Canyon Run 2007 – Day 9

The last day of Canyon Run is traditionally a scramble north to Park City, as most of the Flyers have flights back east that tend to leave in the afternoon. Our plans were more relaxed: we would take two days to travel east to Denver, where Willo’s brother lives. We had a leisurely breakfast with the Beilmans (who were also in no hurry) and then departed.

[Bob Kirby in fashion headgear]

kirby headgear

[the hotel cat]

hotel cat

The first stretch took us through Capitol Reef National Park, whose winding road leads between dramatic rock formations on either side. Next was 100+ miles of less interesting scenery, punctuated by the stunning Lake Powell overlook opposite the Hite marina. Lake Powell was considerably more full than the previous two years, but still fell well below the bottom of the Hite boat ramp.

lake powell 1

lake powell 2

Traveling from Lake Powell to Blanding, we came upon an automated stoplight at a construction site. This being Sunday, the workers were somewhere else lounging and the light was flashing red, not steady. Unfortunately the three vehicles ahead of us remained frozen like deer in the (stop)light for what seemed like forever. We finally tired of the tedium, whipped out our biker bravado and pulled out around them and down the gravel bypass. We encountered no trouble and I waved them on once we reached solid ground on the other side, but for all we know they’re still waiting.

After lunch in Blanding we headed north to La Sal junction and then turned east, repeating our ride to Bedrock and toward Telluride. This time though we were chasing thunderstorms. When we stopped for a break at the Bedrock store we had to take shelter from two serious squalls, and when we set out again it was with some trepidation. Being on a motorcycle is no insurance against lightning strikes. But we survived, and after riding north-east to Ridgway, we continued north to Montrose and then turned east and climbed sharply to Gunnison. The road between Montrose and Gunnison is curving and dramatic. North of the road lies the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, with its own unique rock formations and a beautiful high mountain lake.
In Gunnison we sought out a “good enough” lodging and ended up at the ABC Motel, run by an inebriated, chain-smoking Russian. It wasn’t quite the kind of place where you’re afraid to touch the carpet. Almost, but not quite.

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