found an excellent place to camp. It was right beneath the red rock towers and overlooking a beautiful red rock vista. Once camp was setup we focused on setting up for some great pictures. The sun was setting over the mountains and the scenery was perfect for epic pictures.
The next days agenda was full of exploring the best that Moab had to offer. First we rode into Arches National Park and spent some time wandering in the park and taking pictures of various arches. Then is was off to Dead Horse Point and Island in the Sky. We finished the evening with a nice dinner in Moab and a dip in the outdoor pool at the hotel. It was a refreshing way to cap off a day full of adventure.
After spending some time exploring Moab we packed up the next morning and headed for Colorado. The next 3 days would be spent in the rocky mountains. It would also give the guys their first taste of dirt road on the tour. We would be taking the dolores safari triangle route from Moab up of over the top of the La Sal mountains and into Gateway, Colorado. Going from the red rock scenery of Moab, into the lush green mountains and then back into red rock country in Gateway, which is similar to Moab.
What we didn’t know is that it had rained in the mountains, making it a slippery mess halfway through the ride. Everything was going great until the road turned a dark brown color. I was leading and all of the sudden the road turned into an ice rink. I slide around for a minute and then ended up laying my bike on its side in slow motion. Luckily we had bluetooth intercoms in our helmets and I was able to warn the guys. They did great and nobody else went down in the mud. It was REALLY slippery! We had to doggy paddle our way through it for a few miles until we got low enough in elevation to have the roads dried out. Then it was back to full speed! In Gateway we found a great little place for lunch and fuel, then it was off to Telluride, Colorado.
From Gateway there is an awesome road that takes you along some amazing red rock scenery and along a river through Colorado. The red rock changes over to lush green mountains along the way and then starts to climb in elevation. The snow capped mountains in Colorado are breath taking. Everywhere you look there are great pictures and picturesque vistas. Once we arrived in Telluride we found a great place to camp that was just up the road from the public tram. Once camp was setup and we got things settled, we rode down to the tram that takes you from the top of the mountains, down into the town center. We wandered around a bit, taking pictures along the way and found a place to eat thai food for dinner.
The next morning we geared up and headed for Durango. It was a bit chilly in the morning, being in the mountains. We bundled up and had an awesome ride through more mountain ranges. We passed through an old mining town (Rico, Colorado) which gave us a good place to stop, then we ate lunch in Durango and the rode over to Pagosa Springs. The plan was to visit the Pagosa Hot Springs Resort and soak in 23 different hot mineral pools at the halfway point of the trip.
We had planned on meeting a friend, Dwayne in Pagosa Springs. He was going to tag along for a couple days. The timing was perfect, we met Dwayne at the hotel in the afternoon. After some rest at the hotel, we headed over to the hot springs to soak and recuperate from the first 4 days of the tour.
The next morning we had an awesome day planned. We would ride back to Durango and then over the million dollar highway. One of my favorite roads! We stopped in Silverton for lunch (and coffee) and then we rode up a canyon out of Silverton to tour the Silverton mine. It was an awesome tour! We learned about mining and it was really interesting to understand how miners did their work and ultimately why the mine got closed.
After the mine tour we jumped back on the million dollar highway and headed for Delta, Colorado. Along the way we passed through the town of Ouray, along with a waterfall and some other pullouts for pictures. When we got to Delta we found a great hotel and some good Chinese food in this small town. The next day we would ride over to Vernal to visit Dinosaur country!
The ride over to Vernal is beautiful with some twisty winding roads over mountain passes. The highlight is riding through Grand Mesa National Forest. Before we left Colorado though we had to find a good place for coffee. The boys were running a little low on gas in both tanks and needed a little boost to keep going. This was the second best coffee stop that we found in Colorado! After coffee we rolled out and shortly after reached the top of a mountain pass. At that point we looked back and said goodbye to Colorado. The next stop would be Vernal, Utah!
Once we arrived in Vernal we had some extra time to relax and get ready for the final day of touring and riding back to Salt Lake City. A few of us spent time napping while others soaked in the jacuzzi.
In Vernal we visited the Dinosaur quarry in Dinosaur National Park and then rode up the dirt road to see Josie’s cabin. After eating lunch and getting a good fix on few sites to see around Vernal, we headed back to Salt Lake City. It was an excellent tour with great company! The weather was great and there wasn’t a problem to speak of on the trip. A successful tour!