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LA or Bust - 2009 Trip - Day 3

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Start Location: Nephi, UT
Ending Location: Gunnison, CO
Miles Today: 419
Trip Miles: 1374
States Visited: 5
National Parks Visited: 1
Low Temp: 62.9° F
High Temp: 102.2° F
Min Elevation: 4031'
Max Elevation: 8729'

Route Map:



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Today was pretty amazing.  We started out to warm temperatures and it only got better from there.  The first leg of the trip was a 52 mile stretch down Route 28 from Nephi to I-70/US 50 at Salina.  There was virtually no traffic and the ride was very pleasant.

The next stretch was about 175 miles from Salina to the Utah/Colorado border.  Although this was all Interstate, it was great riding.  Lots of long sweeping curves and beautiful scenery in all directions.  Utah is truly an amazing state.  Again there was very light traffic and no problems.

We stopped about 20 miles into Colorado for lunch.  The stop was a combination Rest Area, Tourist Infromation Center, and Vietnam Memorial - go figure.  Shortly after lunch I-70 and US 50 split and we followed US 50 through Grand Junction and Montrose.  About 5 miles outside of Montrose was the entrance to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  We paid $10 for our lifetime America the Beautiful Senior Pass which entitles us to entrance to all National Parks for the rest of our lives - very cool.

There is a seven mile drive along the south rim of the canyon with about 8 or 10 places to stop and view the canyon.  We stopped at about half of the stops and each stop was better than the last.  It was getting late by this time and the park was closing soon so we felt like stereotypical Japanese tourists.  We'd hop off the bike, sometimes even leaving our helmets on, zip over to the observation point, take some pictures, and then back on the bike and off to the next stop.  It wasn't really as bad as it sounds and we got some great pictures but pictures don't really do it justice.  Like most National Parks, they have to be experienced in person.  Add this one to your list.

Finally we drove on to Gunnison, CO and got in about 6:30.  We thought we might get wet on this last leg because there were lots of black clouds and wet roads where it had been raining recently, but we managed to dodge the rain and get in dry.

We weren't able to decide on a route from Gunnison tomorrow so we left it up to Google.  Tomorrow we head east on US 50 to Pueblo, then south on I-25 to Raton, NM and finally east on 87/64.  Hopefully we will have another dry day and more great scenery.

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