Gunnison SP and Milllon Dollar Highway Ouray. CO to Durango CO 9-17-17
We set the alarm for relatively early since we had a low key evening... but when we checked the weather ~ we weren't too eager to get going. The sun was shining bright, so that helped. We got the bags packed on the bikes, put a new bolt in Shelly's windshield as one fell out somewhere along the way, I checked the bolts in my new bars, checked my tire pressure and oil - all were good to go!
After grabbing a quick bite for breakfast, we headed on our way west to Cty Rd 92 ~ the guys we met were talking about how great this road was, and they were totally right! From the Moment we turned onto 92, I knew I was in love...
|Gunnison State Park 92|
We turned the corner from the lake and Dam and this was our next view of 92 - hell yes!!!! CORNERS!!!! And CLIFFSs!
Naturally, before ascending up this dream come true road, I noticed a sweet cliff and rock area while I was taking pics of the dam... I gave the phone to Shelly and hiked up the hill, over the rocks, and onto the ledge in my full leathers and helmet. Safety first! "I spy,,,,,"
We continued our climb up the road, leaning left, then right, the left, then right.. all while having amazing views to our left - overlooking Gunnnison State Park, aka the Black Grand Canyon of CO. You could see for miles and miles - the cliffs, the rocks, the trees, the winding roadway,,,,
Oh and the ginormous storm clouds that were dropping heavy rain all around us. We kept on rolling, every corner led to a new view and a new natural wonder starring at us in beauty...
We stopped off at a turn out for a few photos, and to check the weather. The clouds were increasingly dark and ominous looking. The lightning strikes were getting closer and closer and not long after we stopped, the rain started. There was a shelter we went and hung out in while the storm dropped huge raindrops above us, then followed it up with hail pellets. And a pretty steep temp drop!
Just as we were about ready to gear up and 'beat the next round of storms' - which we could see everywhere around us, dropping crazy rain near and far. Just as we put our helmets on, the thunder returned from over the hill in which we couldn't see prior, then came crazy massive lightning bolts, and more rain and hail. Meanwhile, a group of bikers had shown up and had already ridden through the first hail storm so they joined under the shelter and we all waited it out.
We only had to wait it out maybe 31 mins and the sky started to improve, so we geared up once again and headed out!~
Rain soaked roads and yet cool views
From there, we headed to the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray CO to Durango CO, where we would stay for the night. The ascent up the highway (550) was nothing short of amazing. Sheer rock cliffs on the side of us with zero guardrails and no warning signs. And the corners were fairly tight with IDK how step of drops to the side. One oops and there we would have went!
But the views over the edge were absolutely priceless! And dont worry, I have go Pro video that I will download too. Maybe 7 miles up the road, once again the thunder started, lightnig strikes could be seen, and then rain. Hard, cold, heavy, rain. We pulled off the road and took shelter next to an old abandoned garage of sorts. We waited and waited, but it wasn't letting out. and soon, nightfall would come. So off we went, in the pouring rain, in temps so cold we could see our breath and I couldn't feel my finger tips even with gloves on. It was northing short of brutal, while trying to keep my glasses cleared long enough to both see the road and see the views = what could be seen thanks to fog too.
We stopped in Durango for the night - the longest fifty miles of my life were from Silverton to Durageno when I thought there was all of twenty miles to go and Shelly informed me of the sign she just saw... while we were sitting at a one way roadway light, which let us know that the signal could be up to 20 minutes before changing to let us through again. And down came more rain. It was miserable. Sadly I didnt get many pics of the ghihway because. Of the weather.. but I do have several on the go pro I have yet to download. ..... Million Dollar Highway CO 550:
Checked into our hotel and I was immediately impressed, based solely on the room key card!
After warming up poor awhile in the room with the heat cranked, we walked a mile downtown to find food and a beer or two. The onl place in town on a Sunday night with both items was. A brewery. So we went there, ate, drank a few beers, and planned out tomorrows adventure. I use plan very loosely for those who know me!!!
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