Colorado 2013

Over the years, I have travelled many of the roads south of I-70, but rarely have I been in the northern part of the state. I was in Estes Park last year for a wedding, but took the camper van and decided that sooner or later I would be back on the motorcycle for more exploring. Don, who is a member of our local BMW motorcycle club, put together a ride through some of the great towns in Colorado. All told, about nineteen motorcycles and twenty two folks attended, some from as far away as British Columbia and New York.

Since we were meeting in Estes Park on a Monday, I decided to leave the previous Thursday and mosey my way up there, including spending two night in Boulder. It is not unusual for some riders to cover 700 miles in one day. I figured I could easily do 900 miles in five days. I'm slow, like to meander and take photos along the way.

My longest day would be from Show Low, AZ (in the White Mountains, app 180 miles NW of Phoenix) to Montrose, CO - about 420 miles.

Leaving Show Low Thursday morning at first light.

Heading north from Gallup, through Cortez, by Telluride, across Ridgeway and north to Montrose.

North from Gallup

Friday's ride would be a little shorter - 360 miles from Montrose, along #136 to Paonia (one of my favorite small towns) to Glenwood Springs, then I-70 to #131 north to Steamboat Springs. All of the major ski towns appear to be doing very well in both summer and winter. Then back south by #9 to Dillon, which is about 15 miles north of Breckenridge.

Paonia reservoir

Lake Dillon



Breckenridge ski area

Lake Dillon

Saturday would be a short trip 136 miles over Loveland Pass and then into Boulder, with a short stop at historic Georgetown.

Loveland Pass

Georgetown is an old mining town with a booming tourist population.

As is Central City..

I arrived in Boulder and settled into the Silver Saddle Motel along Boulder Creek and within walking distance of Pearl Street and the University. 

Silver Saddle Motel.

My cabin:

Boulder will construct a foot or bike path wherever they can!

Historic Pearl Street. Closed to traffic, restaurants, shops, street vendors, street people. A great way to spend a late afternoon and dinner. 

Sunday evening, I went to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival at the University to see "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I took my time walking along the Boulder Creek as it winds it's way thru the campus and then spent about an hour listening to live music on the lawn. The theatre is outdoors and seats about 1,000 people. I was fortunate to sit five rows back, center stage. It was an outstanding performance and I can't remember  when I have enjoyed myself more at at play! 80º, full moon, slight breeze and a well performed comedy that had folks laughing in their seats. It was an adaption that took place, somewhere, in the early 1920's. If you are ever in Boulder and have a chance, even if you are not a big fan of theatre and Shakespeare, I would highly recommend taking in a play.

5 th row, center

By showtime, all seats were filled...

Monday. Now on to the fun part, Estes Park, meeting the Colorado Crew and the start of four days of mountain riding. There were nineteen bikes and twenty-two  riders with a combination of BMW's, FJR's  a Victory and a Harley to keep things interesting. I had a short trip from Boulder to Estes, so after unloading and showering, I was there to do "meet and greet". I knew all of the AZBeemers, but none of the FJR riders. Quite of few came in from the west, through Rocky Mountain NP, during the heat of the day and with all the white knuckled drivers. They looked beat! When everyone had arrived and cleaned up, we went across the road for Elk medallions, Rocky Mountain oysters…

The Colorado 2013 Riders.

Don. 'BeemerDonS"

Don. 'BeemerDonS". Arizona

Gerard. "AZgman"

Gerard. "AZgman". Arizona

Gary. "MudslideMiller"

Gary. "MudslideMiller". Arizona

Mark. "Bokerfork"

Mark. "Bokerfork". California

AJ. "HotRodZilla"

AJ. "HotRodZilla". New Mexico

Russ. "russperry". FJR

Russ. "russperry". California


Kyle. Arizona

Bonnie and Bryan. "blrfjr". Indiana

Bob. "BobFlanders"

Bob. "BobFlanders". Arizona

Dave. "Dashpaw"

Dave. "Dashpaw". Canada

Greg. "Geezer".

Greg. "geezer". New York

Dave. "Cooleyman"

Dave. "Cooleyman". Arizona

                                                           Sylvia and Dave. "FastJoyRide". Canada

Susan and JD. "rtenroute". Ohio and Arizona

Pat. "patkenney"

                                                                    Pat. "patkenney". Arizona


                                                                              John. Arizona

Jerry. "Jer"

                                                                   Jerry. "Jer". California and Oregon

Paul. "Thingfish"

                                                                   Paul. "Thingfish". New Jersey

Bob. "Back road Bob"

                                                                       Bob. "Back Road Bob". Arizona

Before checking into the motel, I had some time, so I visited the Stanley Hotel, on a hill overlooking Estes. Sad to say, but no relation to Don Stanley. If only….

