Posted by: rustymccain | June 25, 2011

Climb, Rest, Climb Rest, Climb, Rest

One thing we have discovered in the mountains is that apparently, no matter which direction you ride, you ride twice as many miles uphill as you do downhill. We know that is not really the case but it really does seem like it. We are half way through the Rockies though and we are still hanging in!

Reunion in Montrose

We really were excited about Mary Ann and Gail joining us last night. They were just the breath of fresh air we needed. They arrived just in time for dinner. Steve and Melonie, dear friends of Ray and Gail, and now friends of ours, joined us for dinner. They live in Grand Junction, which is just about an hour away. They were all glad to see one another and I could tell it did Ray a lot of good to have a conversation with someone besides me. We had a good time and partied until late in the night, I think it was about 8:00. Then I had to get to bed and get some rest!

Today’s ride was one of those deceptive rides that didn’t look too bad on paper, but turned out to be a pretty tough. I think it is safe to say that any ride in the Rockies is going to be pretty tough. That is especially true for lithe, 200 pound + creatures like us. We started with an immediately climb out of Montrose. It is so interesting to think that you are on flat ground and think you are not having a good day and then having Ray say that you have climbed several hundred feet.

Near Cimarron, CO

The first climb was the longest, lasting in total about 13 miles. We ran into Phil and the boys at the top of the climb and while we were stopped, to say “good morning”, a guy from New Zealand and a guy from Australia pulled in for a little rest. They were riding with the tour group we ran into yesterday. Ray and I took off first for the downhill and stopped at the store at the bottom. We were not sure there were any more stops in the final 30 or so miles into Gunnison and we knew there were 2 more climbs, so we decided to fuel up. Riders started trickling in behind us and soon we had a pretty large group at the store. That turned it into a fun stop.

We took off again and after a couple of miles more of downhill, we started up again. The next two climbs were pretty close together, then we topped a peak and got our first look at Blue Mesa Reservoir. It was another notch in the beauty belt for this trip! Lucky for us, we were headed due east. And, while the rest of the trip of about 20 miles around the reservoir and through the Gunnison River Canyon into town actually gained a little elevation, the wind was spectacular and gave us a really good push. Ray was hammering into town. I think he felt a little like Eddie Merckx since he was riding without panniers and was really going well.

Blue Mesa Reservoir, CO

We pulled into Gunnison a little tired and ready for a rest day. The girls went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison today and hiked. It is a spectacular place and we will try to post pictures tomorrow. We are going to hang out with Mary Ann, Gail, Steve and Melonie and get some needed rest before tackling the biggest climb we have, Monarch Pass at a little over 11,300 feet. Close to 1500 miles and we ain’t done yet!!


  1. Melonie and I had a great time in Montrose and Gunnison with you. We are glad that you had a fun time in Crested Butte.

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