So, I made some coffee, ate some breakfast and off we headed towards Durango.
Here is a map, but without the mountain biking portion of the day.
View Colorado 2011 in a larger map
The San Juans are such a good part of the country to be in...
Just in the drive back to the pavement there are amazing sites. Here there and all over.
We drove into Durango and then up to the Fort Lewis University. It sits up on a bluff that is a perfect overlook on the town.
We drove around side streets and checked out the many amazing looking houses around town.
At that point we decided to gas up and head out. I wanted to get a ride in! I headed for Hermosa Trail which essentially just behind the Durango Mountain Resort (Formerly "Purgatory"). We drove up the mountain and D dropped me off near the top. From there it was about a 4 mile ride to the beginning of the 2 track official trail. The trail is multi-use and open to dirt bikes, hikers, horses and mountain bikers. I saw several of each of the above on the higher use ends of the trail and everyone worked together in unison. It was great. Everyone got out of each others way and waved. I've never seen those user groups all getting along so well. Colorado magic!
Here are a few pics from the ride taken with my camera-phone.
About half way through it turns from 2 track to singletrack. The whole ride is beautiful snaking along the river. Love this trail.
About half way through the thunder and lightening started... hmmm. I can outrun this, right? I pedaled as fast as I could. Not so much, it started pouring. DUMPING. For the next hour I rode through between 4 and 12 inches of water/mud. It was rough, it was cold, but it was awesome. After fearing that I took a couple wrong turns, talking with some hunters who got caught out in the rain and chasing one fast local riding along I made it. (I now understand why the locals all ride with large packs. Filled with rain gear no doubt!)
Hope you enjoy the little video. Some of it is 2x speed and some of it is 1x. Just shot with an old GoPro helmet mount and pics taken with my camera-phone. Thank goodness for the Otterbox case or my Motorola Droid X2 never would have made it through that much rain in my wet back jersey pocket!
After the ride I tried to warm up and dry off. We made some really HOT chocolate and then headed for the hills.
Nice grocery getter in one driveway. Man I want to live here! haha. There, now that I said it, it's off my chest.
The road to camp.
Once you see a sign like this it means the amount of people on the road is decreasing. A better sign is a total lack of... signs.
A good sign to have near camp. Also a sign that some good people may be heading through camp at some point.
We ended up deciding on a camp spot on the Colorado trail at about 11,000 feet. The first night was at 6500 which was a lot higher than Phoenix's 1400 feet. A jump to 11,000 was going to be interesting. (we actually decided against a couple of higher camp sites on this night worried about feeling altitude sickness)
After staying in camp a few hours we both felt pretty good. I got cocky and had 2 beers. They knocked me on my rocker! Wow, what a great thing altitude can do for booze! haha.
I love these. I am on an IPA kick. Used to hate them, but for some reason I am digging them the hoppier the better.
Everything was covered in mud from my ride.
Pasquale the Parrot was having a bad day!
We had 1 neighbor a couple of football fields away in a little Toyota truck. Apparently she had a little dog since it ran over as we were making smores. We took a look at the ID tag and oddly enough it had an AZ area code. What a funny thing to find a neighbor all the way up here. The dog visited several more times. Always retreating when the faint whistle of it's master called out "where are you!?"
Not a bad view from camp.
What a sunset...