Squeezing in a quick motorcycle trip between family/social activities, I headed for Steamboat Springs, Co, and one of my favorite loop-trip rides. I like to start from Fort Collins, riding along Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road (the highest paved road in the USA, reaching over 12,000 ft at its apex), down to Grand Lake, Kremmling and Steamboat. With stops for mountain vista and elk viewing, bio breaks, lunch, etc it’s a 6 hour ride, although Google maps suggests that if you just power through, it should only take about 4 hours (party poopers). The return trip will be through Walden, Co and down the beautiful Poudre Canyon, back to our Ft Collins abode.
Massive bull elk were EVERYWHERE along the road! Attracting hordes of photo snapping tourists and creating logjams of autos that kept the frustrated park personnel, very busy indeed! One lonely moose created his own independent traffic hazard. A poor marmot was found walking along the road looking a bit confused, but overall, despite the hordes of Nebraskans, Kansans, Texans and (yes, I’m sorry to say) Coloradoans, the day was gloriously sunny and the mountain air was refreshing and cool (56 degrees at 12,000 ft).
The ride from Grand Lake to Kremmling was gusty, with unpredictable crosswinds! Not as bad as some previous trips, but requiring full concentration and both hands on the grips. The occasional gust would lay the bike over about 15 degrees, but she righted herself easily and tracked reliably down the windy, 2 lane highway 40.
Arriving in Steamboat at 5:15 pm, I shared the pics of our Eastern Europe Trip with my Polish Innkeepers at the Nordic Inn of Steamboat Springs, ate my picnic dinner (which Sally so thoughtfully packed) and turned in. Tomorrow brings a beautiful ride North along the Elk River, a loop hike from Pearl Lake and more adventures, no doubt!