Motorcycle ride to South Park Colorado

Monday morning, while I was having my first cup of coffee and thinking about how I should spend the day, Todd called and asked if I wanted to go riding. I didn't need any convincing and said yes. We agreed to meet at Cheesman Park at 9:15 AM. A third guy was a no-show.

We rode west on US-6 then took I-70 west into the mountains. We stopped at the visitors center in Georgetown to look over the map. We started up Guanella Pass road, fortunately it was closed and a forest ranger told us it wasn't paved all the way, the road exceeded my skill level. We came back down and rode on to Breckenridge.

We stopped at the Blue Moose Cafe in Breckenridge and had a late breakfast. We met-up with a friend of Todd's that works in Breckenridge unfortunately he wasn't able to go riding with us. It was about 12:30 PM when we started south on CO-9.

The road south from Breckenridge was in good condition and a fairly easy ride. There were a couple of hair-pin curves - just slow down before the turn and look where you want the bike to go. The road goes over Hoosier Pass which is on the Continental divide. We stopped and took some pictures at the pass. Todd put his camera on time delay and took a picture of us together in-front of the Hoosier Pass sign (I hope he will send me a copy.)

We continued south from Hoosier Pass through Alma into Fairplay. We stopped in Fairplay in-front of a tourist site called South Park City; it is a tourist site built from old historic buildings and artifacts collected from the local area. In reality, South Park isn't a city or town, it is the name given to a valley between the east range of the Rocky Mountains and the west range of the Rocky Mountains. There are three such valleys - North Park, Middle Park and South Park.

We gassed up in Fairplay then continued on CO-9 to Hartsel where we turned east on US-24. My bike took 2.2 gallons of gas and the trip-meter read 108.5 miles (49.3 miles/gallon). We stopped at the junction of CO-9 and US-24 and snapped a couple of pictures of the South Park valley. It was so green and lush - just beautiful.

We stopped for a rest and a drink at the Thunderbird Inn in Florissant before continuing on to Woodland Park. At Woodland Park we turned onto CO-67 and rode north through Deckers to Conifer. This road took us through the Pike National Forest and the 2002 Hayman Fire burn area. It is still beautiful country even with the fire damage.

We dodged a rattlesnake crossing the road north of Deckers. I've encountered many prairie rattlers but this was the first timber rattler I've seen. We ran into a little bit of rain too but got out of it when we reached Conifer.

We came down US-285 from Conifer back into Denver. We ended our trip at Charlie's of Denver (6:00 PM) where we had a couple of beers. We traveled 262 miles in 8 1/2 hours (5 1/2 hours in the saddle.) I was completely exhausted but had a really good time and saw some beautiful country.

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