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Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado on a Motorcycle (day 4)

Day four of the trip started with us hanging out and enjoying the view of the sun rising in the hills behind the animas river, which was right outside the front door of our little cabin.  It’s amazing how the sound of rushing water can really relax a person. As a matter of fact the sound of the Animas river helped me sleep like a baby the night before.

 

 

 

After hanging out for a bit we fired up the camp stove, heated up some water and had a extravagant breakfast of hot chocolate and fig newtons (that was pretty much all we had for food at the time).  Noah and I had a good laugh as we drank our hot chocolate from a couple of old orange “Maverik” drink cups that we had picked up almost 10 years ago on a prior road trip. The cups are by far the ugliest things you can imagine and are printed with a corny picture of a cowboy wearing a red hat with text underneath that reads “I’m a Maverik”

 

At around 8:30 we geared up and headed north on hwy 550 towards Silverton and Ouray.  We wanted to get an early start because the forecast called for early afternoon thunder showers. Our destination at the end of the day was Gunnison.

 

As we rode north on hwy 550 between Durango and Silverton we were in awe of the view. Around every curve in the road breathtaking scenery was revealed.

 

The stretch of hwy 550 between Durango and Ouray had 3 passes over 10,000 feet!

 

After about 30 miles or so we approached Silverton. The hwy at this point descends pretty quickly as you approach the town. In the video below you can just see Silverton appear off to the right in the valley below.

 

 

We headed into Silverton for a bit to check it out. I can’t imagine living here in the middle of winter as it has to be brutally cold and isolated.

 

After our pit stop in silverton we headed north towards Ouray where we once again ascended another 10,000+ foot mountain pass. The scenery and riding were incredible.

 

Noah spotted a dirt road veering off the hwy so we took a detour to check out the scenery.

 

 A few minutes later we hit the pavement again started our descent towards the town of Ouray.  The road at this point had frequent switchbacks and sheer drop offs which kept us on our toes.  There are also long sections of the highway that are carved into the mountain side, which means the adjacent rocky mountain faces shed bits of rock into the road. On many of the corners there were bits of rock debris so we took it really easy.

 

The 4 or 5 miles of hwy 550 just south of Ouray were absolutely insane (in a good way). The road hugs the side of a sheer mountain face and all along one side of the road is a vertical drop of a couple thousand feet.  It’s best for one to pay close attention on this section of road

 

A few minutes later we found ourselves in Ouray.

 

We stopped to grab some lunch at small cafe in the center of town.  As we ate lunch outside on the patio Noah noticed that there were rain clouds and thunderstorms quickly forming  just to the west of Ouray. In the few minutes it took to eat lunch, clouds formed and rain drops began to fall.  We didnt’ want to ride in thunderstorms so we geared up and headed north towards Montrose.

 

After reachng montrose we headed east on hwy 50 towards gunnison. As we ascended into the hills east of Montrose we could see some pretty intense rain falling  just to the north and west.  The outer bands of the storm hit us briefly about 30 miles outside of montrose but didn’t materialize into much more than a few drops here and there. For the next 30 mintes we rode in threatening skies but the rain didn’t reach us.

 

Just as we rolled into Gunnison we could see lightning to the south and then it started to rain. We rode around town for a bit in the rain looking for a place to stay but after finding out that the chain motels were charing $90+ for a room we rode back to the edge of town and grabbed a room for $60 at the Long Holiday Motel.  The motel turned out to be awesome.  The rooms were clean and recently remodeled and the very friendly owner puts out soft drinks, energy bars and snacks for visitors to eat (including coffee in the morning). When the owner saw that we rode in on motorcycles she assumed we were worn out and she gave us energy drink mix as well. If you are ever in Gunnison you owe it to yourself to try out the Long Holiday Motel.

 

While at the motel I became good friends with Romeo.. the owners pug.

 

We unpacked and relaxed in the room for a few hours before heading into town to get  some dinner. It’s now 7:00 PM and we have a busy night of lounging planned for the rest of the night.

Tomorrow we head east to hwy 24, where we will head north and loop through Aspen, and eventually over to Carbondale or Glenwood Springs… or maybe somewhere else.

Wanna watch a video of where we visited today?.. Well here you go.

1 comment to Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado on a Motorcycle (day 4)

  • Jim

    I took the trip from Durango to Silverton on the Train, which was amazing. Such beautiful country!

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