Chasing the Iron Horse (64)

The morning started out slowly after a late night.

Changing a flat tire

We spoke with several people at the campsite, one of whom grew up in western Massachussets but now lives in Salida, CO. Once we made it out of the campsite, we stopped for food at a convenience store, hoping we could be on our way quickly afterwards, since storms were forecasted to arrive before noon. We ended up talking with some more people there and finally got moving around 9:30.

The climb out of Silverton was a bit more mild than yesterday’s climb, and much shorter.

  When we got to the top, Monas Pass, we met Phil and Claudia.

They recently got married and one of their wedding gifts was a week long tour on the San Juan Scenic Skyway (Durango to Dolores to Telluride to Ridgway to Silverton and back to Durango). They graciously offered for us to join them at a cabin west of Durango for the night if we made it that far. Thanks, Phil and Claudia!

Next was a descent followed by another climb to Coal Bank Pass.

  On the backside of that climb was a big, fun descent and then 30 miles of flat or slight downhill to Durango.

Pinkerton Hot Springs

We got a late lunch and extra groceries at a store just north of Durango. We ate in a park by the river and were excited to watch the train go by on its way back from Silverton.

We started riding towards downtown and ran into Garrett, who was taking his daughter for a ride on the bike path alongside the Animas River. She clearly loved her perch in the seat on the back of the bike. Garrett stopped us and explained that he did a cross country tour a few years ago and said that when he made it to Durango, he knew he wanted to stay. He also led us around town for a quick tour, which was greatly appreciated! The town is really cool and bike friendly.

We stayed with Garrett, his wife, Ali, and their daughter, Avalyn at their home in Durango. We were excited when they served breakfast for dinner! As we ate, we shared bike trip stories, although Garrett’s far surpass any of ours yet! The two of them are hoping to be able to go on some short tours soon with Avalyn. She’s going to have an awesome childhood- they’ve already taken her camping! We got to sleep on the porch under the stars, which was a treat. Thank you both so much for taking us in! You are incredibly generous, charismatic people, and we are so glad to have met you.

Trip stats, to date (Day 64)

Silverton, CO to Durango, CO
Daily mileage: 50.0mi ;  Trip total to date: 3,826 mi
Daily riding time: 4hr 21min;  Trip total time: 331hr 59min
Daily ascent: 3,090 ft;  Trip total ascent: 187,404 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 2; Chris – 2

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