Today we woke up in Durango, and as it was raining, we decided not to ride the Colorado Trail as planned, but instead drove the 4 hours or so to Fruita, CO. On the way we passed over some beautiful terrain,
drove over impressive mountain passes,
and stopped at the really quaint little mountain town called Silverton, which was a Victorian mining town established in 1874.
So long as it’s not winter, you can take a narrow gauge train from Durango all the way to Silverton. I wouldn’t be surprised if Silverton has been the set for a number of Western movies, as one block parallel to the paved main road there is another all dirt “main” street that has very western mountain-town styled buildings that look like they they could be straight off a movie set in Hollywood. We stopped in the Avalanche Café, which is on the dirt side street, and enjoyed the cozy atmosphere, a wireless internet connection, and some hot chocolate and chai at the as-advertised 9,318 foot-high coffee shop before continuing on to Fruita.
I couldn't help but snap a picture of this pickup truck that was carrying a taxidermied bobcat attacking a wild boar. You don't see that everyday.
Once we got to Fruita, we stopped at Over the Edge bike shop which Rou had heard of on the internet, and enjoyed looking at their Ibis Mojo frames with rubberized paint as we got the scoop on the local trails. We drove out to the 18 Road “Book Cliffs” Area which is also known as the “North Fruita Desert Special Recreation Management Area”, set up camp, and got on our bikes for our first ride in Fruita.
We decided to start out on the double-black diamond trail called Zippety.
We rode up the dirt road to the north trailhead where Zippety started. It began with fun up and downs on dry deserty hardpack, with lots of hairpins and banked berms, then tunred into steep climbs with steep drops. We suddenly found ourselves riding along a gravely knife-edge ridge. At one point we came around a hairpin turn to the left with a 100+ foot sheer drop to the right.
[If the movie gets stuck at 2:47, just drag the marker past that point and it should start playing again.]
Then a minute later the trail itself took a sharp left turn and with a similar drop, which we descended only after playing rock paper scissors to see who would attempt it first. I won, and here's the video footage from my headcam:
We hooked into Kessel’s Run. After a few minutes of the gradual climb back to camp, we decided would be better run in the opposite direction. We got back to camp, cooked up some hot soup with Elk meat, ate wild boar sandwiches, and hit the sack.