Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Book Cliffs Trails, Fruita, CO

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 CafĂ©, 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.


Bev said...

Loved how Rou was howling at the end of his bike run down that steep hill. Nice video clips island boy.

antonina said...

There are very great mountains!!! I heard, that such mountains are on Alaska. But, it appears, the central part of the USA too has beautiful high mountains! I wish to see this place myself very much. And this wonderful small town Silverton. The atmosphere of the Wild West is felt at viewing pictures. It is very good that there are such places on the Earth and people have a chance to plunge during an epoch of the last centuries.

BobbyB said...

THANKS, THAT'S SOME GREAT FOOTAGE!!!!! We rode Zippety about 3 weeks before this video was shot... yours brought it all back to me... thanks, the nightmares had subsided, but are now they've started again....

I shot and produced a video of our ride the following day down The Ribbon, over in Grand Junction. We picked an awesome day... Check it out on YouTube at

The final 3rd day we rode "The Whole Enchilada", from Burrows Pass down through Hazzard and the Porcupine Rim Trail - 36 miles of tortuous fun!!!!