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Wild West Tour, Day #5, Riding through the Flaming Gorge

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We woke up on the morning of August 10, feeling good, ready for some adventures through the Flaming Gorge, from Colorado into Wyoming. For once, we were all riding a new road together. Even the Bearded Biker had never been through the Flaming Gorge. It was a day of varying temps and weather, but gorgeous, to say the least.

Dinosaur, CO

Dinosaur, CO

This is one of my favorite shots from the trip. Lookin' good at the Dinosaur, CO Welcome Center.

This is one of my favorite shots from the trip. Lookin’ good at the Dinosaur, CO Welcome Center.

Along the way, we rode through Dinosaur, CO, which has the nicest welcome center. They give out free postcards, have nice, clean bathrooms, and the couple at the desk have relatives in the Little Falls, MN area, near our home, and have shopped at the local fish market. Small world. It was fun riding through this area with all the dinosaur stuff, landmarks, scenery. There’s even a Dinosaur National Monument, but we didn’t go there. I was wishing I had brought my boys here when they were young. The town of Vernal, Utah is about the most beautiful place. I didn’t have my camera out, and tried to take a couple quick shots with my phone. All the streets are lined with flowers, large containers overflowing with blooms, and hanging baskets. Plus, they have a dinosaur museum there. Again, I was wishing I had known about this when the boys were small!!!

Gorgeous blooms in Vernal, CO

Gorgeous blooms in Vernal, Utah

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From here, it kept getting more and more gorgeous as we entered the Ashley Valley.

First stop was this scenic overlook.

First stop in Utah was this scenic overlook.

Happy to be here, says Mr. Happy!

Happy to be here, says Mr. Happy!

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The ride into the gorge went smoothly. Of course, there’s always some road construction, but Mr. Happy keeps you company, and feeling positive. Right, Sandy?

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It was warm in the gorge and information area, so I tucked my jacket in the tour pack.

Road stops give you an opportunity to chat with the sing holders.

Road stops give you an opportunity to chat with the sign holders.

Looking out over the river and dam at the Flaming Gorge National Rec area.

Looking out over the river and dam at the Flaming Gorge Dam.

The Biker Chef taking a couple shots.

The Biker Chef taking a couple shots.

The overlook.

The overlook.

On the way back out of the gorge, the clouds rolled in, and it got a little cooler. For once, I was happy to see a road construction delay. I tapped the Biker Chef on his shoulder and said that I wanted to grab my jacket. It had started to rain, turning to sleet. As soon as my foot hit the ground, we saw the pilot car come out. Shoot! I had 10 seconds to pull off my vest, stuff it and my camera into the tour pack and grab out my jacket. I jumped back on and off we sped at the tail end of he group going through. The Bearded Biker/Road Captain stopped a few miles down the road so everyone else could grab their gear.

It was definitely a Mr. Happy moment.

It was definitely a Mr. Happy moment.

The rest of the ride was quite windy. I’m sure the riders were exhausted trying to fight the wind and keep going straight. I just held on and appreciated the Chef’s riding skills and the protection of my jacket and helmet and thought about some writing projects and wondered how my kids were doing on a trip with their dad. 

20160810_171607_resizedWe found a room at a Best Western in Pinedale, WY. The gal who checked us in recommended a local brew pub for dinner. I ordered the beer she recommended and some fish & chips because Kim ordered that and it sounded good. The Bearded Biker and the Biker Chef went for the burgers, and Sandy had the giant chicken bacon ranch wrap. We had patio seating on the upper level. I said, “It’s so nice up here, I could stay here all evening.” It was a delicious way to end that gorgeous day!

We rode 330 miles this day from Craig, CO into Utah for a short stretch, through the Flaming Gorge and into Pinedale, WY. I was at a 1-2 all day, even when it rained, especially since the Biker Chef gave me those 10 seconds to get my jacket. Wearing the right gear makes all the difference when touring on the motorcycle!

  1. Sounds like quite the adventure! It’s been forever since I’ve been on a road trip. Thanks for letting us tag along with you.

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