Today we would not be coming back to Brian’s house for quite some time. We went the back ways down to Boulder and headed into the Rockies. The mountain air was so refreshing.
Our destination for the day was Silverthorne, a small Colorado ski town at 9,000 feet. The small dirt back roads eventually wound around to route 119. Motorcycles were everywhere in these back roads. We saw a huge group of around 30 sports bikes going the opposite direction and rode along with other adventure bikes speeding and leaning into the mountain curves. There was a LOT of biker waves going on, but I couldn’t help but wave back and share in the joy of back mountain riding with my fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.
We drove through the casino town of Black Hawk and kept climbing on highway 70 to Brian’s friends house in Silverthorne. Our day so far had been perfect with sunshine, not much wind and great distance visibility. As we continued to get into the heart of the mountains we noticed some dark clouds ahead. Both of our bikes were starting to stutter from the altitude and our fingers felt the crisp chilling air. Before we knew it, it started pouring and tried to push on through the mountain pass. Brian wasn’t wearing his wet weather gear yet, and we looked for the nearest exit. The hard rain soon turned to snow and the nearest exits up here didn’t have any services. The first one that we pulled off on didn’t have anything. The road didn’t appear to go anywhere and Brian could not stop shivering as he pulled out his rain gear to put over his soaking wet pants and riding jacket.
He was not a happy camper. My jacket and pants were working pretty well only leaving my chilled to the bone hands and cold wet feet. The constant rain and snow mix had seeped through our non-inclement gear.
The snow made it very difficult to see through our visors on our helmets and we pulled off a few more times to try and warm our hands before cresting the top of the mountain pass. Brian’s bike was struggling! He had a hard time getting to highway speeds and we looked for an exit with something to set his bike under to hopefully dry out and allow him to ride at a safer speed. His bike has exposed air filters that could have possibly pulled in some water. A few more exits up, through the falling snow, we pulled off at a ski resort.
After parking our bikes under the awning off the roof and checking out the bathrooms we rejoiced in finding warm air dryers! They helped a ton in drying out our gloves and warming up our freezing hands.
Brian let his bike run for a while, out of the weather, to hopefully dry out. And thank goodness the snow/rain mix started to dissipate leaving only the cold air to steal the heat from our extremities.
While my hands and feet were cold, I reveled in the majestic beauty all around us. Brian’s bike enjoyed the time out of the rain and our motorcycles pushed upwards through the thinner air, and through the tunnel pass at the top. The other side of the tunnel smiled on us with some sunshine and clear skies.
Gravity made it easy on us, and the old 82 Honda CB750 took the lead cruising down to Silverthorne.
We got off and let the sun warm us up while grabbing a bite to eat at Qdoba. Brian took off his drenched wool socks and shoes in the parking lot to let them start to dry out.
We shortly headed to his friends house and enjoyed some time indoors meeting our hosts roommates. I foolishly didn’t get a good picture of them until a little later.
It was exciting seeing the ski poles on the side of the fireplace, mountain pictures on the walls, hot tub sitting happily with a mountain view, and garage full of cold weather gear. Brian and I went to the store to grab some food and explored some of the little hiking trails nearby.
We hung out getting to know these ski bums and old school friends, before heading to bed. The next morning we would push for Moab, Utah. After some discussion with our hosts, Victoria, Grace, and Rachel decided to join us on our trek to Moab.
Next time on Joshjourneys… The party of five and a dog in the desert.