Pagosa Springs to Salida – 147 miles
I’m not sure what to say about this day, other than I’m glad it was a short one. We woke up to occasional rain sprinkles and overcast skies. It was actually pretty cold too and I knew it was only going to be cooler once we were riding.
The weather seemed to wait until just about the time we were ready to head out of Pagosa Springs before it really cut loose with the rain. Gee, thanks! As we headed up and up toward the summit of Wolf Creek Pass, I had to turn my heated hand grips on to warm up. Brrr!
One of the coolest moments of the trip was being flagged down to stop by someone in the middle of the road. All kinds of thoughts went through my mind, like someone had broken down or there was a person in need of assistance. As we approached, I saw a man standing in the middle of the road with a stop sign on a very long pole. Turns out it was a local rancher who was slowing traffic because he was moving cattle on an adjacent road! I clearly remember a little calf standing next to its mother at peering at me with big brown eyes in bewilderment. Now that is a sight you just don’t see in Denver!
Since it was raining and chilly for most of the day, we didn’t stop for any photos. I felt the dread I always do when a trip is winding down and this day was no different. I was, however, surprised to find that I was glad the ride to Salida was so short. I guess I was still tired from the previous day because by the time we arrived, I was ready to be done for the day. After we checked into our rooms in Salida, we went in search of some lunch and guess what? It rained again! I know my riding partner dreads the rain even more than I do so I was hoping it would only be a brief shower. I did hear thunder while we were at lunch, but thankfully it was short lived and we made it back to the hotel before the storm got intense.
That evening we went out to a really cool brewery that had many different beer, cider and wines you could choose from. They also had some great live music going on and the icing on the cake for me was a super cute dog that came with someone. The little dog ran around saying hello to everyone as if we were all old friends and was a ball of energy and fun. My dog fix was complete for the day!
The evening was one of those experiences that seems ordinary on the surface, but I was feeling grateful for all the positives in my life. For the choices that brought me back to motorcycling and the one that sent my riding buddy into my life. Also for the chance to find Sassy last summer, because that bike has made riding so enjoyable for me! All the travel I have experienced this summer reminds me to be grateful for a wonderful job and a fabulous boss who believes in work life balance. I had left some unsettling news behind me when we headed out on this trip and it was a relief to focus on the fun we were having. I needed a break to give myself time to process so that I could make reasonable decisions when I returned. When it feels like life has kicked me in the teeth, I go toward gratitude to find my balance again.