Back in August, Tara and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Since we did not have any thawed wedding cake this year, we decided to take a mini vacation. Last fall we had the idea to go on a weekend trip to Grand Junction, CO for wine tasting. A year later, that idea came to fruition.
We waited until mid-September so it wouldn’t be too hot and the fruit would be peaking. At 3:30 Saturday morning, we boarded an eastbound Amtrak train with our bikes stowed in boxes and everything we needed for the weekend in our backpacks.
After a somewhat fitful sleep, we awoke to sunlight streaming through the train windows and enjoyed breakfast in the dining car before arriving in GJ at 10:30. We unpacked the bikes, shouldered our packs, and started pedaling towards wine country.
The tour we embarked on that day was admittedly a little more than we had intended, but was worth every hard-earned mile. In the end, we rode about 27 miles before rolling into the Bed & Breakfast. All I can say is, our asses were sore.
We stopped at 4 wineries in total, each offering free tastings. Consequently, each stop increased the weight of our packs—we’ve been needing to stock up on wine for a while. Rolling up on our bikes with our packs was quite the conversation starter. The response is almost always: “We should look into riding the train”. It feels good to promote Amtrak because it is so awesome!
In the late afternoon, after a wild ride down from atop the bluffs, across the river, and into Palisade, we stopped for a break in the riverside park. We spread a blanket out in the shade of the tall cottonwoods and lay on it eating peaches and honey sticks. It’s fun to play vagabond every once and a while.
After 6 more miles and 1 final tasting, we arrived at the B&B. The host couple was super nice and suggested a Mexican restaurant which we walked to—a welcome change in transportation. Dinner was good, but the best part was the full-strength margaritas. You can’t get them like that in Utah.
The next morning, we exchanged stories with the other couple at the B&B who also happened to be cyclists, and then, much to our hind-quarters’ dismay, climbed on the bikes again and rode back towards Grand Junction. It was 9 miles in total and we arrived before noon. We explored downtown and a hit a brew pub for lunch. The micro brew completed the CO trip for me.
The train was supposed to leave at 4:30 that afternoon, but was delayed an hour, so we dropped the bikes and packs off at the train station and did some exploring on foot. Needless to say, we were very ready for dinner on the train that evening, which turned out to be very awkward because the two guys we go seated with never said a word. We arrived back in SLC around 12:30 that night. All told, it was an amazing trip. Highly recommend it.