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Dottie and I would like to share a couple trips we took this fall just after we bought our Wee Strom (starting with our Colorado trip). The 650 is the first larger bike I've ever owned and Dottie has only been on the back of a bike for a few miles before. We bought the 2006 in early Sept. and a few weeks later I re-took the motorcycle riding test to change my license from an under 250cc to a 650cc and up. The bike came with the side cases and we ordered a top case to match and I installed it. Since the weather was nice we decided to try taking a 4 day trip on the bike.

We live in Blanding, UT, 70 miles south of Moab, Ut so felt a first trip over into Colorado.....



... to see the fall colors would be a good way for us to see how us old people (me 72, her younger by a few years) would do on the bike. Our route took us over to Ouray, CO the first night. Then across the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton and on to Durango and east to Creede, CO the second day. The next day back over the continental Divide north and then west to Monrose, CO. The final day was back home to Utah.

We had a great trip and both of us love the V-Strom and the idea of many more trips on the bike. We decided to share the trip with family and friends and you guys.

Here is a link to the trip report along with lots of pictures.....

http://1fatgmc.com/motorcycle/suzuki-650/650-trips/Suzuki-650-Trip-Index.html

For those of you who haven't explored the San Juan Mountains of Colorado put them on your bucket list. I'm sure you will enjoy them.



We think this area provides the most scenic mountain roads in the U.S.,

Sumner and Dottie
 

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Nice trip and blog Sumner! I've ridden all the roads except the road you came into Colorado on from Blanding to Naturita. I did not know about the North Clear Creek Falls on 149. Rode by twice not knowing. Thanks for the pics and story.
 

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Great Pictures and Story. I rode thru parts of Colorado in the past beautiful Country. Thanks for taken me back again...
 

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I've been fortunate to have been to all the areas you visited on you trip, a couple of times. I also ran into the Desert Doctor, just after checking into the Prospector Inn, the night I stayed in Escalante. He's quite a friendly guy and definitely the type of bike dealer, you'd want on your side if you need wrenching done. I sure hope to visit that area again, before my days are over.

 

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I've been through that area before but your pics make more dramatic than I remember.
All the more reason to go again!
Friend of mine says a relative has a trading post in the area. 6 degrees of separation from a wonderful area?
 

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Thanks for the trip report. I just got a Wee in March and my wife and I are looking for some small trips to do with the bike. So far we have just gone to Whistler / Pemberton from Maple Ridge for a couple nights and back.
We have taken our truck and camper on some of those roads you road, but would love to do them on the bike.


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Looks great. I've always enjoyed southern Utah but have yet to explore CO. I'm hoping to change that next year.


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Red Mountain Pass (and the rest of that section of US550) really freaks a lot of people out, even in cars. Last year ('15), I did an overnight to Durango going south on CO149 and coming back north on 550. You know those days when your riding just isn't in top form due to fatigue or mentally not being in the zone? I was having that on Red Mtn. Pass! There isn't much forgiveness in some of those curves.
 

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I lived on the Western Slope for 8 years so had the opportunity of traveling these roads on a regular basis. I still go back every summer either on my V-Strom or to ride out the trails on an ATV. Last summer there were 2 people killed when there side by side went off the side of a mountain just north of Silverton.
 

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Colorado was awesome when I rode through there. One of my favorite parts was crossing over Monarch Pass. I didn't look too closely at the elevation marked on my map, however, so I truly wasn't prepared for the fact that there might be snow falling on the pass even in early June. All I had was a leather shirt for that crossing, and it was hands down the coldest I've ever been on a bike!
 

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Colorado was awesome when I rode through there. One of my favorite parts was crossing over Monarch Pass. I didn't look too closely at the elevation marked on my map, however, so I truly wasn't prepared for the fact that there might be snow falling on the pass even in early June. All I had was a leather shirt for that crossing, and it was hands down the coldest I've ever been on a bike!
11,312 feet according to the web. It's a great climb and all of US 50 from Penrose, CO to Montrose, CO is pretty good. That was one of my go-to roads and I kind of wore it out. Big Horn Sheep Canyon along the Arkansas River, beginning near the Royal Gorge, is a fun section too.
 

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11,312 feet according to the web. It's a great climb and all of US 50 from Penrose, CO to Montrose, CO is pretty good. That was one of my go-to roads and I kind of wore it out. Big Horn Sheep Canyon along the Arkansas River, beginning near the Royal Gorge, is a fun section too.
As I climbed the pass my Road King began to miss and hiccup, and by the time I got to the top of the pass I was afraid it was going to be a race between freezing to death and having the Harley break down or crash in the snow. It wasn't til I got to the other side and looked at the map, saw the elevation, and realized that's why my carbureted RK was running so poorly.

I'll tell you what, though, in spite of the discomfort, I'd do that same ride again even if I froze. Colorado was incredible (at least until I got the the east side and it started looking a lot like Kansas). We have what we call mountains back in Pennsylvania, but you just don't understand what a mountain is until you see the Rockies.
 

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As I climbed the pass my Road King began to miss and hiccup, and by the time I got to the top of the pass I was afraid it was going to be a race between freezing to death and having the Harley break down or crash in the snow. It wasn't til I got to the other side and looked at the map, saw the elevation, and realized that's why my carbureted RK was running so poorly.

I'll tell you what, though, in spite of the discomfort, I'd do that same ride again even if I froze. Colorado was incredible (at least until I got the the east side and it started looking a lot like Kansas). We have what we call mountains back in Pennsylvania, but you just don't understand what a mountain is until you see the Rockies.
Yep,

Riding in Colorado can mean two sets of gloves, jacket and liner, no liner, etc. All in 50 miles. Especially in spring and fall. I was amazed after I got the Strom with heated grips how often I used them. I had ridden three years on my other bike without them. My friend would extend his riding season here using bar mitts.
 

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We had a Western VStrom gathering in Silverton a couple years ago. Beautiful area to ride in. A few years earlier, in a group ride we rode from Lake City to Silverton, Ouray, and a couple other towns on dirt bikes over the mountains. Fantastic views and altitudes up to 13,200 feet. My carbuereted KTM did well, considering I couldn't change the mixture. It's a beautiful area, and I've taken my wife back there a couple times since, both pavement and dirt (jeep).
 
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