Monday, September 5, 2011 @ 7:00 PM in General Travel
We woke up before sunrise on Monday to pack up our camp site, eat and get under way. It was in the low 40's when we left around 6:50 in the morning. Today's ride called for heading to Grand Junction to see the Colorado National Monument, then we'd head back to Denver. We stayed on US 50 from our campsite all the way to Grand Junction. We saw a huge herd of bighorned sheep just a few miles away from our camp site on our way west. It's a good idea to have some gas in your tank before taking this part of the journey because there weren't very many gas stations until you get to Montrose. We fueled up there and then made our way through Delta and finally to Grand Junction. In Grand Junction we fueled up again, grabbed a snack and then took US 340 into the Colorado National Monument. Depending on when you get there, it's probably wise to fuel up before entering the park.
If you're afraid of heights, then you might want to pass this ride. It's 26 miles with a lot of spots that have no guard-rail and sheer drops of a couple hundred feet. The road itself is in good condition and has some great curves and twists through some amazing red rock canyons. There are scenic overlooks about every mile or so where you can stop and take photos of the views. We also had to be careful because there were a lot of bicyclists and slow moving traffic to watch out for. The five dollar entrance fee is worth the hour and a half to two hours it takes to get through the Colorado National Monument.
After we got out of the Colorado National Monument we found ourselves in Fruita, Colorado two miles from I-70. We ate lunch at McDonalds and fueled up once again before getting on I-70. We rode in 90 degree heat for the rest of the day. We soon found out you need sun block on the face and hands even when you are wearing a helmet and gloves. The drive from Fruita to Denver is nothing exciting because it's a single straight road and in 90 degree heat you get tired easily. We found our selves stopping every 80 - 100 miles for gas, snacks, and soda. One cool thing about doing I-70 from Grand Junction to Denver is the wide change in scenery. It starts off very sandy looking in Grand Junction, then slowly turns into the ski areas with lots of pine trees. We made our last stop in Frisco, Colorado at a gas station that had two pumps and lots of traffic. Once we got about 5 miles outside of Georgetown we found out everyone was heading back at the same time, so for 25 miles we did anywhere from 3 - 50 mph. This took us about an hour and half to get past Idaho Springs. From there, it was a smooth ride back to Ryan's place.
Some things we learned throughout the trip:1. Having cigarette adapter plugs for our phones and headsets came in extremely handy. The campsite didn't have any power outlets to charge things, so we wouldn't have had any other way to keep things charged.
2. Put some sunscreen on your wrists, hands and face when you're riding all day. The sun finds strange ways to work into cracks and you end up with sunburns when you thought you'd be fine.
3. Bring a sponge to help clean your cooking gear.
4. When you stop for food, grab some extra napkins and keep them with you. You always seem to find a need for napkins when you're camping.
5. If you’re going to be foraging for wood, bring some tweezers because you’ll probably end up with a splinter at some point.
6. If you don't have anything to start a fire with use antibacterial gel.
Posted from: United States