I woke up and, looking at the blue skies, decided to try and get in that ride on the Colorado Trail that was rained out our first time through Durango. What I didn’t realize looking out the Motel window was that it was 32 degrees outside. Oh well. I bundled up and went anyways. Rou was feeling a bit under the weather and had some work to catch up on anyways, so he dropped me off at the trailhead to the Colorado Trail and I rode back to the hotel from there.
The ride, though cold, was spectacular. It was a nice smooth hardpack trail that began with a long 2000 foot climb that I was expecting, so it wasn’t too bad.
About half way to the top there was a beautiful lookout and I found myself alone in a quiet beautiful pine and Aspen forest with the bright yellows of the aspens changing color. I realized that this must be why they call Colorado “Colorado”, which means “colorful” in Spanish.
I finished the climb and hooked back into the Colorado Trail after taking a side loop on Hoffeins Connect and Dry Fork Trail. The way down was fast and mostly smooth, with a few challenging sections but nothing too technical. Once I got past the “Gudy’s Rest” lookout, and started heading back down to the trailhead, I passed bikers, runners, hikers and dogs galore. Everyone was out enjoying this beautiful Sunday morning. I was glad I started early and had beaten everyone to the top and had a nice quiet climb to myself. I took the road back down to the hotel, showered up and we took off at noon for the 4 hour drive back to Santa Fe.
When we got back to the house in Santa Fe, Rou and Mary took the dogs for a walk at sunset. I stayed home and hopped in the hot tub on the back deck. As I sat there, the sun began to set and I realized how amazing and colorful the desert can be. This was my view:
When I looked at this picture on my computer, I thought I must have accidentally had the camera on "Underwater" mode because the reds were so vibrant. The camera wasn't on underwater mode; this is just how vibrant the colors are here.
Tomorrow is the day before I leave, and thus according to the pact of biking every day, we’re doing one last ride. This one is going to be a road climb up to a spa called Ten Thousand Waves where Rou’s wife Mary is going to meet us for a nice post-training celebration at the spa!