Colorado-Utah 2010 Trip - Days 20, 21, and 22

Wednesday, June 9th to Friday, June 11th – The Trip Home

Well, they say "all good things must come to an end" and that especially true for vacations.  My friend's K12LT had developed a front fork seal leak during our ride in Utah, and he was understandably reluctant to ride it, once we returned to his house, since it was continuing to leak fork oil down to the brake caliper on that side.  He was also quickly consumed with work again (he is an independent contractor for a large aerospace-defense company).

On Day 20, I was up around 4:30 a.m. and on the road by around 5 a.m. MDT (about a half hour before dawn) with hopes of get a lot of riding done before the afternoon thunderstorms developed on the Kansas plains.  Day one of the trip home would take me from Parker, CO to Columbia, MO, about 712 miles on mostly I-70.

The first hour's ride on Colorado Highway 86 was great, over the open rolling foothills, watching the sun come up.  After that, it was many hours droning eastward along on I-70.  I made a quick gas and breakfast stop in Colby, Kansas, and moved along.  The day's ride was enjoyable, other than a traffic tie-up in Kansas City, which left me sitting at 90 degrees for longer than I would have liked.  I arrived at my first day's destination in east Columbia, Missouri, around 6 p.m. CDT.

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The Day 21 ride (552 miles) took me from Columbia, Missouri to Corbin, Kentucky.  Once again, I was up early and rolling by 5 a.m., so I try to could be around St. Louis before the morning commuter traffic.  I was successful and stopped just east of St. Louis, in Illinois, for breakfast.  The day quickly became hot.  After entering Kentucky and stopping for gas, I considered making a side trip to see a bourbon distillery, Maker's Mark, that I had visited the year before during the BMW MOA Rally, but decided against doing so.  I moved on and arrived at my second day's destination, Corbin, Kentucky, around 5:30 p.m. EDT.

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Day 22, the final day of the trip, took me from Corbin to Wilmington (523 miles).  I enjoyed a pleasant ride to Knoxville, Tennessee and through the North Carolina mountains to Asheville.  I finally stopped after Hendersonville, NC, for gas -- a 3 hour, 15 minute, 214 mile run.  The weather turned hot, especially after I went through Charlotte, which was already 93 degrees by 11 a.m.  By the time I reached Rockingham, it was 97 degrees.  I remembered how much more tolerable these temperatures seemed while I was in Colorado and Utah, because of their much lower humidity!  I finally arrived home shortly after 3 p.m.

It was the end of a wonderful trip.  21 days and 6,510 miles.  For those of you who are interested, you can browse a more comprehensive collection of my trip photos on my Google Picasa web album.