It was an early start to the day—we had quite a few miles and stops! Besides, I think everyone was ready to get out of The Wayside Inn. Unbeknownst to me, I discovered that the various crew was in and out our room while I was in the shower so most everyone got to hear me singing in the shower. Talk about embarrassed!
We had a lovely breakfast! However, that is when I discovered one team was not going on. Evidently one member had gotten altitude sickness and decided not to ride any more of the passes—which there were quite a few to. Can’t say that I blame them; I remember how tough it was to adjust when I first moved here. I was sorry to see them go.
Our group picture above is all of us; we said our good byes and then got on the road. I was asked to lead the group since I had ridden this particular stretch of road. Uhhhh…okay *grins*. Do they know I’m also known as the lost girl?? It is all good, however, I *do* know where I’m going….
On to Leadville! The claim to fame with Leadville is that it is the highest incorporated “city” in North America. Sitting at 10,430 feet, Leadville has, on average, 310 days of sunshine. Temperatures rarely get over 80 degrees. Of course, again—I’m thinking of the cold days…..brrrrrr!!! It is a great little town!
Why I didn’t get any photos in Leadville, I have no clue. I suspect it was because I was more interested in getting coffee to warm up! However, I will give thanks to Donna for shooting images on the ride up! I have a rare photo of me riding my Harley…which makes actual proof that I can actually ride the machine…LOL!! And of our group of bikes as well!!
Coffee in, we head out to Twin Lakes. I’ve never been to Twin Lakes before and that was where the handoff of the lead was to occur since I’ve never ridden State Highway 82. Twin Lakes are two natural formed lakes and a beautiful stop! Sigh. Can it get more beautiful?
Come to find out, yes, it can. I give up the lead to John as we head up Independence Pass. This pass in only open for a short time—and just opened up for the year after Memorial Day. It is a spectacular motorcycle ride (or for any vehicle for that matter)—and not for the faint of heart. As for most Colorado passes, there are no guardrails. Yes, the side of the mountain to a straight down plummet is scary! There are guardrails for a simple reason…the guardrails hold snow accumulation therefore no guardrails=no accumulation. At least that’s how it was explained to me! I’m not going to argue the fact since I have no basis for a counter point!! The scenery is amazing!
The fun part is that I get to do it again in the Pike’s Peak Harley Davidson HOG 5-in-1 on the 15th! Whoooooo hoooooooo!!! This time I’ll be riding wing—so I’ll be in the outside lane!! Yikes!!
Stopping at the summit is photo op time—and I do snap some of the beauty of the area. John somehow manages to sneak one in of me taking pics too!
One highlight was the Indian who was hawking silver jewelry at the site. Yeah, he made off like a bandit when we discovered that making a “bulk” purchase would save money…..You know how it is…can’t…resist….a…….bargain!! LOL!!! Besides, this guy had the right idea....he was the only person up on the pass selling "something". Ohhh..now his secret is out *grins*
And what has come to be a "required" shot...I am on top of something....
Shopping and photos done, we continue down to Aspen. It is a nice town—except I found that it was way too expensive for my tastes. Aspen was THE most expensive stop for fuel I’ve ever seen—at $3.90 for premium….OUCH!! That and a sweater store I stopped in had a big sale—70% off was my type of bargain—until I saw that 70% off a $390 sweater was STILL TOO MUCH! LOL! I passed on that one, for sure!!
Aspen was our lunch stop and we had a wonderful lunch at the Cantina. We talked about Independence Pass and the riding to date as well as the fun at the Wayside Inn. Yeah, going from the awfulness of the Wayside to Aspen was a heck of a swing from one extreme to another!! A couple hours of “shopping” (okay, window looking as a result of sticker shock)….and we are back on the road. I took one shot in Aspen—of the setup from the Jazz Fest that was going on that weekend.
We got in early enough for an opportunity for an afternoon ride—and while everyone wanted to rest—I wanted to set out on my own for a bit. I’m glad I did. I had no particular destination in mind except for “that a way” and that a way I went. I ended up at the White River National Forest.
On the way up to White River National Forest
While the area is still mountainous, I was reminded more of Hawaii than Colorado. I have a few photo stops. My friends asked me why I chose this ride...I didn’t. I had about three hours to burn and I took a road out one way for an hour and 15 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes back. Works for me *wink*.
I had to get back—in time for a visit for the hot springs. Now, that was an interesting visit if anything. Glenwood Springs boasts the World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool and it is truly a sight to see. Using 3.5 million gallons of hot spring water per day…yes, it is a “hot” spring! My dilemma: well, for one….my only transportation was my motorcycle and this was a pool. Did I want to drag another bag around? Not really.
So I broke every cardinal rule of riding. I won’t say much…just post the pic and you can see for yourself. Thanks to Brenda for shooting the image…and no, while I am not an advocate for riding down the road in my bathing suit and Birkenstocks (i.e., no safety gear)….I can say that it’s a once in a lifetime happening…LOL.. Don't try this at home, folks...
The hot springs was great…I would still be there cooking today if I hadn’t the rest of the trip. It’s marvelous and I was certainly ready for bed after that soak!!
At least now, you are getting the idea as to why I’m not posting after each day’s ride! The trip to the land of Nod was much more appealing!!
Keep the Shiny Side Up!
~The Rainbow Wahine