Featured Touring Our Annual Tour Of The American Southwest: V.2024

Discussion in 'Rideouts, Trackdays, Touring & Spotted' started by Sandi T, Jul 3, 2024.

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  1. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    OMG, @Helmut Visor, I can't even describe how hard I laughed at your post. :joy::joy::joy: So did my hubby, Steve. And YOUR advice is the advice I shall do my best to take from here on out. :):kissing_heart: I may not be able to "stop the train" on the first two if Steve opens that door of opportunity to Russell. But I'll definitely never take his clothing advice again. :eek: You know that saying, "Ride your own ride"? To that I'll add "Dress your own self." :rolleyes:
     
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  2. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day #5: Pagosa Springs, Colorado to Creede, Colorado to Durango, Colorado Miles: 189

    We awoke to a chilly (mid-30's) but sunny morning in Pagosa Springs which made us glad that we'd gone with "Plan C". :cool::sun: Plus after riding up and over the pass (twice) it was clear that doing that in the fog and rain would have been unwise (stupid, actually!) By the time we had our coffee and packed the bikes, the weather was perfect. The worst thing we could say about today's weather was that it was a tad windy on the mountain at some points.

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    The elevation of Wolf Creek Pass is 10,856 feet (or for the rest of the world outside the U.S. 3,309 meters). Wolf Creek Ski Area sits between the pass on Route 160 between the pass itself and the town of South Fork. According to Wikipedia, this ski area is is best known for receiving more average annual snowfall than any other resort in Colorado, at about 430 inches per year.

    From Wikipedia
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    Having never done this ride before, the pass came upon us before we knew it (and was around a curve to boot) so we didn't make a stop at the summit for photos on the ride to Creede. That was unfortunate because by the time we went over the pass again, the pull-out area was packed with cars and we had to pack a bit downhill from the sign. But with some judicious editing, I did manage to get a photo (thank you, Russell) with the pass sign, though without my bike in it.

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    Once we dropped down off the pass, the road was spectacular and wound us along rivers most of the way to Creede. Steve kept track and said that on today's ride we rode next to or across five rivers: the San Juan, Rio Grande, Animas, Piedras, and Florita. I noted that we rode through three counties: Mineral, San Juan, and Archulate. And we rode through two national forests: the Rio Grande and the San Juan. I love the American West! :heart_eyes:

    Steve has wanted to go to Creede for years and we finally got there. He had just heard it was a cool little town and it's one he never went to even though he lived in Colorado for four years several decades ago. Creede is the most populous town in Mineral County...but that's not saying much because based on the 2020 U.S. Census, the population is only 257! :eek: That said, according to Wikipedia (of course) , "in the 19th century, Creede was the last silver boom town in Colorado. It leapt from a population of 600 in 1889 to more than 10,000 in December 1891". Since mining is no longer in this area along with the fact that Creede is really tucked away and off the beaten path, it makes sense that the population plummeted. Plus the main street sits at the mouth of a box canyon leaving really only one road it and out of town. It's hard to imagine what it would be like living here in the winter. o_O That all said, Steve, Russell, and I really like this little mountain town which seems like it is reinventing itself to be a bit of a tourist destination for those who like a bit more quiet experience. :)

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    The one hotel in town. We learned that the restaurant recently opened, too, and is reportedly quite good. We just had coffee, knowing (and anticipating!) that we would have a late lunch at Serious Texas BBQ in Durango a bit later.:joy::yum

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    Steve met this Corgi "shop dog", Lucy, in an outdoor outfitter store. She was a total sweetie-pie!

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    Day #5 continued in my next post. Back over Wolf Creek Pass and on to Durango
     
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  3. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day #5 continued: Creede over Wolf Creek Pass back through Pagosa Springs and on to Durango

    Our final destination for today was another favorite town of ours, Durango. Our first order of business as we ride in from the east is to stop outside of town at Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, a seriously good barbecue joint. A major plus is that the outdoor seating area sits above the Animas River, providing a lovely spot to chow down. :yum After that we moseyed over to Durango Harley-Davidson which is only two doors down. It's nice to explore new places...but it's also nice to have a few traditions. :)

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    We've been to Durango a number of times but this time we stayed at a hotel we'd not stayed in before, the General Palmer Hotel. Last time we were in Durango we stopped in to take a look around and liked what we saw. So when it came time for me to make reservations for this particular trip, the General Palmer was on my call list. It turned out to be a bit less expensive that the two places we typically stay. And it also turns out that we liked it better than those two!

    From the hotel website:
    The General Palmer Hotel was built in the Victorian era in 1898, in historic downtown Durango. Within the charm of our historical setting we have added the comforts of modern living. The 39 room hotel is named after General William Jackson Palmer who established the hotel and helped found the railroad.

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    The lobby
    The young men on duty at the front desk when we were there were delightful. But I was so glad that the morning we checked out, Caleb, who had helped me select our room over the phone, came back on duty so I was able thank him personally. Steve and I had a terrific room on the second floor on the back side of the hotel looking out over the mountains that Caleb recommended and booked for us. The narrow gauge Durango & Silverton train depot was nearby and we could see and hear the trains--at just the right volume. ;) Additionally, there was ample and safe parking on the backside of the hotel and we could see out bikes from the windows. :) Russell was not so pleased with his room but, hey, he uses booking.com so we tease him that he gets the leftover rooms in the basement or empty closets. :rolleyes: :joy::joy::joy: @Helmut Visor, I do NOT take his advice when it comes to lodging. Well, rarely, anyway. ;)

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    The library

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    Part of our view out the back. The view was actually quite a bit more expansive but I wanted to show the train. :)

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    After settling in and exploring the hotel a bit, we met up with Russell in the lobby and set out to check out Main Street. All three of us love this mountain town and there are sights and stores that we now make a point of seeing when we're there. These aren't necessarily those particular sights, but I thought they were pretty fun and capture a bit of Durango's spirit. :)

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    This old truck has been repurposed as a bar / seating area in an outdoor food truck/restaurant/bar area that popped up onto a vacant corner on Main Street a year or two ago.

