Taos and onward to Colorado

Anne’s bike is purring as we leave Santa Fe heading north at lunchtime. What a change from last week. We are “back on the road again” as Anne likes to sing often as we leave in the morning. The open road beckons and we are back on highway US 285 heading for Taos. We want to make good time as the afternoon thunderclouds are starting to build. This is a normal occurrence here, but it’s better to avoid the storms if we can.

Mountain storms developing towards Taos

Mountain storms developing towards Taos

Not the usual boring concrete

Not the usual boring concrete

We make good progress until, yes you guessed it, Streak starts to play up again. The intermittent loss of power creates a real problem as we limp towards Taos. The issue seems the same as the one we had before. What a bummer. We push on slowly to Taos and arrive before the rain. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Something new every day, cornering must be fun

Something new every day, cornering must be fun

Since we had no problem with Streak for the first 35 miles or so, and it started to occur after Streak stood in the hot sun for an hour, we will see what a cool morning brings, plus as we head further north to higher altitudes, hopefully the temperatures will drop. Dinner is obtained from a Walmart store across the road and we feast on carrots, humous and low fat biscuits. A change from some of the high calorie meals we have been eating.

We start the next day with some trepidation, will Streak perform and for how long? We take it easy as we head north, the spectacular landscape unfolds before us, we have always enjoyed this part of the USA and it is great to be back in summer. We have decided that will take the back roads to avoid the high speeds of traffic on the interstate highway if we have to limp along. Some backroads! Great two and four lane lane roads take us northwards. All good so far plus the temperatures seem lower today.

Early morning storms developing

Early morning storms developing

Open vista in Southern Colorado

Open vista in Southern Colorado


The air seems so fresh and clean, the smell of the pines is wonderful and when the thunderstorms start to develop that scent that heralds their arrival fills the air. We like the smell of the ocean and the smells of the mountains. It would be a hard call to choose a favourite.

We stop at Fort Garland, one of a series of military forts established in the late 1850’s to protect miners and settlers in the San Luis valley. The fort was only in use from 1858 to 1883 after which the westward movement of people and the removal of the indians made the fort redundant. It is interesting to see one aspect how the west of the USA was developed over only 25 years.

Fort Garland parade ground

Fort Garland parade ground


Fort Garland barracks block

Fort Garland barracks block


As we swing west smelling the clean air, snow cooled by the still covered peaks even though we are progressing through summer, we enjoy the wide open spaces with mountains, what a great place to ride.
Storms gather as we ride towards Salida, Colorado

Storms gather as we ride towards Salida, Colorado


We have always tried to support local businesses back home and while we use the larger chains such as Hilton for accommodation when it makes sense as we get benefits due to our Diamond status, elsewhere we look local. We find that the staff at local cafes and hotels seem to go that little bit further, maybe because they have the flexibility and individuality that the larger chains do not have or foster. In Salida we found both a great motel and breakfast cafe that we really enjoyed the service of and would recommend to others.
Our motel in Salida

Our motel in Salida


Legal in Colorado, but not good for riding

Legal in Colorado, but not good for riding

Mt Priceton and the Arkansas river in Salida, Colorado

Mt Priceton and the Arkansas river in Salida, Colorado


East 1st Street in Downtown Salida, Colorado

East 1st Street in Downtown Salida, Colorado


Deer in suburban Salida

Deer in suburban Salida


Colourful house, Salida Colorado

Colourful house, Salida Colorado


Our route from Salida northwards on US285 then onto US24. High plateau country surrounded by snow-capped peaks soaring to over 14,000 feet, twice our hight on the plateau. We are looking forward to returning to this country after visiting Denver.
On the road central Colorado

On the road central Colorado


What a great name for an Inn

What a great name for an Inn

Motorcycle memorabilia Thunderbird Inn, Florissant Colorado

Motorcycle memorabilia Thunderbird Inn, Florissant Colorado

Just a local shower to cool us off

Just a local shower to cool us off


Manitou Springs is a small historic touristy town just outside Colorado Springs. We spend a relaxing evening walking the town and enjoying the local brewery’s food and ales. Our ride out to Denver will take us via the ‘Garden of the Gods’. The name came in 1859 after one Colorado City surveyor thought this would be a good location for a beer garden, before his colleague suggested that this could be a ‘Garden for the Gods’ and the name stuck.

Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado

Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado


Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado

Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado

One year on the road today, what a milestone. It would have seemed unlikely when we set off from Verwood in June 2014 feeling like frauds on shiny new motorcycles. ‘Riding round the world’ really! I think some of those other riders on the cross Chunnel train would have thought so. But here we are a year later after so many adventures and having met many wonderful people, we are very lucky.

Streak & Storm on our 1st anniversary - at Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado

Streak & Storm on our 1st anniversary – at Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado

We arrive at BMW of Denver in Aurora and Streak and Storm are handed over for their 24,000 mile service and hopefully the diagnosis and solution to Streak’s throttle lag (the spluttering and dying not having occurred again for the last two days). Time will tell… Now for a relaxing weekend with our friends Mike and Karen.

– Anthony

12 comments on “Taos and onward to Colorado

  1. Colorado is such a lovely place and you describe it so well. The problems with the bike must be frustrating I hope you get them fixed at th service stop.

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  2. Amazing !! You have both been on my mind and hey ho there is the blog!! It all looks fabulous , breathtaking scenery . Oh how annoying that the bike is being temperamantal ! I really hope they , BMW , find the quirk . Love to you both , keep the blogs coming .

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  3. I hope you were able to rent the motel room by the hour !
    Must be getting annoying to have reliability problems with Streak, I hope they get fixed properly/permanently soon. Great pictures as usual showing how vast and varying the USA seems, even the ‘back roads’ look huge. The view from my armchair never changes that much so keep yours coming.
    Stay safe and Throttle on.

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    • No rooms by the hour this is not Central America. Waiting on Streak to be fixed, hopefully we will get a repaired bike on Tuesday, but will give Streak a good test ride before we are convinced.

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  4. As I read your evocative description of the thunderstorm scent filling the air, one of my favourite words came to mind: petrichor.
    Really hope Streak’s throttle lag is cleared up soon. Anne,well done for constantly keeping going in such a positive fashion, it must have taken the edge off some of your riding… Bisous xxx

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    • Petrichor, what a great world and one I did not know. We do enjoy the smell and the description was very interesting. We hope Streak will be fixed next week and we can smell more ‘Petrichor’.

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  5. How I envy you those cool high mountains. I imagine being spoilt by good roads, familiar foods, easie of communication and feelings of safety (except for the incalcitrant Streak) Mia be quite relaxing for you after South and Central America.

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  6. What a lovely expansive skyline painted through your photos and the prose with smell of pine trees just divine. You are seriously RTW veterans now with one year of amazing adventures shared so honestly, generously and with vulnerability at times that has had this armchair traveller 100% along for the ride. xxx

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