Though the roads were pretty straight and wide open for the most part, there was quite a bit of scenery on our route, with lakes and rock outcroppings lining our way, though we just rode near them, not through them. There are not many cars or trucks to deal with either once we left the interstate in Casper. People who prefer to look at topography and not ride through it will probably love our route down SR-220 out of Casper, then 789 south all the way to Rifle, Colorado. Once into Colorado, the road gets twistier as it descends to the Colorado River, but is never very challenging.
After crossing the Colorado border, mines and open prairie were replaced with little lakes and grazing land. In Rifle we grabbed an early dinner and decided to push ourselves a little to squeeze in a very scenic trip down Gateway Canyon (SR-141) south of Grand Junction, Colorado. Unlike 789, 141 is a very challenging road, and it was nice to close out our day with a memorable ride in an incredibly beautiful place. The ride was far from over, but the sunlight was done. After 141, we took CO-90 west into Utah, wishing the whole time that we had done that road in the daytime, as it was all switchbacks in a deep red canyon.
We pulled in to Monticello, Utah, at near 11 p.m.; tired, but satisfied to have pulled a 600-plus mile day, while managing to see some sights and get some entertaining riding in. We stayed in Monticello because Plan A was to take one of my favorite rides zig-zagging through southern Utah, but as with so much on this trip, we changed directions. More next month.