Saturday 12th September
After getting up early for a walk up the hill, I set about replacing my tube while Ed was still asleep. I soon regretted riding on it that bit further, as there was now slime absolutely everywhere, it was a right mess.
The tyre was full of it, and I scraped it out the best I could and cleaned it with what little water I had left. Ed eventually woke up around 9.30am, and I got him to put the tyre back on for me. We use our tent pegs for tube and tyre changes, and aware that they’re bendy and pointy and not wanting to put a hole in the tube I thought it best to leave it to the professional.
It was a beautiful clear sunny day without a cloud in the sky, and we finally got on the road around 11am. It was really easy terrain to ride on with hills all around us, and as we rode past a ranch we spotted some Cowboys lassoing some cows! Like actual cowboys, using actual lassoes, on actual cows!
This was very exciting for us, being from England and all. It was really cool but it looked like a hard fall for the poor cows. Curiosity got the better of Ed and he went off to ask what they were doing, and found out that some of the cows had foot rot so they were giving them antibiotics.
Ed came back and then a guy in a truck pulled up next to us, chewing on a piece of straw! An actual cowboy, chewing actual straw! Amazing.
His name was Rob and it was his family’s land. He invited us back to get some water, and after offering us fuel which we kindly declined as we didn’t need any, he gave us a bottle of Stella each.
As fizzy things in glass bottles don’t last too well on motorcycles off road, and seeing as it was after 12pm, we decided to sit and have it there in the sun. He didn’t mind at all, and even invited us for lunch if we were still there when he got back. I’m not a big drinker anymore but I have to say that that bottle of Stella went down incredibly well, and after chatting for an hour or so we happily went on our way, a little bit merry.
As we continued on through valleys and forests, and past mountains and hills, I soon discovered a problem with Colorado; It’s so beautiful that you want to stop and take photos every 30 seconds or around every corner.
The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, especially with the leaves starting to turn. Different shades of yellow and green covered the hillsides, with the odd bit of orange and red thrown in for good measure.
It reminded us both of Alaska, and looked exactly like it did for us a year ago when we were there.
In need of fuel and food we decided to take a small detour to Lake City, which was a beautiful ride down to a town full of character.
Nestled in the heart of the San Juan mountain range it was a cool little town, and I enjoyed riding up and down the streets, soon settling on a pub for a late lunch.
After chatting to some other lovely bikers we left quite late, and despite starting to ride up the road to Cinnamon Pass, my gut instinct was telling me to wait until tomorrow.
If we didn’t get up and over it in time before darkness fell we would be camping in high elevation, and aware that we only had summer sleeping bags I wasn’t really up for freezing, so we went back and found a campsite for the night. I’ve learnt to listen to my gut instinct, and although I know it annoys Ed sometimes, it more often than not turns out to be a good call.