Oh, Deer!

Autumn in Colorado is always an adventure when it comes to weather.  Two weeks ago it was cold and snowing on Sunday.  Just last weekend it was beautiful, warm and sunny!  A perfect weekend for riding and I made the most of it, fitting in rides on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I’d had tentative plans with a friend to ride on Saturday assuming the weather cooperated.  It turned out to be such a nice weekend that we put on some miles on Friday and Sunday too.  Bonus!  Saturday we decided to take state highways and see if we could make it all the way to Victor, Colorado before we ran out of daylight or got too cold.  We started on Highway 85 in Denver and then wound our way over to Highway 67.  Since this is a state highway, imagine our surprise when 67 turned from pavement to packed dirt and gravel!  My beloved Sassy, a 2015 BMW F700GS is a dual sport well suited to dirt roads.  However, my friend’s Kawasaki Vulcan is a beautiful street bike that is not at all meant to be ridden on dirt and gravel roads.  My friend handled it like a champ and we slowly made our way along until the highway turned to pavement again.

We stopped in Woodland Park to assess our plans and enjoy some lunch.  We met some other riders who were also taking a break and had a nice conversation about the various roads and journeys people were enjoying that day.  Since it was already mid afternoon and daylight was not going to last but three more hours, we decided to change our plans and save Victor for another day.

We prefer to avoid the interstate and take two lane highways whenever possible.  My friend routed our return to avoid the dreaded dirt state highway and still enjoy some wonderful views.  Our next stop was in Manitou Springs, a quirky little town in the mountains that is said to be haunted! Whether that is true or not, we had a lovely walk around Manitou and enjoyed looking into the various arcades and people watching.

Our detour into Manitou meant we would be arriving back in the Denver area after dark.  We had plenty of layers for warmth since we had planned on riding in the mountains.  The part we couldn’t plan for was deer, and we saw a LOT of them!  I counted at least five, my friend (who was riding in front) counted even more.  Thankfully they all stayed on the side of the roads and moved away from the motorcycles.  Just at dark however, I encountered a VERY large buck on the side of the road and that made my heart race!  I only saw him when he raised his head to look at me and the motorcycle.  Yikes!

Thankfully we made it home that evening without any close deer encounters.  In fact, I would say that some of the drivers we encountered were more of a concern than the deer.

The coming weekend looks like another gorgeous one for riding!  I’m grateful for every beautiful day we have this time of year knowing the snow can come and go any moment.  I’m wondering where the road will take us this weekend . . .

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