6350 km / 3969 miles
| This Colorado motorcycle trip in
September of 2021 was panned as a 3-week trip together
with my wife Jayne. Because of medical issues
with our dog I was going to cancel the trip, but my wife
insisted that I go alone. So I did ride alone, but cut
it down to 2 weeks.
I didn't have a exact route planned and looked at the
map each night and picked a road towards the next
I rode from Portland, Oregon east on Interstate 84
through Oregon and Idaho, until I finally left the
Interstate and took smaller backroads to Fossil
Butte National Monument, Flaming Gorge, Dinosaur
NM, Colorado NM, Mesa Verde NP, Million
Dollar Highway, Grand Mesa, Independence
Pass, Rocky Mountain NP. Then again
Interstates to Bonneville Salt Flats on the way
I hate to ride Interstates but for a long trip in a
relatively short amount of time I didn't have a choice.
Sometimes you just have to cover some ground.
I have to admit that I was a little worried about how my
21 year old, carbureted Honda XRV750 Africa Twin with
over 93,000 miles (150,000 km) on the clock would
perform on all the 10,000+ feet (3,000+ m) passes. It
turns out, really not too bad. Yes, it lost a little
power in the altitude, but much less than I had feared,
even loaded down. It's just a great bike!
Images on the left show the entire
route (upper image) and the Colorado
route in (lower image).
|The best time for such a trip is
probably early September. I still had temperatures in
the high 90's, but also around freezing at night at
elevations of around 10.000 feet. If you go in Spring
you will likely encounter snow and ice on the high
mountain passes. The passes may even still be closed.
The road conditions are generally good. Some of
the small side rods were pot holed, but it wasn't too
In terms of safety wild animals and wildfires
are probably the greatest thread (besides other
drivers). Not only bears can be dangerous, but mountain
lions and even raccoons can be dangerous. I always
leave my food in locked aluminum panniers when camping. In
regards to wildfires it is advisable to ask at ranger
stations about current conditions and expected fire
direction. There are also many phone apps out there to
show wildfires, but cell coverage in the middle of
nowhere is spotty at best.
Some people in the remote areas want to stay away from
other people and may be armed. If you respect "No
Trespassing" signs you should be okay.
|As usual lately in August and
September, I started the trip in lots of wildfire
smoke from up and down the west cost. I
was worried that the smoke could potentially
ruin the trip by fogging up all views.
night I spent at Anthony Lakes, Oregon,
near Baker City. Nice campground and
beautiful ride from the Interstate to get
there. It's high up and therefore gets cold
|Lots more Interstate until I
finally hit Hwy 30 at McCammon, Idaho.
The first real sightseeing stop was at the Gysir
of Soda Springs, Idaho.
|I continued on Hwy 30 and stopped
at the Fossil Butte National Monument in
|Besides the obvious fossils at the
visitor center, Fossil Butte has a very nice dirt
and gravel road to offer. Some riders may
find the loose gravel in the switchbacks
challenging. The road leads up to the top of the
hill, from where one has a nice view over the
panniers and top cases
Made by an experienced
Panniers available in 47l, 40l and 33l
Top boxs available in 20l and 36l
Silver/Grey or Black
Quality is essential,
not only on a RTW tour.