Sunday, August 04, 2013

Snowy Range Pass

It was July and a getaway was needed.  At 10,847 feet this was literally the high point of the trip.  The mountain is Medicine Bow Peak towering over the pass at an elevation of 12,013.  The last time I was up here was in June a few years back.  I traveled that day from Cheyenne west through Laramie and then took Wyoming 130 over the pass.   There were walls of snow piled on either side of the road eight feet or more high.  It was like riding through an ice hallway.  And, there were snow flurries on interstate 80 as I approached Laramie.  I had to wear my most serious cold weather gear that day and was still cold.  Medicine Bow Peak was completely covered with snow.  Having come up through the western mountain ranges of Colorado this time and seeing absolutely zero snow I expected Medicine Bow Peak to also be dried out; and it almost was, compared to the previous ride.

This time I came up through Walden, Colorado and traversed the Medicine Bow from the West.  Colorado was teeming with tourists but by the time I got past Walden, way in north Colorado, past all the main attractions like Breckenridge and Vale, the traffic thinned to a trickle.

I don't know how many miles I rode on this trip.  A direct route from my house to my destination, Gillette, Wyoming, is 1200 miles.  So at least 2400.  The first day I did over 500 and the second and third and fourth about 400.  Spending the third night in Laramie I arrived the next day in Gillette where I stayed about a week and then took two more nights to get back home; Limon, Colorado, Amarillo, Texas.  It was a hard ride particularly since because of other activities I haven't been far afield on the bikes in three years but I'm glad I went.

The 1993 BMW K1100LT has close to 112,000 showing on the odometer now.  I think next time I'll take my 1976 R90/6 which has only about 145,000 miles on it.  At 600 pounds its 300 lighter than the K bike and doesn't have a fairing so it's more fun to ride, in my opinion.  They both, however, have an insatiable appetite for asphalt.  I sure wish I could spring for a new K1600 but I just don't like some of the nanny features though I am sorely tempted by the 160 horse power six cylinder engine and the mere 708 pound weight in spite of that.

We are a moving picture: