Tuesday, May 19, 2020

'Rolling on the river.....'

6:39 am - Tuesday - May 19th - Durango, CO - 43° F, 44% humidity, wind 3 mph ut of the north......clear, blue, cold skies this morning with a forecast high today of 76° F.....the view this morning.......↴

Our original plan was to be on the road again Monday heading north through Silverton (completely closed due to COVID-19), Ouray, Montrose, etc., but we decided to shake things up and stay an extra day in Durango.  TLE and I wanted to take a bike ride on the Animas River bike path, and Glenn and Laureen wanted to take a hike.  This is an outdoor recreation mecca, and not taking advantage of some of the local resources would be a shame.....after all, we are not really in a hurry, and really have no short term, or long term destinations pulling us forward.  Since our plans to head to Alaska this summer have been scuttled by the Wuhan Flu we are having to refocus ourselves on the here and now.  Normally at this time of year we have already arrived where we will spend the summer working, but now we find ourselves kind of adrift....in a good way.

We haven't ridden our bikes together since late February/early March in Borrego Springs, and I last rode by myself in April around the Wittmann countryside.  Since we bought our ebikes we have not even carried them on our Kuat bike rack anywhere.  These bikes weigh considerably more than our Cannondales, and I was concerned about how the bike rack would take the extra weight, but I needn't have worried....it handled them just fine.

We arrived at the 9th Street trailhead around 10:30 and began our ride south within minutes.  Our first stop was at a picnic area along the Animas River where there is a competitive kayaking course that is also used by river surfers.  I've heard of this before, but never seen it in person.....

.....very cool.  After that short interlude we continued south along the river enjoying the scenery, the wind in our faces, and just the feeling of normalcy.......

 .....at a junction in the trail we found a 'tiny house' community.  Our plan was to ride as far as the trail went, or 5 miles out, which ever came first.  As it turned out the trail ended exactly as we hit 5 miles on our cyclocomputers.....

.....by the time we finished our 10 mile round trip ride it was just after 12 pm, so we headed back to the RV park to drop off our bikes, and take a drive up to Coal Bank Pass to check out the difficulty of this 4,000' elevation gain climb....a climb we will be making in the Newell on Tuesday as we continue northward on U.S. 550.  Fortunately, the elevation gain is spread pretty evenly over the 27 miles to the top, and get up to 7, or 8% grade a few times.  The most difficult part will be the last 4 miles to the summit (10,640'), which is a switchback grinder......

 Looking back toward Durango

.....I've been thinking about this particular section of our drive since we decided to take this route a week ago.  This will be the longest sustained climb we have made in the Newell since we last made the climb up to Flagstaff from Wittmann a couple of weeks ago, and the highest elevation we have had the Newell at in quite a long time.  Once over the top we will descend over 3,000 feet to Ridgway, CO where we will stay for a few days while we explore the area, including Ouray.

We ended our day grilling a few steaks, and ate dinner with Glenn and Laureen in our coach.  We will, more than likely, leave an hour or two earlier Tuesday than Glenn and Laureen, but will meet up at Ridgway State Park later in the day.

Thanks for stopping by!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time and effort to prepare & share the commentary and photographs with us- Your efforts with your blog are much appreciated and I look forward to reading each posting.Your blog provides temporary relief from the current chaos, politics, and reality of daily trials and tribulations. I do respectfully request if you would consider eliminating the use of irregular terms for the Covid 19 virus pandemic as it really distracts from the quality, details and enjoyment of your commentary - I respect and will defend your privilege & freedom to define & express yourself as you believe - this is 100% your forum and we are here as guests. The fact of the matter is I will read and enjoy regardless.