Fairplay & TESSA

A couple weeks ago I dragged Bryan along with me, Karla and Christine to Frankie's Too! 3rd Annual Wild Card Run to benefit, TESSA. TESSA is a local agency that is dedicated to serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The ride started at Frankie’s, in Colorado Springs and ended at Frankie’s Too in Falcon for an after party.

This year’s route was fantastic, so much so that I will be riding it again in a couple of week with the Mountain Shadow Riders (MSR). We rode though Deckers with a lunch stop at the Bucksnort Saloon. The Bucksnort is tucked 1 ½ miles up a narrow, dirt canyon east of Pine, CO (Sphinx Park), the building is built on a rock pile overlooking a creek. The atmosphere inside the Bucksnort is fabulous, the walls and ceiling are practically wallpapered with a collage of dollar bills, napkins, business cards, photographs and pennants.

After leaving The Bucksnort we made our way onto CO-285 heading east for a short distance, we turned off onto Turkey Creek Rd which lead us into Deer Creek Canyon. I couldn’t believe the twists in this road, my pegs scraped a couple times. I always hate when that happens, the noise of the pegs scraping against the asphalt freaks me out. After leaving Deer Creek Canyon we made stops in S. Littleton, went through Sedalia and headed to O’Malley’s in Palmer Lake off of CO-105, and then it was to Falcon for the after party.


Deckers, CO

Me, Bryan & Christine at the Bucksnort Saloon, Sphinx Park, CO

Parking at the Bucksnort Saloon

Inside the Bucksnort Saloon

A few weeks ago I rode along with a few MSR ladies to the 23rd annual Ladies Run of Colorado. Even though we didn’t participate in the actual run, we did take a leisure trip to Fairplay, CO to have lunch and to see what the vendors had to offer. We weren’t very impressed with what we saw and I doubt that I would return in the future.

After leaving Fairplay we had to make a quick stop to get our rain gear on. We made a coffee stop in Woodland Park and then it rained on us again into Colorado Springs. Even with the rain it was a nice ride and it was equally as nice just to spend time with the ladies I rode with.

Shari, Donna & Carrie

Fairplay, CO

A guy with his cool bike.

Donna & Shari with rain gear.

Beautiful Colorado mountains.

Cruising the Street Glide

Bryan let me take his Street Glide out for a cruise… huge mistake because now I want a bigger motorcycle!

I wanted to ride it for awhile because I wanted to see what a 103 Big Bore (1690cc) hop-up felt like compared to my little ole 88 (1450cc)… loved the power. Bryan always told me “If you can back it out of the garage you can ride it”. He backed it out for me; he was probably worried that I would drop it going backwards.

I was really hesitant because of its weight and height, but once I was ready to go, I couldn’t reach the jiffy stand. I was trying really hard to extend my foot to grab the tip… couldn’t do it; Bryan had to push it up for me. Putting the stand down was no problem, I was able to kick it out. Bryan has an Arlen Nest big sucker air cleaner which sticks out further than a stock air cleaner and while trying to use the foot brake the air cleaner pushed my knee outward, when I returned home my right knee was pretty sore from being bowed. His motorcycle rode very smooth compared to my Lowrider and it was fast (shh can’t talk about that)!

Once day I would like to get a Street Glide or a Road King Classic that is modified to fit me, maybe with a 110… ( ;) winking at Bryan). Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

2027 Miles

Last week Bryan and I returned home from another amazing road trip. We traveled by motorcycle through southeast Utah and the northern tip of Arizona, 2027 miles. We enjoyed visiting national parks and monuments, and just spending time together.

I finally had a chance to go through all our pictures… we took three cameras along! I’m only going to post a few with each day’s blog entry, but if you would like to see more photos from our trip you can visit my Flickr Collection.

