16 June 2014

Into the mountains

Finally we got into the mountains. Durango itself is situated at about 2000m above sea level and then some of the rides get close to 3000m. This is the stuff that we have been hanging out for but it is surprising how much it makes your lungs burn trying to ride up hills when you are this high. I know, excuses excuses. But if you've done it you know what I'm talking about.

When we got into the area we started off by visiting Mesa Verde National Park which has some really old indian dwellings (2000yrs ish) in the side of cliffs which were pretty cool. 

Since we were in the area and we had heard about it we thought we would check out this network called Phil's World. Reviews were all great, turned out it was mostly flat with a few ups and downs which I thought was pretty boring for the most part. You win some and you lose some, this was a loss. I'll leave it at that.

Next up was a loop that included part of the Colorado trail. This was more what we were after. You had to ride up, but the climbs were easy and were rewarded with some amazing downs. 12 miles with a bout 700m of climbing which meant 700m of decent.

 The view from Goudies Rest

Easy climbing and super fun descending

Another one of the must do's in Durango seemed to be the Hermosa Creek trail. Turns out on tired legs it's not as much of a must do. The scenery was pretty amazing but again it was very cross country in character so the excitement factor wasn't there. 

We were still stuck in Durango for one more day which wasn't a bad thing at all. It meant that I got to try a sweet downhill called Haflin Creek Trail. This track was sick. Over 4 miles it dropped almost 3000feet and was techy, fast, exposed which is the winning formula. Here is a wee snippet. It's raw go pro that I put no effort into editing so turn the volume down or listen to music or something. 

Finally my new linkages arrived, the bike shop let me use their shit to fix my bike and it was time to head to Crested Butte. Even higher into the hills..
On the way to Crested Butte we ran into a whole heap of chipmunks. Cute!

The cool thing about getting to Crested Butte was that we were meeting some friends there and that there is a wicked kayak run that was flowing called Oh Be Joyful. So after a month of no kayaking what better intro to a Colorado Creek. Good thing for me I had Chad to follow down this pretty continuous stretch of river because my brain was fried trying to remember the lines. It was just a whole lot of fun!

2 strokes into the run and then you get to send this little beauty!

After we went for our paddle it got windy, cold and snowy so we sampled some locally brewed beer and waited for the sun to come out again. Apparently this is normal weather for Colorado.

Shilo Chad and I sampling heaven

 An afternoon ride on the Lupine Trail and that is the Drainage for Oh Be Joyful in the background.

We were a little too early in the season to get some of the trails that we were looking forward to because there was still too much snow around. It seems that you can't go wrong in this area though. The next day we did another loop up Strand Hill. Again, pretty easy climbing (if it wasn't for the high altitude) and really fast, flowy descents.

 Seems to be a bit of a trend that almost all of the rides have epic views. I'm just sitting appreciating the shit out of this one while my lungs try to recover.

 And then we get the DOWN!!

 Nicole doesn't have a big smile because the track is cool. She can't stop being happy about all of the wild flowers.. Girls!

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