Continental Divide – Finale

This post should conclude our CDR trip. It was really fun putting the story in print and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. This is the final post of a four post series. Look at the menu on the right to navigate to the beginning if you want. We love seeing all the comments and appreciate the personal e-mails, thanks. We have more trips planned but nothing epic on the little bikes for now. We leave in two days for another GPS Kevin adventure on the big bikes (F750GS and Africa Twin). It seems like another Mexico trip is in the works, we’ll see what form that takes….

The ride home

So, if you count from the time we left home in August and included the time taking care of the broken fuel pump, we were almost a full month into this trip. We love riding but for some reason as we start for home we start putting in more miles per day. Get-home-itus. September 6 was no exception. We rode 328 miles from Kremmling through the Park Range in northern Colorado Stopped for lunch in Steamboat Springs and made tracks north for Wyoming. Before we knew it we were back in Rawlins but this time for only a brief stop before continuing north. A little way out of town we picked up a dirt road on the CDR that we skipped on the way south because of the torrential downpour.

It was sandy… and took us a while to transition our riding skills from rocky hill climbing techniques to Baja style sand riding but we managed and it was fun.

Loose, straight, fast, deep sand roads,

After about 30 miles of that excitement, we were back on the pavement where we decided to skirt along the north side of the Great Basin Divide on highway 789 into Lander for the night.

The next day was another 300+ mile trek. From Lander, we rode out of our way heading south to South Pass. We loved the section from South Path to Boulder so much we wanted to do it again, I’m glad we did. This time I took a few pictures.

Fall colors on display at Sinks Canyon State Park

I checked the weather app on my phone in Lander, it looked ominous.

Did I have that right?? 90 degrees at the time but Winter Storm Watch??

I filed that information in the back of my mind as we made our own CDR detour on a most excellent paved road to Sinks Canyon State Park and then continued on an extremely fun gravel road through the Freak Mountains. We switch-backed up to over 9,000 feet at Fiddlers Lake before dropping down to the highway and South Pass. The dirt road through the Prospect Mountains was spectacular, fast and smooth with plenty of beautiful vistas except for the dark clouds ahead.

We were making good time getting to Pinedale just after 1:00 and rode north into Grand Teton National Park. The route through the National Park was slow with traffic, and it started to rain. Heading North just before the entrance to Yellowstone, the route cuts West onto another favorite track of ours, this time it was getting colder and the rain was getting worse. Something was blowing in…. The wind picked up and soon we were coming upon down trees across the path. Were those snow flakes?? At one point we came to a downed tree that was way beyond my ability to move. A truck approached from the other side. He had a chain and tried to move it but it wouldn’t budge. I really didn’t want to go back to the crowded National Park, and we probably wouldn’t find a hotel anyhow, I was starting to get worried. I wish I would have thought to take a few pictures but my hands were freezing and I didn’t feel like messing around with my phone.

We got around. Deby and I stomped through the woods at the edge of the road and by breaking branches and knocking down small trees made a route around the tree. It was tricky riding but we made it. The truck turned around.

The weather was getting worse. It was late afternoon when we dropped off the mountain into Ashton, Idaho. Population 833, in other words not much. We had a reservation for the night in Island Park, Idaho only 27 miles away to the north at the cozy Sawtelle Mountain Resort. We knew it was nice because it was the same hotel where we stayed at on the way down. Twenty seven miles, we could do it… we were cold, it was raining, and the visibility was sinking to zero through our fogged up face shields. We stopped at the corner gas station to try to warm up before heading north.

We actually warmed our hands on the hot dog rack in the picture. It didn’t really work.

Later I learned we were heading up “Ashton Hill”, a local website had the following warning, “Be prepared for sudden thunderstorms accompanied by lightning, hail, and strong winds during the summer season. Falling trees under these conditions are not unusual. Also, be alert for deer, elk, or moose on or near the highways.” It started to snow….

