Thursday, June 27, 2013

Home Sweet Colorado

Ok, almost caught up with all my blogging! Time to talk about our summer vacation.

J and I spent a week and a half in Durango, CO and the surrounding area. We went there last summer and loved it, but really decided to go back this year when J signed up for the Death Ride Tour. We headed up to Durango on a Monday, checked in to hotel downtown, and headed out for dinner and a walk.

Now, if you know either one of us, you know that we love Colorado. We both have family there and we plan to settle down there, someday. We don't know where yet, but somewhere in Colorado will be our home. So of course heading to the mountains around Durango was exciting for us.

Also exciting was finally convincing my husband that our vacations don't have to be planned out to the last detail. Some of the details surrounding the Death Ride we couldn't plan, because we didn't know, but the rest of it I left pretty open, too. J needed to ride and acclimate, and I wanted to relax. We managed to do a little of both most days.

We did a couple rides together, which slowed J down and kept him from overdoing it, and spent one morning on our own (he rode, I ran). The afternoons were lazy ones spent napping, strolling around downtown, or checking out the local bike shops. Durango is a fun little town. We had thought about getting out on the river in kayaks, but decided we were too tired.

at the memorial for Baker's Bridge
Come Friday, we had to head up to Silverton to get ready for the Death Ride. If you haven't been there, Silverton is tiny. There isn't much to it at all, and the Death Riders had taken over the whole town. They had a big pasta dinner at one of the hotels, but the rest of the town shuts down early, so we didn't have much choice but to get to bed and get ready for the start the next day.

I was in charge of taking pictures with J's camera. Sometimes I wonder why he even bothers. I'm not a good photographer (apparently my sister took all those skills from the gene pool). Even with J's fancy camera, it took me all 3 days to get some really good shots. But I snapped pics of everything I could think of, and tried to get some of J.

pretty view, and faded hair

Everyone took off from downtown Silverton. I got a coffee, checked out of the motel, gassed up the Jeep, then headed along the same route. I passed J, so I knew it was OK to stop at a pull-out along the mountain road and get an action shot.

Woohoo!
Then I scooted on into the next town to check into our next hotel. I got lucky and our room was already clean, so I was able to check in early. Then it was out to get myself some lunch and wait for J to show up. This became my pattern for the next few days.

Telluride was a fun little town, for the whole day we were there. It was gorgeous. They were prepping for Ride The Rockies to start the next day, so this was yet another little mountain town overrun with cyclists. I hopped on my own bike and rode around a bit to watch for J. When he did make it into town, I promptly lost him again, until he called me on someone else's phone (his died) to tell me where he was. We were lucky to be checked in already, so J could clean up right away and we could get some food in him.

A section of downtown was blocked off for the RTR party, so we wandered over there and found some grub. And some bike shops. And a great view.

main street of Telluride

We ate dinner at Brown Dog Pizza, and it was awesome. If you are ever in Telluride, I recommend it.

The next day was another ride, another early start, and another day of me following along in the Jeep. (I did go for a run along the river in the morning before taking off.) But this day had not just the 300 Death Riders, but allllllllllll the RTR riders as well. The trip from Telluride to Durango is only 111 miles, but it took me quite a bit to drive it. I wasn't able to stop anywhere and get action shots. I don't even know when I passed J.

I made it into Durango before our room was ready (same hotel as before) so I just parked and walked around a bit. J knew how to get to where we were staying, so I wasn't as worried as in Telluride. As J arrived in town, our room was finished and we got to go in and clean up. Again, it was an afternoon of food, rest, walk, and more food.

Monday was the last day of the ride, when most of the riders waited for the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to take off before starting.

here she comes!
They took a back road for the first part of the ride, then joined up on the main highway. I shot ahead to Silverton and was too early to check in, again. So I wandered back to one of the water stations and waited for J.

just keep pedaling!

I made it down to the finish area and didn't have to wait too long for J to show up. They had a BBQ set up, so we just ate there and watched the other riders come in. It was relaxing and nice weather. We later discovered that the brewery we ate at last year had shut down, so we found another place to eat dinner at, and headed to bed. Like I said before, Silverton shuts down early.

We didn't head home right away, but took a whole day to lounge around in the hot springs pools up in Ouray, Co. We lounged, soaked, and got a little sunburnt, but had a great time before heading back home.

You can read all about the ride from J's point of view over at his blog, Pensive Perspiration.

All that travel crammed into not much time left us both pretty worn out. It's nice to be home and not worry about going anywhere anytime soon. I'm sure pup likes it, even though he enjoys his kennel time. He's a very family oriented little guy.

So there you have it: the whirlwind recap of our vacation. And I'm just about caught up with my blogging. 

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