Jul 30, 2010

Photo Trip Report

This trip was all about Wolf. The whole point was to take him on a tour of places he'd never been and to enjoy being with him on the ride. So, there wasn't much of a trip report accompanying this adventure.

The map (at right) describes two routes: the one we planned (purple) and the one we took (red). Garmin's Mapquest software says we travelled 3400 miles. My GPS and odometer put the trip at closer to 3600 miles. Our original route was 4100 miles and included New Mexico and Arizona.

Obviously, we bypassed some of the adventure we'd planned; in favor of ease and comfort. Wolfe is a Minnesota kid and he isn't fond of heat. After a few days of cooking in 100+F South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah heat, he decided he wasn't all that interested in the Grand Canyon. So, that changed the western edge of our route. Once we passed Grand Junction, CO, I decided I wanted to see more of the western edge of CO. That was a terrific move.

We took a couple of days at Mesa Verde and Durango, which meant we wouldn't be doing New Mexico. That allowed us to head for Marble, CO via the scenic route I've never looped the Black Canyon and that was more than worth the effort. We spent a half day in Marble, another good move. We took Independence Pass through Aspen on our way to Buena Vista, something I've never been able to do; mostly because the pass always seemed to be closed when I lived in CO. That was a great move. We blew almost a whole day in Buena Vista, rafting the Arkansas. We split Buena Vista mid-afternoon, early enough to ride to the top of Pikes Peak. Always a great move.

We loafed for two days in Manitou Springs and Denver. Wolf had dinner at South Park's infamous Casa Bonita. We split Denver late afternoon Friday in the middle of Denver's rush hour and made it a dinky 150 miles to Sterling for the night. The next day, we cut out of Sterling at 5AM and diagonal'd Nebraska to make good time while seeing the sandhills, the grasslands, and Ashfall Fossil Park. After that, we just hammered out a way home, 850 miles total on Saturday.

We made it back about 10:30PM and neither of us went straight to bed. We had a great, safe trip and it was one of the most fun mini-adventures of my life. I hope we get to do a few more of these.


  1. Whew! Thanks for that. I love maps.


  2. Some good photos. What gear were you two wearing in 100+ degrees? Mesh?

  3. No mesh for macho Minnesotans. I'm in a Darian and Wolf is in a Tourmaster suit. Lots of vents, plenty of water (outside and in) and keep moving. That works in low humidity. I don't have a cure for this place when it's hot.

  4. The curse of too many pieces of riding gear is choice! When I did my big trip last year, I only had one coat and pants. Easy to decide. Now I have three coats and pants. I am very partial to my tourmaster setup, but am anxious about the temp/humidity combo of the deep south in August. The vents work well indeed as long as you're moving. The tourmaster is also more versatile for when the weather changes than just mesh.

  5. I don't have a lot of waterproof alternatives. We didn't really get rained on this trip, so I could have done the ride with my perforated pants and light weight jacket, but I don't like carrying extra, unnecessary gear. We packed everything we needed for a two week ride in the 3 cases, including camping gear. The cases were loaded as it was.

    Wolf only has the Tourmaster suit. We bought it at Bob's just a couple of days before we took off. I considered a 'stich for him, but I couldn't get him to settle down and start planning for the trip until a day before we left. Damn kids.

    As it was, we had some moderately cold points, especially at the 12-14k peaks and passes. I was, honestly, comfortable more often than not in the Darian. Wolf hated being hot in or out of the suit. He got used to it, though.


Disagree? Bring it on. Have more to add? Feel free to set me straight. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn't do a great job of figuring out which Anonymous commenters are actually real people, not Russians or Chinese bots. I'm pretty ruthless about spam-labeling anonymous posts. If you have something worth saying, you shouldn't be afraid of using your ID.