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Sound Guy

Need advice Phoenix to Denver in a week

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Sound Guy

I left my 2005 R1200ST in Denver last November and I have to go pick it up in the spring (poor me :-))  I have a ticket to fly to Denver in June and had planned to just drive it back to Ottawa Canada, but it is my 20th anniversary this year and my wife is thinking about trying something new.  You see, she is afraid to ride on my bike (granted, she only has experience in town where the cages are erratic).  I asked her if she wanted to take the trip with me (expecting to hear a quick "no"), but heard "maybe I'll go for part of it".

 

We're thinking about spending about a week together on the bike (hotel stays), and the plan is for her to fly to Phoenix where I will meet her.  Possibly see the Grand Canyon and slowly meander back to Denver.  I need to find roads that are beautiful and scenic, and take us to places where we can get off and stretch out legs (perhaps even spend a day seeing more beautiful sites).  I love switchbacks, but I'm not sure that my wife would appreciate them at this juncture, and I don't think that interstates are the answer either.  I want this trip to be special for her, especially since she is only taking this trip because motorcycle touring is something that I love.

 

Please BMW community,  Offer me up some great places and roads to take her to, that will make her want to ride and do more.

 

 

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lkraus

I'd start with this rough route: Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks. The Grand Canyon in June may be overcrowded, but if you've never been there, you don't want to miss it. The other two parks are on your way. Mesa Verde deserves at least a day,  the Black Canyon is impressive but might take only a half day unless you like to hike. (It also might suffer in comparison to the Grand.) Stay off the interstates as much as practical, the two lane highways in the area are not crowded and are much more interesting.  US 550 from Durango is great riding with gorgeous scenery. Actually, it's all great scenery in that area. Spread over 5-6 days, the 1000 miles should not be too hard on your wife.  If she is enjoying the ride and you are making good time, it would  be easy to add some short hikes and more mountain miles in Colorado.  If it is not working for her,  be willing to bee line it for Denver. 

 

Realize that having requested planning advice, your are now obligated to provide a trip report!  :read:

 

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Whip

Colorado only has the two interstates highways and just about all the other roads and places are interesting to me. I live in Salida CO. Instead of giving you a route I will give you places of interest for you to Google and decide for yourself. 

 

Not in any order.

 

Hotsprings are all all over the state and many have lodging. Mt Princeton is the only one I have been too and it seems very popular. 

 

Ouray (coming from the south on 550 is spectacular) is a quaint little town often referred to the Switzerland of the Rockies. Also with a hot spring not as nice as MT Princeton. You can rent a Jeep and see some amazing terrain and some well preserved ghost towns. 

 

The Durango train ride is special cause you can see part of the back country that you can’t see from the roads.

 

Gateway is VERY nice with a spectacular car museum and resort founded and financed by the owner of the Discovery Channel.

 

Any time you are on the west side of Colorado you won’t be far from Moab Utah.

 

Telluride is fun in the summer and the gondolas run all day with no charge so you can ride up to the top of the mountain and have lunch.

 

The road south from Telluride can take you to the Anasazi Indian village remains. 

 

Lake City is fun and the road to get there is even better. 

 

Wolfcreek Pass

 

Salida is where you will find the cheapest place to stay that usually comes with dinner and breakfast. My house. You could go rafting on the Arkansas or borrow my gear and go fishing, play golf, bike ride, visit our many art galleries or just watch the sunset from my deck. See Whip’s Colorado in [Riders Discuss Other Topics]. I and gonna be gone for the second half of June riding to the east coast.

 

 

Independence Pass has a great viewing platform and will take you to Aspen.

 

Cottonwood Pass (now paved) to Crested Butte. 

 

Leadville boasts being the highest city in the US. 

 

Breckenridge 

 

Rocky Mountain National Forest has a nice ride through it.

 

Garden of  the Gods is beautiful.

 

The nicest thing about Denver is it is only 30 minutes from Colorado so get out of there and stay out of there as soon as you can. 

 

Follow any road next to a river or that crosses any mountain.

 

Have Fun!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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chrisolson
15 hours ago, Sound Guy said:

the plan is for her to fly to Phoenix where I will meet her. 

 

Best way to get to Phoenix from Flagstaff.   Lake Mary road is great and the rest coming down through Pine and eventually to Phx is very nice also.

 

Coming back out of Phoenix north to Flag and other points north, I17 is really a very nice road and I wouldn't discount it just 'cause its a major highway.  Lots of scenery ... its not a boring straight highway!

 

North out of Flag at some point you will go across the Reservation.  Generally very windy.  89A is a nice road, sorta boring at first but gets better through the mountains.  Better than staying on 89

 

752501713_ScreenShot2019-02-11at10_27_47AM.thumb.png.b29d6e97f248cfe2dad85a8d90b06baa.png

 

1210796667_ScreenShot2019-02-11at10_40_27AM.thumb.png.81f135bbcaf63d1e3311022cf24101e4.png

 

 

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Twisties

The possibilities are endless.

 

Some roads and attractions to look at (you won't be able to hit them all):

 

Phx to Moab

199 from Morenci to Springerville.  Especially if she ever read any Louis La'mour.

Canyon DeChelly

Monument Valley

Moab (national and state parks, etc)

 

or Phx to Torrey

 

Go through Jerome then Sedona to Grand Canyon, then scoot up to Torrey via 89 and 12.  Do not miss 12.

 

From Torrey or Moab to Sallida

 

72 to I-70 or 46 from moab  then try to hit 

 

141 from Naturita to US-50

65 over Grand Mesa

92 from Crawford to US-50

and/or run through Durango?Silverton/Ouray/Telluriide Delores/Mesa Verde NP  

 

North of Denver

 

Consider Rocky Mtn National Park (crowded), 

14 from Walden to Ft Collins

130 from Laramie to Saratoga

 

To add more UT/WY, consider from Torrey

 

UT 72 to UT 10 to Huntington, then up Huntington Canyon 31 to 264/96, then up towards Duschene on 191 (or the new road through 9 mile canyon completed after I moved away 6-years ago) and from there 35 through Francis to Kamas and 150 to Evanston  then I-70 to Ft Bridger and down to Vernal  from Vernal to Craig, then up to Baggs and over to Laramie, then 14 into Ft Collins, or Rocky Mtn NP.

 

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Sound Guy

Thanks for all of this, and especially for the invitation Whip, which I am going to have to decline because the entire trip will take place in the second half of June.  I hope that you have a great time going to the east coast. 

 

Wife just told me that she wants me to choose a couple of places to spend a few days.  We have been to Mesa Verde (loved it, everyone should go if they get a chance)  I had thought of Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Antelope Canyon, Moab, Aspen. I will check out your list Whip, maybe there is something there that will  capture her imagination.

 

Will definitely try your road suggestions Chris.

 

Still open to advice and will post a trip report.

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Sound Guy

Thanks Twisties.  I will look into those roads.  They will probably help us winnow this thing down (Wife smiled BIG TIME when I read the word "Sedona" out loud). 

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Twisties

I'm not a huge fan of Sedona, but my mother loved it.  Other than hiking, which will be too hot in June, the one thing I did like there is Tlaquepaque.  

 

I haven't yet found much of interest at Black Canyon, but strongly recommend Moab area... although expect dry heat...  10-20% humidity and possibly over 100 F at that time of year... too hot for hiking.  

 

You might consider staying at higher elevations... Grand Canyon, Torrey,  Jerome, Anywhere in CO except along 141/Gateway although the museum is special...  No matter how you do this, coming from phx you will encounter some significant heat.

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Sound Guy

Update:  Plans have changed somewhat, as my wife is now flying to Denver with me instead of meeting me in Phoenix.  The bike is in Denver, so that will be the start and end points for her (I will be riding back to Ottawa after dropping her at the Denver Airport hopefully with a smile on her face and great motorcycle memories).

 

The plan:  Day 1: Drive from Denver to Pagosa Springs, CO.  Soak in some hot springs overnight!

 

Day 2: Drive from Pagosa Springs to Page, AZ. I realize that we are passing Mesa Verde, but I took her there (in a cage) on Columbus Day weekend last year.

 

Day 3:  Page, AZ (Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell)

 

Day 4:  Drive to Moab, UT

 

Day 5:  Moab, UT - (Hiking in Arches, Highway 128 (if she can stand to ride for the sake of riding))

 

Day 6: Moab , UT to Ouray, CO

 

Day 7: Ouray, CO - (South rim of Black Canyon (either on the way or as a side trip), Telluride, Ouray itself)

 

Day 8: Return to Denver

 

The route is not 100% confirmed, that will depend on how much my wife comes to enjoy the ride, but the stops are confirmed.  I will definitely take the time to write about this trip once it is over, but in the mean time, does anyone have advice for restaurants, attractions, tour companies and  not-to-miss things to do on this route?.  Recommended roads on our route would also be appreciated.

 

Thanks again  

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bwpsg42

Not trying to muddy the waters but if you’re going as far south as Pagossa Springs, take a few more hours to ride and spend the night in Taos, NM.  It’s a terrific ride about 150 miles. 

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Sound Guy

I love the idea bwpsg, and I know that my wife would love Taos (because she wanted me to go to Santa Fe with her last summer (and I couldn't).  THe only problem is that I'm trying to keep total hours per day around 5 hours and Taos to Page is about 7.5 :-(.  Thanks for the suggestion though!

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Rinkydink

Black Canyon is wonderful. Hwy 92 to the north rim is a killer road and not as touristy. +1 on Moab...Canyonland and Arches. It will be hot though. Enjoy and take lots of pics. 

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Kirkus

Sound Guy ... if you go to Page, AZ don't miss Horseshoe Bend, it's just south of town.

We did a Corvette trip a few summers ago from Michigan to Northern Arizona, Eastern Utah, Colorado and then home.

It's about a 20-30 minute hike from the parking lot.

