Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Uraling Home from Rangely, CO

My work completed successfully yesterday morning, I was able to leave the Rangely Field Office by 9:30 AM and headed home via CO 139 towards Grand Junction.

She's a little dusty and muddy, but doing great.

I must say, CO139, which is part of the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway, is a much better (if longer) choice for riding from Denver to Rangely.  I had taken CO13 from I-70, through Meeker and then to Rangely and the route was not as scenic.

The northern third of CO139, between Grand Junction and Rangely
is replete with beautiful rock formations


The centerpiece of this stretch of highway though, is Douglas Pass, while not presenting majestic snow-capped mountain peaks as other Colorado passes do; it holds its own in terms of scenery and delightful twists and turns both going up and down.

 Looking north on CO 139, heading towards the summit of Douglas Pass

 The wind at the summit of Douglass Pass was quite fierce where I
posed Scarlett for the picture above.  It was strong enough that I had 
to at times hold onto the handlebar to keep from getting pushed back 
away from the rim; which in retrospect is a good thing.

 A bit further down from the summit, now on the south side of
Douglas Pass, I got a little UDF by a couple of Beemer guys from
Georgia.  Below are Don and Jeff who are doing a large circuit of the 
West.  Turns out Jeff actually has read this blog....small world.


 Further south along CO 139, you can see the road stretch alongside
the mountainside and continue southwards.

 The view as one approaches Douglas Pass from the South

 Above is what you see as you leave Mesa County and head
into Garfield County

Once I got to Mesa County it was straight slab riding all the way into Loma and from there into Grand Junction.  I had the "bright" idea of using US6 instead of getting onto the I-70 Super Slab eastbound but that proved to be slow and traffic choked.

I got back on the I-70 eastbound slab at Palisade and stayed on it to Parachute, CO where I refueled and took a small break.  It was very windy that day but luckily it was coming from the South and didn't slow me down much.  Scarlett was able to hold 55-60 mph with no issues and while I was the slowest vehicle on the highway, traffic was light and people passed me safely all day long.

Soon, Scarlett and I arrived at Glenwood Canyon and this time I resolved to stop at each possible exit to see what views of the canyon could be photographed.

 The view at the western end of the "No Name" Rest area 
where several nice homes are built as well.

 Part of the view from the "Hanging Lake" Rest Area, I didn't
go on the hiking trail to actually see this Hanging Lake.

 Here's what you see if you get off at the Shoshone exit in Glenwood
Canyon, at the end is some property managed by the local
utility company.  There was even a boat ramp though it looked 
closed for the season as the river was running quite fast with snow melt.

As the Shoshone exit didn't have an entrance into eastbound I-70, this resulted in me having to head back west to Hanging Lake then using it to turn back east.  Still, only about 30 minutes used up doing all this back tracking.

Vail was next, the last time I was here on a motorcycle, it had been on Valencia and it had been Fall.  

 This is what Spring looks like in Vail

The came the slow climb up to the summit of Vail Pass, Scarlett was able to hold 50 mph but I had to gear down to 3rd gear in order to do so.  Still, she pulled strongly and I was able to get this shot:


After Vail Pass, came the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon, pretty towns in their own right but no time for photos today.  I did stop Scarlett east of Silverthorne to get this shot of the mountains located near the town.


That would be the last photo stop of the day, once I got past the Eisenhower Tunnel and the Continental Divide, it was just steady riding all the way to the Denver Metro area.  Got home around 6:30 PM I believe.  Scarlett did a bit over 1389 kilometers round trip to Rangely and back, averaging 40-44 mpg which is unheard of for a URAL.  For us, it was roughly 16 hours of highway time, not counting the time inside the Dinosaur National Monument.

I kept her speeds under 60 mph the whole trip and she seems to like it at those speeds on the highway.

11 comments:

Marc Lomax said...

Great ride report.

bob skoot said...

Dom:

I had to dig out my CO map to see where you went. Last summer it was HOT and I was on a mission to put on the miles. I know I should have stopped at the Glenwood Canyon viewpoint but I couldn't make up my mind and then I passed it. I was in the fast lane recording video

I saw so many signs for places I wanted to visit but I passed them all. I need more time in CO to do more exploring. At least I can see what I missed through your photos. I also stopped in Vail, but only to refuel

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Lucky said...

Sounds like an adventure! Glad to hear the wind was blowing you away from the edge, rather than towards. That might have been a little too thrilling...

Great photos, as always!

Richard M said...

40-44 mpg! How are the head temperatures?

CCjon said...

Great photos, thanks for sharing Dom

Trobairitz said...

Wow, that was quite a trip.

Thank you for stopping for so many pictures. I love seeing all the mountains, green and snow covered.

Charlie6 said...

So much to see Bob, so little time....

Charlie6 said...

Yes, unheard if mpg! As to temperature of heads, didn't have way to measure while moving, am told they run about 100deg hotter than older models

Charlie6 said...

Thank you as well CCjon....

Charlie6 said...

You're welcome, mountains look best with snow

SonjaM said...

Nice "commute", Dom. I love the Pano shot!