Ronnie and Buzz's Summer of 99 Harley Trip through Colorado
The Rocky Mountains
Aug 17th - Sept 3rd
Left Denver on route 6 through Golden, CO. Nice town, and then to 72 north on to Estes Park. We encountered rain for 2 hours but the scenery in the mountains was still beautiful. Nice road, plenty of switchbacks and altitude changes. Arrived at Estes Park 4:00pm, where we hooked up with our friend Jules Fleisher, from Park City, Utah on his Harley Dyna Wide Glide, stayed at new Comfort Inn, clean but sparse. Town was cute but a real tourist destination.
Off to an early start to Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. Good ride but cold as we were at 12,000 ft and along time above the tree line. This road called the roof of the Rockies.. Minimum traffic and lots of good sights. Nice ride along route 34 through the Park approximately 47 miles long to Grand Lake. We left the park enroute to Steamboat Springs along route 40, beautiful ride through Arapaho Nat'l Forrest up to Moody Pass 8,700FT. Great ride, a little rain encountered, as we got higher towards the Rabbit Ears Pass into Steamboat Springs. Nice town, we chose to stay in the ski village at a very nice Best Western at the base of the slopes. There was a Rock Concert near our hotel that evening. Ate in the village, good food, typical ski village. At 8,500ft I got a little altitude sickness but was OK next day.
We left early and took highway 131 through many ranches, beautiful ride and many changes in altitudes and always in sight of the mountains. At Wolcott, we said goodbye to Jules and proceeded down I-70 our first Super Highway to Vail, where we had lunch at Vail Village, toured Vail and set out for Keystone to meet our friend Andy Tysler. Bang went the motor, we were sidelined at a little town called Frisco. We got a flatbed tow truck to take the Harley to Denver. Andy was a gem driving us to and from Denver to check on the bike. Dinner first night a barbecue at Andy and Venne's home in Keystone with a group of their friends. The second night we all went to Breckinridge for dinner. Rocky Mountain Harley was most cooperative and installed new cam and roller tappets in a day and a half .
Bike still at Rocky Mountain Harley.
Ronnie and I rode the bike up I-70 from Denver to route 6 through the Loveland Pass 11,500 ft. into Keystone, a must see road very twisty and beautiful. Our friend Andy joined us on his Harley Dresser. Continuing on to Aspen using route 6 to I-70, route 91 to Leadville (the highest incorporated town in the US, 11,500 Ft) to the Freemont Pass 11,318ft, great winding road, we intercepted route 24 to pick up 82 over Independence Pass on our way to Aspen. In the town of Twin Lakes we met Willard and Megan Humphry on their BMW and rode hard and fast into Aspen, beautiful ride. Stayed at the St Regis Hotel met friends for drinks then on to dinner at Cafe Fiore with Dr. Ron Josephs and friends.
Or day began with a hike with Ronald Joseph, who has a home in Aspen, up Smuggler Mountain 10,000ft, 2 hour hike then back to town for breakfast at the Weinerstub. Ronnie stayed in town to look around and I rode with the gang, 3 bikes. We stopped at Snowmass and then off we went, route 82 to Carbondale then 133, a great ride that Ronnie and I would take the next day in route to Gunnison Co. Great road through Redstone Nat?l Park, had lunch at Historic Redstone Lodge, lakes and lots of fast winding turns. A reunion with Janet Guthrie and her husband for drinks at the St. Regis before dinner at Pacifica Restaurant.
Continuing on route traveled yesterday, mountain passes nice road great sites, at Hotchkiss left turn on to 92 to Crawford. A must stop, Mad Dog Cafe, good food and nice setting, owned by Joe Cocker and his wife Pam and they love bikers. After lunch off we went to Gunnison on 92 a most outstanding trip through the Black Canyon mountains a stunning ride not to be missed. At 50 left turn for a 30 mile ride to Gunnison, then came the rain, last 30 miles in the wet. Stayed at a nice Best Western where we were surprised to find a FABULOUS restaurant called Josephs, what a surprise. We met some bikers from Indiana, nice folks chatted about the rides.
