Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Seven days in Colorado

Scootering with friends is an experience that is hard to explain to others that may not understand the nostalgia of riding in a group of like minded people. But I would never thought scootering with friends would become a week in Colorado with some of greatest people I know. This trip was so amazing I had to blog about the wonderful time we had.
For months, Robin & Matt (members of Blue Meanies Scooter Club) asked the group if anyone wanted to go to Colorado in July and stay in their large resort home. They were towing their scooters for a week of riding the Rocky Mountains. A few members thought about the trip but only three accepted and were able to make it to Colorado.
Due to attending my daughters college orientation, I thought would not have the opportunity to make it, but Matt and Robin was so thoughtful to move their departure time to later that afternoon, which allowed me time to return from the orientation and leave with them. This is just the beginning of their kindness.
We left for Steamboat Springs, CO Friday afternoon, drove to Trinidad, CO, and arrived around 2AM. After getting a couple of hotel rooms, Saturday morning we were back on the road heading to their resort house in Steamboat Springs. Jim & Pookie (the other Blue Meanies that could make the trip) also got a room in Trinidad. Ironically they pulled up behind us on the freeway without any coordination of where we were (per Robin???) The first day of riding to Colorado was pretty much non eventful but the second day of was something different. Towing a U haul trailer, with three scooters, and going through the mountains were nothing like anything DFW has to offer. Weekend traffic and crazy drivers did not help the situation either but Matt was able to get us to our lunch destination of Silverthorne, CO safely.
After having a great lunch, we continued our trip to Steamboat, Springs. Once we arrived we unloaded all the scooters and unpacked gear. Soon, Robin was off on her scooter to discover our new surroundings. Later Pookie was next and eventually everyone was riding except me. I had to do some minor repairs to the scooter windshield. During the ride down, the wind shook it loose and I had to make several trips to the local hardware store and Wal-mart. After procuring the needed supplies for a great vacation, I was back to riding Sunday afternoon. Each time getting on the scooter was an adventure. It was a combination of the new scenery, very good roads, and riding with a group of scooterist. My first day of riding was around Steamboat Springs. Most of the weekend tourist were clearing out Sunday evening and compared to Saturday, the town was becoming very quiet.

Monday morning we were up for a ride out to Fish Creek Falls. This falls was used as the original advertisement for Coors Beer and was pictured on their labels. Getting to the falls required a nice ride through the mountains and a hike to the falls. The hike to the Falls was not too strenuous as the path was paved and contained outstanding views of the mountains and the Fall.

We hiked down to the stream that ran from Fish Creek Falls and took a break under the shade.

Hiking further down the mountain allowed us the opportunity to take a closer picture of the Falls.

Tuesday morning we took a ride out to Stagecoach State Park. Very nice roads but once we arrived at the park, the ride began on dirt roads. That was OK, as riding slow on those roads gave us an opportunity to see the fantastic view of the lake and the mountains in the background.

After leaving the park, we rode out to Oak Creek for lunch at a coffee shop. The sandwiches there were very good or I was just very hungry.

Later Tuesday afternoon Matt, Robin, and I rode out to Steamboat Lake State Park. The ride along the river was at least 10 degrees less when riding other roads around the area. The park had very good campgrounds with cabins and the lake was very clear.

Wednesday morning, Jim and Pookie made their way back to the DFW area and we planned our first long day of riding.  We rode out to the town of Granby, CO, Had lunch and rode back to Springboat Springs. On the way back, it began to rain and get cooler. It didn't really bother us too much as this was a small price to pay for "riding freaking scooters through the rocky mountains". When the rain got a little heavy, we stopped for a few minutes but later the rain became lighter and we continued home. Once we got out of the higher elevation, there was no rain in sight. Total trip was over 150 miles U.S. Postal style (...rain, sleet, or snow...). Below are pictures before the rain began.

Thursday morning we got a ride suggestion from a local residents about a road that would take us to a small town called Hayden. While riding, we had a road block that temporarily slowed us down but with some persuasive negotiation, they let us passed.
When riding up to a sign that said Hayden to the right, we took the left back to Oak Creek. Adventure scootering is fun. While there, grab a bite to eat and started out to Kremming via a new road of travel.This road took us up around 10k feet above sea level. Great views and passed a  rancher and his dogs working a cow herd.

On the way back from Kremming, we stopped at Rabbit Ear Pass to take some pictures at the Great Continental Divide. Another day of riding over 150 miles and the views were as amazing as the first day we arrived in Colorado. It seems riding around this area could never grow old and boring.

Friday, I was determined to make my way up to Wyoming. I'm glad Matt and Robin were up for the ride....sorta. As we rode up to the town of Walden, they stayed back, and I went up to Wyoming. This was very nice of them as the ride to Walden were mostly straight roads. I wanted to scratch Wyoming off my scooter riding state list. Eight states down and 42 more to go. While taking a picture at the Wyoming/Colorado state line, a person on the way to participate in a bike race in Laramie, Wyoming took a picture of me on my scooter. 

After taking my picture, he jumped in his car and tried to take my phone. I chased him down for over 10 miles. After going through so many tight curves, he crashed his car and it rolled off a steep hill. I ran down the hill, grab my phone from his broken and bloody hand, right before his car blew up. I was able to make my way back up the hill and avoided the explosion by seconds. As I sat on side the hill and watched the car being engulfed by flames, I realized I was still at the state line dreaming the entire event up, right before he handed me back my phone. I was glad he gave me back my phone. lol Actually, I looked up the results of the race that Saturday and the guy placed second in the Larmine Enduro 111K.
I rode back to the town of Walden and had lunch with Robin and Matt. Our next adventure was across Buffalo Pass, as the map indicated it was paved roads. Wrong!  After lunch we started down that way but the road turned into dirt. On the way, a rancher told us the road was dirt the entire way and the Buffalo Pass road only gets grated for travel once a year. We turned around a took another road we have not scooted on and went to a different location. Just riding and enjoying the scenery of our last day in the Rocky Mountains. We stopped for a break before heading back home.

The last day of riding and I got in over 200 miles through mountains and valleys. Later that evening, we began packing and loaded the scooters on the trailer for the trip back to Texas.
Saturday morning, during the first part of the ride back home, to me, everything seemed so surreal. I was very quiet as I tried to soak up what took place the previous week. We did so much but did not make a large dent of all the things to do in that area. It is somewhere I would definitely try to come back.

The entire vacation was like a continuous week long Blue Meanies Saturday ride. We rode scooters most of the day and stopped often for a bite to eat. When we were not riding, we either was planning another ride or talking about the rides we previously took.

I can never thank Robin and Matt enough for inviting me up to Colorado. The resort home we stayed in was large with enough space for everyone plus six more people. Hanging out with them, along with Jim and Pookie was a pleasure and never a dull moment. I don't know how I became so blessed to know them, I'm just glad I do.