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Wandering Biker

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Sep '09

Durango, CO to La Junta, CO via Great Sand Dunes NP, CO – 343 miles

Time to head out of town. I get up pretty early, but there is no rush as I can’t really get started until 9:00AM. I compact my stuff back into the bags that I can take on the motorcycle, go out to the storage unit and load up the bike. I try and meet up with some friends from work for a breakfast burrito but they are unavailable. The breakfast burrito is really good anyway.

First stop is the Honda dealer to get a rain jacket. Hopefully this will keep me dry when it is too wet for my supposedly waterproof riding jacket. I need to rant on that subject sometime.

Next stop is the San Juan Lands office right in Durango to pick up a stamp for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail.

Finally get out of town close to 9:45. Stop and get gas in Pagosa Springs, where the price has suddenly dropped since tourist season ended. It gets cold and starts to drizzle as I head up Wolf Creek Pass. A couple at the motel told me they saw it snowing on some guys on motorcycles a few days ago. I believe it.

Coming down the east side of the pass there is some construction. After waiting a bit we get through the construction and there is rain up ahead. I’m not quick enough getting off the road and it is already raining as I stop and put on my brand new rain jacket. That certainly was a timely purchase! There isn’t enough rain to tell if this is the answer to my woes, but it is promising.

I run into more rain east of Alamosa and there is a nice thunderstorm right in front of me as I make the turn up to Great Sand Dunes NP. I ride through that storm and it has stopped raining when I get to the entrance station. When I get to the visitor center I go inside and get my book stamped and when I come out the sun is showing enought that I can get some pictures of the sand dunes.

On the way back to the highway I run through the same thunderstorm, but it isn’t quite as heavy. Heading east on Highway 160 I stopped for a picture of Blanca Peak, one of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains.

I make it to La Junta after closing for Bent’s Old Fort NHS so I just find some gas and check into a motel.

National Park Tour progress so far – 3 sites, 1 state.

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