Poncha Springs, CO – Telluride, CO
Miles Ridden – 202
Total Miles – 2,766
Today’s Travel Time – 11.5 hrs
Animal Totem – Moose
What I learned today – Snow + Motorcycle = Going Nowhere Fast
There weren’t many breakfast options near the Poncha Inn so we cooked breakfast on our camp stoves next to the parking lot- something Stefan had been hoping to do for quite a while.
As we pulled out and continued on the pavement changed to dirt and started to climb higher. I saw signs for Marshall Pass, and it occurred to me that we had not checked online to see if Marshal Pass was open, but I figured we would continue to ride until we couldn’t go any further.
We took a pause halfway up the mountain in a beautiful aspen grove, where some big horn sheep were eating something out of holes in the road. They seemed just as curious about us as we were about them.
Stefan went first, staying on rock as far as he could, and then once he hit snow, promptly got stuck.
Unfortunately Stefan had mailed his saw home back in NM. Fortunately we had an engineer on our team. We found a log of the perfect height to brace the one branch we couldn’t get to the ground, rode over two, ducked under one, and came out just fine.
The views continued to be amazing (including seeing a mama and baby moose!) and before too long we began to decrease in altitude.
We took a short break on the side of the road for stretching and Peanut M&Ms (a TAT rider favorite), and decided we would pin it until Montrose, where we could get some gas and ice cream as a reward for the hot highway miles.
There was another treat in store for us besides ice cream at the gas station in Montrose – Yves Besancon and his wife, who weren’t just traveling across the country on a motorcycle, but around the word! They began in their home country of France in 2008, and had ridden thousands of miles through Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and more. You can check out Yves’ blog here – http://beubeuverslasie.motorecit.fr
Telluride was now in our sights, with only 60 or so miles to go. My dad’s good buddy Rube had moved out to Telluride back in the 80’s, and we were excited to bask in his hospitality. My parents and I had visited Telluride numerous times, both in the summer and winter. I had told them when I was in high school it was the only place besides Blacksburg I wanted to live, so I was excited to return, if only for a night ☺️ We also knew that staying with Rube would be awesome!!
So needless to say we were booking it down the highway as fast as we could…which wasn’t apparently fast enough. About 15 miles out of Montrose we got pulled over for going too slow. That was a first for us all!
As if the day hadn’t been long enough at this point, about 30 miles out we decided to do a quick air filter change, since my bike was having a little trouble keeping up on the hills.
It seemed to help and I took the lead as we powered up through the mountains to arrive at 9,000 feet to the gorgeous Mountain Village. Rube was out to greet us with gin and tonic in hand and we gladly dismounted our bikes to enjoy a wonderful evening in this amazing Colorado town, complete with Detroit style pizza and picking up our tires. It was the perfect ending to a long day and a great way to celebrate- we had passed the halfway point on the TAT!