Sunday, July 4, 2010
Route 66: 2010 Day 1
Our trip starts out on 6/12/2010 at 4am from Colorado Springs, CO. As you may know, 4am in Colorado is a bit chilly.
When you live in Colorado and you decide to do Route 66, you have to make a decision - Start in LA or start in Chicago. OK, so the decision was made for us this time. We set off for LA. I guess I should start by introducing "We". We is Hans Olav from Norway, (exchange student for 2009-10 school year) and Joey.
Our trek started with Joey's two bikes, (a 1998 883 Sportster Hugger with a big bore kit to make her a 1200 and a 2003 Lowrider, also recently bored to a Twin Cam 96). By the way, the guys at American Motorcycles in Colorado Springs, CO, did a great job & the girls Purred on the trip!
So, back to it:
Day 1: 4:15am rollout. Very dark & chilly as we headed down Hwy 115 to Penrose, CO. At Penrose, we head West to Salida, CO. The sun was starting to come out by the time we reached the restaurant. Of course, this restaurant I can't remember the name of, (because I'm an idiot & didn't think to write it down..duh). Anyway, nice little place, good food & lots of it. We also gassed up and were on our way.
Next up was to conquer Monarch Pass. This is a Great road - still Highway 50, but I gotta say, heading over a pass that tops out at 11312 ft (3447.9 m) means that even in the heat of Summer, it's still chilly. At 6am or so on an overcast day, in early June, it's downright cold. Over the pass we go. We roll past Doyleville, CO. I really only remember the name of this place because the sign is just before my Aunt Gayle & Uncle Paul's place. We cruise through Gunnison on our way to Montrose, CO. I used to call it Mon Trose - like Sammy Hagar's first band, but I've been corrected. It's pronounced Mont Rose.
Once we reached Montrose, we rode through the main part of town and got a nice look at the temperature on the bank. Ready for this...June 12th, approximately 11 am or so...temp was a whopping 37 degrees, Fahrenheit, (the trusty conversion site says that's a balmy 2.77777777 Celsius) We gassed up and took a stretch. Stretches are easily as important as gas & food. As we were looking at the sky, it simply looked cold. Well, we found out shortly after leaving town that the cold wasn't the only thing going on. We had a Major hail storm. As a biker, rain is inconvenient and unpleasant. As a biker, hail, on the other hand is simply dangerous. The hail was about the size of a quarter. As is usual, there was only a small tree for us to duck under for shelter. Luckily, it was somewhat short lived, but in the aftermath, the roads were covered and it looked like snow. We waited it out, and after the rainfall & hail was passed, we were back on our way.
We rode through cold, rain, car splashes and pretty much yuck weather. We Finally made it to Telluride for a warm-up. The middle part of our ride was marked with unpleasant weather, but after Telluride, it got a bit better. The road out of Telluride is amazing, especially on a bike. We worked our way to Cortez. CO and then, Arizona!
We continued to ride in less than stellar weather, but it did get a bit better, except, of course for the wind. It was SO windy before Kayenta, we were riding sideways. Not only was it rather unpleasant, it was dangerous, too. We finally got through most of the first day's ride and were about 30 miles outside of Flagstaff. We had to stop for gas, yet again, well before we should have, but Mother Nature tends to have her say. We stopped for gas at what must have been the Last full service gas station in the country. We were very surprised when a cute young lady came out & pumped the gas for us. Sure would like to see more of those.
Next stop...Flagstaff! It was nice to get there, even though it was a bit of a chore to find the frickin' hotel. We went literally within yards of the hotel and past. We got nearly to the other side of the town before we found a really nice lady to help us out. She even drove us right past the hotel and "dropped us off". Time for a shower, OK, two showers.
Dinner was at "Granny's Closet". A very nice restaurant and very personable service. After a great meal, it was time for bed...What a day! Day 1 done - approximately 650 miles. Wow...