Pardox No. 7

Night and day on the mountain of paradox #7 (May 29th-June 2nd)

I appreciate a good road name, having been down a few. Another favorite is Parameter street. That one resides in Lamar, Colorado.

Uncompahgre National forest is home to Uncompahgre plateau, rising 4,000 feet above the Uncompahgre river where Montrose, Colorado sits deep in the valley floor.

Montrose was a favorite of mine. Perhaps it was the cute girl who worked at the KOA, or the friendly camping neighbor who told me all about motorcycling the country with his pet spaniel in a crate behind him, or the local movie theater where I saw both Tomorrowland and Mad Max Fury Road, but I tend to think it was all of these mixed with complete cell service, and very soft grass, and the friendliest coffee shop in the whole state.

The day I rode out I stopped at the local first Methodist and met an avid cyclist who told me about riding with 18,000 others all the way across Iowa. He donated to my cause, the first acquaintance on the road to do so.

Highway 90 quickly dwindled to hard-pack dirt road climbing up the plateau. I was grateful for the slower and more intermittent traffic. As I climbed from burnt orange dirt desert to flowering vegetation, I started to ride by sheep farm after sheep farm. Sheep unlike cows seemed caught up in their own noisy conversation like a bunch of drunk buddies at the bar, and hardly notices me. Eventually the climbing did me in, and I pulled of the road into the trees to setup tent, slept and rested almost 20 hours, and started again my ascent. After making it to the edge of the forest, I took a nap, waking an hour before sunset, and decided to strike off, daylight or no.

It turned out to be the most beautiful night on the mountain of Paradox No. 7. I have never had a night like it before or since. The moon rose just a few minutes after the sun set, and glowed off the Aspen groves like distant car lights. The views of the moonlight valleys and the 14,000 foot peaks in the distance took my breath away.

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