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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I should be home by now, but due to a combination of picking up a cold (or severe allergies), and ~103F temps for a couple hours, I gave up and found a motel about 5 hours from home.

First order of business was to pick up a COVID test, just to have some peace of mind. Came back negative, gonna retest in the morning.

Second was to pick up dinner at a nearby grocery store. Bottle of cava and a few choice TV dinner selections and I'm golden.

Hoping that I'll be better in the am for the home stretch.
 

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First order of business was to pick up a COVID test, just to have some peace of mind. Came back negative, gonna retest in the morning.
Fingers crossed brother. Hope you feel better. Don’t ride if you’re feeling terrible. Let us know if you need anything.
 

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A tip for riding in extreme heat - soak your shirt with water, then close up all but 1 of the vents on your jacket - the evaporation will keep you chill even when its 100+. You want the vents closed so the water doesn't evaporate 'too fast' so that you have to keep stopping to re-soak yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I got home yesterday afternoon. About a 2 day delay compared to my initial plan of getting in on late Monday night. Anyways here's the rest of the story, rather anti climactic but some of us like closure.

After lunch and a flight of beers in Buena Vista (pronounced "bee-you-nuh vista" which... whatever), I opted for a stroll through downtown. It's a cute little tiny town, with lots of restaurants, a couple ice cream shops, outdoor outfitter type shops, and a damn creek right by it. I could see myself chillin here for a few days to do nothing. Also the pizza and beers at Eddyline is fantastic. Their "Epic Day" DIPA is one of my favorites of the CO style double IPAs.

As the downtown stroll was fairly short, and I'm sufficiently caffeinated and stuffed, AND it was sunny AF, I opted to walk back to the creek side of downtown and have a bit of a sit down/read session. On my way back I noticed a cluster of buildings that looked like they're straight from the 1800s. I couldn't find much info about it online, but looking at maps it does seem to be right next to where the old railroad would be. It looked fascinating to me.

How neat!
Sky Window Wood Facade Landscape


City park with a small creek/river through it
Water Cloud Sky Natural landscape Tree


After a bit of reading and chilling out in the shade, I geared up and headed back down to Gunnison. Uneventful ride, the wind picked up a bit and there was a bit more "traffic" if you could call it that. I stopped by the grocery store and picked up ingredients for pasta and had a pretty nice movie night at the hostel. A few of us hung out and watched Mamma Mia!

The next morning I get up and I plan on heading up to Crested Butte. I've never been and I'm looking forward to grabbing coffee and lunch up there, while I read and people watch. I make coffee, cook a quick breakfast, and grab a seat on the couch. TV remote right next to me, I put on The Expanse on Prime... it's a killer scifi show if you're into that. Halfway into the episode I hear wind just howling outside, the hammock is now a sail between two trees, hostel bicycles are getting rattled by the wind... Alright, I'll give it an hour and see if it dies down at all. The problem is, I'm told, that if it's windy down here it'll be damn windy up in Crested Butte. Well... long story short the wind never died down, and I ended up being a couch potato for a good 4 hours. Perfect timing anyways since all the other hostel guests were away for their kids college graduation that weekend. Still had a great time, no regrets.

My hostel view for 4 hours or so
Plant Picture frame Table Property Furniture


That being said, 3 pm rolled around and I started thinking it would be a shame to just be cooped up in here all day. I remember seeing a winery about a mile away so I decided to walk over for a bit of wine and reading. Gunnison is a pretty neat little town, the houses seem way different from each other and most have little quirks to them. Something I wouldn't have noticed just riding by. The wind never died down btw... so much wind and dust in my eyes. I'm assuming I inhaled a fair bit too... more on that later.

Got to Buckel Family Wines in Gunnison. They source their grapes from the surrounding CO area and make their wines onsite. Some stainless fermentation, some with a touch of oak. Now I drink a fair amount of wine. I generally drink mid range wines but I won't turn my nose away from the cheap stuff. One of my first pandemic purchases when the stores started doing deliveries was a box of wine, because pandemic. So I had their flight of 6 wines, 1 oz pours of each (Sauv Blanc, Rose, Cinsault, Zin, Red Blend, Cab Franc) and honestly I was surprised how nice some of them were. I have zero knowledge about the CO wine scene, but I was pretty dam stoked to find wines this solid. After the flight I settled in for a couple half glasses with some chocolate pairings.

Drinkware Tableware Stemware Barware Fluid


Overall this place is a must visit for me the next time I'm in town. Loved their zin, and I missed out on their sparkling which apparently won some awards recently. Oh... did I mention I left my wallet at the hostel? Fortunately I was able to pay with my phone.

From here I got hungry, but figured better grab my wallet to be on the safe side, and walked back to the hostel. I've got a nice mild wine buzz, the sun is going down, I'm admiring the cool random houses I'd see along my walk... when I see a fox run past me. First thought, I didn't drink that much did I? Second thought, wait foxes can carry rabies right? Why was it so close to me? Did it not notice me at all? wtf...? It was across the street at this point and I pulled out my phone to see if I could snap a pic of it, and it stopped and looked back at me as I did. What a weird but cool scene. Seconds after that it bolted into a yard nearby and I didn't see it again. But I got a picture of it... so I'm not crazy.