Deby and I were both raised in Wisconsin, we know about snow and have driven extensively in snow. I’ve even ridden motorcycles in snow more than a few times but this was bad. It started as a few flakes but as we climbed Ashton Hill the flakes got “thicker” as they say and came down harder. Soon I was on the side of the road riding slowly with our turn signals on hoping cars would see us, and avoid running us over. We both had to ride with one hand and use our other frozen fingers to constantly wipe our face shields to even see a little bit. It was dark and dangerous.

I pulled over after 10 miles for a discussion with Deby, who was doing a great job following behind. We were 1/3 of the way to the hotel, still riding uphill, it was getting colder and the snow was now probably 4 inches deep on the roadway.

I’ve done some crazy things in my day and cheated death probably more times than need be, but this was just too dangerous and I said we were turning around. There wasn’t much argument from Deby. We slipped and slid the 10 miles downhill back to Ashton and pulled into the only hotel I saw, the Fishing Bear Lodge.

The Fishing Bear Lodge from Google Street View

We were a sight as we both dragged our soaking wet bodies into the small lobby of the motel (lodge??). They had one room left. I told the very nice woman behind the counter that I would take it and actually said I didn’t care how much it cost. I suspect that comment cost me at least $50.00 but I didn’t care. We didn’t get a refund at the hotel in Island Park so it was an expensive night.

We both warmed up with long hot showers before we ventured out looking for food. In short…. nothing was open so we went back to the same gas station pictured above and bought gas station food for dinner. Hmm, did we even have lunch? Chips, cheese, some processed mystery meat and liquid pork chops (beer, in case you skipped the other posts).

Final Day….

It was cold in the morning but dry we decided to make the 200 mile run back to Michael’s house via the shortest route possible. We climbed one last 9,000 foot pass and worked through the biting cold in our hands. We made a brief stop at the Klim riding gear world headquarters in Rigby, Idaho hoping to buy some warmer gloves but their showroom was closed due to Covid. Bummer.

In Idaho Falls we cut West towards our destination of Hailey and the wind picked up. We spent the next 150 miles getting blown around on the little bikes while trying to keep up freeway speeds on two lane highway 20. We blasted past the Craters of the Moon National Preserve where on any other day we would have stopped to explore the landscape, but we were on a mission and it was soon accomplished. We were at Michael and Dee Dee’s inviting home in time for some real food and hot showers. We made it.

So that’s it, the story that needed to be told. In retrospect it was really fun with lots of challenges. Like I said, we did the CDR back in 2012 almost 10 years ago but things change, the route changes, the roads change, we change. Will I do it again?? Ha, ask me in another 10 years when I’m in my 70’s.

Thanks for following this crazy blog. You never know what will be next….

Donn and Deby

Continental Divide- Colorado

The section from Rawlins, WY to Steamboat, Colorado was just plain fun, starting with a straight paved section south of Rawlins that suddenly turned to gravel as we approached the forests the Sierra Madre mountains. It felt good to be climbing back into the mountains with the tall pine and fir trees surrounding us. Soon we were over 8,000 feet at Middlewood Hill before dropping down only to climb again to 8,600 feet where we pulled over at a viewpoint for the 9,098 foot Battle Mountain in the distance. It was a spectacular view, so much so that I forgot to take a picture… go figure. Finally, we crossed into Colorado and rode another favorite section along the border before cutting south on CR129 through the beautiful Aspen forests. What… was my camera broken??

This was a scheduled short day, 131 miles and I wasn’t complaining. Steamboat Springs is a tourist town year round, usually. This year things were open but the normal summer crowds were missing and those that were there were all dutifully wearing masks. We checked in early at a place called the Nordic Lodge right on the main street. Funny thing, all the beautiful scenery and my only picture is of the motorcycles in front of the hotel.

We had plenty of time to walk around town, about half the tourist shops were open. Then we did something fun that would ending up costing me a lot of money later…. rented electric bicycles.

Soon we were busy offroading on these silly fat-tire e-bikes.

We found the bicycle BMX track and I gave the e-bike a good test over the jumps.. yee haa!

Steamboat to Estes Park.. more detours

It’s a good thing we had a “rest day” because this section tested our resolve. We were on the road before 8:00 and were trying to stay warm in the morning chill. We didn’t get very far out of town when we had to stop for a balloon crossing. Ahh, only in Colorado. It was pretty cool.

We rode highway 40 south and were suddenly climbing steeply on switchbacks to Muddy Pass at 9,000 feet where we crossed the Continental Divide for the first but not last time of the day. It was a nice road but was getting colder as we climbed. We entered the Apapaho National Forest and crossed the divide again at 9,000 feet and then switchbacked up even higher to 10,000 feet before starting down into the town of Grand Lake.

Dang, it was cold and my most reliable weather forecasting tool (looking up at the clouds) told me rain was on the way. This didn’t look good. The planned route took us through Rocky Mountain National Park. We had been there before and I really recommend it but I know the Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park is claimed to be the highest continuous paved road in the United States, reaching an elevation of 12,183 feet. I was cold just thinking about it. Would there be snow in August? Could be.

As we approached the park there was a long line of cars which surprised me, as we got closer I saw a sign…. Reservations Required. About that time it started raining for real. We waited our turn in line when we reached the front we were turned around. No reservation and no way to get one and no way he was going to let us ride through the park even if I promised not to stop. Bummer, we turned around in the cold rain to start the southernly detour to Idaho Springs.

Gas station stop to warm up
Burrrr… coffeeeee

We arrived in Idaho Springs early enough to check into the Argo Inn and Suites and get warmed up with hot showers, ahhh. I wouldn’t say the hotel lived up to it’s name and it seemed like there were only a few other people staying there, ok.. it was run down and kind of strange. There was one really cool thing… the room had a patio door that looked over Clear Creek onto the side of a mountain. There was an impossibly narrow trail with two Bighorn Sheep that were having a royal battle.

We sat for well over an hour watching them buck horns, it was actually loud and the sound echoed across the canyon.

Just down the road was an old mine that was open for tours, I just had to check that out…

It was a gold mine and we learned about the horrendous working conditions for the workers and their children who worked the mine, most of them didn’t live very long.

Idaho Springs is also the launching point of the road of the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway which is now the “highest paved road in North America” at 14,130 feet just barely surpassing Pikes Peak at 14,115 feet. Wait, what was that claim about the road in Rocky Mountain NP? Oh, that is the tallest “contiguous” road. We considered making a run up the mountain but were there once before and decided to skip it, anxious to move on.

The high road to Aspen

The clouds cleared and we headed south in high spirits. Immediately outside of town we were on side roads following I-70 West before cutting south on perfect gravel roads with stunning scenery. This time I thought to take a few pictures.

The road we were on in the distance

We were on the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway climbing to over 11,000 feet this time. Whew, the thin air was making me happy, of course, it could be the fun we were having.

We zig-zagged up to Webster Pass at 12,103 feet before dripping down to 9,000 feet for lunch in Breckenridge. After lunch is was more fantastic riding through the Pike National Forest. Then it got crazy… Mosquito Pass. I found a YouTube video of a guy going up the same route in 2015, it wasn’t any better in 2020.

This is our story… this last uphill to the peak at 13,185 feet was as tough as I’ve ridden in a long time. I was really glad we were on the small bikes, anything bigger would have been a disaster. We stopped on the bottom next to a couple of guys in jeeps, they were looking up the steep rocky climb wondering if they could make it. Really???? In a Jeep? They looked at Deby and didn’t say a thing but it was clear what they were thinking… she’s going to try this?

We didn’t have a choice, it was a long long way around and we were determined. Probably being slightly hypoxic at over 10,000 feet wasn’t helping our judgement. I went first with Deby behind me… I tried to call out the path and obstacles as we bounced up the incline. In actuality it didn’t matter what I said, we were just bouncing wildly from one rock to another trying to stay upright. Deby bounced left when she should have bounced right and finally bounced to the ground.

