Rather than doing a long winded entry today, I thought that I’d give a brief summary of the ride and then let some pictures do the rest of the talking.
My last epic ride in Durango had to be the ride up to Kennebec Pass, no shuttle this time. It took me just under 2 ½ hours of nothing but climbing to get to the notch, just under 5,000 feet of climbing. The clouds were just beginning to gather for their daily shindig, so I had a little time to explore while I was in the high country. I rode over to the Highline Trail and started my ascent up to further heights. About ¾ of the way up it became nothing but hike-a-bike. I took a look at the sky and the clouds were becoming more abundant, so I did a 180 and headed back to the Colorado Trail and took it all the way down to Durango. Once at the trailhead in Durango, I turned around and headed back up to the Hoffheins Connector and took Hoffheins back to the ranch. I ended the day with 8,100 feet of climbing and 6 ½ hours of saddle time, pretty close to what I would call a perfect day!
I enjoy riding my road bike and I also dig the triathlon scene even though I can’t really do one. But there is nothing like a mountain bike ride in the mountains. The places that you can go, the things that you can see, no cars to deal with, no noise other than whatever noise mother nature happens to create. The smell of the high altitude pine forests, flying down a narrow strip of buttery smooth singletrack, darting around pines, aspens and rocks. Lung busting climbs, crazy fast descents. You can’t experience any of that on a road bike or during a triathlon. My words fall way short of describing the sensation, so I’ll let some pictures do the rest of the talking, enjoy!
Some company called Wildcat Mining wants to start a mining operation in LaPlata Canyon. I saw signs like this throughout Mayday, at the base of the canyon. I'd say the locals are a little upset about it, I would be too!
I smile everytime I see this sign.
A homeless chimney, probably from an old miners cabin that burnt down back in the day.
This is my idea of a perfect road for a gravel grinder, I could ride on stuff like this all day.
More gravel goodness, Colorado style.
Go mine Uranus.
Squirrel, I dare you to ride down this.
A view of the Highline Trail from the Notch. The Highline traverses up the side of the mountain near the center of the picture.
A view of the Notch, located between the two peaks at the center of the picture, from my where I decided to pull the plug on my ascent up the Highline Trail.
The gathering of the clouds, time to boogie on outta here!
An abandoned miners shack at about 11,200 feet. I bet their view is better than the view out of my office window.
A view from the top of the Sliderock Trail. Just looking at the picture activates the ole' pucker factor'!
When riding on Sliderock Trail, it is best not to look down.
More sweet singletrack.
I sure am gonna miss this!
I'm gonna miss this too.
A view of the canyon from the trail.
Another view from the trail.
Climbing through a pine and aspen forest. I dream about this stuff when I'm home.
Descending through an aspen forest at mach 4, I'm glad that nothing broke on my bike.
Tomorrow is my last day in Durango, not sure what I'm going to do for a ride in the morning before I leave. I've got about 15 different mountain bike trails to choose from...