Monday, June 25, 2018

Nearly perfect! page 1

Bev and I host an annual Couples ride and the date has finally arrived.

We leave Salt Lake Valley on June 20th and after 273 miles we arrive at La Sal, Utah where we stay at the Mt Peale Animal Sanctuary. They rent on site cabins and rooms to pay for the sanctuary's expenses.
They have 4 cabins, and a few rooms in the main house.
We book all the cabins for our group of 10.
They have some funky colored lights on the front of the cabins that made some nice reflections on the bikes.
As we sat and renewed 30 year friendships, several deer passed very close to the portico. 
It is very quiet, peaceful and enjoyable at the Mt Peale animal sanctuary, nearly perfect!

Thursday we depart the Mt Peale cabins and are on the road eastbound, we breakfast in Naturita and then ride to Mesa Verde National Park.
Sadly we didn't have time to take one of the tours and walk into the ruins area. But we did have a good time riding through the park and stopped to look across the hollow to one of the larger ruins.

We overnight in Durango, Colorado, after 236 miles. The Durango area was on fire a few weeks ago, the 550 was closed for a period of time, and I'm told the smoke was extremely thick, but as you can see the skies were blue for our visit..a huge rainstorm and tireless work by the firefighting crews saved the day!
There were NUMEROUS signs posted thanking the firefighters for their efforts.

We took picture after picture of whole mountain sides that had been burnt.

Continuing up the 550: I've ridden this road several times, and this was the least congested I've ever seen it. I think many travelers must have cancelled their plans due to the fires and smoke. What was unfortunate for business owners, was a fortunate turn for us as every area we visited on this trip was relatively uncrowded. The small number of other vehicles we had to share the road with made this squiggly line nearly perfect!

Beauty on the top of the mountain!
Julie, Beverly, Christine, Jan, Wendy.

On the other hand....
Rooster, Your's truly, Harry, Brent, Ken.

The Million Dollar Highway is a bit twisty.
It winds over three passes the tallest being the Red Mountain Pass at 11,018 feet.

After the Million Dollar Hwy we have a good lunch in Montrose after which we make our way to the Grand Mesa Scenic byway. Another SUPER road.
Its not everyday you see a purple dinosaur...but apparently this one is a bit of an introvert, as soon as I rode up and said, "hi" it looked the other way and turned a shade deeper purple on its face.....I think it was a Shy-asourus...

We spend the night in Mesa at the Wagon Wheel cafe/bar/hotel. It was karaoke night at the bar and our group........snored the night away. 

Next morning we are on our way to Dutch John Utah our final stop for this trip. 
We made a rest and fuel stop in Palisade, Colorado, where we saw "Rusty's dream"....

....and maybe Rusty's bigger, wilder brother on Main Street....

....and spent a very relaxing, restful hour-ish in Palisades artsy Town Square.

I ran into Dobby in the Palisade library: when I mentioned we were on the group ride he said, "Such a beautiful place it is, to be with friends".

Then we continued on to Dutch John, Utah. But on the way we .........(see page 2)...

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