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Monday, July 03, 2006

Colorado Motorcycle Vacation: Day One

Our route for the day
Click on the map for a larger view

Our scheduled leave time from Estes Park wasn’t until 11:00 AM, so a few of us decided to get out for an early morning ride. I thought it was a good idea, so I could get used to riding with a new group before actually heading out on the highway.

We had a quick jaunt down the highway and after about an hour, we pulled off to look at the scenery. Turned off the bike, and took advantage of the photo op. We visited for a few moments. Okay, it’s time to go. Gear up, mount up, flip the starter….nothing.


I’m not freaked out…yet. “Hey guys”, I yell. “Hold up, I can’t start”.

Not freaked out...yet...but certainly unhappy. I just had the Harley serviced the week prior.

After the visual once over (yes, they asked me if I had my fuel on) and a short discussion, it appeared that there was an electrical issue….which meant the seat had to come off because the first thing to check is the battery.

Early morning ride--just before I discovered I can't go!


Normally, not a problem, except I knew that the luggage had to come off—including one saddlebag. All right…here we go.

I’m not happy because I’m thinking this is a sign of things to come. I quickly strip down the bike and get the seat off. I do give a moment of thanks for the tools I have on my bike!

Turns out that one of my battery terminals was loose! Thank goodness for a minor fix! Tightened it down, give the Fatboy a test start (success!!) and put everything back together. One of the riders gave me a compliment about wrenching my own bike.

His quote “you look like you know what you are doing”.

LOL…Of course!!

All right, once again…mount up and off we go.

We collect the rest of the gang and head out…next stop is lunch…at the edge of town.

Somewhere in the blog world I recall a group’s motto….ride to eat…eat to ride…LOL.

Lunch it is.

I get to sit down with everyone and learn a bit about the people I ride with. I find out that everyone lives in various parts of the country. Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. Some have been friends for many years and some (like me) were new invites. It was very interesting in getting to know my new friends!

With lunch dispensed with, it’s time to head out to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a nice and warm day…..but I know better. I think I wore my jacket more often than not!!

There were quite a few stops in the park and the scenery is spectacular!

One view down below...notice no snow??

Yes, there's snow in them thar hills!!

As you can see, it’s a bit cold—there’s snow still in the background. I’m thinking KT isn’t probably going to make it here anytime soon…we all know how she feels about riding in the cold!! Here’s our gang parked on the side of the road in one of our many stops!

Da Gang!!

The next stop in the park is the Forest Canyon Overlook. The images don’t do the overlook justice. We had quite the hike up to the overlook and trust me, I would have ridden the Fatboy up if there wasn’t a big sign that said “NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES” on the path. Well, I would have done it anyway except there were a million people already on the path so it wasn’t a good idea. Safety first, of course *grins*.

Part of Forest Canyon Overlook

Of course, I couldn’t resist putting the bike on the beginning of the path. The funny thing is that I got stuck and three people had to push me out…which I wouldn’t have had a problem with had I not been there to begin with! Oh the irony, the irony!!

On the path--but I got stuck getting OUT!!

Up at the top, the scenery is breathtaking! Breathtaking in more ways than one, apparently! Here’s Tim laying down on the park bench. He’s definitely feeling the lack of oxygen at this altitude!!

Poor Tim--the air is really thin up here!!

We couldn’t ride any of our motorcycles up to the overlook, so here’s a shot with yours truly in foreground. Yes, I was here!

At Forest Canyon Overlook

The stop couldn’t have been without silliness. Somewhere along the line, I started standing up on top of “stuff” so the gang started shooting images with me on top of “something”. Well, if I can’t be on top of my motorcycle, then hey…I’ll take it *wink*!!!

The Rainbow Wahine on the park bench

Steve and Me on the "big" rock

Enough of the’s time to go. We finish the ride in the park and head out. We head out Hwy 40 to I-70….time to go through the Eisenhower Tunnel. The Eisenhower’s claim to fame is that it is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world! At almost 1.7 miles in length and at an elevation of over 11,000 feet, I’m thinking this is too cool. This is my first trip through the tunnel in any shape or form.

Photo courtesy of Colorado DOT

Getting off at US 6 and then Hwy 1 on to Breckenridge was a short ride. We didn’t have any more stops…it was getting late in the day and we were eager to get to our accommodations. Or at least we thought we did!!

The stop for the night was the Wayside Inn. You know, John is a big believer in staying at local accommodations for the “ambiance”. However, this was too much! I think the group was in agreement: we don’t wanna stay here ever again!! LOL…

It’s all good…it was one night, but boy, did we sure complain about it. John, in his defense, quipped that we all now appreciated our everyday accommodations. Yeah, right, John!

Our stop for the night allowed us to dine in Breckenridge. One of my fellow Mountain Shadow Rider homies was in town for the weekend so I invited her party to join us. Well, I *had* to prove that I wasn’t riding with some crazies…

Well, they were crazy…but I was safe!

Dinner over, a spot of shopping done and we headed back to our digs. It was a full day, indeed.

Mileage: 150+…we had a few turn offs and track backs *smile*.

Until tomorrow…

Keep the Shiny Side Up!

~The Rainbow Wahine


Beaker said...

Keep those pix coming Christine - absolutely spectacular scenery and a good story as well!!

Vinod said...

Great pics!! Wow...those snow capped mountains are an awesome sight.

ellopez said...

Very proud of the way the way you tackled your electrical problem. You truly are a "real biker".
Fine-tastic tales and photos of life on the road. Dont' stop.