To keep me from getting frustrated with moving html codes around the body post, I’m going to post each day of our trip separately.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Day 1 -- Destination: Moab, UT
Day 2 -- Destination: Blanding, UT
Day 3 -- Destination: Torrey, UT
Day 4 -- Destination: Hurricane, UT
Day 5 -- Destination: Page, AZ
Day 6 -- Destination: Cortez, CO
Day 7 -- Destination: Gunnison, CO
Day 8 -- Destination: Home – Falcon, CO

Day 1 -- Destination: Moab, UT

Day 1
Destination: Moab, UT
Riding Miles: 435

Our first day on the road wasn’t very eventful. Our plan was to get to Moab as quick as possible so that we could spend the remainder of our trip visiting national parks and monuments. Highway driving on I-70 though the mountains brought cool morning temperatures, until Glenwood Spring, CO. Once there it was hot as crap and was above 100 degrees until we reached Moab UT. We started lathering on sunscreen on the western slope of Colorado and lathered it on a couple times each day of our trip. Good thing we did or we would have been burnt to a crisp; Neutrogena SPF 100 is awesome! I was surprised when we arrived in Moab; I was expecting a bigger town.

We made it to Utah!

Welcome to Utah

Day 2 -- Destination: Blanding, UT

Day 2
Destination: Blanding, UT
Riding Miles: 228

Every day we were on the road before 7:30 and today we visited Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

Canyonlands was very much like the Grand Canyon on a slightly smaller scale. Canyonlands is a huge park, 527 square miles. Unfortunately we were there in early morning I was shooting pictures with the sun in front of me… not many came out all that great. That area received a large amount of rain, the rain brought out tiny little nats that caked our bikes... yuck! It was a great motorcycle ride through the park, it wasn’t populated with tourists, the roads were twisty and we had great views. We visited the north side of the park, Island in the Sky.

When we arrived at Arches National Park the temperature was already on the rise and tourists have gathered. Arches National Park was the least impressive national park that we visited.

After Arches we headed south to Blanding UT and I’m pretty sure I was able to see Uncompahgre Peak from US-191. Uncompahgre Peak is Colorado’s 6th highest peak (14,309 feet) and the highest peak of the San Juan Mountains.

Canyonlands National Park

Arches National Park

Taken from US-191 on our way to Blanding, UT

Day 3 -- Destination: Torrey, UT

Day 3
Destination: Torrey, UT
Riding Miles: 193

Just a bit outside Blanding we stopped at Natural Bridges Natural Park, since it was close to Blanding we got there at opening and we were one of the first in the park. The Visitor Center was very interesting, I enjoyed reading about how natural bridges form.

We considered taking a ferry across Lake Powell, I’m happy we decided not to. It would have meant we would have missed out on one of the best scenic routes we rode, UT-95 and UT-24. The route wasn’t mountain twisty but very scenic, we went through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area which was gorgeous; around every turn was a completely different view. This was one of my favorite routes of our trip. Some areas had deep canyons, others had huge rock formations, and later we rode through the canyons.

Once we left Glen Canyon the landscape opened up with huge gray formations in the distance. As we approached Capital Reef National Park the gray rock formations became closer and we began to see more reds and greens added to the formations and as we drove deeper into the park the shades of gray and green disappeared.

Natural Bridges National Monument

Taken from UT-24

Capitol Reef National Park

Day 4 -- Destination: Hurricane, UT

Day 4
Destination: Hurricane, UT
Riding Miles: 248

We left Torrey via UT-12, Utah Highway 12, also known as Highway 12 Scenic Byway, is one of only 27 nationally designated All-American Roads - the highest honor a road can get for attractive scenery and is considered one of the Top Ten Scenic Drives in the US.

As we left Torrey early morning I was hoping to see wildlife through the forest, instead we came across a couple herds of cattle walking the road and leaving behind manure which left Bryan’s motorcycle pretty stinky… I was pretty lucky and rode over the already flattened areas. As we climbed in elevation through Dixie National Forest there was a clearing with terrific views of neighboring peaks. Unfortunately, there were clouds that filled the valley and we missed out on the view of what was in the valley. Once entering Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument the views were once again unbelievable and the road was very twisty. Hwy 12 had a lot of interesting terrain along its way.

We missed out on visiting Bryce Canyon due to a heavy downpour which lasted about 70 miles. I didn’t pack my winter gloves, heck I figured I wouldn’t need them in June, forgot that they were waterproof. The gloves I wore were soaked and in higher elevation my hands were freezing. We had to make a stop at one of the local grocery stores to purchase those rubber cleaning house gloves for me to wear over an extra pair of gloves I had.

