As I headed W on 160 ( section of the legends of the highway loop) off of 25 N out of Trinidad, CO., the smell of Pinyon Pine was everywhere. As I climbed to 9400 ft. in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mtns. ( The East Range) the temp. dropped from 85 F to 74 F. AWESOMENESS!!!! Down into the San Louis Valley with Blanca Peak, one of Colorado's fourteeners http:/www.14ers.com to my right. Side note - Jay, Tommy and I climbed Mt. Evans in the Front range with Troop 735 in 2000, the memories of that trip with both of my sons I hope I will never forget. Past San Louis SP, where Todd and I stayed in our 1953 airstream, Dar Swiya, when we visited Great Sand Dunes NP in 2010.
YES! Colorado --- going into Pagosa Springs, through the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests, on 160 W after Wolf Creek pass -- so much fun.
Ok, time to fess up here -- dropped Stormy at Wolf Creek pass. I misjudged the grade, put the kickstand down, got off, she started to go to left, I overcompensated and she fell to right. Two nice gentlemen came over to help me get her up. She took it well, as she always does. Love my GS.
Stayed in Pagosa Springs at a little place that was definitely a step back in time. Reminded me of the theme of the airstream that Tommy and I stayed in when we were in Joshua Tree.
Called the shop, they were really nice and would be expecting me, they closed at 5:30. It was 3:30. Going to be very close.
Texted Todd and Betty & Jim to let them know what was going on, then took a breath.
I had everything I needed if I had to spend the night. Stove, tent, food, water, sleeping bag, fire starters, and I was in not only a safe place but an incredibly peaceful, beautiful place. The picture at the top of this posting is where I was. Time to enjoy and breathe it all in, but first I decided to hang my red jacket out on the road, as a sign to my tow. My phone was running out of battery, so I turned it off and plugged it into my mophie charger, while I was waiting. After an hour, I turned my phone back on and I had missed a call. It was from my tow driver. I quickly climbed back up to my spot and called him back. He was N of Durango but he would be another hour. I told him to look for the red jacket. I called Handlebar back and told them I would not be there by closing. Lane gave me his cell # and said he would wait for me. How cool was that!
My tow driver was named Ron, very nice young man. Took us a couple of tries to get Stormy loaded, her back tire kept jumping either left or right of the ramp. I tried, he tried, I tried again. Finally with me riding and some very fine clutch/throttle control, I might add, we got her loaded. The truth is, that Ron had a great idea, he figured out why her back tire kept shifting and he found a rock to help prevent it. Worked like a charm.
Back to Durango. Called Lane to let him know that we were on the way, but probably wouldn't be there until close to 7pm.
When we pulled into Handlebar Motorsports it was 6:50 pm. I called Lane and he opened the gate and we unloaded Stormy and parked her behind a locked gate for the night.
Lane Darling, I found out the next day what his last name is, was incredibly kind to me. There was a Comfort Inn across the street but they were full. I found the next closest place, thank God for google maps and apps, and booked the last room. It was 2.3 miles away. Lane offered to drive me and all my gear there. He wouldn't take a dime. This young man, who was tall, thin, blonde, with the face and smile of an angel simply said to me that he was glad he could help.
I felt very vulnerable that night without Stormy outside my window.
The next morning, I called and spoke with the service manager, Brian. He said the would be looking at my bike in about 15 mins. and he figured they would have everything wrapped up in an hour and a half. I paced, just praying that it was indeed just a tube or a valve or anything simple. I called back after an hour and 45 mins. Brian had the paperwork in his hands, it was a tiny, tiny nail. They replaced the tube. YAHOO!!!!! Called a cab, and grabbed my riding gear. I had paid an extra $10 for late check out.
I just cannot express how kind everyone I met in Durango was to me. From Ron, to Lane, Jimmy and Brian, to Zack at the Wapiti Lodge ( family owned).
Jimmy came up to me as I was leaving the shop, he gave me the nail, thought I might like to have it. Lane wasn't there when I left, so I gave Jimmy some money and asked if he would take Lane out to dinner for me.
Mesa Verde NP exceeded my wildest expectations. I really wasn't expecting much, but it is a NP and Todd loved it. I had the best time riding and exploring. The weather was perfect ---- 73 degrees.
I am now in Cortez, CO. Spent last night here and am going to stay another night. Plan to do a local loop ride, over to four corners monument and Hovenweep National Monument.