Temperatures were in the mid 50s on the ride out to the park, it was quite brisk but bearable. I'd neglected to put on my jacket liner you see, when we'd stopped for gas for both Yoshie and my wife's SUV.
We got some good parking at the park and we set off for the Fountain Valley Trail, which was rated the easiest hike of the trails open to the public.
One of the rock formations visible from the park's visitor center
Martha and the boys, at the start of the hiking
Above and below, some of the more interesting rock formations
visible from Lyon's Overlook
On the return portion of the Fountain Valley Loop, these standalone rock
columns caught my eye, below you can see the boys
"enjoying" the hike
We were done with the hiking just short of Noon and I took my leave of the family, they headed home and I headed towards US 285 via the C-470 slab towards the settlement of Grant and the southern end of the Guanella Pass Road.
Yoshie rode along just fine, at or above traffic speed with no issues; her driveline thrumming smoothly below me as we climbed and descended the hilly portions of US285. She powered up the inclined portions of the highway with just a slight twist of the throttle and it was quite the pleasure to have that ability once again.
The beginning of the Guanella Pass Road near Grant is packed dirt with stretches of washboarded dirt and clusters of small rocks poking out from the dirt surface. Yoshie settled into a brisk but not fast pace as traffic was light and she make light work of the uneven terrain, potholes and loose sand and gravel accumulations.
After a few miles, the road becomes nicely paved with some rough spots all the way to the top of Guanella Pass. I made it to the top of the pass on or about 1:30 PM and parked Yoshie by the side of the road near the summit parking lot. There were a lot of people at the summit, all doing some hiking and generally enjoying the good weather. It was perhaps a bit "cool" at the top but nothing remarkably cold.
The requisite picture of the pass sign
Note: that dark blot was some debris on the lens which I didn't notice at the time.
A view of the nearby mountain peaks from Guanella Pass Summit Parking Lot
Far off views to the North I think
Yoshie waits, patiently, to resume her effortless riding
I retraced my route back down the mountain towards Grant, not much to report except how effortlessly she handled the occasional rough terrain and how she drew every cager's eye that we passed along the way.
I took US285 all the way into the Denver Metro Area and soon was home without incident. I am happy to report that in over 350 miles of riding since I installed the new chain and sprockets, there has been zero detectable chain stretch, no klunking noises endemic of said stretching and just mile after mile of riding smoothness. Oh, and 42MPG!