You guys see a fox in the picture right?
Cloud Sky Car Plant Vehicle


Dinner was fine, had a mediocre salad and a beer, and spotted another one of these bike axle TP holders. I dig em.
Automotive tire Font Gas Tints and shades Cylinder


I get back to the hostel and now it's full of people. Dining table is taken over by a group of 4, the living room has a small group of 3 - 4 people, it has a nice lively atmosphere. I set into my routine of packing up all my gear so I can have a quick morning getaway. Once done, I grab a beer from the fridge and join in the revelry. I end up asleep at 2 am and up around 7:30 with a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat... Uh Oh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Right... so I woke up feeling a bit off. At first it felt like the standard "I drank too much and didn't drink any water" syndrome. Dry throat and a bit of a stuffy nose. Most of the hostel is up pretty early as well so I masked up to be on the safe side. I showered, loaded the bike up, geared up, and was out of there by around 9 am.

I'm telling you... CO114 is a sweet sweet road! No traffic, no cops, pretty damn good road surface overall... What a way to start the end of the trip.
Sky Cloud Bottle Mountain Automotive tire


I was feeling mostly fine, my nose cleared up, my throat still a bit dry but whatever I'll chug some water at every fuel stop. Rode past a sign that said "Oldest Church in Colorado" and had to turn off to check it out real quick. Well, it is Sunday, and I just happened to turn off right at the moment the service ended. Cars were filtering out as I headed down the road. There was still a group of people talking in front of the church so I didn't really want to get much closer for a picture.

Didn't look that old to me at the time, but I'm also a shit judge of architecture.
Car Sky Land vehicle Wheel Tire


Bonus for me though, tiny post office for my collection.
Sky Plant Property Window Building


While in Antonito, CO I saw this cool mural that looked pretty old. No info on it anywhere though.
Automotive parking light Wheel Land vehicle Tire Sky


Oh another PO in New Mexico... exciting stuff.
Plant Sky Street light Landscape Facade


and as quick as that, I'm in Tucumcari, NM... checked in to the Motel Safari on Route 66. Cool little joint, pricing not too bad, and if you get there early you get to use the carport area to park your motorcycle under. However the only pictures I took were of my exciting dinner and room decor

Food Furniture Pizza Table Interior design


Picture frame Wood Art Building Floor


Throughout the day my throat started getting a bit dryer, my nose a bit runnier, by the time I checked in I was a sneezy mess. My main thought is that my little walkabout in Gunnison basically gave me a sinus infection with all the dust exposure, or could be just severe allergies, I'm not a doctor. I took a few covid tests along the way though just to rule it out, and another when I got home, all negative.

The next morning sucked. Full on runny nose, and a mild cough starting up. I mulled over the idea of just staying another night in Tucumcari, but I really wanted to make some forward progress. I decided to push on in the hopes that I'll feel better as the day goes on. That was not the case. After taking some dayquil, none of my symptoms got better. I'd occasionally sneeze in my helmet and my eyes would start to water... plus a constant running nose, plus riding in 103F temps... I'm telling you, the buff I was wearing was in the most disgusting state I had ever seen it.

I gave up and found a hotel in Wichita Falls, roughly 6 hours from Houston. Well lit parking lot, decent reviews, and I can even see my bike from my room not that it would do much good.
Car Building Automotive lighting Street light Plant


The next day was more of the same... at least my nose wasn't runny that day. I still had random eye watering here and there, and as I passed Ennis, TX I considering pushing on the rest of the 3 hours to get home. Wasn't worth it, I'm not in a rush and traffic was picking up a bit to where I felt genuinely unsafe riding in my condition.

Stayed at a nearby Quality Inn and was pleasantly surprised at how cool the place was. They had some older stuff around, like a little rolodex that shows you how far you are from the surrounding Texas towns, and also an old timey truck parked up front (I have no idea what kind).
Wheel Tire Cloud Sky Vehicle


Another uneventful night full of TV and rest. And the next day I blasted on home to Houston. Last pic I took shows the total mileage registered on the bike for this trip. Started with a bang and ended with a bit of a whimper, but I'd do it again any day.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Trunk
 

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That is an epic ride Budo! What a way to put 5,000 miles on an MT-09!

How did you find the comfort and so on with your luggage and the bike overall for so many miles? How tall are you?

How many days was the trip in total?

p.s. thanks again for sharing. We were just in Sedona for a day / few hikes, and it was amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
That is an epic ride Budo! What a way to put 5,000 miles on an MT-09!

How did you find the comfort and so on with your luggage and the bike overall for so many miles? How tall are you?

How many days was the trip in total?

p.s. thanks again for sharing. We were just in Sedona for a day / few hikes, and it was amazing.
Comfort on the stock seat was plenty fine for me, although my underwear has a specific seam design that started to chafe me after a couple days of back to back high mileage days. The luggage was fine as well as long as I packed it correctly. The SW Motech Speedpack that I used packs a decent amount of stuff in it but if it's not cinched down proper internally, or packed in a very specific way, the luggage tends to bulge forward crowding my back. Makes packing a bit of a hassle. I plan on DIY-ing an internal strap to cinch the load down from front to back.

Comfort on my hands/wrists is a bit more of a complicated matter. Wrists were 100% fine, but my fingers got a little crampy specifically my pinkie fingers. Even before this tour though I started having some weird stiffness

I'm 5'7", getting on the bike with the luggage can be a bit comical. Most times I take a step back from the bike and do a front kick with my right leg over the seat. Also, the wind protection I had (Puig Sport + MRA X-creen) was helpful but I don't think enough. Already ordered the Puig Touring screen.

As far as total days, it took me 23 days. Of the 23 days I only rode for 12, and out of the 12 riding days only 6 were full riding days (300 - 500 mile days).

Thanks man! I enjoyed the ride as well as sharing it with the group :)
 

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Again, awesome ride and ride report with great photos. I have ridden several parts of your route, mostly in CO. Fantastic riding. Sorry. you got sick to end the trip, but what a great memory you have. I think we are all inspired to ride more!
 
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