Friday 21st to Wednesday 26th August -More of Colorado

We have packed in a lot of scenery over the last few days plus a lot of camping in cool places and a night out in Boulder.

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Highlights have included the ride from Gunnison to Carbondale via Black Canyon.

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The canyon plunges to 2000 ft at one point but we were going in the wrong direction for the best views so I kept having to look over my shoulder. Nevertheless it was spectacular.

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The views were a bit smoky that day due to forest fires hundreds of miles away.

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Carbondale was a cool little town with very friendly, liberal folk who stopped to chat with us. The campsite was on the Crystal River with a lovely mountain view and a great games room with leather sofas. The picture below was the view from our tent.

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We left the next day, heading for Leadville via Aspen and the Top of the Rockies scenic byway. The area around Aspen is the greenest we have seen so far.

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Aspen was interesting, full of designer shops and rich people trying not to look like they are rich.

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There was great mountain backdrop though and a gorgeous little Saturday market . It reminded me a bit of a town we visited in the French Alps last summer.

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The ride up to Independence Pass and the Top of the Rockies was stunning. There are about 20 of the highest mountains in the Rockies that can be viewed from here.

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At 3,700m, this is the highest we have ever been on the bike.

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It was pretty cold and windy and the ride up was marred a bit by the 25 mph speed limit but at least there were no RVs as they are banned. If you take your RV up there and get stuck, you have to pay $1500.

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We camped in Leadville at 3045m for two nights. We loved it here. The air was so pure and the area was totally unspoiled. There were no showers or WiFi or even grass but we totally fell in love with the place. Being told that bears did not visit the site also helped.

The site was on the banks of the Turquoise Lake.

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We returned back here after our night in Boulder to do an oil change on the bike.

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It had been leaking oil for over a week so we picked up a new oil filter at the Triumph dealer in Denver and got on with it.

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We are very relieved that the bike is now running well and no more leaking.

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Leadville is a great old mining town which came to prominence during the gold rush. There were some fabulous old buildings there.

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Including an old saloon from 1879 where we stopped in for a quick drink. No draft beer though, what a disappointment.

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The interior was fabulous though and included huge, moth eaten stuffed animals, including  a buffalo and a golden eagle.

2015-08-23 12.21.02Today we finally left Leadville to head north to Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

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We are told that moose visit the campsite every day but we have not seen one yet. We saw a wild fire en route and also the evidence of a previous fire.

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Tomorrow we cross into Wyoming after 11 days in Colorado. We are heading for Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and Big Sky Montana where will be staying at the house of a friend.

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