The next morning we did Antelope Canyon, you might want to purchase tickets ahead of time, the tours book up fast. After the Canyon tour we hit Moab and visited Arches NP and topped it off 

with some nice prime rib dinners at the Sunset Grill on the hill overlooking the city. 

Enjoy your trip ...!

 

 

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Kirkus

large.2976a4Print-SM.jpg.88940fe3ccf672b800f3013800004ebd.jpgHorseshoe Bend - Page, Arizona

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Sound Guy
Posted (edited)

As promised:  A trip review.

 

The trip got off to a rocky start as I had to buy my wife rain gear and the 20 minute ride to Performance Cycle had me hearing wimpers and shrieks of fear through my communicator.  I asked her what the problem was and found out that she thought I had a Gold Wing (ok, a seat on the back with arm rests).  She felt very insecure and, because my ST has a forward seating position, she only had the rear rack below to top box to hold onto, and it felt unnatural to her.  I offered to rent a car, or buy a chest strap to wear that would allow her to grab handles on my back at PC with her rain gear... unexplicably, she chose the latter, so we continued on my bike:18:

 

Wolf Creek Pass was amazing, as usual, and there was even snow at the summit.  I was surprised that the snow didn't freak her out, in fact she asked me to stop the bike so she could get some photos!  This was the first of many surprises for me.

 

Before we arrived in Pagosa Springs we met a group of people going to Durango for an Indian Rally.  I went in to pay for gas and when I came out I noticed that my shy wife had crossed the parking lot and was telling six burly Indian riders that this was her first motorcycle trip... My heart went pitter pat... but I digress.

 

Pagosa Springs was an amazing first stop.  We stayed at a the Pagosa Springs Resort so we had late night access to the hot springs.  THis was planned as a reward in case she hated it, but I guess it was her reward for liking it.  We only stayed one night in Pagosa Springs, but I would highly recommend it.

 

We continued the next day through Durango to Page, Arizona.  I would normally advise anyone taking this route to stop at Mesa Verde National Park because it is one of the most impressing places I have ever seen.  However, my wife and I spent Thanksgiving weekend there last fall so we took a pass. The road from Cortez to Page has some really nice rock formations so plan some time to stop for photos.

 

My wife LOVED Lake Powell and Page, AZ.  Again, she reached out to EVERY biker we saw and found some really great places to eat and drink.  We spent two nights there at Powell Lake Resort (wife got to choose accommodation as the price of her coming on this trip).  On the first full day we went to Antelope Canyon and got some amazing photos.  We went with a company called "Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours" and I would highly recommend them if you want to do this tour.  Our company had about 15 guides and each of them took six people through making sure that everyone had opportunities to get great photos.  I saw another tour coming in as we left that had about 40 people and two tour guides.... Look up photos of Antelope Canyon online and imagine not being able to get those because 40 people were crammed into the same small space... nuff said.

 

Day 2 at Lake Powell was a boat tour... wife loved it, I love her so no complaints.. but do not recommend this myself.

 

On the way out of Page, we went to Horseshoe Bend.... Amazing... thank you all who recommended that one.  

 

Page to Moab was really nice.  Went through Monument Valley as that was on my wife's bucket list (check).  

 

Moab was a great town, but we spent most of our time at Arches National Park, hiking and taking photos.  It was spectacular.  I'm very glad we made it there.

 

Moab to Ouray Colorado was interesting.  Rain was forecast so we went the direct route and, in this order, we crossed a rock slide on a blind bend in the road, chased an electrical storm to avoid getting caught in the one that was to follow then got hailed on by the electrical storm that followed. My wife is still speaking to me, but this one tried her patience.  The electrical activity canned our planned afternoon in Telluride.  

 

Ouray was nice.... more hot springs... and just in time!  We drove the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park  (SPECTACULAR...YOU MUST GO THERE!).

 

The trip home was hard because I was served a bad burger at the Wendy's in Montrose ( on 550 South... don't eat there).  I had to stop at pretty much every gas station to use the facilities so no fun was had.

 

Stopped at the top of the Monarch Pass and went up to the summit (OK a little fun, but it was really so I could be near a washroom for an hour).  It was really nice.

 

This was an amazing trip and my wife says she will do another!  :classic_biggrin:  

 

 

Northern Arizona.jpg

Lake Powell (1).jpg

Antelope Canyon.jpg

Edited by Sound Guy
add photos so that my trip exists.... thanks John
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John Ranalletta

Since Whip is AWOL, I'll sub for him, "Without pictures, it didn't happen."

 

Nice ride report.  Thanks.  Brought back memories of our rides in that area.

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Sound Guy

Monument Valley

Monument Valley.jpg

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longjohn

If you do this trip again you and her might check out The Wave. It’s off of 89 in AZ blm territory and there is a long hike involved but the geological formations are unique. Only 10 lottery walk ups per day tho, or make reservations months in advance. Limited to 20/day total. 

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Dennis Andress

Did somebody say Black Canyon of the Gunnison?

 

Mountain%206.jpg

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