Once the rain cleared we entered Zion National Park. Zion was my favorite National Park that we visited on this trip. I noticed that the roads through the park were red; I later found out that the roads are chip sealed using red cinders, it’s now a park tradition.

After leaving Zion we made a quick jaunt to Washington, UT to check out an Harley Davidson dealership, we then headed back to Hurricane for the evening.

Grand Staircase - Escalante
National Monument

Zion National Park

Day 5 -- Destination: Page, AZ

Day 5
Destination: Page, AZ
Riding Miles: 267

This day brought us into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and to Glen Canyon Dam. Before entering the Grand Canyon we drove though a long stretch of the Kaibab National Forest that had acres of fire damaged. Once in the park we came across a herd of buffalo with a few new babies that were relaxing in a meadow. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon was still pretty impressive even though the south rim is much wider.

Leaving the Grand Canyon and getting back onto AZ-89 we left the forest and entered the desert valley. It was probably as hot as it was in Moab, 100+. The road was straight and flat and pretty much boring, that was a good time for me to put in headphones and listen to Matchbox Twenty the entire way to Page.

That evening at sunset we drove to Glen Canyon Dam and were impressed by its massive size.

Grand Canyon National Park North Rim

Grand Canyon National Park North Rim

Glen Canyon Dam, Page AZ

Glen Canyon Dam

Day 6 -- Destination: Cortez, CO

Day 6
Destination: Cortez, CO
Riding Miles: 217

This time around we didn’t make a stop at Four Corners. The Four Corners is the only place in the United States where four states (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado) come together at one place. Here a person can stand in four states at the same time. Just recently from a news report, the National Geodetic Survey officials say the actual Four Corners is off by 2.5 miles!

Even though I enjoyed our ride through Southeast Utah and Northern Arizona it was great to be back in Colorado. Today we had no scheduled stops so this was a quick trip.

Back in Colorado

Back in Colorado

Day 7 -- Destination: Gunnison, CO

Day 7
Destination: Gunnison, CO
Riding Miles: 229

Last August we made the trip up the Million Dollar Hwy (US 550) which is also considered one of the Top Ten Scenic Drives in the US. This time around it was familiar and more enjoyable. We had an early start which meant less traffic on the twisty roads. Red Mountain Pass still has no guardrails and I tried to get pictures of the steep drop offs but didn’t have much luck.

Despite varying explanations as to the origin of its name (one claims it cost $1 million a mile to build in 1924; another says it contains $1 million in gold ore), there's no disputing the fact that the 75-mile stretch of scenic highway known as Million Dollar Highway is a breathtaking journey through the majestic mountain passes of western Colorado. Crossing part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, and following route US 550 between the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray, the route's twists and turns wend high above the Red Mountain Pass -- an 11,018-foot-high collapsed volcano whose lava flow was found to contain gold in 1860 -- and past the deep Uncompahgre Gorge, into which flow several waterfalls.

We took US-50 from Montrose to Gunnison, one route that neither Bryan nor I have ever journeyed. Just west of Gunnison we came upon this huge reservoir, Blue Mesa Reservoir. The entire time I’m riding along side this reservoir for miles and miles I couldn’t believe how huge it was. Blue Mesa is the largest body of water in the state of Colorado; it is 20 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline and the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the United States. And if that’s not enough… the record for catching the biggest lake trout in Colorado was caught at Blue Mesa, the fish weighed a whopping 50 lbs. 5 oz.

Taken at Molas Pass, US-550

Silverton, CO - US-550

Bryan at Blue Mesa Reservoir


Day 8 -- Destination: Falcon, CO

Day 8
Destination: Home – Falcon, CO
Riding Miles: 210

A couple hundred miles from home… this was a route that Bryan and I have taken many times. As we left Gunnison it was another cool morning for a ride through the mountains, I was trying to stay warm traveling up Monarch Pass. Monarch Pass is the point where US-50 reaches its highest elevation, at 11,312 feet. I’ve forgotten how twisty Monarch Pass is. Riding along US-50 was beautiful as usual, we saw many rafters enjoying their day on the Arkansas River. Once we arrived in Pueblo we took the quickest route home, I-25.

Burr… Monarch Pass

Arkansas River