July 8, 2015 Dry, and boring hotel room, Gunnison, CO

We’re halfway into section 3 of the COBDR and the scenery has been non-stop spectacular. Dramatic 14,000’ snowcapped mountain peaks, the gloriously unending National Forests San Juan, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison, quaint towns, and remnants of historical mining operations – all of it, eye candy.

peaks

Feeling mellow after the rocky climb and descent of steep Ophir Pass, we meander along mostly smooth dirt roads that snake alongside generously flowing creeks through public and private lands. And the pine trees! The beautiful, wonderful pine trees.

hikeview

The landscape, terrain, and weather could not be more different than the AZBDR. Temperatures during the days have been in the 60s, overnight, 40s. Perfect for riding and camping. Everyone told us it would most likely rain in the afternoons –

Yep! It has rained everyday that we’ve been on the route – with accompanying thunderstorms. We’ve had to wait out the rain for a day here and there. Our latest delay found us a sweet camp spot next to a creek we’re we enjoyed a couple days of sitting by the fire, hiking (out of breath during the climbs at 9,000′,) and doing unimportant camp things. Camp Spruce

After a while, the waiting gets to us. We want to be riding, but we don’t want to be riding in the rain on slick roads. We have the luxury of time so we don’t have to blast through the route just for the sake of finishing it. According to our map, some of the roads ahead are impassable when wet and with all the rain we’ve had in the past couple days we’re guessing it will take a good two days of no rain to dry out. But we don’t know for sure. We can only go by the very general information given and our online research to make an educated guess of what’s ahead of us.

Our best guess is that the route will be oft comprised of the muddy and slippery clay stuff that we don’t enjoy.mudbike
So we decide to get out of the rain. We hop off the route, check into a hotel, dry out, and hope the roads dry out for our morning departure. It feels awkward, and a little wrong to be checking into a hotel at 4:00 in the afternoon in the middle of the BDR. We drape our wet tent over our bikes in the momentarily sunny parking lot, stab chunks of dried clay out of our skid plates, clean our chains, check oil, hang gear to dry, dip into Facebook, and shower.

Pouting complete, we make the best of the situation and head across the street for dinner at a Nepalese restaurant, and then walk our full bellies a mile into town to the Cattlemen’s Days carnival/rodeo and ride the Ferris wheel. Sadly, Shal was denied entry to the sparkly motorcycle merry go’round because she was “too big.”

We wisely forego the Bacon on a Stick and Fried Twinkie.  Although, we did consider it. On the chilly walk back to the hotel, the guilt of not riding subsides as we remind ourselves that we are riding OUR ride, and no one else’s.

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Written by Steph

Explorer of adventures.

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