MOTORCYCLE ROAD TRIP
I rode my motorcycle out to Colorado to see the Aspens changing color. I had never seen them before, nor had I ever ridden my motorcycle such a long distance. While out there, I wound my way up through Wyoming, past the Tetons and through Yellowstone to meet a couple of folks in Montana. I had hoped to cap my trip with a ride over Beartooth Pass; it unfortunately closed for the season a few days before my arrival.
After a day and a half of hard riding, I arrived in Telluride. And oh man, the aspens were on fire! Brighter and more beautiful than I imagined. I rode the tram up the mountain, and hiked backed down to the valley.
I awoke early to ride over Independence Pass and arrive at the Maroon Bells before sunrise. Truth be told, a police officer didn't appreciate me camping where I was, and he woke me. But, he only roused me about forty-five minutes before I had planned to wake. It was a dark, cold, windy, slow drive over the pass.
I spent as much time as I could in Colorado, but eventually began heading north towards Wyoming. Pretty quickly I was out of the forested hills and into the high desert. I hit a hundred mile stretch of hard, sideways wind that made for tiresome and stressful riding. In the distance was a rainstorm. I would end up riding its tail once I hit the highway and turned west.
It was cold, damp riding in Yellowstone. I rode through lots of fog and a bit of rain. When I stopped, I could hear elk bugling. There were many tourists out spotting wildlife. Through one couple's spotting scope, I saw wolves.
On any trip I'm constantly debating the prudence of stopping for a potential photo opportunity vs covering more ground in daylight. This was especially compounded when riding a motorcycle. Sometimes, you just have to put aside your plans.
I reckon the Tetons are one of the most beautiful places in the world. I've had the privilege of driving past them once a year for the past three years. This time, the weather was altogether different. And very photogenic. But, I was in for an equally impressive vista in Montana. Immediately after meeting up with my friends, we ended up with a view of Pilot Peak that couldn't have been better. Clouds rolled in and new clouds formed, but never obstructed the entire mountain. And the sunset lit it all on fire for a jaw-dropping scene of majesty. We opted to stay in a local motel with a hot-tub, and spent the night warm and cozy. The next day I had to make the long journey back home.