Walkabout days 19 and 20: slacking, and riding the rockies

Spent Wednes­day not trav­el­ling. Hung around with Flash. First task, after cof­fee of course, was to check the bal­ance on the wheels on the Giraffe. Took us about 45 min­utes; front one need­ed 1.5 ounces, the back was per­fect. Re-installed them, fig­ured out a fix to the bro­ken radar detec­tor mount, and we’re done in the garage. I com­man­deer their washer/dryer and do my laun­dry. Then flash and I head out to run errands and see some spe­cial parts of Ft. Collins. 

Flash finds me a cred­it union, and then we hit JAX: a com­bi­na­tion sur­plus store and REI-lev­el out­door store. I look for a wind­break­er to make sure I will be warm enough in SLC. They have a cou­ple, but they are REI-lev­el priced: $80 and up! We pon­der run­ning to a real REI, then flash says, ‘hey, there’s anoth­er JAX in town, a farm and ranch store’ so we head out. Anoth­er huge store, com­bi­na­tion west­ern wear, ranch sup­ply, and feed store. Wow. But I find a nice Colum­bia wind­break­er, on sale for $30. Cheap bas­tard for the win! Times 2: flash also found a new straw hat ($7.95):

Then we head to some­place called the Swetsville Zoo. 30 years of fan­ci­ful ani­mals and vehi­cles, all cre­at­ed out of dis­card­ed auto and motor­cy­cle parts. Its won­der­ful. I’ll be putting up an entire pho­to gallery as soon as I’ve had time to sort them all! Then back to Fort Collins Brew­ing to fill up one of Flash’s growlers (it’s ½ price growler day!). and I of course sam­ple a few more fine brews. I could get used to this town.

Thurs­day was schizoid day; the first ½ was beau­ti­ful. From Fort Collins to Steam­boat Springs. Rist Canyon, Poudre canyon, CO-14… won­der­ful roads, won­der­ful riding.

The sec­ond ½ of the day was dif­fi­cult: high alti­tude rolling ter­rain, and vis­cious wind. At one point I was climb­ing a steep pitch at 6800ft ele­va­tion, into a 45mph head­wind (yeah, I stopped, pulled out my geek weath­er giz­mo, and mea­sured it!) and the best the Giraffe could man­age was 76mph. wow, I nev­er expect­ed that! Still as soon as I got back down to 5000 feet or so, the poor bike seemed to get it’s wind back. But it was a long cou­ple of hours fight­ing to keep the bike on the road. Final­ly made it Utah, and motored up to Dinosaur Nation­al Mon­u­ment. Real­ly inter­est­ing place, it’d be cool to have time to hike around the entire thing.

One of the cool things to do with a GPS is to get to some out-of-the way place, and then ask for a ‘short­est dis­tance’ route some­where. This tac­tic lead me from Dinosaur NM to Ver­nal via this beau­ti­ful lit­tle valley.

Final win of the day: on the way into Ver­nal UT, I spot­ty ‘The Quar­ry’: steak­house and brew­pub: yay dinner!

About the Author

Jim Harriger