Denver, Colorado – Green River, Utah – (350 miles-ish)
Ahhh…The Lil’ Hosses are rollin’ again! Getting out of Denver and on the road felt great. Beyond great. Today’s ride brought exceptional scenery, along with pigs and tunnels and funny signs and hairless chihuahuas. But first, let’s go back to Denver and look at a couple small highlights.
The gargoyles outside our hotel window.
This fantastic 2014 Iron at the dealer show.
Brian photo-bombing Willie G.
Jeff Decker’s cool stuff.
But really, we just wanted to get riding again.
We escaped Denver around ten, but it wasn’t easy. Here are the directions. Now keep in mind, we’re on motorcycles and can’t reference this convoluted map while driving:
No. I’m not talking cops.
Or members of the Harley-Owners-Group.
I’m talking pigs. The oinking kind. About thirty miles outside of Denver, we pulled past a livestock truck, one I assumed was carrying cows. But then I saw pink. A lot of pink. And snouts!! They were sticking their snouts through the holes! It was so adorable. But then I thought of where they might be going, and it made me sad, so I slipped into denial mode because wasting this extraordinary road in sadness would be crazy.
At around the fifty-mile-from-Denver-mark, we crossed the Continental Divide while underground in the Eisenhower Tunnel, a nearly two mile tunnel through Loveland Pass at over 11,000 feet. There’s something kinda cool about blazing through such a long tunnel on a motorcycle and thinking about the great Rocky Mountains overhead.
Toward the end of the tunnel, there are signs warning truckers of the steep downhill grade coming up. Later, after we were out of the tunnel and coasting down (got 71 MPG that leg!) the trucker warnings came with a sense of humor: “Don’t be fooled, Truckers! 4 more miles of grade to go!” “Not yet, Truckers! Still 1 mile of grade to go!”
There was also a sign warning of “Eagles on the Road.” Sadly, I didn’t see any. But I did see lots of densely packed pine and aspen trees.
When riding small tanked motorcycles like our Sportsters, it’s vital to pre-plan gas stops (what I’m supposed to be doing right now instead of writing). We generally don’t push it over 120 miles before filling up even though the bikes can go about 140. First stop was supposed to be Silverthorne, about 66 miles out of Denver, which would put us at about 100 on our tanks. But check this out! The ONLY and I mean ONLY off ramp for the town was under construction, so we couldn’t get to the gas stations! Crazy, eh? Lucky for us, there was another town close and we got our gas.
According to the weather maps, and the sky, we expected rain. But we got none! Not a drop! Yee haw! All-in-all, it was a PERFECT ride today.
I tell ya, if all Interstates looked like I-70, I’d have no complaint traveling them! As the road winds through Glenwood Canyon, it’s hard to believe you’re riding an Interstate, with the sheer cliffs rising around you, small pine outcroppings perched on the edges, the Colorado River running alongside. It wowed me the first time in ’09, and it wowed me again.
Just like that. It’s amazing how quickly and dramatically the terrain changes once you cross the Colorado/Utah border. Some of the hillsides I swear look like hairless chihuahuas resting at the feet of the big red cliffs. Greyish pink. No foilage whatsoever. And wrinkly as all get out.
What… did you think I was going to tell you about a REAL hairless chihuahua? Come on… Everyone knows chihuahuas don’t like motorcycles!
And now… my eyes are closing while I’m writing, so either this is an insanely boring, choppy post, or I’m super tired. So I’ll leave you with pictures from Green River where we’re staying, and say goodnight…
Oh wait! One more funny story. So after dinner, we hit the pool, and Brian had with him a stack of shredded fragments of towels.
I asked what those were for and he said, “They’re pool towels.” I thought it was pretty crazy, but, whatever. It was hot and we had a pool. While at the pool, I noticed other guests had regular sized towels so asked Brian again, “Are you sure these are pool towels?” He said yeah, and proceeded to share the conversation he had with the clerk when he checked in (and I rode off to take some pictures). The clerk, who Brian had been talking motorcycles with, asked how many “horses” we had, and Brian answered two, so the guy handed him a stack of “horse blankets.” How Brian misunderstood that these were supposed to be pool towels is beyond me. Clearly, they’re meant for cleaning motorcycle gear. We had a good laugh about that one! HA!