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The US 50 Highway, Six State Motorcycle Trip

Day Five: Lazy Day.

We decided to take it easy today. With a campsite like this you want to enjoy it as much as possible, so we started our day later than usual. By the time we finally started the motorcycle, it was around 10:30AM.

Words can't really describe this next part of Colorado, so I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves. We didn't really plan much out for this day. We would need to head back in a day or two, so we wanted to take our time and just explore roads for this portion of our motorcycle trip.

So, off we went on CO 149. If you get the chance to ride CO 149 in Colorado, you need to take the opportunity. This road was an absolute blast.

Not only is it curvy and fun for motorcyclists, but the sites are incredible with three story waterfalls, sheer mountain cliffs, and wide rivers in every direction you looked. We passed quite a few other bikers during the day as well, so you won't feel alone.

Gas is pretty rare through these parts of Colorado, so try to make sure you stay on top of your fuel situation.

On a side note, if you do get the chance to ride CO 149 make sure you stop at Poker Alice restaurant in Lake City for lunch. This place was outstanding and Lake City is a great little town to explore. (http://www.lakecity.com/

Our route for Day 5 basically consisted of us taking the motorcycle up CO 149 to US 50 which we rode to Gunnison. At Gunnison we took CO 135 to Crested Butte. CO 135 is a terrible road for motorcycles, but Crested Butte is a nice city to visit.

Luckily CO 135 is only about 28 miles long. But, the fact that it is heavily populated, straight and visually boring make it a less than interesting road to explore on a motorcycle. My wife thought Crested Butte was worth it; I'm still on the fence.

After backtracking on CO 135 back towards Gunnison (CO 135 is the only real road into Crested Butte), we took a gravel road up to CottonWood Pass.

After this trip, I strongly believe that if you really want to see some of the most beautiful parts of Colorado, you have to be willing to take your motorcycle on gravel roads to get there. We road a lot of gravel roads the three days we were in Colorado. The Harley did great, but I would not want to make a habit of it on this bike!

Looks like I'm going to need to get one of those BMW Adventure Motorcycles for my next motorcycle trip to Colorado.

With night quickly falling on us, we found another great campsite in Gunnison National Park right on a bubbling stream. We were really lucking out with camping the past couple of nights.

Travel Pictures

That morning after waking up, we got back on CO 149. CO 149 is one of those great motorcycle roads that you should definitely check out if you ever get the chance. Here are some shots we got as we rode it.

Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149
Views from Colorado highway 149

If you get the chance to do CO 149 on your motorcycle, you have to stop in at Poker Alice for lunch in Lake City, Colorado. Their food was amazing!

A gas station at Lake City. If you have some time, definitely wander around the town.

One thing you'll quickly learn to love on long distance motorcycle trips are bungee cords. They are indispensable when it comes to toting all of your stuff. My T-Bags Universal Lonestar luggage held up extremely well (as usual) this trip.

Bungee cords and T-Bags Universal Lonestar

Here's the gravel road up to Cottonwood pass and eventually back over to 149 where we camped in Gunnison National Park.

Are you sensing a trend here with gravel in Colorado? To get to some of the more remote, tranquil, and less populated areas, you have to be prepared to ride on a little bit of gravel. Fine by me!

Here we are at our campsite in Gunnison National Park. With a motorcycle, sometimes you need to get a little creative with how you transport things.

Comments


vn750chopper says:

great read , ive had the rt.50 trip on my mind for years, time, money, life been kinda in the way. havent done a trip this long ever, but hoping to get around to it by next summer. i thoroughly enjoyed the pics and story, thanks for sharing!
Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 7:36 AM

NC_En4cer says:

Great ride brutha. I rode for 2 weeks with some friends from NC to out West, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, S Dakota and circling back around to NC. It was a great ride. Loved your story and pics. Thanks for sharing. Dave
Sat Aug 27, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Track65 says:

I took a nine day trip from East Tennessee to Vermont in September. Trip was great,we had only two days with any rain (first and last). Vermont has some great areas to see and to ride.
I am planning on a Highway 50 ride next summer. Your log and pictures have given me some great ideas.
Other than the gravel, it sounds like most of the road surfaces were in good shape.


Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

buckykatt says:

i'm planning a coast to coast trip on hwy 50 on my restored/modified honda 750 four in spring of 2010. was going to do it this year but the restore ran longer than expected and i still want to get the bugs out.
Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 12:04 AM

amtrak says:

Totally enjoyed it, better than a RT.66 trip.Would like to do the RT.50 from beginning to end one day.......

Bill..Amtrak
Fri Sep 26, 2008 at 6:36 PM

redimix says:

Poker Alice in Lake City opened the 2008 season with new owners. Best to pass it by until matters get sorted out.

Plan your trip to ride 149 during daylight hours. Ride at night and you will miss some of the best Colorado has to offer.
Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 7:32 PM

hawgbodys says:

Oh no...you were so close. My favorite road in the whole U.S.is just west of there. It's hwy 92 through the Black Canyon. just west of Gunnison is Blue Mesa Resevior and at the Dam,(which is a sight in itself)is hyw 92 it goes to Crawford,where Joe Cocker has his "Mad Dog Restaraunt" bikers riding in get a free bandana. All his gold and platinum awards are hanging on the wall. He lives on a ranch not far from there.anyway it is a beautiful ride you can ride the whole Canyon or cut back to Delta to get back on hwy 50.I have traveled thousands of miles on my harley all through the states and Canada many times and anytime I am anywhere near colorado, I will go out of my way to ride this stretch of road,sometimes twice in one trip,especially in the fall. Oh well... I guess you will just have to take another road trip. RIDE SAFE...Scott
Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 10:39 AM

OpenRoadRider says:

Hi Chachi - we packed pretty light - you're forced to when riding two-up for over a week. Bare essentials only plus a laundry stop. No problems whatsoever with the wind in Colorado - riding was smooth and easy. It was a little gusty in Kansas, but still not bad if you are expecting it.
Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 9:52 AM

Chachi says:

How light did you pack ??? Any problems with wind in Colorado ??
Fri Aug 3, 2007 at 11:33 AM

finkamatombo says:

Great story! I grew up in Colorado unitl I joined the Navy which brought me out to Maryland. I think I might be riding US 50 back to Colorado to see the folks because of your story. Thanks!
Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 10:45 AM

hotshoetom says:

Erik...

Great story and thanks for the advice about raingear...I have been planning a multi-day trip from Lynchburg, VA down the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the end of the parkway in North Carolina. Its about 500 miles of twisties, mountain passes and so on. The one thing I hadnt really though very hard about was raingear and I realized after reading your story I had best get something better than I have for this trip. While I am down there, I'll be riding the Dragon's tail. I plan to take some notes and photos and write something to post here when I get back.
If you have any other advice for a first-time multi-day traveler, I am all ears.
Cheers!

Tom
Sat May 5, 2007 at 5:58 AM

biskitdg says:

Great pictures! You need a map of the trip.
Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 8:52 PM

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