Fort Lewis College Cycling
This year's pilgrimage to the far southwest reaches of Colorado's colorful leaf pageant also included two bike rides. The main ride was a sanctioned tour of the Durango area to make money for the Fort Lewis College cycling team. They consistently are one of the top-ranked collegiate teams in the states. The other ride was a "feather in our cap" ride up the steep roadway of Chapin Mesa, Mesa Verde National Park.
The ride up Chapin Mesa was a good grunt. One could make a very long day visiting all the ruins by bike. On the other hand, I don't think a day would be enough. It's 21 miles from the entrance to where the ruins are first encountered.
Snowcatcher took along Cinnamon, whom had been itching to get out.
The following Saturday morning was the Durango Fall Blaze.
The narrow gauge railroad is always a delight to encounter. Chun ka, chun ka, chun ka, chun ka wooo-wooooooo...
This is a part of the state you just have to visit to get a feel for. It's an enchanted region.
The first leg of the climb is up Highway 550. Yes, it's steep in places.
Then the route drops off of Highway 550 to the Animas River bottom for a scenic jaunt downriver past cool swimming holes...
And down pine-lined roadway...
Traffic is minimal, so it's easy to ham it up! This year we rode the 35-mile loop. In most years we opt for the 65-mile loop. I've ridden the 100-mile loop as well. It's a good time.