Goldwing Trip Around Colorado

02/28/15

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Here is the two-week trip  we took around Colorado.  It is primarily a motorcycle, on the Goldwing, but has lots of other stuff included as well.  Here is what the entire trip looks like:

In order to maximize our time in the Colorado mountains, we're going to trailer the motorcycle from San Jose to Colorado, with a stopover in Wendover, Nevada.  It is roughly half way between the 1300 miles from San Jose to our first Colorado destination.  Here is what Day One looks like:

and here is what Day Two looks like:

As we drive through the town of Grand Junction, We're planning to stop at a Harley Davidson roadhouse and meet up with a childhood friend of mine, Mark Kautsky.  I haven't seen Mark in 30 years.  But, thanks to the wonder of the internet, we have re-connected via e-mail and are looking forward to a reunion over a beer and a burger.

After lunch with Mark, we'll push on to our first overnight destination in Colorado.  We've decided to stay exclusively in Bed & Breakfasts in Colorado.  It was a lot of fun to read books, ask friends (like the Woodrows and  Karen Stottlemeyer), and research the internet.  Our first destination needed to be somewhere near the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Our plan is to stay at a B&B the first two days, as we check out the National Park, and then have this B&B hold onto our car and trailer as we embark on our motorcycle adventure.  We then plan to stay at this same B&B on our final night, as we finish up our motorcycle tour, and before beginning our long trip home.  Since we're staying there three nights total, we wanted this place to be very nice and very special.  I found the Spirit Mountain Ranch,  located near the town of Granby and the beautiful Lake Granby. 

   

Day Three will be our first day on the motorcycle as we cruise from the Spirit Mountain Ranch up to the west entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and follow the main road through the park and out the other side.  It is supposed to be a spectacular ride.

 

 On the east side of the park is the town of Estes Park.  I understand it is a beautiful town  and we'll enjoy a nice lunch there and some walking around before we head back.  Since we'll be returning for a second night at Spirit Mountain, we won't have to pack our luggage onto the bike for this ride.  But, when we start tomorrow on the rest of our adventure, all of our gear that we'll need for the next five days will be packed into the tiny trunk and saddlebags that come on a Goldwing.  This will be a new challenge for Susan and me (especially Susan!) 

After a pleasant return trip back through the park, we return to Spirit Ranch for dinner and preparation for our departure on the bike tomorrow.   Total miles traveled this day: 111.

We begin our bike adventure on Day Four as we head south to Copper Mountain for lunch.  We were initially planning to visit Breckenridge, but some advice from the Woodrows was to jog west instead to Copper Mountain, which is comparable to Breckenridge, in order to be on the correct road to hit Leadville.  They describe Leadville as a must-see historic mining town.  We continue south past Buena Vista to the town of Salida and our B&B destination for the night.  Total  miles for this day is 169.  Our destination for the night: The Tudor Rose.

 Unfortunately, we only plan to stay at The Tudor Rose for one night, as we depart the next day for a fairly long ride to Durango.   This day's ride is 227 miles, but, it is filled with many stops, so, it will be a long day as we take in all the sights. This includes such stops as the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, 

 

as well as driving through the towns of Ouray and Silverton.  We eventually arrive at Durango, where we'll be staying at the Apple Orchard Inn. 

 

We have the Wolf Creek cottage reserved for two nights

Day Five is actually a no-bike day.  We'll be taking the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.  This historic railway has been operating continuously since 1882.  The locomotives that they use on the railway are all of 1923-1925 vintage. 

 

we'll be riding in the Nomad Presidential car, which is essentially "first class." 

   

While it's only 41 miles to Silverton, the train averages just 17 mph as it winds through the canyon along the river, making it a 3 1/2 hour trip.  Once we get to Silverton, we'll have a couple of hours to take a walking tour, have lunch, and then return back to Durango. 

After spending a second night at the Apple Orchard Inn, we head out for Day Six on a 228 mile drive to Hotchkiss, and the Leroux Creek Inn. 

We pass right by Mesa Verde National Park, but, unfortunately, I don't think we'll have time to stop by and check it out.  We'll possibly have lunch in the town of Telluride, if we don't arrive too early.  Otherwise, I have no doubt we'll find some other scenic spot along the way to grab a bite. 

 

Our destination is the Leroux Creek Inn:

It is different from the other B&B's that we've stayed at so far, in that it's more of a corporate retreat and spa then a quaint old structure.  But, it is supposed to be very relaxing and luxurious, and is known for its excellent cuisine.  So, we're planning to have both dinner and breakfast there, of course!

Day Seven is our final day on the bike as we cruise back to Granby Lake and Spirit Mountain Ranch

The route we've planned is about 230  miles, which makes it the longest day on the bike.  But, we'll be taking I-70 for part of the drive, which should allow us to make some good time. 

We arrive back at Spirit Mountain Ranch, where our car (and a change of clothes) is awaiting us.  It will be with a little sadness as we enjoy our final dinner and overnight stay in beautiful Colorado.

The next morning we'll load the bike into the trailer, say goodbye to our gracious hosts, and begin the return trip to San Jose,  Days 8 and 9 are virtually a carbon copy of days 1 and 2 as we retrace our steps back home. 

 

Total miles on the bike:  965

Total  miles in the car:  2674

Total miles on train:  82

Grand total miles:  3721

 

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