NOLA to Canadian Rockies 2018-Day 3

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 17, 2018/ BMW R1200RT, New Orleans to Canadian Rockies 2018, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Loveland, CO

Time: 06:30

Weather Conditions: Overcast and cool 64f

Daily High Temperature: 66F

Destination: Cody, WY

Daily Miles Logged: 518

Highest Elevation Visited: 12,300 feet

Arrival Time: 19:30

States Visited: Colorado, Wyoming

Highlights Include:

The Trail Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park

When we visited this area in 2015, we missed this exciting stretch of road due to inclement weather that included running from tornadoes.   This ride is described in our ride plan as follows;

  • Rising more than two miles above sea level, Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road is motorcycling heaven. Located inside gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park a short 65 miles northwest of Denver, it’s the highest continuous paved road in the country, soaring to an elevation of 12,183ft. This cliff-hugging highway is an engineering miracle, and the 54 beautiful, twisty miles it runs from Estes Park, Colo., to Grand Lake, Colo., are unlike any you’ve ridden before. Slicing through the heart of the park, the ride enters a world of rare alpine beauty and offers unparalleled views. Believe it when we tell you, they don’t make roads like this one anywhere outside of Colorado.
  • The road leading into Cody from the South (Hwy 120)
  • Waking up to find that my wife and kids had made arrangements before we left to have Jr bring their cards for me for Fathers Day.

This is the first time in our many adventures where our travels brought us away from our family’s on any holiday other than the Fourth of July.  Today was especially challenging for me as it was a reminder to me of my missing traveling companion, my father.  He would diligently track our trip progress on find friends on his iPhone and would even update me with weather warnings and other points of interest that he had discovered as he was looking at our trip destinations and then learning about them.  I am blessed this year to be able to share this adventure with my friends, but also with my son, Steven Jr.

Each card was a perfect representation of my kids personalities and to a large degree, our relationships…

We knew from the outset of the day that today was going to be a day where we would encounter some liquid sunshine.  We made our way earlier than planned towards the Trail Ridge in hopes that we could catch some of its beauty before the inclement weather had its way.

This perfectly captures the majority of what we saw… Fog, Clouds, and not much else

Daily highlight for Jr was getting in a little snow play, including making a nice snowball to throw at his unsuspecting father…

Once we made our way through the 54 miles of the Trail Ridge, we proceeded to make our way towards Cody.  Temperatures at the highest elevation was in the low 40’s and with the precipitation, that made for a less than optimal ride, but there were few complaints from our group, except from the three of us that elected to not put on our rain suit pants earlier in the morning.  We were blessed with a stretch of dryer riding for long enough for us to dry out a little before we hit the next area of rain.  Since we had been riding on Hwy 230 for miles without seeing another vehicle, we pulled off to the side of the road and suited up completely for the remainder of the day.

Lunch was at a joint in Rawlins WY and it was a neat local place.  I had a cheese burger and their hand-cut fries.  I will never understand why restaurants resist making fresh cut french fries.  They are so much better tasting, and really, how hard is it to wash, slice and then fry a potato?  Kudos to the crew at Buck’s for doing it right.

Did I mention they had a “large” menu?

Now you see him coming…

Now you see him going… Just silly, but I liked it!

One of the byproducts of having a new pair of gloves that you are riding with in the rain.

We pressed on towards Cody for our home base tonight and had an unexpected treat of Hwy 120.  This stretch of tarmac did not disappoint and what we thought would merely take us to where we needed to be tonight entertained us for miles with spectacular vistas, tunnels, curves, and a historic rail road track that made you feel like you were in the wild west in the late 1800’s.

WE have ridden several canyon roads, this one is definitely up in the top few that I recall as far as scenery is concerned!

This image is not what you might think… they were all looking at the river hidden below and the railroad tracks!

 

We decided to visit a spot from our previous adventure in 2014, “The Irma” for dinner.  This place was a hit on our first trip, but tonight was not a repeat performance.  I will hold everything in the light of the fact that we were late in the day, on a holiday, they had obviously been very busy and were winding down for the day.

I have not had many great experiences with ordering salmon while on our adventures for a litany of reasons.  The main recurring theme is that they simply do not know the proper way to cook a piece of salmon.  I decided to play it safe and order the chicken pot pie as it is a shameful indulgence that I rarely get to have…. They were out.  Ok… How about the Prime Rib?  “We’re out.”  How about a baked potato?  “We’re out.”  So… I made the ill fated decision to order the salmon.  I pleaded with the waitress to convey my distaste for dry and overcooked salmon and that I like mine very much on the rare side.  She agreed with me that there is nothing worse than over cooked salmon and that she would take care of it.

What arrived on my plate was more similar to a shoe sole than a salmon fillet.  I could tell without even cutting it that it was not just a little overdone, but it had been cooked beyond being fit for human consumption.  I tapped it with my fork and the fork bounced off of the fish like it was rubber.  I then broke away a piece from the center and it was so dry, it looked like cardboard.  I told the waitress that we had been riding all day on Saturday in the dry and dusty plains of Kansas, and that there was more moisture there than there was left in that poor piece of fish.  I opted to enjoy a cliff bar back at the room instead.  I do not think we will return Tuesday night for a repeat performace.

 

Tomorrow’s weather looks rainy and cool, not ideal for our visit to Yellowstone, but I am certain that we will make the most of it and have a fantastic day!

-Steve

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