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!