Started east on 50 then south on 149 what a great road, long ride through Lake City the Slumgullion Pass 11,361ft to the Spring Creek Pass, 10,951ft, a most spectacular road. A must stop, the town of Creede, fun place for lunch. At South Fork, west on to 160 in route to Durango. Rain suits on for about an hour lovely ride more mountains, Wolf Creek Pass 10,850FT Pago Springs, Chimney Rock and on to Durango. Nice town, fun place, home of the Durango to Silverton Train ride. We stayed at a very nice Hawthorn Inn suites part of Best Western. Walked town and had dinner.
We were very excited to ride 550, the Million Dollar Highway. Early start up a most spectacular road up through mountains winding your way passed the Lizard head Pass and on to Silverton an old mining town . Had a drink then off to Ouray our lunch stop. Red Mountain Pass 11,000ft breathtaking scenery to Ouray, the Switzerland of America. Lunch at a nice little restaurant. This town had lots of Jeep trails and good hiking also known for their Hot Springs. After lunch went headed for Telluride picked up route 62 into Telluride. We stayed at the top of the mountain, 9,500 ft. in Mountain Village, at the Blue Mesa Condo, nice place and we used the Gondola to reach the town of Telluride. Great fun traveling that way. The gondlola runs from 6 am to 11 PM every day and is free. It?s their way of connecting to the town 1,000 ft below. Small old mining town with a lot of character.
We hiked the Bear Creek trail up to 10,000 ft , about 2 hours. Lunch up at the village and a Harley ride to Bridal Veil Falls. Great food in the town and lots of fun going on the gondola.
Beautiful day, went on route 145 to Delores through the San Juan Mountains fabulous ride on to Cortez. Nice town checked in at the Best Western suites and headed off to Mesa Verde Nat?l Park, a must see. Beautiful ride through the park, lots to see including Indian cliff dwellings and Pueblo villages. Speedo cable broke had to run around town. Found NAPA store got a cable then went to a Honda store and made a cable from some parts and it worked. Back to Cortez for dinner.
Early start off to the Four Corners area. What a great ride through the desert, route 666 to the Four Corners Monument, fun worth seeing, then through AZ to Kenyeta for lunch at McDonalds. Route 163 on to Monument Valley. This whole ride is spectacular. Entered the Nat?l Park, hired a Navajo guide and went off road to see the sites. On to Medicine Hat for fuel, this ride was breathtaking route 191 to Blanding Ut, 220 miles for the day we were pooped. Stopped at The 4 Four Corners Inn, new and clean but not a nice stop, met a biker had a good talk found some new rides which we later took.
Another early start on our way to Moab Ut. Route 191 and another great ride into Moab. Checked into the "GONZO INN", fabulous hotel. Suite 102 looks out at the mesa all red rock just beautiful. Cute little town so we stayed 3 days. Lunch at the Slick Rock Cafe and then on to Arches Nat?l Park the highlight of our trip. The park entrance is only 5 miles from town and is so spectacular it can not be explained in this report. Each turn in the road was more beautiful than the last, so many shapes and sizes and colors of rocks and formations. 100 degrees in the park but 18% humidity made it not too bad. We did the whole park then returned to our hotel for a hot tub and swim. Dinner at Eddie Mc Stiffs fun place good food and a little shopping then off to bed.
Took route 191 to Dead Horse Point and into Cayonland Natl. Park, Islands in the Sky, great ride with many turns. Beautiful ride through all the canyons a must see. Back to Moab for lunch and shopping rented a 4x4 Jeep for the next day.
We took our Jeep to Poison Mesa a real rough tough trail up the canyons overlooking the Green River and Colorado River. At times we went straight up the side of rocks and cliffs Ronnie was hanging on for dear life. After a wild ride we decided to go back into Arches Park and take an off road trip through the park to see more formations and arches. Wow what a trip we were in the desert for 4 hours through all kinds of wild terrain (not for the faint hearted) great ride to Tower arch and back to the main road. We drove 40 miles off roading , it took about 6 hours to do . That night hot tub and a massage in our room.
Moab to Provo Ut. Route 128 to I-70 was a fantastic ride through canyons then on to Green River up 191 to Provo. Nice ride but trip was over as we then went into Salt Lake Harley. Sent our bike back home and flew back to Boca.
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