Boulder, CO-Grand Junction, CO (Day 5)

August 21
Miles 1720-2011

Very eventful day today. After packing up and filling up on gas, I was 11 miles out of town when the bike started making a really weird sound, like a very bubbly and loud cough. So I pulled over to the side of the road into a dirt driveway to see what was going on. After looking around a bit, I noticed that my front pipe had come loose from the engine so the exhaust was coming straight out rather than going through the muffler. Somehow the nuts had shaken loose off the bolts.

After calling around, I eventually found a harley dealership nearby, the mile high harley davidson dealership in aroura, Colorado, that could send somebody out to pick up the bike so they could fix it up. The only problem was that it was going to be a couple hours and I was pretty much in the middle of the desert. I found a little bit of shade next to a rock so I sat there with my back to the rock, head in the shade and my legs still in the sun, and read a book while I waited.

In a little less than 2 hours, the guy showed up. His name was Randy and he was extremely helpful. He had rushed from a pick up on the other side of Denver and fixed my bike right there. It didn’t cost me a thing and he also looked over the whole bike to check everything else was alright. He pointed out a strap that was a little too close to the drive chain and recommended I check the tread of my rear tire in San Diego. After chatting a bit more he recommended a route to get back to rt. 70 and headed off. My second trail angel of the trip!

He sent me on rt. 6 west which was incredible, a beautiful winding path through a canyon. Then after I hit rt. 70 it was time to go through Rockies.

The road through the mountains was fun, beautiful, and also scary with the very steep hills and sharp turns. Then, I can’t remember exactly when, I noticed that my rear break was starting to get less responsive until finally I pulled over to the side of the road and it didn’t respond at all. Luckily the rear break isn’t as vital as the front one, but it was enough to make me nervous.

Soon I stopped in a town for gas and to take a closer look. Then an older couple had come out of a mcdonalds next to where I was parked and we got to talking. They were asking me what was wrong and about my trip, where I was from and all that. They were also very eager to help me out. They offered to get me water, asked if they could help, offered me a place to stay if I needed it, and helped me figure out what my plan should be. We decided that, since I could drive without the rear break I would drive to a town nearby with a harley dealership and get help in the morning. As we parted, they gave me their cell number and assured me that I should call if I needed anything. Third trail angels!

So I headed off towards Grand Junction, near the Utah-Colorado border, and it wasn’t too long after leaving the trail angel couple that I had started to leave the Rockies. I then ran into a new problem: I was traveling west at the end of the day which means, directly into the sun! For about to or three hours I had the sun right in my eyes and even with sunglasses it was really burning. I would look eagerly ahead at approaching mountains that the highway went around as their shadows were cast briefly on the road. Otherwise, I would hold my left hand up when there was a straight away to block out the glare.

And not soon enough, I had made it to grand junction. So I started to look for a campground, as it turned out no one new of one close by. There was a guy in a grocery store though who new of public land, BLM land, that I could probably set up a tent on and sleep for free. This sounded perfect, especially the free part, so I followed his directions winding through back roads of thet town eventually driving down a dirt road with private property signs along the side. I kept going until I saw a big sign with a map of what looked like the area and guessed this was the public land. So I pulled my bike off road in the middle of a desert/field and was finally able to set up my tent and go to sleep for the night. Hopefully I cam get my brake fixed in the morning and make it to meet my friends in Zion National Park!

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