Blue skies and cool temperature. Some puffy clouds in the distance but nothing threatening. Time to ride :-). The ride to Cortez through Durango was very scenic, high alpine meadows and forest with gentle turns. A fun and relaxing ride. We stopped in Cortez for lunch before heading out.
Cortez isn’t called the ‘Gateway to the Southwest’ for nothing. As soon as you leave Cortez you descend into the hot desert plain with a complete change in vegetation. Quite a change from our start this morning. Instead of heading straight to Moab we decided to take a more indirect route by first heading southwest on some roads we hadn’t traveled before.
Although we hadn’t explicitly planned it, the road we took went past the ‘Four Corners Monument’ operated by the local Native Americans. We paid our $3 each to get in knowing that it was a tourist trap. We decided not to stand in line so we could place one extremity into each state (AZ, NM, CO, UT) 😉 on the plaque. Instead we took pictures of others doing so. Checked out some of the trinket booths before moving on. Needless to say it was a bit on the warm side.
To get off the heavily traveled route we backtracked five miles to take the backroads (41 then 262) north towards Moab. These secondary roads are often less well maintained and rather rough – this one was no exception. Takes more effort to ride them but at least there was hardly any traffic. To boot, there were some tight technical turns that kept Diane on her toes :).
While still in the hotel in Pagosa Springs we had written down campgrounds and phone numbers in the general area/towns where we might end up. There was one in Blanding I had called earlier to check on availability – they had a ‘first come, first served’ policy. By pure luck I picked a gas station that was right next to the campground. Though not that impressive looking from the outside we decided we were both tired and didn’t want to ride another 1.5 to 2 hours to Moab, so we called it a day. Not only did we have the entire tent area to ourselves but the place was super clean.
Kudos to the campground: Kampark Campground
Here’s the route.
Distance traveled: 215 miles