September 1 Rico to Mountain Village (Telluride)

After a good nights sleep at the Rico Hotel, woke early to get packed for the last, and likely most challenging, day of the ride. The hotel began serving a complimentary breakfast at 8 am and I didn’t want to miss that. The night before I had eaten at the hotel restaurant, and the reviews weren’t kidding that the food is excellent. The free range chicken I ordered was probably the best I have ever had. Breakfast did not disappoint and included juices, fruit, fresh bread, banana bread, and a tasty breakfast casserole. More fuel for the road.

When I left the hotel a little before 9 it was 49 degrees under blue skies, and this time it looked like the weather would last.

Once again the road was steadily climbing but not too steep. It wasn’t until about 5 miles before Lizard Head Pass when this changed and the road climbed at what I would estimate to be 7 or 8 percent. This lasted for about 3 miles and then leveled off for the last 2 as I rode through the wide and grassy mountain pass. On the way up, I finally saw Lizard Head Mountain. As the books said, it doesn’t look much like a lizard head anymore after part of it gave way to gravity.

After snapping some pictures and eating some energy snacks, I started the downhill run to Mountain Village and Telluride. The descent was very fun there were only a couple of interruptions where I had to climb again. The scenery was incredible and I stopped several times on the way down to take photos. I arrived at Mountain Village, where Kathy and I are spending the night at the Bear Creek Resort, about 1:15. Very nice place and easy access to Telluride by gondola as Kathy and I would find out that evening.

It’s been a relatively short but good ride from Mesa Verde to Telluride. It was a great introduction to riding in the Rockies and would highly recommend it to other riders. RL


About rlewis5757

After retiring March 18, 2011 from my career of 25 years with the Lower Colorado River Authority, I plan to bicycle from Astoria Oregon to San Francisco in April and May to enjoy an incredible landscape and environment before I take on new challenges. Many thanks to my wife Kathy for indulging me in this adventure.
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