Durango, CO to Manitou Springs, CO
The free breakfast at the Durango Best Western was adequate but lacked proteins. I then headed north on highway 505 to Montrose. The passes are beautiful and so was the road. It was breezy in Montrose where I gassed up and ate a snack. I then caught highway 50 east which was much drier than I would have thought. I could see the smoke from a wildfire to the south as I neared Pikes Peak.
Going over Monarch Pass was fantastic. The road was in great shape and other than dodging a pudgy marmot sprinting across the road the ride was fantastic. I stopped at the top of Monarch and took a picture of my bike in front of the Continental Divide sign, then continued onward.
Colorado drivers were beginning to frustrate me. They seemed to go 15+ over the speed limit in the straights but would slow WAY down for any kind of curve. They acted like they were freaked out by it and it seemed contradictory. But, that is better than Idaho drivers that are slow no matter what the circumstance.
The mountain towns of Silverton and Ourey remind me of those little villages you see pictures of in the Swiss Alps, quaint and small. Manitou Springs has a similar flavor, with a much busier, pedestrian friendly feel. My place of rest for the next two nights was the Best Western on the eastern edge of town, across from Garden of the Gods. I was very glad to check in as the area was beginning a record-breaking heat wave, with temps well into the upper 90’s.
Dinner was at a pizza deli next door called Savelli’s. The food was good and so was the service. My room was adjacent to the guest laundry so I got caught up in that regard as well.