Sunday, August 13, 2017

Colorado, 2017. Gallup NM, Durango, Telluride, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Eagle, Breckenridge CO

We shifted gears from the Tour to finding singletrack. After a short discussion Tyler and  I agreed to go to Telluride and Crested Butte as main targets. Along the way we'd find rides.
Moab, Sedona and points west were ruled out due to the high temps.....we were heading to the mountains.

The first night after the Tour pick-up we spent the night in Hachita, NM and Jeff's house. Jeff is a Tour "helper" as he could be hired to shuttle riders from Antelope Wells to airports, helping boxing up bikes and such. There were 6-8 riders there the first evening with many more expected.
Tyler slept in a bed for the first time in 3 weeks, I stuck with the back of the jeep. After this night, Tyler would be back to sleeping in the dirt (as he referred to it) and I again, stuck with the back of the jeep.
After a leisurely breakfast Tyler and I loaded up and headed north. Tyler's first order of business was to replace his phone that had gotten stolen in northern NM during the Tour. After some investigating we found out our best chance to accomplish that was Farmington, NM so off we headed. We decided to go the scenic route, west of Silver City up through the Gila National Forest.
That got us heading towards Gallup NM and the Mtn. Bike trails I had ridden east of Gallup around 8 years previous.

Looking at the map, I noticed a "shortcut" south of Fort Wingate. It turned into a 4-wheel drive jeep trail.....glad we had a jeep.....over a high point then down into the McGaffey Lake recreational area and I got on the bike.
I cruised around on some of the park trails, one taking me to the fire lookout, before talking to a group of bikers that Tyler had noticed camping that then gave me directions to the Quaking Aspen system. It's a nice flowy xc route with not much vertical out and just enough down slope on the way back to cruise through the woods nicely. I did hit up an out and back that had a bit more climbing for about a mile or so then turned around and screamed back down.
Got back to the jeep minutes before dark,  Tyler was already bivied and sleeping, still recovering from his Tour effort.

Leaving the next morning.

After the stop to get a phone we headed to Durango so Tyler could get his bike back in shape. I took the opportunity to ride some trails close to town, rode right from the bike shop.
Good climbing with worthy downhills.
Rode Telegraph, up Meadow, Stacy's, Mike's, down Cuchillo....then rode up then down the Meadow section I missed as an out and back.
Plenty more to ride here, but we were moving on heading to Telluride.

Driving up to Durango from Farmington we passed through the town of Aztec. The Animas River runs through downtown and we followed it upstream to Durango. Seems like it would be a cool kayak trip and Aztec seems to be an interesting town to spend a little more time in.

We left Durango via the western route heading to Dolores then Rico. Before we got to Rico I noticed a few great spots that called out to me to park the trailer when Lynn and I come back out again.

 A few miles beyond Rico and maybe 20-30 miles from Telluride.
Tesla sighting!

This pano doesn't do the area justice....of course.

Tyler had noticed on the 'net that Telluride offers free gondola rides so as we get close to town we noticed the sign and turned in. It lead us to a free parking area where we got on the bikes and after talking to a few guys, one volunteered to "guide" us down to the town of Telluride. It turns out that due to the 4th of July we wouldn't have found a parking spot anyway.

I guess this guy was in the parade we had barely missed....or not?...  ;-)

We started down Jurassic and connected with Meadow and River Trails that lead us right into town, a bit short of an hr. ride cruising at moderate speed stopping some to chat with lots of users.

Once in town we looked around a bit and decided to head up to the water falls.....

...which then became two water falls. The first, the one seem from town is Ingram Falls, and the other around the corner a bit is Bridal Veil, the highest drop in CO.
We rode about 2 miles with 1,600 feet of climbing to get there.

At the top looking down towards Telluride.

That's the rode we came up on. The Falls is behind/below the building.

Outskirts of Telluride in the distance.

These guys/gals wanted to say they boarded on the 4th of July. Coming down from a small snow pack.

That's the snow they boarded on.