The Stanley Hotel

View from the Stanley. Maker of the Stanley Steam engine.

Their fire engines.

Inside the hotel.

View from the Stanley

Estes Park

Tuesday. AJ, Bryan and Bonnie and myself decided to ride Rocky Mountain NP without the crowds and without the heat. We left at little after eight in the morning and the temps were between 55º and 65º all thru the park. There was little if any traffic, which made for an easy ride thru the park without any problems to stop and take photos. We all met in Granby for fuel and then travelled to historic Georgetown for lunch. After lunch, we rode Loveland Pass and then took I-70 to #24 south to Leadville for the night.

Rocky Mountain NP

Rocky Mountain NP

Rocky Mountain NP

Rocky Mountain NP

                                                       Back Road Bob and HotRodZilla

Leadville. We all arrived at different times as we had all gone in different directions. After check in, showers and happy hour, we went  to dinner. Some to Chinese, most to the local steak house for the only thing on the menu: filet mignon (four different sizes), baked potato, salad (no choice of dressing) and the only option was ….. "would you like horseradish or not"!! Good meal at a great price.

A little wet in the morning.

Wednesday. We were headed to Gunnison this morning. South on #24, north on #82 thru Aspen, then a spirited ride south on #133 for lunch at an out of the way bbq place in Marble that Bokerfork had been to. six miles off  #133, population of about 100 and some of the best bbq. Thanks to Mark!

From there, it was past Paonia to catch #92 south thru the Black Canyon Gorge (spectacular) and then west on #50 along the Blue Mesa Resevoir (largest body of water in Colorado) to Gunnison, which has the best liquor store in Colorado (second best is in Estes). After everyone walked over to get a six pack, we then walked over to the mexican food restaurant, which is next to the liquor store, At that time of day and after happy hour, walking was the way to go. 

We had the entire upper floor of the restaurant to ourselves, so noise and rowdiness was not a problem.

Leaving Leadville

Twin Lakes

Toward Independence Pass

Marble BBQ

Dave, Don, Mark

AJ, Dave, Bob

Paul, Russ, Pat, Greg. Middle guy is tourist.

Bonnie and Bryan

Thursday. Gunnison to Silverton. Being the slowpoke that I am, I was near the end the entire trip. Stopping for photos, stopping for construction. Thinking I was last, I pulled up for a construction stop, and JD and Susan pulled up next to me. Hooray, I am not last. but when we started, I waved them ahead so I could take so more photos at the pass.

Early morning clouds in Gunnison

                                                                           Gunnison River

Blue Mesa Resevoir

Old ranch near Powderhorn

Old ranch near Powderhorn

Rt. 149

Lake City

Lake City. One pretty little town.


I did not stop for lunch on Thursday, I missed the BBQ place in Durango. I thought I was last again, but Bryan and Bonnie had passed me for gas in Pagosa Springs. I passed them just outside Durango, so lo and behold, I was the first one into Silverrton. Checked into the "Grand Imperial", showered and took off  to explore and take photos. After happy hour, most all of us wandered over to the Avalanche for drinks and food on their outside patio. A last farewell party.

Grand Imperial. Don't know who decorated these rooms???

City Hall

Ski fence

Grand Imperial

Friday. Everyone was up early and ready to go in different directions. The weather looked good, even with threats of rain. Goodbyes, see you agains and safe ridings...

Bob, Dave and I headed back to Show Low. Dave wanted to stop at Four Corners.




Back Road Bob

Dr. Bob



Unknown, Dave, Gerard




                                      Rocky Mountain Oysters! Dave doesn't think so.                       Photo by G. Miller

John and Bonnie. "Hey, he's not my husband!"

Bonnie and Brian





Dave and Sylvia

Kyle and Gary



Dave, Mark, AJ

Dave and Bob


                                                     John, Russ, Kyle, Bob, Dave, Gerard, Bob                Photo by G. Miller                                                                             

Russ and Kyle

Dave and Bob



Paul, Greg, Don, Gary, Kyle, Dave, Dave, Mark, Bob, Bryan, Bob, Pat, AJ, Russ. 

A very big thanks to Beemer Don Stanley for gathering riders from different parts of the country, on different motorcycles to share not only the incredible mountain roads of Colorado but the new made friendships...