Monday, September 17, 2007

Bonneville Excursion 9/16/07 - To Burlington, CO - ride, ride, ride...sleep

Looking at our map we determined that we'd lost a lot of time on Saturday getting the battery for the Honda, and that today we'd have to really make up for it, or else run the risk of dragging our sorry, exhausted behinds into town on Tuesday night at midnight and then trying to get up and go to work the next day.

We were up from the Holiday Inn in Heber City at 7:30am, and on the road about an hour later. We chose a route recommended by my boss, herself an avid BMW rider. It wound us east on US40 across Utah just into Colorado where we took US64 down to US13 which finally put us on familiar pavement, if by name only - I70.

The morning's ride was great. My boss' route took us through some fabulous scenery as promised, though it was very chilly this morning. I took the shots below when Andrew finally pulled past me and signaled for the shoulder. He was too cold to go further without more insulation. I agreed, and added a long undershirt, my heavy gloves, and the insulating liner for my riding jacket.

We're much happier when we're warm! Even though it looks nice out, the wind was far too cold for comfort. It turned out that the day would never warm up enough for us to remove any layers. In fact, we would add more!

Round about 2:30pm we stopped for gas and lunch in Rifle, CO. Don't you love the name of the convenience store? There's something very wrong with that. I feel vaguely dirty for even having been in the parking lot. I kept looking for a little sign that said, "Adult novelties" or something. Who came up with that name???

Lunch in Rifle turned out to be the last time we would see the sun for the rest of the day. The bar and grille we ate at had the Denver game on (we were headed directly that way), and they suspended the game as we watched due to thunderstorms. How awesome - riding through thunderstorms.

When we were done eating we got ready for rain riding. I covered up all of my non-waterproof bags, and put the stuff inside my hard cases in garbage bags. Thirty-year-old BMW luggage just doesn't seal up like when it was new. I cope. I got out my rain jacket, but strapped it to the luggage to put on later in case real rain fell. It's too hot to wear when it's sunny out.

About twenty minutes later I got the "opportunity" to put on my rain jacket. Nifty. We had to pull over at a gas station, as we basically rounded a bend and realized we were about to hit something more than occasional sprinkles. We would roll in and out of various degrees of rain the rest of the day.

At least we were finally on I70. That little bit of familiarity helped, as did the knowledge that we wouldn't have to figure our route out anymore the rest of the trip, it would just be, get up, head east, and go.

I wanted to stop and take at least one or two other pictures, but the morning whipped by rather quickly, and the afternoon weather was so spotty I didn't want to get out the camera. Heck, in Vail we got so high up that we were freezing, and when we stopped for gas I put on my long underwear bottoms. We both had frozen hands. There was one picture I wish I'd stopped for in the morning. It was in Dinosaur, Colorado, and it was for a church. It said, "Dinosaur Baptist Church" hand-lettered with white letters on a brown plank sign. THAT was a missed opportunity. I wish I could have seen what a Baptist church for dinosaurs looked like - probably really high ceilings, I bet.

It was more riding and more riding the rest of the day. We stopped only for gas, and said stops were as quick as possible. We would check the map and continue on. Kansas wasn't getting close fast enough. We got into Denver a little later than I'd hoped, and we just kept on going straight through town as dusk turned to dark.

Finally, at a gas stop around Bennett, CO, we decided that we'd continue on to Burlington, which is not too far from the state line, and see if we felt like going further (in the photos you can see us puffed up in our extra ten pounds of insulated clothing and rain gear. Yeehaw.). About thirty minutes later we pulled off for Burlington, with me thinking it was time to stop, and Andrew gets pulled over by a cop for having a taillight with low visibility (it's a vintage style taillight that, well, it's just not very bright). He didn't get a ticket, but was told to replace it. This was definitely a sign that it was time to quit for the night, so with 640 miles clocked on the odo, we hit the Comfort Inn down the street, and called it a day.

Upon checking Google Maps in the hotel, we were thrilled to see we'd put a big dent in the trip. We can do about ten hours of riding tomorrow, and maybe eight on Tuesday, which should put us in Indy by around 6pm or so that day. This is what we've figured. If all goes well. If!



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