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Yo no fui.
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I'm not much for weddings, big groups of people (especially when I don't know anyone) or long drives, so when we had to drive across the state for the wedding of my wife's high school friend over a two-day weekend, the most I could hope for was to sneak in a short ride. At least the wedding was in Ouray and the foot of Red Mountain Pass, the famed "Million Dollar Highway." It was just a quick up the pass and back on my "commuter." which I didn't have the two and a half minutes to take off and put back on the rack.

The lower sections of the road are cut into the mountain and is as skinny and sketchy a paved road as I've ever seen. There's no guard rail and no shoulder, just a 70% slope hundreds of feet down to the mine till contaminated stream rushing below. The shear beauty of the hillsides speckled with aspens in their annual demise and the bluest of September skies doesn't help you keep you eyes on the road. Meanwhile, the old mine workings and decaying buildings remind you that life is not so guaranteed in the San Juans. At least the down slope winds, 3,000+ feet of climbing or so over 13 miles keeps speeds along the edge in check. Along the way and throughout these mountains, there are abandoned town sites and roads scaring the lands. Back to town for beers and socializing, the decent made me wish I had climbed more, though, come to think of it, I almost always wish that.
 

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Mehpic
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Thanks for this. The last time i was in colorado we hired the Cinco Animas on the end of the train from Durango to Silverton for my mom's last trip before we lost her to cancer. The pictures make me happy and sad all at the same time.
 

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Wow !

So that's what it looks like !.

I rode this on the '99 Bike Tour of Colorado, day 2, Ouray to Durango.

Climbed the Million Dollar Highway, as it's know, in a total drizzle. It was 36 degrees on Red Mt. Pass, with the volunteers for the tour freezing their collective asses off at the rest stop tents.

Never saw the view.

SB
 

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I heart team Zissou!
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Great memories....

Back in '87, I spent a summer working in Silverton and MTBing all over the San Juans -- loved the Cinamon Pass-Engineer POass and Red Mountain Pass (on pavement) loop!

In '91, I headed back there with 3 friends to do the classic "4 asses over 4 passes" : DRove 36 hrs straight to Colorado from DC and after 1 night, rode Silverton to Lake City via Cinamon Pass, Lake City to Ouray over Engineer Pass (day2), Skinny dipping fun at the Ridgeway hotsprings (day 3) followed by Ouray to Telluride over Imogene Pass (day 4) and finally Telluride back to Silverton over Ophir Pass (day 5) -- I nearly died on that day...really! Lightening storms are the suxxor! Then 36 hrs back to DC and right back to work. :-(

Loved it so much that I honeymooned there in '94. 1 week of riding the White Rim trail in canyonlands (supported -- c'mon, it was our honeymoon!) and 1.5 weeks of hanging out in top notch B&Bs in Moab and Silverton. My last time over Red Mountain Pass was at the end of that trip -- in a snowstorm....in a convertible whose top would not go up.... with my wife. I'm sure that had to be a metaphor for something... I'm just not sure what!! ;-)
 

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I drove that section last summer in a rented Expedition.

It scared the he11 out of me. I cranked the Dead and quietly sweated while I puckered. My wife used a tone in her voice I didn't know she had to tell our young boys to be quiet and let me concentrate. My goal, beyond survival, was trying to make sure my boys didn't have to see me cry.

But as I was driving it I was prety sure that I would have really enjoyed it on a bicycle...

thanks for posting

nice to commute on a Black Sheep
 

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Yo no fui.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
NUTT said:
Been there, done that (with a motor).
I prefer refueling my Black Sheep's motor. :p
 
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