Sonntag, 12. Oktober 2008

Sunday 12th October: River deep- mountain high ! Up the Colorado-River towards the-3400m-minus-5-Celsius-Snow+Ice-Million Dollar Highway

Last two days coldfront left back a dramatic temperature drop, that we get well aware crawling out of the tents in the morning. Rick and me planning to get on the Million Dollar Highway, which in fact means the twelve miles south of Ouray through theUncompahgre River Gorge up to the summit of Red Mountain Pass .

Allegedly the stretch through the gorge is said to be characterized by steep cliffs and the lack of guardrails with some of the reports sounding rather dramatic and dangerous, as we expect some hairraising steep droppoffs on the way. Expecting at least some snow and ice from the rainy thunderstorm of the last night we really think whether to take the road up there or not.

Despite the cold we have a warm and wonderful goodbye with Barbara and Dan Mclaren from Victoria in Canada - what wonderful people we are allowesd to meet on our trips - once more giving us the feeling of unique hospitality and meeting some big and special bikers hearts ! If I could only once join all these wonderful people at home for a magic ride :-) !!

Rick and me take off Northeast along the simply wild and wonderful Colorado Rivervalley.
The valley taking us upstream through a stunning canyon landscape again the ride is magic.
It´s these kind of roads that make you think they werebuilt by bikers for bikers.
Not raping the landscape but following and adapting to it- with endless little and sometimes hilly bends alongside the river rather than straightening the whole road to make it look smooth.
As cold as it may be - we keep surfing throug this Treasure Island, passing rafts on the Colorado as well as painters alongside the road, who are simply fascinated of all the reddish and brown colours before the big blue skies.
Getting through ghosttownlike little Cisco Highway 70 takes us southeast via Grand Junction into Highway 50 up to Montrose.
Thats where two things start : Highway 550 south and a skyclimb up to almost 3400 meters. sunny as it may be temperature keeps dropping down to minus 5 degrees celsius while we pass Coal Bank Pass 3243 m, Molas Pass 3343 m and Red Mountain Pass 3358 m into the historical mining town Silverton - where we really get off the bikes with freezing cold fingers.

Despite all hazardous stories abut the risks on the passes we both cannot detect anything especialy dangerous - besides some loose gravel and a few icy patches on the road.
We end a stunning ride after 400 kms in Durango - tomorrow will take us into the Mesa Verde Nationalpark - from where Rick will carry on south bound into Mexico and me southeast into Santa Fe (New Mexico), Texas and Oklahoma.
One-Million-Dollar-Highway 55One-Million-Dollar-Highway 55
Downtown Silverton
Downtown Silverton

Colorado River Valley
Colorado River Valley

Good nite from Baba
( who is slowly melting after the coldest day in the Ride-of-change -so far)