Friday, August 15, 2014
Cool mountain air and the joy of being in warm sleeping bags, translated into a great night’s rest. Madelyn is particularly fond of her Big Agnes down sleeping bag. We awoke to a heavy layer of dew on the tents and motorcycle covers. This means, we’ll have to delay our departure until the gear was dry enough to pack. To kill some time, we got dressed and walked into Silverton for breakfast at the Brown Bear Cafe. Breakfast consumed, we went outside to enjoy the early morning sunshine and update our rollcharts.
Rollcharts updated, we returned to our campsite to assess our level of dryness. Things were still rather damp… This wasn’t anticipated when it came to camping… how it would affect our departure schedule. Staying in a motel is easy, you get up, shower, pack the bikes, and leave. Camping is a whole different scenario and we weren’t able to get out of Silverton until 11:15am.
Knowing that our schedule was compromised, rain had fallen and rain was forecasted for the day, and our 700+ BMWs were a handful in the wet and muddy conditions on Cinnamon Pass, an alternate travel route was going to be necessary. This would eliminate the toughest pass in Colorado, Ophir Pass, and based on the circumstances, it was necessary.
Our revised route scooted north through Ouray, around through Placerville, a quick visit to Telluride, and then south towards Rico to reconnect with the TAT. This alternative route was a good choice as the conditions allowed us to make miles relatively quickly on basic TAT roads that wove though aspen groves, coniferous patches, and then opened up into high altitude plains as we approached the Utah state line.
We left behind storm clouds and windy conditions as we rode into Utah. This part of Utah is defined by big skies, agriculture, and we started to see the presence of the LDS in every community we drove through. Eventually, we arrived in Monticello for dinner and a night’s rest.
Dinner came in the form of iconic west at the K&A Chuckwagon. The perfect place for a hearty, cowboy style dinner. We enjoyed steak and ribs, salads, and ranch potatoes along with four other families from out of the area (France).
At this point, we have ridden two-thirds of the TAT, which leaves more difficult riding ahead in Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon.