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Dan Hughes

Tuesday June 1, Monte Vista CO to Canon City CO

Another glorious day moto road touring in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

I have found a gold mine of wonderful roads and scenery here in the Southeastern corner of Colorado. West if I-25, of course. I-25 forms the Western boundary of The Great Flats Barrier, and you don’t cross over the boundary until you’re ready to accept the challenge and conquer The Flats once again.

I left Monte Vista on the big road US 160 heading East. The first objective road for today was CO 12 which runs by the Western edge of the Spanish Peaks mountains. And there are lots of mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation around these parts. US 160 gets to be very nice East of Fort Garland, especially over La Veta pass, and almost to the intersection with CO 12.

I rode CO 12 to Trinidad. What a beautiful ride and a great road. I have some photos, maybe one of them is good enough to share. The best place to stop was at Cucharas Pass, and that’s what I did. I startled a coyote when I walked off the road to take some photos.

As usual in these parts, if you leave the hot flat straight-roads semi-arid plain and go up into the cool twisty road mountains, you’ll have to come down again. So I did. But it was a great ride and beautiful scenery up there. And much cooler, too. About 10 F cooler than on the plains.

I had to take the dreaded I-State to get to the next road objective, CO 69 out of Walsenburg. I’ve been on this road one time before while I worked at Los Alamos. I recall that it’s another wonder ride and plan on checking it out.

Maybe half the road to Westcliffe, the Eastern end of the road, goes through a very wide valley. It windy here this afternoon, but not stop-riding bad. Past Gardner the road starts to run parallel to the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The road is up on the slope of the Eastern side of the valley and the mountains form the Western side of the valley. It a beautiful sight for miles and miles and miles and smiles. Probably for 15 to 20 miles beyond where I turn off to check out CO 96.

Almost right out of Westcliffe, CO 96 starts to head down out of the high valley. And not long after that the road is in a very narrow, twisty canyon. Wonderful riding. Later the road runs through the Wet Mountains. And soon after that the temperature starts to increase and all too soon, it’s 22 F higher here than when I left Westcliffe and ultimately here in Canon City the temperature is 25 F higher. Hard to believe.

What a great moto road touring day.

There are a couple other roads that I’ll try to get to starting tomorrow.

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June 1, 2010 - Posted by | moto touring |

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