The next stop was not out of fuel necessity, but who could pass up checking out one of Kum & Go’s new E15/E85 stations in Colorado Springs, Colo.? Not this guy. The station was beautiful and hopping. As usual, the price was just right for E85 and for E15. E85 was a 28% discount to regular unleaded, and E15 was a 4% discount. I topped-off with E85, and refreshed the snacks.
For those that have not experienced 85-octane gasoline in the Rocky Mountain Region, it also affects E15. Specifically, E15 is only 86 octane, and like 85 octane, it is typically not high enough to be approved by any engine manufacturer. There are also no warning labels on 85-octane, alerting consumers about this non-approved fuel, but there are on E15 and E85. Apparently AAA, the American Motorcyclist Association and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute see no issue with this? The move to a minimum octane standard is important, and will clearly cost the oil companies millions if they lose the opportunity to dump this low-octane fuel into the marketplace. They claim that it is only sold at high altitude, but it was available all throughout this part our trip.
We made it to our first destination, which was Gunnison, Colo. The young one was reaching her “time in the car” limit, so we visited Hartman Rocks, a recreation area just outside of Gunnison. The next day we explored the area around Curecanti National Recreation Area between Gunnison and Montrose. This day included a 5+ hour off-road adventure on a closed, 4-wheel drive trail. No, it was not on purpose. Needless to say I was happy when this day was over.