Out of Grand Junction. GJ is a large town and feels like it. Nice people everywhere, but it’s too fast for our holiday taste.
Should be a great day. Heading out on another 100 mile road: South on 141, over the Colorado River. Take 25.10 Road and then south on Continental Divide Road. Pass through the Dominguez-Escalante region (named after the Franciscan priests). Monoliths are strewn about after having tumbled from their perches who knows how long ago.
Continental Divide Road runs through the Uncompahgre National Forest. The elevation is 9,500′, and wild flowers abound with displays that rival the most carefully curated and lovingly attended garden. We continue on and enter a beautiful valley, the Dry Creek Basin in the Tres Rio District.
As we move on there are many people out riding their ATVs and having fun, but we are looking for solitude! We stop a passing rider to ask where the turn was for Columbine Pass, and he gave us a bit of information, but wasn’t sure. He headed off after saying he was roaming trying to find the uranium mine. As we moved on we came to a T and chose to go right, which turned out to be a dead end. Turning around and heading back to the T we meet our ATV route advisor for the second time and stopping, he said he went down the road and took pictures of the signs on the roads to help us. He said, “I knew I would run into you on the way out!” What a thoughtful thing to do. His name is Jon Hobbs, owner of Trinity Carpet Care in Grand Junction, 15 years in business with commercial and government contracts as well as homeowner clients. Such a nice guy. We all got out and off our vehicles and had great conversation, some laughs, and talked politics. Great fun with him.
We continue on the Continental Divide Road to 141 through Naturita. This stretch of 141 is much less traveled than Hwy 50, “The Loneliest Highway.” We drop into Delores Canyon at the Hanging Flume and climb Slick Rock Hill into Montecello for the night – thunder storms most of the night. Dinner at a little family-owned place with Chance (owner’s nephew) as our waiter, a 20 something young man with an easy and affable manner. He shared with us his favorite “secret” places in the area. Tomorrow we go!