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    Last year we found a new restaurant that all three of us really like. It's called The Durango Pour House and we ate there two out of three nights last time we were here. This year we spent two nights in Durango and this place was only open tonight, our first night in town. So in we went.

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    I don't even remember for sure what I ate! :joy: But I do remember this IPA flight. :grinning: It was delicious! And just what the doctor ordered after a great day of riding. :heart:

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    Our annual SW Tour 2024 continued in my next posts. Next up, Day #6: The Million Dollar Highway--both directions! :)
     
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  4. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
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    I'm glad to hear it Sandi :joy:
     
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  5. joe mc donald

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    Sandi T.
    What a great write up again. And well the pictures are awesome and every one tells a story of their own. Do keep it coming. My favourite read of the day.
     
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  6. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    @joe mc donald

    Hi, Joe, and thanks! I'm so glad you're enjoying the write up and photos of our trip. I just love doing motorcycle trips for so many reasons. The interesting sights and wonderful people we meet provide as much of the fun and great memories as the riding itself. As you and many on this forum know full well, seeing the world from the seat of a motorcycle is WAY different than by any other avenue. :cool::grinning: And it has become my favorite way to travel and explore. At some point today I'll post about our Day # 6 Durango day ride from Durango to Ouray and back again on the Million Dollar Highway. So stay tuned, my friend! :kissing_heart::heart:
     
  7. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day #6: Durango, Colorado to Ouray, Colorado and back to Durango. Miles: 144
    An out-and-back on "The Million Dollar Highway"


    Ok, I'm completely frustrated. I just spent about nearly on today's post and the site dumped me out. :mad::mad::mad:Aaaaarggh!!! So I'm just going share photos and you can make up your own commentary. Sorry, I'm just done for the day. Not to mention the fact that Tucson is in the middle of a raging monsoon and my husband's new grill that I just bought him for his birthday blew off the porch and is upside down on the ground. And he's fishing up in the White Mountains five hours away. Probably TMI but whatever......l give up for the day.

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  8. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Day #6: Durango, Colorado to Ouray, Colorado and back to Durango. Miles: 144
    An out-and-back on "The Million Dollar Highway"


    Ok, I'm done. I just spent well over an hour on today's post and I got dumped out of the site and ALL of my commentary just went "poof" and disappeared. :mad::mad::mad: So I'll just add the photos which still show up and you can just "read between the lines". This was the most fun I've had doing commentary, too, so I'll just have to be content with knowing what I wrote for myself. Sorry.......SHITE!!!!!!!!!

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    And for those of you who checked out my photos from today, here's the other reason I'm a little cranky (UNDERSTATEMENT!) A major monsoon (including hail) just blew through Tucson and this is what happened to my husband's new Weber grill that I just bought for him for his birthday. And he's up in northern Arizona with Russell on a fishing trip. I think I need a martini........ Double AAARRRGH!!!

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    I'll write about the rest of our day in Durango mañana...after that martini and a good night's sleep. Right now I'm going out to assess the grill damage. :tired_face:
     
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  9. Marco Wikstrom

    Sep 28, 2023
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    One of my best friends here in Albuquerque spent part of his childhood living in the Plaza Hotel. He is 14th generation New Mexican, descended from the Spanish conquistadores. We had breakfast together this morning.
     
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  10. Marco Wikstrom

    Sep 28, 2023
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    But he's a great guy.
     
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  11. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Yes he is!!! :):heart: One of the best!
     
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  12. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    That’s so cool, @Marco Wikstrom! :) I bet he’s got some great stories and memories.
     
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  13. Marco Wikstrom

    Sep 28, 2023
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Years ago several friends and I rode our Ducatis to Ouray or Telluride every year to attend "Ducati in the Rockies." The event eventually fizzled after local law enforcement zeroed in on us and started harassing every rider on a Ducati (and every other sportbike during the event). Fun times though. I only got one speeding ticket in all those years, which I fought in a Telluride courtroom and won.
     
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  14. Marco Wikstrom

    Sep 28, 2023
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    He's not only a fine gentleman, but a history buff and I've learned so much about New Mexico history from him.
     
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  15. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Well, I guess I somehow posted a double dose of photos for Day #6. Ahh, sigh. "Technology". Or perhaps I'm technologically challenged! :joy:

    For anyone who's still interested, here's the rest of Day #6. A few more photos in Ouray then our evening in Durango.

    Ouray:

    This was posted in the bar where we had lunch. Love it! :grinning: I actually qualify to be ID-checked. ;)

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    This would have been a bar with my name all over it last night. :eek::joy:

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    Lots of cool old buildings in Ouray. This is a somewhat famous hotel in these parts.

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    The bicycle in front of this shop caught our eyes.

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    When we arrived back in Durango and had parked our bikes, the narrow gauge train was just coming back from Silverton so I got a great view. This is just on the back side of our hotel.

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    To top off a stellar day of riding, we had a delicious dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in this town.

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    The General Palmer Hotel from the back side where our bikes were parked.

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    Next up, Day #7: Durango, Colorado to Winslow, Arizona--to be continued...
     
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  16. Markus

    Markus Crème de la Crème
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    @Sandi T: Sorry to read that your post disappeared in a black hole of IT-chaos. Many thanks for your endless engagement to let us other members be part of your great impressions.;)
     
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