Thursday, August 28, 2014
A perfect day on the BMW motorcycle in Arizona and Colorado
As we were riding along Arizona 89, heading north from Flagstaff to our destination in Durango, Colorado, we rode through a vast expanse of high desert, where sediments deposited 200 million years ago in the Jurassic period look like sand dunes.
We're on our way to Boulder, Colorado, to visit our kids over the Labor Day weekend. We've been on these roads several times in the past year, yet we continue to enjoy the changing landscape. We started the day riding through tall, dense pine forests that covered the mountains on our way north to Flagstaff, then dropped down into a sandy brown desert that stretched for miles in front of us.
We turned east onto 160 into the Hopi and then the Navajo reservations and the landscape changed again into rocky, different colored buttes and mesas.
It was a perfect day to be on the BMW: bright sun, blue skies, and temperatures in the 70's. We alternated between stretches of flat, straight road and areas where the pavement swept in wide curves around the canyons and mesas.
When we crossed into Colorado near the Four Corners, where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet - the only location in the United States where four states meet - the landscape changed once again, this time into irrigated green fields backed by forest-covered mountains.
We rode through the Mancos Valley, past Mesa Verde national park where the Ancient Puebloans settled over 1000 years ago in cliff dwellings carved out of the sandstone. We're staying in busy Durango in the Animas River Valley, surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, where we spent the last night of a trip to Colorado in July. It was hot and sticky here in July, and today we enjoyed the cooler temperatures as the season changes from Summer to Fall.
Tomorrow we continue northeast to Boulder, riding through the Rocky Mountains. We're looking forward to steep climbs and winding descents - and to seeing Duncan and Nate!