Friday, July 17

"To Hell You Ride"

Last night I summited the Dallas Divide (8,970ft) just at sunset which made for excellent views of the Mount Snefefles Wilderness range surrounding Ridgeway, CO. Before the climb, when actually traveling through Ridgeway, I ran into a group of six or seven high schoolers jumping off a bridge and small cliff into the Uncompahgre River. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I found myself joining their ranks for a bit of a swim, or as one of them called it, my "weekly shower." Once over the divide however, it was a great 13 miles of downhill of pure coasting. I relaxed, knowing at that point that Telluride was out of the question, and pretty much no-handed it the whole way down. Quite nice.

At the bottom was Placerville, CO where I set up camp at the local volunteer fire station. Right as I was getting into my tent, a group of firemen pulled up in a truck smelling of smoke. They quickly entered the station, and exited just as quickly, back to their truck, without saying much. I found out this morning that just North of me is a 1,000 acre wildfire that the guys, along with 25 other firetrucks and two sets of fly-over-water-drop things, were responding to. Pretty intense.

(Mount Sneffles Wilderness Range)

Got into Telluride early this morning instead of last night, as I had hoped. The title of the post, "To Hell You Ride," is a play on words which makes reference to the number of brothels once in Telluride. Apparently, it used to be a miner town and some of the first American skiing (so they claim) happened here as "alpine-savvy Scandinavians" wanted to get down the mountain faster on pay day to get to the brothels and bars.

Great little mountain town. From what I can tell, not much on the Brothel side - mostly just ski and mountaineering stuff (not that I looked for the other). I write from The Steaming Bean, a little coffee shop just off the main drag. I had planned to spend a good 4 or 5 hours here today, relaxing a bit, before heading out to Dolores for the evening, but within a couple hours I decided I'd take a zero day (haven't had one since my long stay in Kentucky). So tomorrow I head towards Dolores, and perhaps make it into Utah by the end of the day. On Monday I'll face a good 125 mile stretch of no services with the exception of one gas station 78 miles into it, so if I stop at Dolores tomorrow, Tuesday I will be able to crank that 125 out with ample rest. Should be good.
Random goat that, with a whole host of others, ran with me as I pedaled up over Dallas Divide. Check out the iris!
A shot of downtown Telluride. Reminded me of Yosemite, being snuggled in a valley of sorts, except a town rather than tourist park... though there were plenty of tourists to go around.
The same shot, but further down the road at sundown.
Some interesting bathroom art I found and thought I'd share.
Two of my favorite guys. Mitch, on the left, is skateboarding from LA to Virginia. When asked about his motivation for the trip, Mitch responded: I just wanted to make a movie... growing up in Hollywood and all." He rides with a camera attached to his wrist, catching video of which he hopes to turn into a film. Watch for it! Oh, and you can't tell but under his shirt is a heating pad of sorts which he sleeps with to keep warm. It's an applejuice bottle filled with hot water. Kyle, on the right, is from Berkley and is riding his own route through the western states. A solid dude, we enjoyed a great conversation with the lady in the next picture.
This is Linda. Linda is... well, not too sure. I think "far out" best captures her essence. Kyle and I spent an hour or two talking with her about her summer plans, which include a thorough study of the mountain to "freefall." Along with many memorable quotes, my favorite is the following (in reference to the free gondola ride up one of the mountains): There's only one way to fully enjoy the shit you do. And it doesn't involve public transportation. Earn your turns!


D'Rock's House said...

Nate, nice pics and posts. It's alright man, it's alright. I am in Indiana at this moment and had a chance to check in on you. Hope all is well.

I'll keep following and looking forward to your return.

Corcoran Crimmins said...

Looking at your pictures reminds me that the world is made up of all kinds of interesting (understatement) people. I think the thing that amazes me most is that God loves each individual as much as He loves me. Hard fact to get my mind wrapped around.

I guess I'm kinda hoping He likes what I do better, but then again kind of an egotistical notion at times, I'm sure.

Praying for your ride through the deserts.

Love you! mom

D'Rock's House said...

You've seen God's wonder in the majesty of the mountains. May you encounter the same in the secret places of God's desert.
Be safe!

morgan.terry said...

i love reading your blog, it is so cool that you are doing this, and if i had the guts i would probably do it too.
hoping for a fun and safe journey