The blog title is a quote from a mountain man in one of my favorite movies, Jeremiah Johnson. When we left our hotel in Estes Park, we headed over to the Stanley Hotel to take a couple pictures there, It's a beautiful old hotel and was the site of the filming of The Shining. The view from the hotel is gorgeous.
Our mission for the day was to ride through Rocky Mountain National Park westbound and then ride south on the western side of the mountains to the town of Salida, CO. I'd been telling Jim that Rocky Mountain National Park was just spectacular and it didn't disappoint. He loved it. Everywhere you look the views are of majestic snow capped mountains. It's a good thing that everyone who is driving through there are happy to go the slow speed limit because the road is extremely windy and everyone is ogling the views, including us. While riding we saw a group of elk just off the road, but there was nowhere to pull over, so we didn't get a photo. The road started climbing and climbing until we reached an elevation of 12,500 ft. This elevation's eco system
is called Alpine Tundra and not much can grow up at that height. There was a snack shop/souvenir shop up there about two thirds of the way through the park. We stopped there and both of us were woozy from the thin atmosphere up there. Fortunately, it didn't effect our riding ability at those slow speeds. We picked up a couple souvenirs and threw some snow balls. We continued toward the west entrance and right outside of the park is Grand Lake which is beautiful.
After leaving there we started our ride toward Salida. About two thirds of the route we took was right through the mountains with plenty of curves and switchbacks. By the time we stopped at the little town of Empire on Route 40 we were pretty beat already and probably had 90 miles to go. We gassed up and ate lunch at a little café there. This was just before we would get on I-70 for about 15 miles. That short stretch was a bit adventurous with one semi burning his brakes on the down slope and another stopped right in the right lane which we had to go around. Fortunately when we
exited and got on CO 91, it was a bit less curvy and eventually the roads straightened out to Salida, none too soon for our weary bones. When we go to our motel, we were totally worn out. Riding through the mountains is exhausting and nerve wracking at times, along with beautiful.
As I write this, it's Sunday morning and this is the day we part company, with Jim heading home to Arkansas. I decided last night that it was time for a day of rest after 6 days on the road. Time to wash clothes and catch up on some other errands. Jim got a pretty early start and headed east on US 50. He'll need three days to make it home from here at our usual pace of about 300 miles per day. Safe travels.
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