Day Three - Limon, Colorado to Grand Junction, Colorado (399 miles)

The day started with clear skies, last night's thunderstorms were long forgotten. We rode U.S. 24 into Colorado Springs. Once through Colorado Springs we exited, and traveled a smaller road that parallels U.S. 24. In Manitou Springs we stopped at the Royal Cafe for a brew before we traversed Pikes Peak. The road up to Pikes Peak is decent asphalt until probably 8 to 10 thousand feet where it becomes gravel. With sharp turns, slow traffic, and no guardrails it is not an easy trip on an 850 pound motorcycle. The high altitude can also play havoc with the bike's hydraulics. Steve's '83 had braking, and clutch problems, and no bike runs particularly well at 14,000 ft. Once at the top the view is majestic. Walking around the visitor's center, and complex leaves you a little winded. After our normal ten minutes of sightseeing we were headed back down. I think going down is harder. We jumped back on U.S. 24 and headed west. After Woodland Park the road changed back to two lane. The road took us through a valley and back up into more mountainous areas. At Johnson Village U.S. 24 turns north leaving U.S. 285 behind. We went north until we came upon the town of Granite. This town looked a little touristy so we thought it would be a good place to eat lunch. After Granite we headed north on St.Rt. 82 toward Aspen. This is some mighty fine riding. Turn after turn of great scenery, and well kept road. St.Rt. 82 took us into Glenwood Springs where we stopped for a dip in the natural hot water springs. People have been coming here for more than one hundred years to swim, so we thought we should try it. As the steam rose from the heated water we became quite relaxed. We thought about staying here but it was a bit too early. The plan was to go back to Carbondale and ride to Delta over the McClure Pass. Rain was threatening so we jumped on I-70, and headed west in an attempt to outrun the storm. We nearly made it to Grand Junction before we got blasted. Night had fallen, and we were in the middle of a torrential downpour. We found what had to be the last room in Grand Junction at the Palomino Motel. Three cars had pulled in behind us only to be turned away.