Bill and Pete at Top Of The Rockies 2011 and 100,000 Foot Ride
( With camping in between. )

Bill's Summer Vacation: 14 days - 3,600 miles - 1 pair of boots
  • Day 1 - Ride to Denver
  • Day 2 - Final Preparation
  • Day 3 - Ride to Paonia and set up camp at 2011 BMW TOTR Rally
  • Day 4 - Relocate camp to a quiet area, find high school and showers
  • Day 5 - Ride to Land's End, Grand Mesa, Grand Juction
  • Day 6 - Ride to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Montrose
  • Day 7 - End of the Rally, Ride the long way to Ridgway State Park, set up camp
  • Day 8 - Ride the Million Dollar Highway, both ways
  • Day 9 - Ride to Telluride, Dolores, The Galloping Goose
  • Day 10 - Ride to Durango, Pagosa Springs, Lake City, and Gunnison, sleep in a real building
  • Day 11 - Ride to Denver
  • Day 12 - Day of rest, family BBQ
  • Day 13 - BMW 100,000 Foot Ride
  • Day 14 - Ride Home



Day 0 - Prepare to leave

Packed up the RT.
Filled the tires.
Added some oil.
Filled camelback bladder in tank bag with Gatorade & water.
Ready to roll.



Day 1 - Ride to Denver

I got up at 3am to beat the heat of the day.

Went to the local gas station to top off, when I found the tube came off the Camelback, filling my tank bag with Gatorade and water, ruining about half the stuff in there. Spent 20 minutes or so cleaning up.

The rest of the day was uneventful, and I got to Denver in 9-10 hours.

The beaded seat cover was NOT a massager, no matter what they say. It it is a bunch of pieces of lumpy wood that I sat on for half a day. It spent the remainder of my vacation in the saddlebag. Anyone want a beaded seat cover?





Day 2 - Final Preparation

We hauled out and compared the food, stoves, pots, and made plans on who was going to bring what. Then I repacked my bike, and Pete packed his.

We feasted on the 4 macaroons that I had brought.



Day 3 - Ride to Paonia and set up camp at 2011 BMW TOTR Rally

OK, so we didn't leave so early, maybe 9am.

We went to the gas station where I removed the tank bag to fuel my bike, then went looking for the bathroom that did not exist.

Off we went. Going down I-70 at 60 MPH or so, I noticed something flapping behind me. I turned and saw my tank bag barely holding onto my luggage. I had forgot to replace it after fueling. Just as I slowed down and changed lanes toward the shoulder, it flew off and rolled down the highway on its own. After much trial and tribulations I dodged some traffic and got it back. Some plastic was worn off and a few rubber feet were missing, my the rest was AOK.
It was beginning to look like one disaster per day for me.




We got to the rally site 1 and 1/2 hours before anyone was supposed
to set up their tents. There were maybe 50-75 already up. We set up camp,
and walked around. That night the next tent over was full of drunks carrying
on into the morning hours. Arrrgh !



Day 4 - Relocate camp to a quiet area, find high school and showers

The next day, we found the "quiet camping" area a few blocks away at the elementary school. We broke down camp and moved. Then we found the high school where we could shower and do some sink-laundry.

That night the first band played.

The place was filling up.



Day 5 - Ride to Land's End, Grand Mesa, Grand Juction

We rode the long fun way the Grand Mesa and then to Grand Junction.

Along the way, we talked to a forest ranger who told us about Land's End. She mentioned about 6 miles of gravel to get there but the road would then change to blacktop. Hating gravel, I asked if the way out was paved, and she said yes.

What I found out was the way in WAS the way out, so technically, it was paved (until you hit the 6 miles of gravel again).




Scenes from the way to Land's End





Land's End USFS Observatory


Rim Rock Road
Colorado National Monument
Outside Grand Junction



Day 6 - Ride to Black Canyon of Gunnison, Montrose

We rode, to Black Canyon of Gunnison, Gunnison River, Montrose
.



After we returned, we showered, did laundry, went to dinner
where it started raining again. All the laundry hanging out
to dry was dry no more.....

We broke camp during a break and huddled under the school's
overhang for the night. We were mostly packed before dark.



Day 7 - End of the Rally, Ride the long way to Ridgway State Park, set up camp

We got a very early start since we were mostly packed the night before.
Rode west to Whitewater, Gateway, Naturita, Placerville, then up to Ridgeway and Ridgway State park.



At first they had us haul our gear from the parking lot, down a trail,
to the "walk-in" camp sites. Then the camp hosts moved us away, because
there was a huge family reunion going to happen there.

Thank goodness. The reunion folks were noisy (and couldn't carry a tune
in a bucket) and went on until the hosts shut them down.

The new site had electricity so Pete could charge his phone, and
Bill his tablet.



Day 8 - Ride the Million Dollar Highway, both ways

We rode the million dollar highway from Ridgway to Durango and back.
It was a little chilly and it sprinkled for a moment on the way down, but it wasn't bad.

On the way back it stormed like heck, and I froze. The rain stopped the moment we hit Ridgway. I warmed up.














Then it rained again when we were heating soup for dinner.



Day 9 - Ride to Telluride, Dolores, The Galloping Goose




We rode to Telluride.








Then to Dolores, where we saw the Galloping Goose.



Half bus. Half engine. Half passenger car.
(Yeah, I know - that is 3 halves. It is long.)
Then took shelter from the lightning by the river.

Where they launch raft trips. About 20 feet away from
the above shelter.


Day 10 - Ride to Durango, Pagosa Springs, Lake City, and Gunnison, sleep in a real building

Down the Million Dollar Highway, and around the long way to Gunnison where we got to sleep on real beds, with indoor bathrooms, hot and cold running water, air conditioning, and those new-fangled electrical lights and such.





Day 11 - Ride to Denver

We had the motel's breakfast and rode off, through heat and rain until we got back to Denver, for a much needed rest.
And shower.
And laundry.
And new boots........






Day 12 - Day of rest, family BBQ

All my siblings, their spouses, and even some in-laws, gathered
for some barbeque. It was a great time, and a well-deserved rest.


Day 13 - BMW 100,000 Foot Ride

Starting at the Lakewood BMW dealership. 350+ miles, 11 hours, 11 passes totalling at least 100,000 feet in elevation. They were very twisty roads, some in disrepair. Snow was at the top (Trail Ridge Road) so it was a tad chilly.

This was a wonderful ride through the mountains, though I was hard-pressed to keep up with Pete. Luckily he waited for me at times.

It ended up with an an outdoor dinner, professionally catered. The perfect finale to my trip.

Back to Meg & Pete's for some sleep before my trip home.





Day 14 - Ride Home
After fourteen days, and over 3,600 miles I returned home in time for
a six p.m. dinner with the family. I unpacked the bags, read some e-mail,
and went to bed. I slept like a log until the 5 a.m. alarm went off. Time for work.




TOTR and Camp Rides and 100,000 Foot Ride