We slept amazingly good last night with the sound of the river in the background and the cool, mountain air filling our tent. And by cool, I mean chilly for me and arctic for Kristen. She may have lived in Ohio for most of her life, but Kris has embraced the weather of Texas.
We bundled up after packing away our gear and treating ourselves to tortillas and peanut butter, then headed up through Lake City and on to Gunnison.
Earlier in the morning, I saw Kristen do a curious thing. She put on three pairs of pants because she was so cold. I laughed at her until we really started to rise in elevation. By Slumgullion Pass (11,530 ft) I was an icicle in my jeans.
The riding, however, was amazing. Elga is a carbureted machine, meaning without a little love she doesn't particularly like drastic changes in elevation. For whatever reason, she ran as strong as could be expected through the climb. I was proud, but I'm pretty sure we looked similar to the movie Dumb and Dumber as they were making their way to Aspen on the scooter. WE didn't go very fast, but Elga gave a solid effort to keep us at a steady 25 mph.
It was still early afternoon as we hit Gunnison. A decision had to be made: go west towards Montrose or east towards Buena Vista. "What about Aspen", Kristen asked. A thin, dotted line showed us that there was a direct route on our GPS. We headed into Gunnison National Forrest.
It was here that we learned something very important about motorcycle travel. It's very easy to get distracted! We spent several hours riding for a few turns only to promptly stop for photo ops. It was impossible to resist sitting by the river and just hanging out for a bit. Before we knew it, we had blown the entire afternoon and were not even close to Aspen. We turned around and headed back west to Montrose. If we were going to make it to Canada, we would need to make some sacrifices and eat some road.
We really wanted to stay in whatever this place is:
Before sleeping, we did a quick air filter cleaning from the dirt road, spark plug brushing and added a little oil. Whew...what a day.