My camp in the Monti-La Sal National Forest was great. I had pleasant temperatures for the ten days I was there, I had good cell service, it was close enough to town for supplies, and a nearby stream let me do laundry and supply my non-potable water needs. I was isolated enough that hardly anyone came by and there were shade trees that I could sit under in the afternoon. I will definitely remember the spot for future travels.
In the last few days I was there I made several sidetrips on Honda. A ride into the mountains towards Colorado brought me to a display of dinosaur tracks in the rocky ground, another rough, dirt road took me to a historic site where there was a battle between Indians and ranchers, and the day before I left I rode several miles to Gold Canyon at 10,000 feet. I waited until after the weekend, packed Minnie, and headed into Colorado.
It took a lot of packing to get ready to go. I had my screen tent set up and an awning fastened to the side of my rig, plus I had unloaded my motorcycle trailer to use for hauling water. I had really set up a nest for an extended stay. By the time I drove down the mountain and reached Cortez, Colorado, it was early afternoon.
Cortez had everything I needed to equip for my next travel leg. I stocked up on groceries at Walmart, found a laundromat to get everything clean again, dumped tanks, filled my propane, and of course, I had a hamburger at Mcdonalds. After all these chores – the laundromat driers were particularly slow – I finally got back on the road.
I wanted to head over to Mesa Verde National Park but I talked with some people who said the cliff dwelling tours are booked several days in advance. I have been to all the National Parks in Utah and several times to the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde National Parks. I decided this trip that rather than fight the crowds at the national parks I would instead explore the national forests that almost always surround the parks. I have found some of the best camping and scenery exploring the back roads of our forests. With that in mind I headed north towards Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Most of the time while looking for a good place to camp, I park Minnie someplace safe and ride the back roads on Honda. For some reason I turned up a side road just past Telluride Ski Resort into the Uncompahgre National Forest. It was a mistake! The road soon narrowed to one lane with a dropoff on one side, threatening slides on the other, and an unstable road bed from days of heavy rains. I pushed on with clenched fingers on the steering wheel and heart pounding, hoping it didn’t get worse before I found a place to turn around. Eventually, the road widened some, and after two miles I found a place to turn around. On the way down I kept meeting SUVs on the way up and we would squeeze by holding our breath. Luckily, I met no one on the very narrow streatch. I don’t want to reach for that much drama ever again.
Right now I’m parked just north of Placerville, Co, at a place called Caddis Flats campground. It is along the San Miguel river on BLM land. I will probably stay here for a few days even though it is a little too close to the road for my taste. At least I have cell and the river out my window is lovely.