Another great day in Durango, another great road ride to give my groin a little more time to mend.
Rode 35 miles over to Mesa Verde, paid the 8 bones to get in and listened to Ranger Rick give me what appeared to be his well rehearsed speech about the park. My first inclination was to cut him off somehow so that I could get on with my ride. However he was having none of that and proceeded to give me the goods about the park. So I sat and listened. He even told me that I should have lights on my bike. I kinda looked at the sky, then my watch (it was 10 in the morning) and then smiled thinking it was probably best that I didn’t inform him that I still had about 9 hours of daylight left. After the speech I rolled through the toll booth and began my adventure. I did nothing but climb for the first 45 minutes. The beauty of that was that I had a nice, 40+ mph descent to look forward to! I logged about 45 or so miles in the park and I think that it was actually worth the 8 bucks. There were a lot of cars in the park, but most were parked while people were out wandering around looking at stuff. There was a lot of cool stuff to look at, though I didn’t really see any cliff dwellings because I had my bike. You had to do a little hiking to see the good stuff. It was still a pretty scenic ride regardless.
A whole lotta rocks, cliffs and people pokin' around.
Thought about riding my bike down this crack, but there were people in the way.
More rocks and cliffs.
I can see for miles and miles...
and miles and miles...
and miles and miles.
The park roads rolled up and over various parts of different mesas, down into canyons, through a pretty long tunnel that got really dark about midway through. There was no shoulder throughout the length of the tunnel, so all that I could do was get over as far as I could and hope that the two cars behind me could at least make out my silhouette from the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t get hit, nothing broke and all of my body parts seem to be intact, so all is good!
I ended up with about 115 miles, 8,700 feet of climbing (a lot of which was in Mesa Verde) for about 5 hours and 55 minutes of riding. I was again surprised at how good I felt throughout the ride, especially after having done a 6 hour ride yesterday at a pretty good effort.