Durango preview - Long

Charles Scappaticci scapco at ecentral.com
Sun May 27 17:26:57 PDT 2007


I left my office in Evergreen right at 2:00 on Friday and rode the 
Geeper over to Glenwood Springs where I met up with my "confused" 19 YO 
daughter and a had a salad while I tried to dispense some fatherly 
advice with the usual lack of result.  Sigh....  Ended up riding about 
270 miles total to Grand Junction where I met up with lister Don Wilcox 
and spent the evening having a couple of cold ones and BS'ing before 
crashing at his place for the evening.  Don, I owe you and your SO big 

I left Don's house a little after 8:00 on Saturday and rode the 45 miles 
or so down through the canyons and butte's to Gateway where I stopped 
for a drink and a piss.  This is the turn around point for our upcoming 
Saturday ride and has a killer car museum and a cafe.  I left there 
about 10:00 following the twisty road alongside the river and had a nice 
sunny and dry ride down to Silverton via Red Mountain Pass which was 
rather white with lots of heavy snow still on the ground.  I spent about 
an hour and a half in Silverton having lunch and talking to my buddy 
Pete and his wife Leann and confirming the rooms and such.  Bruce, you 
have to come now because Pete has reserved you a room and was bitching 
that you never come to see him.  ;-)  I got a better update on our 
friend Jeff who is apparently home and able to drive a van with hand 
controls Pete helped him acquire.  His feet were crushed in the 
accident, but his spirits are good and they expect him to eventually 
walk again which is awesome news.  Peter T., Pete said he knows some 
really good camping spots right on the river and that we'd get you taken 
care of.

I left Silverton about 2:30 and headed over Molas and Engineer passes 
and through the traffic mess left over from the Iron Horse bicycle 
classic which had the highway closed all morning from Purgatory ski area 
to Silverton.  I drove through downtown Durango only to be detoured by a 
classic car show on Main street which featured some really nice classic 
machinery.  I continued on to Pagosa Springs and then over Wolf Creek 
pass and past Wolf Creek Ski area which could easily have still been 
running with all the snow that was still there.  I decided to crash for 
the night in South Fork before heading up 149 through Creed and Lake 
City today.  South Fork had 6 inches of snow last week, so winter isn't 
totally gone there.

I left chilly South Fork about 8:00 and rode north about 20 miles to 
Creede where I was forced to put on the top of my rain suit as it 
couldn't have been over 36 to 38 degrees when I left South Fork (8,800ft 
altitude) and I was heading up and over Spring Creek Pass (10,600ft) and 
Slumgullion Pass (11,500ft).  It was a chilly ride until I got to 
Gunnison where I stopped for gas and a drink and ended up "chatting" 
with and old geezer who rode up on his clean 1972 Triumph Bonneville. 
He said he had 10 Triumphs and 14 bikes total which was at least two 
more bikes than he had teeth.  He hadn't shaved in a couple of decades 
(or bathed either I'd guess) and had a half dozen bear claws around his 
neck.  Once he started talking he wouldn't shut up so I had to 
gracefully escape.  His last words were to the effect of there being a 
sobriety checkpoint 12 miles out of town and sure enough, he was dead on.

I rode on over Monarch Pass and made it home about 2:15 having covered 
962 miles total.  I had maybe 1 minute of rain the whole trip and 
managed to dodge the hundred or so state troopers who were everywhere it 
seemed.  I probably covered 75% of the rally route and was pleased that 
there was virtually no road construction and only a couple of bridges 
under repair that shouldn't be a big delay.  Note to self to grease the 
rear brake pedal and I nearly crashed in Glenwood Springs when it stuck. 
  I feel a lot better about dumping the D205's on the bike now after 
putting the extra 1K miles on them.  I should save them for Mason who'd 
probably get another 5K out of them.  I only took a couple of pictures 
and will post them later.

Charles S.

More information about the GPZList mailing list