After lots of discussion we chose to not do the ride up the “million dollar highway”. The reasons included traffic, lack of a shoulder, construction on the highway, and thousand foot drop-offs in many sections of the road. The elevation change was significant going from 7700 feet in Ouray to 11,000 feet at the top of Red Mountain Pass. So instead 3 of us (John, Rick H, and me) decided to ride down the other side into Silverton.
So we had a good breakfast at the Ouray Victorian Inn, explored and hiked around Ouray, loaded up at 11:00am and headed for Red Mountain Pass. All of our reasons for not climbing out of Ouray were validated on the drive up. The ride down the other side was actually quite pleasant and we had to pedal in several places. The elevation drop is not nearly as significant since the elevation of Silverton is 9305 feet. We had a great lunch at Grumpy’s Restaurant and Saloon. Wandered around town until we could check in to the Inn of the Rockies: Historic Alma. It is a large bed and breakfast with all rooms unique. We found a nice rooftop bar for afternoon libation, had our happy hour on a shaded deck at the B&B, and had a wonderful dinner at the Handlebars Food and Saloon.
Tomorrow – 3 of our 10 riders have decided to ride the train down from Silverton to Durango. Because of that we are reducing to 1 sag vehicle with trailer. The first climb out of Silverton is 7 miles long and significant. One of our riders may do that. Most are opting to sag to the first pass and ride up to the second high point. Some are going to sag straight to the second peak. The total distance is about 49 miles. The first and second high points are 7 and 14 miles respectively. So the riders will do 42 or 36 miles tomorrow less any driving duties.
Still having problems with pictures may have to wait until I get home.
In the meantime: