After descending on 550, we took a right onto Highway 50 at Montrose and slipped east through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, picking up big speed at this lower elevation before cresting Monarch Pass (11,300) and making another fuel stop at Salida. This was the home stretch and everyone was feeling fine. We'd be veering north onto Highway 24 for the final approach to Copper Mountain, and the group was starting to splinter off to their various final destinations. Highway 24 winds along Sawatch Range which is packed with Fourteeners, as they're known in Colorado -- mountain peaks more than 14,000 feet in height. The silent sentries shadowed us all the way to Leadville, another charming old mining town and the highest incorporated city in the continental United States at 10,152 feet above sea level. We drank in the cool, thin air briefly and then twisted our throttles -- Copper was calling. 20 minutes later, pulling up into the resort's registration area, I remember feeling great satisfaction and a genuine sense of pride for having made this incredible trek with such a warm, friendly, and accomplished group of readers. All the different voices and personalities along the way made the ride that much richer. I couldn't imagine a better way to really crystallize what _ Motorcycle Cruiser _ and the cruising experience is all about, and I can't wait to do it again soon.