Continential Divide

We’ve had back to back Warmshower’s guests this week all of which have been fun for us to host.  In June we’ve probably had 4 cross-country cyclists and 5 since we’ve returned from Thailand.  This week’s batch started with a freshly graduated college student who made it to Durango in 7 days from Redlands, California on a diagonal quest across the states to catch summer music festivals and the Ragbri along the way.  He was “so taken” with Durango that he couldn’t get it all in and stayed two days with us and another with a fellow Durango WS host before loading his bike on the Narrow Gauge train.

Currently we’ve got two California teachers who have just completed their 3 leg of the Continential Divide trail.  I originally thought they’d completed the Colorado Trail (CT) which I have planned to ride in July and was eager to learn about their experience.  I’m just as pleased to know more about the “famed” Continential Divide Trail (CDT) as that could be more to my liking for a July bikepacking ride.  I rode a shake-down of the last 80 miles of the CT last summer in preparation for the whole ride this summer.  It was great but much more difficult than I’d imagined.  I’d figured I could knock off 40 plus miles a day but was lucky to manage 30 and had to re-think my time for the entire length of the CT, which I’ve allowed for this summer.

However now that I’ve heard more about the CDT, which has less single track and “hike-a-biking” I’m more interested in trying this route instead.  Colorado mileage is similar, and could be even longer depending on how much of the 2,745 miles from Canada to Mexico you want to attempt.  Our WS guests managed Steamboat past Del Norte over 500 miles in less than 8 days.  This sounds more reasonable for my 2012 across Colorado goals, and leaves me more time for hikes in the San Juans.  So I’ve ordered the Adventure Cycling maps for the Colorado segments of the Great Divide Trail and we’ll see what happens.

Meanwhile I’m training again on the mountain bike on some of the 2,000 miles of local single track in Durango.

Middle Fork 2012

Lucky to land a spot on a Middle Fork of the Salmon river trip once again this summer.  Trip was a last minute cancellation that good friend managed to hook for June 17th.  Only 7 folks on the trip as water levels were high (above 5’ while recruiting) and it was such short notice.  Only four rafts and 2 kayaks.

One of the colder river trips I’ve been on, as the first couple of days had frost on our tents, but by the third day it warmed up and we could finish the trip in shorts for the last 3 days. At 4.68’ we only took 3 1/2 hours on the river each day to do 15 miles of white water and reach another wilderness camp site.

Met some interesting people along the way, one of which flew into a local river resort and hiked to one of the many hot springs we enjoyed.  They were Ozzy snowbirds who kept a Cessena 182 in Tuscon. We had much in common as he was a Master Captain for a 160’ motor sailer who visited many of the same places we did, just at a different level.  For example they would use the on-board helicopter to do their “check-ins”, a method that frankly never occurred to us when we arrived at a new port.

We didn’t see as much wildlife as in past trips, but the swallow-tail butterflies were out in the hundreds.  I’d never seen them congregate on a portion of wet sand beach before.  Our best guess was they were sucking the moisture out of the sand.

Senior Outdoors

Finally made time to do a hike with the Durango Senior Outdoors folks.  This group has about 4 or 5 activities each week during the hiking season and only slightly fewer in the winter.  Hikes are rated by distance, exertion and skill levels, so there is something for everyone.

This hike was rated as Hard and had twice as many women as men on the outing. It’s amazing how many fit folks we’ve got in Durango.  I’m hoping to join them on many more hikes and outings this summer, but I never seem to have time.  Ha Ha.