Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Colors Uraling, Last Day

Monday, 28SEP15

I woke to somewhat "brisk" temperatures in the Gunnison, CO area.  The temperature on Scarlett said 34°F(1°C), and it was a motivator to get moving fast to get everything packed on and hitting the road with fleece jacket and liner under my riding jacket!

Sunrise at the Blue Mesa Reservoir

The "supermoon" hanging above the reservoir at dawn

I had breakfast 20 miles away in Gunnison at a McDonald's restaurant where although their wifi Internet access was working, it seemed "throttled" for picture uploads which is why I am writing this posting a day later.

A brief stop to look west while on US50 heading for the summit
of Monarch Pass.

Shortly after the above picture, I came to one of the usual stopping points for pictures.  There's a rock ledge of sorts that protrudes quite a way out into emptiness with a long drop down to the valley below.

I set up the tripod and using the remote control app for my Sony A5000 and my iphone app, I positioned myself sitting on the ledge for a picture:

Doesn't look too bad right?  Here's what the ledge looks like from a wider angle where the tripod was set up:

It's a long way down to those pine trees below....

I don't have a fear of heights, but I do have a healthy respect for heights.  Here's a view of the ledge as one is walking out onto it.  I am not ashamed to admit that I only walked out part of the way before "caution" stopped me.  It was all I could do, to slowly sit down with my feet hanging in space, to pose for the picture.

Let's just say I didn't spend a long time sitting on the ledge afterwards.

The Ledge

Scarlett and I continued upwards to the summit of Monarch Pass and she posed with the distant mountain peaks:

Near the summit of Monarch Pass

We rode down to Salida on US50 with no incidents until we were twisting and turning along the curvy road that borders the river between Salida and Cañon City.  There was construction at one point and traffic had come to a stop as the two lane highway became a one lane road.

I'd been watching this 40ft RV in my rear view mirror thinking he was going pretty fast even though he was far enough behind me.  Sure enough, I had come to a stop after a curve (there had been signs saying: Construction! Prepare to Stop and so on before the point I had stopped behind a line of cars).

I was watching my rear view mirrors and as I feared, saw this monster RV whip around the curve that was hiding me and the line of cars in front of me.  He slams on the brakes and starts veering to his left to avoid collision, and I had already started moving the rig with "elan" onto the shoulder!  The idiot stopped less than ten feet from where Scarlett and I had been sitting while on the road.  Always, leave yourself room to maneuver around the car in front of you when possible.

I looked at this idiot, he didn't even have the grace to look ashamed.  Once traffic started moving again, I made sure to stop and let him get far ahead of me while I took a picture of this huge bronze Buffalo I saw next to a sign advertising taxidermy services:

Later on, I caught up with the idiot from Montana in his 40 foot Phaeton RV in Cañon City.  I pulled up next to him at a stop light and he would steadfastly refuse to look in my direction.

Note: Skyline Drive was closed due to maintenance so no pics from that scenic bit of road.

The rest of the ride home was via CO 115 to Colorado Springs and from there used the I-25 Superslab to get home by 2:30 PM.  Started the 25,000 Kilometer maintenance services on Scarlett right then and there by changing out all her fluids to include the oil filter.  There rest of the services will be done this week between work stuff.

The temperature soared to the mid-80s by the end of the ride, a temperature change of over 50 degrees Farenheit!

Scarlett, I'm happy to report, performed marvelously during this four day trip.  1574 Kilometers or almost 945 miles covered in the four day's worth of riding both pavement and dirt trails.


RichardM said...

Even though I'm not a real fan of more regulation, maybe it would be a good ideal to require a Class A certificate before driving those huge RVs. I believe that some states already do require some sort of additional certification. Doesn't help with stupidity but it may be one more barrier.

Beautiful sunrise photos. Thanks for suffering through the 34°F temperatures to get them!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks RichardM, though I know to you 34F is a heat wave right now. However when one's bladder says get up, one gets up....cold or no cold. :)

Trobairitz said...

Wow, the remote works from a ways away to take the pictures. Very cool perched on the ledge.

As for the lumbering brontosaurus driver....we always make sure to watch our 6. I am always surprised when I see riders get within a foot of the vehicle in front of them when stopping and they leave no escape route. Always leave an escape route.

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, thanks for the comments. Always having escape room is key, I see motorcycle riders stop too close to the bumper of car in front of them at lights and know they don't have safety training or safety mindset.

SonjaM said...

There is no way you'd made me sit where you posed for the picture... well done.

I find it unbelievable that you don't (have to) take a test for driving big rig RV's. These are big like trucks and truck drivers have to have special training as far as I know. Glad you could avoid contact.

redlegsrides said...

Hi SonjaM

I have no idea if there's special tests for 40ft vehicle licenses. My guess, idiot driver. For which no test or amount of regulation will cure. You have to be alert and assume all others are trying to kill you, that's all.

As to the ledge....that was a bit unnerving.

Learning to Golf said...

Great pictures as usual. Thankful that you were aware of your surroundings, as we should all be, even though that rig driver wasn't. Not surprised he refused to acknowledge you because that would be admitting he was an idiot and that he saw you earlier.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks, AZ HD....hopefully its a good reminder.