Monday, May 28, 2007

Returning home from Alamosa via Salida on my first year anniversary of Riding

Sunny, with temps ranging from mid-40s to low 80s.

This time last year, I was finishing my second day of the MSF BRC course on a Honda 250 thumper. I racked up a total of 17,410 miles during my first year of riding a motorcycle, not too bad.

We got an early start out of Alamosa this morning, hitting the road by 0730 to hopefully avoid the expected high traffic conditions of everyone returning home from their long weekend. I tanked up at 0738hrs at a gas station where CO160 and US17 intersect.

Took US17 North, and let me tell ya, it's one straight and boring road. Sage brush is all you can see from one end of the valley to the other, that and the occasional small house or rusting decommissioned railcar being used for storage. The Sangre de Cristo mountain range borders the east side of the valley and I watched it roll past as I headed North to where US17 intersects with US285.

US17 ends and US285 picks up and you take it towards Poncha Springs, a few miles later is Salida which means Exit in Spanish. Kind of fitting since it's located at the end of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. To the NW are the Collegiate Peaks, very nice but too far away for me to get a good picture of Maria with them in the background. Besides, I was trying to make time. Little did I know.

So I stopped at a BK in Salida on US50 for coffee and a sandwich. I must have been there perhaps 20minutes taking a break. Usually don't take that long but managed to spill my first cup of joe all over the bench, so I had to get that cleaned up. By the time I got back on US50 heading East I ran into a traffic jam just outside town. Dammit. Sat there a few minutes, kept seeing more and more cars ahead of me u-turn and head back the way I had come. Not good.

Finally, decided to go with the flow and turned around, got on CO 291 heading NW and linking up with US285 again heading North, now towards Buena Vista. I turned off onto US24 and stayed on this rather straight but mildly scenic road all the way past Divide, Woodland Park and finally Colorado Springs and the I-25 Slab.

It had gotten quite warm by now, high 70s and sunny. I elected to ride on in spite of feeling quite warm with my jacket liner on. The traffic on northbound I-25 sucked, but moved. I stuck it out some more but the gas gauge telling me I was down to two bars decided things for me. I got off the Castlerock Founders Parkway exit and tanked up. 241.3 miles since Alamosa in five hours. Not too bad.

Doffed the liner, ahh....

25.9 miles later, after taking the back ways back home via Crowfoot Parkway to Parker and Inspiration Drive to Smoky Hill to home. What a trip, Maria did beautifully as usual and I spent the next hour or so cleaning up both the minivan and the motorcycle from their respective accumulation of dead bugs and their guts.

No comments: