Friday, July 25, 2014

San Juan Day 2


The next morning (check out San Juan Day 1 here), we woke up and slowly got ready for the days ride. The valley floor of Hermosa Creek was a little cool and humid.


We started to see the larger number of tourists that had shuttled that morning, including the annual Yeti Tribe event in southern Colorado.


There were apparently two groups, one dowing Hermosa and the other doing Colorado Trail from Molas Pass. After Hermosa, it was another quiet ride up to the start of Colorado Trail.






We had a quick lunch before starting the Colorado Trail.



Wildflowers were the theme of this mid-afternoon ride. It's rare to find two men so excited about wildflowers.



Aaron did not bring his camera. So for the rest of the trip, we would frequently switch the DSLR back and forth.




Big country abounds


We met some more Yeti Group folks and chatted it up. Great to have such friendly folk on the CT. Surprisngly of the 5 people we talked to, two of them had done the entire CT.




More wildflowers?! Yes please!



Before getting to Molas Pass, we turned our bikes down to Clear Lake by way of South Mineral Camground.

The "slow, wildflower pace" quickly came to a "let's try to outrun the storm pace." Bad part about this is that I had to put my sleeping bag in a dry bag (my seat bag is no longer waterproof since it is 5 years old). While I was doing this, I apparently dropped my Big Agnes Clearview sleeping pad and never noticed. Doh! I did not notice until arriving at camp in Silverton later that day.



The camera stayed in the pack while it was raining, bombing down to the campground.


The quick, 30-minute storm passed over and we were left with more blue skies. We pressed on to Silverton.



And got to a camping spot pretty early on outside of town....another camping spot next to the river!

San Juan Day 1


Aaron started to talk to me about a loop in the San Juan National Forest in late June. Having been there several times in the past few years, he had cooked up a 200 mile loop that started from Durango. As the tentative date came closer, we finally finalized the plans and packed our bags for southern Colorado late July.
 
The drive up from Tucson to Durango took about 8 hours, after stopping half way in Flagstaff for the night.

 


The original plan to hang out with Krista that Friday night morphed into an early start to our trip. As soon as we got to Durango, we started to load up the bikes and ride toward Hermosa Creek Trail through town. We left a little after 3pm that Friday.


 
Flowly singletrack greeted us for the first few hours


We passed a few hikers that afternoon. Other than those hikers, we had the trail to ourselves. The common misconcpetion is that the trail can be crowded. If you time it right, this trail is too big to have hikers/bikers come later afternoon.



Left to ourselves, we crusied on......enjoying the first day of our 200-mile bikepacking loop.




I can't remember ever bikepacking next to a wooden bench. So when what seemed like the perfect camping spot appeared and the sun was starting to set, we stopped and camped for the night.

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