September 17, 2003 GMT
Day 14

Westminster, Colorado to Grand Junction, Colorado

320 Miles

3184 total miles

We neglected to mention it because it is so painful to think about, but yesterday marked the half-way point in our epic journey. At 12:00 noon on September 15, while enjoying homemade ketchup at Lucile's restaurant in Boulder, we both realized that the rest of the trip is downhill. It was such a sobering thought that we quickly put it out of our mind.

Today is the first day of the rest of our trip. And it was a fine day.

Bill said goodbye to Laurel and we loaded up our bikes and headed west.

We broke one of our major rules when we set up today's route: avoid the interstate. However, the only way to reach the western part of Colorado quickly, which was our goal, was to take I-70 out of Denver.

We avoid interstates for a simple reason: we don't like sharing the road with 80,000 pound trucks. It worked out OK because the route took us up and down extremely steep grades. The trucks stayed in the inside third lane creeping up the mountains and slowly burning out their brakes while descending. The other two lanes were open for cars and smaller trucks and, most importantly, motorcycles.

I-70 took us along the edge of the Arapaho National Forest and through the White River National Forest. The Glenwood Canyon Section of the White River National Forest was among the choicest drives we have taken. This narrow canyon contained a double-layered interstate (the east lanes below the west lanes), railroad tracks and the Colorado River.

glenwoodcanyon
Glenwood Canyon


We drove through several tunnels, the most impressive being the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel. Naturally, we blew our horns in every tunnel we encountered.

We exited I-70 near Vail, Colorado. After a fine lunch at a local deli, we headed to McClure's Pass. We crossed the pass a few days ago going in the other direction. Once we reached the 8,755 foot crest, we began a descent that rated among the best roads we have driven yet. It was a 30 minute downhill full of sweeping curves and tight twisties.

300sl
Vintage Mercedes 300SL north of Vail

We stopped at Hotchkiss, Colorado, (which has a big H emblazoned on a hillside, a Colorado phenomenon that we don't understand). Bo noticed a little oil on his right saddlebag. A closer inspection revealed a slow oil leak from his right cylinder head. The bike's oil level was still within factory specifications so we continued on to Delta, Colorado. We stopped in Delta to check on the oil leak and saw that it would need professional attention. Since we were in the middle of nowhere, this could be a major problem. Maybe not. Your faithful travelers were lucky. Grand Junction, Colorado, only 30 miles away, is the home of AllSport Honda/BMW Motorcycles.

So, rather than turing south toward Telluride, we turned north to Grand Junction. We are now in a nice hotel and plan to visit the BMW dealer tomorrow morning. Let's hope they can fix Bo's bike, and fix it fast.

SouthGrandJunction
Fabulous arid scenery south of Grand Junction

We've run out of superlatives to describe Colorado so, in the interest of good reporting, we now plan to head for eastern Utah. There we plan to visit the Arches National Park and the Canyonlands National Park. Hopefully, we will spend tomorrow night in Moab, Utah.

It all depends on the mechanics at AllSport Honda/ BMW. Let us pray.

Posted by Bill Thompson at September 17, 2003 06:00 AM GMT
Comments

Dr. Thompson,

Utah is beautiful. The mountains and rock formations are fabulous along the drive through. Chet and I went to Vail last May also. I loved it out West and I know you and Bo are also loving it.
Angela

Posted by: Angela on September 17, 2003 12:46 PM GMT

Bill,

I can tell you are having a great time. I enjoy seeing the photos and reading the narrative. You and Bo remind me of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Not sure which of you best fits who.

Enjoy your ride.

Jim

Posted by: Jim Farris on September 17, 2003 08:31 PM GMT

Hey there Bill&Bo; see that you're thoroughly enjoying yourselves, as though you would do anything else. I wish that I would get those vista that you're getting, I know they must just be stunning. Since you're out on the road and can't get to a thesaurus readily, I thought it might be nice to give you a few more adjectives for those views. You might have used a few already, but here's what I've got: stunning. awing. majestic. sweeping. gorgeous. humbling. mythical. fantastical. imposing. picturesque. exquisite. magnificent. regal. grandiose. striking. remarkable. amazing. sublime. impressive. unforgettable. moving. grand. commanding. monumental. lofty. glorious. opulent. eminent. venerable. lush. beautiful. palatial. There. Hope that helps you out some. Sorry to hear about Bo's bike; I'll see if I can't get a hymn together for you. Claire is having a good time at school, even though she vehemently denies it, and Colin is as usual. Laurel is in a great mood since she came back, and mopes not quite so much about not being able to see you. Generally, Nashville remains stable and peaceful, though I wouldn't give it anymore than another few weeks before it starts to wobble towards total chaos without your eminent presence. Have fun livin it up on the open road!

Posted by: Andrew on September 18, 2003 02:57 AM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!