|Start Point:||Gunnison, CO|
|Start Weather:||At 6:00 AM the temperature was 41.0° with 73% humidity. The conditions were mostly cloudy.|
|End Point:||Aurora, CO|
|End Weather:||At 6:00 PM the temperature was 37.9° with 79% humidity. The conditions were overcast with a windspeed of 11.5 miles per hour.|
We had a motel reservation near the Denver airport because we planned for Laurie to fly home from there. Those plans seemed doubtful at one point during the day.
The weather forecast called for snow and rain in Denver in the morning and a 50% chance of rain for an hour or so during our ride to Denver. The forecast for the previous day was similar and we had a great day so we were not too concerned. We should have been concerned.
I thought the ride through Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet in elevation would be the coldest ride of the day. It actually was not too bad. Laurie had on thermal underwear, jeans and leather chaps for the lower half and several layers with a heated jacket liner on the top. She held up pretty well during this part of the ride.
Our problems started later in the day when we ran into snow with temperatures as low as 27°. The snow melted when it hit the road so the road was wet. I thought we would be ok until I tried to clear my windshield with my gloves and found the snow and water from the road had frozen on the windshield. We decided we needed to stop and ponder our options.
Both of Laurie’s feet were getting cold, our windsheld was frozen over and someone at the gas station said there was a multi vehicle wreck on the route we needed to take. I seriously considered getting a motel locally and getting to Denver early the next day but Laurie was not looking forward to the cold early AM ride.
We spent about 45 minutes at the gas station pondering what to do. I got some hand/feet chemical warmers and that in combination with one of my large boots solved the cold with Laurie’s left foot. Warmers, another sock and plastic bag solved the heat problem with her right foot (toenail removed). I also realized we would be headed for lower elevations so we might hit warmer air.
The snow eased off a little so we carefully headed toward Denver. The road was mostly wet with just occasional slushy spots. I now had on my heated waterproof gloves so I was able to constantly clear part of the windshield so I could see.
We proceeded carefully down the road, past the 7 vehicle or so wreck and on to Denver. It snowed the whole time. Somewhere around the center of Denver the air temperature rose above 32° and the ice and snow melted from Ruby.
This was not part of the plan for the day and I don’t want to do it again, but oh what memories!
Elevation Changes During the Day
The day started at 7,727 feet and ended at 5,350 feet. The highest altitude was 11,321 feet and the lowest altitude was 4,829 feet.
Track Log for Today
You may be interested in the next article, Route 66.
The previous article is Day 13, Monument Valley to Cortez, CO.
© Bobby Daniel