Looking down from where Ingram passes under the road. I took a video as well.

After our ride down we cruised around town some more looking around and had a few brews.

Then took the gondola back up to Mountain Village, loading the bikes on the racks.
 Off in the distance is the Telluride Airport....where we'd be getting on to a trail in a couple of days called Deep Creek.

 Tyler coming up behind me.

After riding we went out of town to do some dispersal camping on.....

And to look down into Telluride to watch the 4th of July fireworks.

Tyler's Telluride bedroom among the Aspens.

The next day we went back into town near the City park and setup for breakfast and secured a spot for the night.
Coming down from our "bedroom in the Aspens" Telluride in the distance, about 5 miles away. Another jeep kinda road, nothing like the one we were in NM, though. Should have taken some pics of that one.

Breakfast in town near the City Park.

Had breakfast right by this tree, smelled like lilacs.

Then we took the gondola back up and rode the Prospect Trail, which had a great downhill section along with some nice views.
It kicked us out at the top where we started and we then rode the Village Trail which connected us back to Jurassic/Meadows/River Trail and back to town.

Airport in the distance again.

And this smile was during the climb, before we got to the nice downhill section!

The trail we came up on.

The next day we rode Deep Creek, which is the opposite side of the valley from the Ski area and the trails we rode the day before. It was a bit more "rustic" than the trails at the ski area with a pretty steady and steep uphill.

The flowers weren't as spectacular as we had hoped.....hoping to get into them better at Crested Butte. But these were still kind of cool.

After a late lunch at the RBG (we ate there twice, try to RBG elk nachos!) we were off for Gunnison.
Decided to go west out of Telluride towards Placerville then to Ridgeway where we stopped for ice and ice cream. The town had a band playing so we hung out for awhile.

Reminded me of our granddaughter...

We talked to some locals and they suggested we cut the corner and drive through the Uncompahgre National Forest to Owl Creek. Fullish moon night.

Had breakfast along the Cimarron River with some good spots to bring in the travel trailer.

When we got into Gunnison had some lunch then went to one of the bike shops and got a map for Hartman Rocks and a suggested route. Trails we hit were Jacks, Tailpipe, Top of the World, Behind the Rocks, Becks, Broken Shovel, Rattlesnake, Ring Dike, Josie's, Josho's and probably more.

 Local cash crop, beer money!

The riding was excellent! We rode under threatening skies so it was a bit cooler than it would have been with a nice breeze. Met a couple from WI that now lives in Grand Junction. Her brother did the Tour Divide Race this year as well and Tyler had in fact stopped to help him at one was a crazy connection.
We also camped next to each other, right in the middle of the bike trails, designated spots all over the place.

From there we headed off to Crested Butte.....still looking for those flowers.
In town.

We pedaled up the road from town and rode Snodgrass, Lupine, Gunsight, upper/lower Loop back to town.

We camped out near town. Some flowers here.

The next day we rode the Reno Ridge, Flag Bear and Deadman Loop. Around 18 miles with 3 stout climbs, 3,000 feet of climbing.

Got some elevation on this ride. Snow.

From there we took off towards Eagle to visit some friends from WI that had moved out a couple of years ago.

Sites along the way through the back country.

Getting close to civilization?

Setup for breakfast in Carbondale Park, I believe. Fed a few young kids some bacon and pancakes.

Eagle, CO with friends Alfredo and Alisa. Rode up Boneyard and down Pool and Ice Rink. Nice riding.
We spent the night with them after a nice dinner and beers.

The next day we headed to Breckenridge. We pedaled up Boreas Pass Rd. then down Bakers Tank, Aspen Alley and Illinois Creek. Really nice singletrack.

Tyler had friends we stayed with, Mike and Amy. The next day Amy took us up on a guided trip.
We parked off of French Gulch Road, at the Reiling Dredge site.
Again, some great singletrack and sviews. XL and Sidedoor among the trails.

Tyler with Amy, who didn't even sweat leading us around.

End of the I need to get some new rubber and my fork rebuilt.

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