I left Great Falls, MT at 4:30am to try and ride as much as possible before the sun came up and the heat made it uncomfortable to ride. However it was quite cool, dropping as low as 42 degF until I was south of Yellowstone when it warmed up into the high 70s.
I rode south on MT 89 to Livingstone and then into Yellowstone at Mammoth Springs. There was only one traffic pile up south of Norris Junction where a Grizzly Bear was walking along the side of the road. I just rode on past the gawking tourists.
Riding through the east side of the Grand Tetons was awesome as always. I left all the Jackson traffic behind as I took US 191 south to Pinedale and on to Rock Springs, WY. I stayed on US 191 through the Flaming Gorge to Vernal, UT.
After 670 miles in 11 hours, I checked in at the Best Western in Vernal, Utah.
I had a quick breakfast at the motel in Vernal so did not leave until 6:15am. I rode east to Dinosaur, Rangely and then south to join I-70 at Rifle, CO. Rode the slab east to Gelenwood Springs and then south on CO 82 to Aspen. Traffic was awful as I crawled through Aspen,. KBiK again went into the red with the flasshing warning indicator on for at least an hour as we crawled along through the trendy town.
It was great to ride over Independence Pass and enjoy the natural beauty of the awesome scenery.
Started to heat up as I went south through Buena Vista and Salida. As I approached Walsenberg, CO on CO 69 I ran through a heavy rainstorm but stayed dry in my Aerostich Suit and lobster Claw rain gloves.
I-25 took me south to Raton, NM under dark threatening clouds which stayed with me the 70 miles east on US 87 to Clayton, NM
After 556 miles and 10.5 hours, I checked in to the Best Western in Clayton, New Mexico.
The forecast was for heavy thunderstorms and flash flood alerts across Texas. As I knew I would lose an hour immediately crossing into Texas, I left at 4:30am.
It was a long, boring ride south to Amarillo and then down US287 to Wichita Falls, I-35S through Fort Worth and then onto Waco before taking Hwy 6 to US 290 and home in Houston. Average speed was 76 mph.
It rained on and off all day but even then the temperatures rose into the high 80s. The rain was really bad on the last section of US 290 into Houston from Hempstead. Two accidents slowed me down as I rode past the Grand Parkway.
After 720 miles in 10 hours, I arrived home soggy but safe at 3:15 pm.