Picture of my parked bike as I walked down to help Deby

Pictures never really convey how tough it really was. Deby was OK, whew.. You can just see the Jeep at the bottom waiting to see if we made it. They were smart(?) and turned around.

Here it is a little zoomed in….

After a short break we each got back on the bikes for the final push and made it to the top to document our achievement.

It was so cold and windy that Deby didn’t want to get off her bike.

She didn’t say it but I could read her thoughts…. “take the &*(% picture and let’s get going!” I talked for a few minutes with a guy that came up from the other direction on a KTM. Clearly he was an experienced rider. He took off his helmet and said the ride up from the west was way harder than he expected and he had a pretty good crash around one of the sharp switchbacks. He admonished us to be careful going down. I didn’t need to be told twice.

— LAST MINUTE EDIT… YOU HAVE TO READ THIS —-

Ok, the following falls in the category of serendipity. I finished this post last night but didn’t post it because I was going to wait until today to get it uploaded. About 9:00 PM Deby and I turned on the TV to watch something, anything so I went to the television YouTube app which usually suggests motorcycle videos. I wonder why…..The first suggestion was a guy riding the Continental Divide Route. Hmmm, scary, is YouTube reading my blog??? What the hey, it might be fun so we clicked on it. Here is where it gets surreal…..

About an hour into the video (58:47 to be exact) I see Deby! This is the guy I just wrote about who crashed! Look at my picture above, see the KTM motorcycle on the right? That is him. Here is a screen shot from his video.

Here is the video, it’s long but entertaining.

We have a guest appearance 58 minutes into the video at Mosquito Pass

—- BACK TO THE BLOG —-

Yes, we made it down. Slow and easy did the trick and we rolled into Leadville tired but with a huge sense of achievement. The plan was to ride north over Hagerman Pass and then circle around to Aspen for the night. I checked the map and decided to take a shorter route over Independence Pass on paved state highway 82 instead.

We arrived in the upscale tourist town of Aspen tired and cold, we treated ourselves to a nice hotel for the night, The Annabelle Inn. A beautiful hotel close to the center of town, I’m not sure how many stars it had but it seemed like about 10 to us. I’m surprised they rented a room to us at such a nice place after we dragged in full of dirt and mud on some old dirt bikes, but they did. As a matter of fact after we checked into the beautiful second floor room with a huge deck I went right back to the lobby and asked for a second night.

Whew, a day off in Aspen, nice.

The rest of Colorado

Colorado is a paradise for anyone on an adventure motorcycle. There must be endless places to explore and passes to cross. We spent the next five days riding North to South and back North again. After Aspen we detoured North to tag Hagerman Pass.

I’m glad we didn’t skip that one, except for another rocky uphill and getting lost a little it was a great ride. From there south to the cross the Continental Divide at the 12,126 foot high Cottonwood Pass before connecting with the famed highway 50 where we spent the night in a lawnmower shack in Sargents, Colorado.

Our room for the night in Sargents, CO

You know it’s cold when you have frost on your bike in the morning.

Frosty morning in Sargents, Colorado

Then one of my favorite passes, Marshall Pass at 10,842 feet.

We found ourselves on the Historic Saguache – San Juan Toll Road which is actually listed on dangerousroads.org. You can read about it HERE.

I love it when we find these old highway markers, this one is probably from the Stage Route era.

By this point in the trip we had given up on Kevin’s route and were making up our own paths using a combination of tracks from Big Dog, the Colorado Backcountry Adventure Route and my own tracks from previous trips. After an eerie night at a non descript hotel in the seemingly abandoned town of South Fork we turned south for a quick pass through northern New Mexico.

We stopped at the Summitville ghost town. A crazy place that turned into an environmental disaster and is now a Superfund Site.

Look at these guys in the boat, they were workers diving in the polluted toxic waters. I wonder how much you need to get paid for that job.

We love this kind of stuff, amazing.

Then something special happened…..

We were traversing the Rio Grande National Forest east of Pagosa Springs when I stopped to take this picture.

We rode a little further and came to this informative sign.

