Day 9 – Hanging out in Denver (area)

Day 9 – Centennial, CO to Boulder, CO

Date: 06/10/2016 Friday
Starting Location: Centennial, CO
Ending Location: Boulder, CO
Starting Odometer: 8983
Ending Odometer:
Mileage Today:  52.2 Miles
Mileage Total:  2182 miles
Today’s MPG:  44 mpg
Total Average MPG:  43 mpg

A leisurely morning, with many memories

After spending the night in Centennial, Landy and I made plans for my departure towards Boulder, which would happen midday.  After taking care of a few morning chores, we got in the car, and headed towards Red Rocks.

We stopped in Morrison for Breakfast, and had a fit and proper breakfast.  The place we stopped at in Morrison is not a particularly aesthetically appealing place, but it has the local charm and great food that I’ve been searching for.  I used my years of experience to build my own omelette.  And, I must be a master builder, because the omelette was delicious.  As you would expect in a mountain town in Colorado, they made their own Salsa, and it was delicious.  After having a hearty breakfast, I felt like I was ready to enjoy the day with a little sightseeing.

Red Rocks – A view from the top

Red rocks serves as a sort of hub for the local community.  It seems that many, many things happen at the top of the road that ends at the amphitheater.  While we were there, the amphitheater looked more like a Spartan Race than it did a concert venue.  There were hundreds of people that were working out within the amphitheater, climbing the steps, climbing the walls, crawling down from the top to the bottom on their hands and knees, etc.

It was great to see such an awesome place, used in so many creative ways, by so many healthy people.  I have to admit that these folks were in great shape, and hiking around at 5500 feet or so was hard enough, as I was still striving to acclimatize to the elevation.

Red Rocks Amphitheater – My history

When I was in the US Air Force from 1977 – 1981, I was stuck in Clovis, NM for most of my 4 year tour.  However, my tour of duty started in Texas for Basic Training, and then it was on to Denver for technical school.  I was just a young buck when I was in Denver in 1977, but while attending Tech School, we often heard about the concerts that were taking place at the famed Red Rocks venue.

I was never able to attend any of these concerts over the 8 or so weeks that I was in school, and until now, I did not know what I had been missing.  So, on this morning, I was headed to Red Rocks, with one of my oldest friends, and we were going to see the venue that we had both missed out on so many years ago.

Red Rocks – Their History

I did not realize it, but it seems that Red Rocks has been operational for about 100 years or so.  Over the years, many, many of the most famous performers of their time had played at Red Rocks.  Because of the magnificent beauty of the venue, and the breathtaking views from the venue, it was said that if you were touring anywhere in the West, that you had to stop at Red Rocks.  And so, many performers have come to Red Rocks over the years.

In 1964, the Beatles visited Red Rocks, and as a result of that visit, each year a Beatles tribute band plays at Red Rocks, and they only play Beatles Songs that were prevalent and had been written and performed up to 1964 or ’65.  Landy told me that he loves this show, and tries to attend it each year.  I’ve captured a picture of the plaque on the wall that shows the Beatles performance date.


Red Rocks – My History

I was born in 1958, and I thought it would be interesting to see who was playing at Red Rocks during the year of my birth.  so, I’ve captured a picture of the plaque that lists the shows for that year.


And lastly, I took a picture of the plaque that shows 1977, the year that I was attending tech school at Stapleton Air Force Base, in Denver, CO. You can see the concerts that I missed, which took place from about the middle of July, through the end of August, 1977.


Departure time

With our visit to Red Rocks complete.  And my visit with my old friend complete, it was time to hit the road.  And so, with a hug and a handshake, I got ready to hit the road.  We had time for one more selfie of the two of us, and then i was on my way.


Heading to Boulder

There are two primary routes to Boulder from Centennial.  One route would use the Interstate the entire way, and the other would use an alternate route to the West.  Given that I wanted to stay off of the Interstates as much as possible, especially in populated areas, I chose the west route.  But, since my GPS loves to be efficient, and it often ignores my wishes, I needed to ensure that I was directed to the right starting point for this route.

So,  I had Landy type up the directions that would override the GPS, and I taped them to the left sleeve of my jacket.  And off I went…

The plan worked pretty well, and with only one missed turn, and about 3 minutes of extra travel, I head to Boulder.  The traffic was really heavy, as a result of road work being done, and I faced a point of conflict.

You see, in CA, when you’re faced with slow moving traffic on an Interstate, you’re allowed to split lanes.  But CA is the only state that allows this, and here I was in CO.  I tried moving along at the snails pace for a while but eventually had to do something about the problem of stop and go traffic, on the big Adventure Bike.  I decided to ride on the shoulder, in order to avoid being hit from behind.  I entered the shoulder, and rode slowly, along side the cars, traveling faster than the cars, but at a relatively slow speed.

At the end of a long line of cars, I tucked into the line, and began the journey towards Boulder.  Traffic was really bad, so I spent almost 90 minutes traveling this short distance, arriving at about 1:50 PM Local time.

What’s happening tomorrow?

Well, on Saturday and Sunday I’ll be riding the local roads with Jim, and perhaps some friends.  We’ll stop along the way for lunch, and a brewery tour.  It should be fun.

I also expect to wash the bike tomorrow, getting it ready for the next leg of the journey.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.