August 6

The goal today was to end up in Georgetown, CO.

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Started the day with a ride down the Colorado River Scenic road on the way from Moab to Grand Junction.  A beautiful road, highly recommended.



From Grand Junction, it was southeast to try for the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The last 6 miles of the road was dirt, but nice smooth hard-packed dirt, so I gave it a go.  After two miles I saw the huge rain shaft and felt a few rain drops.   I was not going to be 6 miles down a dirt road in the rain. I turned around at that point.   I caught up with the rain at Glenwood Springs on I-70 and was in cold downpouring rain most of the way to Georgetown.  It got down to 51 degrees at the 11,000 foot passes.


August 7

Rocky Mountain National Park was the main attraction today.   The first picture is the Never Summer Mountains on the west side of the park. The rest are up by the Alpine Visitor center.  The fourth picture was taken around 2 PM when the clouds started to roll in over the mountains.



I then headed through Fort Collins, and through Laramie WY on the way to Wheatland WY for the night.   Wyoming has gorgeous wide open spaces.  Wyoming highway 34 from north of Laramie to Wheatland is a great road: scenic, good pavement, sweeping turns, and no traffic. A thoroughly enjoyable ride.


August 8


First stop was Fort Laramie.  Quite a historic place in the history of the West.   I ended up taking a backroad from Wheatland to Fort Laramie, and my GPS somehow had lost its "avoid unpaved roads" setting.  So it sent me on an unpaved road for 7 miles.   Given my positive experience with the dirt road to Gunnison (at least until the rain showed up),  and the fact that it looked like a well maintained road I took it.  I ended up regretting this choice greatly when the road turned to mostly sand, sometimes an inch or so deep. But by the time I got to this stuff I was over half way through, so I kept on going. Never again.....



The two pictures above are of the guard house and the jail cell in the lower level.

Next stop was Scotts Bluff in Nebraska.   Quite something to think about how many people came through that pass on the Oregon Trail and that the buildings there were the first ones people would have seen in two months since they left St Joseph Missouri.



Last stop was the Chimney Rock State Historic site.

From this point, it was I-80 back to Chicago.


August 9

Essentially just I-80 back to Palatine, IL.  One stop at the Herbert Hoover National Monument site in Iowa.  Not going to go right past a National Park site without getting a stamp. Not sure if I will complete a second National Parks Tour, but from this trip I have 6 states and 11 stamps to start me off.

It was interesting to note that the construction sites along I-80 in Iowa that were bare on August 1 now had wind turbine towers partly erected. Got home around 6 PM with just under 3900 miles on the GPS.  When I bought the ST1300 in June it had just over 14000 miles, it now has just under 22000.