We were looking at Little Red Mountain. In the weeks before we left on this trip our dog, Little Red moved on to the great squirrel chase after being part of our family for 14 years.

Little Red, we miss you.

That night in Durango we had a toast for Little Red.

North from Durango it was more mountains and passes. We rode through Silverton and on to the Animas Forks ghost town where we climbed up another steep rocky road to the famous Cinnamon Pass.

Cinnamon Pass is just one of those beautiful places in the world that has to visited more than once.

We were on a roll, checking off passes left and right. After lunch in Lake City we rode east and crested Stumgullion Pass at 11,529 feet and circling back north to rejoin Highway 50 and cross Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet.

We dropped into Salida for the night, a place I keep finding myself coming back to. In the 1970’s I was a touring musician and Salida passed through that town before it was the tourist city it is today.

Past Salida we officially started riding north and starting to think about making progress towards home. We rode the back roads into Breckenridge where we stopped for lunch and overnighted in the impossibly small town of Kremmling at the Super 8.

The next day we recreated our path south through Steamboat Springs and soon were back in the Aspen forest close to the Wyoming border. This time I took a picture.

I’ll end this post here and should be able to wrap up the trip in the next post where we ride in 90 degree heat and then get turned around by a blizzard… all in the same day.

Thanks for following,

Donn and Deby

Journey Through Time Scenic Byway

In May the weather starts getting better in the Pacific Northwest and of course our thoughts turned to riding. Washington and Oregon were still sorting out what virus restrictions should and should not be in place so after some research we determined we could probably manage a few days riding in Oregon and Washington. I’ve always been interested in the Scenic Byways that many states have now designated so when we came across the Journey Through Time Scenic Byway in Oregon we thought we would check it out.

The following excerpt is from the official Oregon Travel website. Click HERE for more.

The marks of time are stamped across the landscape on this 286-mile/460-kilometer route through prehistoric fossil beds, mining boomtowns and surprising sights like the Painted Hills.

Driving across northeastern Oregon is a trip through the state’s historical timeline. This route begins at the Columbia River, the traditional fishing and gathering grounds for generations of Native Americans. It travels through river canyons and into the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, where 55 million years of life are preserved in the rocks. And it explores communities past and present that tell stories of the state’s hardworking heritage in the woods, in the mines, on the ranches and on the railroad.

Ok, prehistoric fossil beds, boomtowns and Painted Hills? We were in!

The starting point of the byway is along the Oregon, Washington border about midway across the state. We decided to let the weather warm up a little and get a late start towards the town of Hood River which is known for high winds in the Columbia George and the windsurfing crowd it attracts. We booked a room in advance at the Westcliff Lodge, unsure what to expect when we arrived since we heard Oregon was more locked down than Washington. Yes, the hotel was open but there was no food service and most of the restaurants in town were closed. As it was getting dark we ventured out towards the center of town and saw a Mexican Restaurant with cars in the parking lot.

With masks donned we ventured inside and found out that it was the first day they were open for business in months, although at a reduced capacity. This was, in fact, the first restaurant we were inside since before we left for Mexico at the end of March. It seemed strange but we were glad we wouldn’t have to eat gas station food for dinner again. I even took a picture.

We walked back to the lodge to call it a night. It almost seemed like we were the only guests however, in the morning there were a half dozen cars in the parking lot, but that was about it. Strange, especially since it was Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday morning we arose to sunshine and blue skies, perfect for riding. We managed some hot water from the office and mixed up some instant coffee that we always carry with us. We complimented that with an energy bar each and we were ready to ride.

We followed the route first south and then east on highway 218 to the John Day Fossil Beds.

We stopped at a small roadside pull off and went for a scramble up a rocky trail to look at the scenery and maybe find some fossils.

No fossils, but we had a nice hike. Probably one of the only downsides of exploring on motorcycles is that we need to do side-hikes in our heavy motorcycle boots and protective clothing. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our climb exploring the rock formations. We met a few other people on the trail and everyone kept their distances, stepping far off the path when we met. This was something new for us at the time, now it seems normal.

Beautiful scenery along OR 26

We booked a cabin in Sumpter, Oregon, a very small tourist town known for a huge gold dredge. The Delta-9 Cabins were right on the main street and advertised prominently that they were “420 friendly.” We, seriously, had to check in at the Pot Dispensary next to the cabins. Wow, you gotta love the hippies in Oregon. As I’m writing this I went to their website and it states they are Permanently Closed.

Delta-9 Cabins

Most of the town was pretty quiet and what should have been a busy tourist holiday weekend was very slow. We did manage to find Carol’s Mad Dog Restaurant and Bar a short walk from our cabin. The restaurant was full and we found the last high top table in the bar where we could order burgers and beer. Nobody seemed too concerned about the virus in that place. We had a short chat with the bartender and he said the town was quiet but since he was the only restaurant open they were as busy as ever.

Sumpter, Oregon Dredge

Deby and I had time to walk around the dredge. In better times it would be open for tours and the visitor center would be open. I think these gold dredges are amazing and a real engineering marvel except for all the environmental damage they caused. They literally dug up miles and miles of river bed searching for gold clawing their way across the state. You can read more about it HERE.

A pile of treasure in Sumpter

The Grand Canyon of Oregon

Somewhere in our research we came across “The Grand Canyon of Oregon.” A quick search showed it wasn’t far from us so we decided to give it a look.

Ok, technically it’s The Owyhee Canyonlands and it was called The Grand Canyon of Oregon in a New York Times article. We found a nice dirt road runs through it and decided to give it a go, we weren’t disappointed.

Oregon Route 245

Came across this friendly guy wondering what we were doing on his road.

Further down the road we hit pavement but still hadn’t seen another vehicle all day. We had to stop to avoid disturbing lunch time for these two.

Another nice day riding with virtually no traffic and good weather. I’m pretty sure we didn’t interact with any human beings and had a huge social distance from the world. It wasn’t bad.

Burns Oregon

Well, hmmm. I wouldn’t call Burns, Oregon in itself a tourist destination. The small town (population 2800) seems to mostly support the surrounding ranches. We booked two nights at the Best Western on main street. We wanted to use Burns as a launching point to explore the area around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. An interesting side note, in 2016 the Refuge was the site of a takeover by “far-right extremists.” You can read the Wikipedia account of the takeover HERE. When we were there, the town was quiet and the visitor center for the Refuge was closed.

It was Memorial Day but didn’t seem like it at all. We rode 323 miles in and around the refuge and found some great unpaved back roads.

We rode an excellent dirt road to the Pete French Round Barn State Heritage Site.

Round barns were more common in the Midwest between 1880 and 1920 but this one is unusual in Oregon and was built in the mid 1880’s. As a public space, we could walk inside to look around and we found a family of owls living in the rafters of the barn. We managed to get a few great pictures. I’m pretty sure these were Great Horned Owls.

We explored some more back roads before heading to “Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area.” I love it that they include the word “outstanding” in the official title of the place.

From the website:
Diamond Craters, an Outstanding Natural Area of 17,000 acres (23 square miles), has some of the most diverse basaltic volcanic features in the nation clustered within a small, accessible area. The area displays an entire range of eruptions possible in basaltic volcanism. It was formed sometime in the past 25,000 years and now resembles a thin, rocky pancake with a few bumps. Features identifiable at the Outstanding Natural Area include craters and vents, cinder cones, spatter cones, lava tubes, driblet spires, a graben, and a water-filled maar.

Exploring the “Outstanding” Diamond Craters

Yes, we were on a roll and having a fun day. Next up was a visit to one of our favorite places, the Alvord Desert. The Alvord Desert is a 12 mile by 7 mile dry lake bed in SE Oregon. We have been there a few times before, but it’s always fun to ride down onto the lakebed and rip around for a while. Similar to the more famous Bonneville Salt Flats, it’s a large perfectly flat dry lake bed.

