Before we went to bed the night before, we re-worked our route to accommodate the slow start we had. We decided to cut out the trip to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee in order to have a smoother trip. We can always go there another time.
We woke up in Telluride with great expectations. I was excited to ride the gondola over the mountain and see everything from up there, but no such luck. I looked at the forecast on my phone and immediately saw a storm coming. We found the local weather channel and watched the radar to see how bad it was going to be and which direction it was moving. It was coming in at an angle in our direction, but didn’t look like it would get to us until around noon. We ate a quick breakfast, drove through the town. It is a nice little town with many boutique stores and cafes (being that it is Colorado, there were several Marijuana stores too). The people seemed to be a mix of rich yuppy types and young bohemian types. (just my observation, don’t get mad at me)
The rain started earlier than expected so we had to cut the visit short. We quickly pulled over and began putting on our rain gear and the waterproof bag over the luggage pack. Once we were done, we quickly hit the road in the hopes of outrunning the storm. We had to go slow because the roads were wet and you never knew when a deer or an elk would jump out of the woods, but this just gave me time to see the beauty and take more pictures. It didn’t take us long to get to a patch of blue sky, but we could see the rain in front of us and did not look forward to getting into it. We did stop for a stretch (or by the looks of Kirk’s picture, a dance..haha) and I got some more pictures.
Just as quickly as the rain went away it came back. We rode through a little town called Meeker (shout out for Ron, who hunts Elk there every year), and then got into more rain. It was not a nice day for a ride.
Because we altered our route, we were now spending the third night in a little town called Steamboat Springs in Colorado. Let me tell you, it is the cutest little town. Kirk said that he picked there to live. He loved that place. It is definitely somewhere that I will go back to again. I think I would pick it for a return visit over Telluride for sure. The people there are super sweet and we stayed at this little off the wall hotel. It was family owned and they were the nicest people. It is called the Nordic Lodge of Steamboat Springs.
They have old fashion keys for the rooms (you know like normal keys, not cards), and when we checked in, we were walked to our room and showed around. She even asked right away if we wanted more pillows and ran and got some for us. The furniture is made by hand by the owners and their family and is really rustic and cabin like. They had an amazing continental breakfast spread with pastries and things fresh from the local bakery. We ate dinner that night at one of Kirk’s new favorite restaurants, Steamboat Smokehouse (Kirk calls it the pink pig because they have a big pink pig statue outside). The bar-b-que was really good, but their baked beans were amazing. Oh, and they have bacon wrapped smokies on their menu as an appetizer. What more could you ask for? We enjoyed the indoor hot tub after dinner then went to bed.
The next morning the forecast was sunny and nice. It was a little chilly because we were so high up in the mountains, so we bundled up and headed out. We were on our way to Hot Springs, South Dakota. We traveled up through the mountains and hit some snow before we got into Wyoming. So we went from rain to snow. Luckily it was just on the ground and not actually snowing on us, but it sure was cold.
As we came down the mountain into Wyoming, it warmed up nicely. The countryside was very pretty as we made our way towards South Dakota.
We took a slight detour and rode through Guernsey State Park. It was beautiful. It was a nice break in the day.
It wasn’t long after, that we made it to South Dakota and into Hot Springs. Wanting to stay at hotels that aren’t big chains if we can when in these small towns, we opted for the Red Rock River Resort (it was the only one that advertised a hot tub). It was a bit of a disappointment. The owners were friendly but there was no elevator so we had to carry our heavy bags up the stairs. The room was nice and big with a couch and table, but the bed was hard as a rock and the pillow might as well have been non-existent. I mean so flat that you can’t really call them pillows. There was no ice machine, no coffee maker, no breakfast or coffee downstairs in the morning. On the plus side (we thought) we did get a bottle of wine that was made locally and had a commemorative label for Sturgis 75th anniversary.
Unfortunately it was awful. The hot tub was another disappointment. It was so over filled that Kirk and I were afraid to both get into it. It was on the second floor, we couldn’t see a drain of any kind and when one of us got in it started to overflow. I knew both of us would cause a ton of water to come out. We sat in it for a few minutes (one at a time) and then went to bed.
Here are a few videos from the ride in Guernsey State Park.