Mountain Roads in Colorado and National Parks in Utah
After his family reunion, Anderson was back on the road and heading to song location 82, Grand Lake, Colorado. ADV Rider, the motorcycle forum on which Anderson posts his blog, are well represented in the state, so Anderson had a host of people to see and heaps of road recommendations to try out.
His first meet up was with Tim, who had kindly prepared a thorough checklist of roads Anderson should try in the state. They started with the Guanella Pass, a scenic, quiet road with great views. After some photo stops they headed towards Mount Evans, getting hammered by a sudden onset of wind and rain while on route. Mount Evans proved worthwhile. It features the highest paved road in the US, rising to 14,130 ft.
Together, Tim and Anderson rode down to Denver where they parted ways. Anderson headed on towards Grand Lake on the Peak to Peak highway but had a rough day of showers and strong winds. Eventually, he was forced to pull over and stop for the night.
The next day he finally made it to Grand Lake, a tiny town but a well-known tourist attraction. He enjoyed some time wandering the streets and chatting to those interested in his bike. After a few hours, he set off down the Trail Ridge Road featuring views he described as “some of my favorite in Colorado.” It was along this stretch that he found a "quintessential" photo to represent his time in the state.
From Denver, he now headed westward, past Mt. Elbert (the tallest peak in Colorado), wild camping as he went. He took some time to ride highway 550, also known as the “Million Dollar Highway” due to the incredible cost of construction. There was more magical scenery, with wild-flowers, mountain peaks and deep valleys.
After 20 nights in Colorado, he was ready to move on to his next state, Utah. The song location, Cedar City would be his ultimate goal but first, he hoped to visit a selection of the state's national parks. He managed to tick off the Arches, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands, Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef National Park while slowly making his way toward Cedar City.
He also bumped into another long-distance motorcyclist, “Round the World Paul” who directed him to the Burr Trail out of Boulder with enthusiastic praise for the drive. Though it meant back-tracking slightly, Anderson followed Paul's advice and experienced “a wonderfully scenic and exciting road” with switchbacks and great views aplenty.
All this sight-seeing meant that Anderson has yet to post about Cedar City, he seems keen to make the most of these last few song locations.