It’s miles and miles of nothing, you can go as fast as you want. I made up a challenge to see how long we could ride with our eyes closed. Ten seconds is a LONG TIME at 60 mph. Scary, but not too dangerous since there is literally nothing to run into. I even tried it with no hands! We’ve been there in the past when a club of airplane “gliders” were using the field. We watched them being launched with big cables pulled by trucks. Another time we met some friends to camp on the lakebed and since it’s so huge and you can’t see all the way across, we had to locate their camper using GPS coordinates. There is really only a couple of entry points onto the desert and I learned from past experience to drop a pin on my GPS to mark the spot or it would be difficult to navigate back.

After having too much fun zooming around the lakebed we took the long and washboarded gravel road north to OR 78 and back to the luxury Best Western for the night.

With the holiday weekend over we decided it was time to head towards home. Looking for a slightly longer way home we rode north on 395 to Ukiah and then east on National Forest road 52 where we hoped to explore the northern part of the Elkhorn Scenic Byway on Forest Road 73 to Haines, OR.

I took this picture at a roadside stop. I supposed I should have read the little black box on the left, “Ask about road conditions past Granite.” The GPS elevation was at 4,000 feet, then 5,000 feet and finally at 6,000 feet and still climbing we came to this.

We rode a little further but the road kept climbing and the ruts were getting narrower and it was getting late in the day. I knew from well earned experience where this was going to end up so we wisely turned around. The “go around” route took us back to Sumpter, home of the 420 cabins. We stopped for gas at the only station in town and recognized the attendant as the bartender from Carol’s Mad Dog Restaurant a few nights before. We chatted for a while and he confirmed I made the wise decision to turn around stating the road probably wouldn’t be open for another month.

We spent the night at a modern hotel in Baker City along I-84 and rode the super slab home the next day. 1934 miles total.

Six days of fun. Just what we needed for a short get-away almost halfway through the year of the Covid.

But what’s next? Yes, there was an even bigger adventure in August on the “small bikes.”

Thanks for the comments and for following.

Donn and Deby

Motorcycling in Spain Part 3

Dangerousroads.org lists the road to Cain as one of the most dangerous roads in Spain. A quick check of a map showed we were within 300 miles of this deadly road so we quickly decided to route south through the Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa and take the long way around to meet our friend Emily in Donosta San Sebastian on the northern coast.

As a “dangerous road” I wouldn’t really say it was too life threatening but it was a beautiful road through a narrow canyon.

It’s hard for Deby to keep her eyes on the road when riding past shear rock walls.

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The End

Let’s ride south! Back into Argentina the roads flattened and the wind picked up. Our destination was the booming (not) town of Gobernador Gregores, 257 miles to the south. When Deby and I were there last time there was no gas at the only gas station and we participated in a big party in line. For some reason this is a recurring problem in this part of Argentina so we were sure to keep out tanks full. Nothing but big wide open spaces in this part of Patagonia.

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Dr. Science Rides South

This is officially Part 2 of the trip, the “guided” trip that Michael won in the drawing. For this part of the journey, the company, Ride Adventures, organized the route and made all the hotel reservations. This was a new thing for us. For the first half of the trip we had a few hotel reservations but mostly played it by ear and made reservations as we entered a city or maybe the day before. We were generally content with more “economical” accommodations that were nice but not necessarily the most expensive places in town. The day we took Dee Dee to the airport we moved from our nice but… cozy.. airbnb in downtown Pucon to a swank resort hotel 15 km west of town on the shores of Lago Villarrica. Hmmm, nice for Deby and I but I’m sure not as romantic for Michael and his new room mate Chris a.k.a Dr. Science.

Dr. Science and his first ham and cheese sandwich in Chile
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Gravel Travel and Dancing

Wow, sorry for the delay. Finally….. bandwidth. I’m writing this from Colhaique, Chile. We are here, and so far, safe and sound and having too much fun. Our route is the bottom magenta line.

I’ll pick up where I left off with Michael and his wife Dee Dee riding two up on the Africa Twin. We left Chiaten for the south along the northern part of the famous Carretera Austral. It was another beautiful day for riding with nice roads and views behind.

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