Mileage:  114 miles

Elevation Change:  8440 feet

Weather:  cloudy and cool

Morale:  tired but happy

Incidents:  Lunch in Silverton right next to the famous train

Daily Summary:

In a tour full of beautiful days, this one may have been the most scenic.  We started out from Montrose at 7am and had 40 flat miles to Ouray, where we started climbing….and climbing...and climbing.   The first pass today, over Red Mountain, topped out at over 11,000 feet, and was the high point (literally) of our trip.  The weather was perfect for such an effort—cloudy and cool—and the scenery was just fabulous.  We had a high speed decent into the town of Silverton, and our lunch spot was right next to the steam train just in from Durango.  After lunch, we started climbing again right away, first over the Molas Pass, and then over the Coal Bank pass, both well over 10,000 feet.  I was definitely on the planet of anaerobia today in the thin air!  The decent into Durango was less fun than some we have had this week because there were a lot of hidden flats and ups, and because the quality of the road was not great.  We finished with the father/teenage son team on the ride in a nice high speed effort into town. 


Below you see Ray headed for the mountains that we will climb, and Ray and Lil at the high point of the tour.  Then, some of the incredible scenery that we had today. 


One more day of huge climbing to go!  I hope that the legs will hang in there for 24 more hours!