Sunday morning. In Grand Junction, Colorado. Have been here for three nights.Arrived Thursday afternoon after the amazing day along the Flaming Gorge in Utah.
Friday was a scheduled rest day which we all appreciated. Easy, relaxed day. Most of us did laundry, slep a little longer in the morning, picked up Rachel English’s and John Rudolf’s bikes which had been shipped to a local bike shop after which Dave Cutler, Dave Thompson, and I stopped by a local dairy with “the best ice cream in town” and had a, guess what, a huckleberry shake – at 11 o’clock in the morning!
Yesterday, Saturday was a beautiful, sunny, blue sky, western Colorado day with temps in the mid-60’s rising into the low seventies when we started riding from the west end of the Colorado Monument. Here is some of what the brochure about the Monument says: ” The Colorado Monument preserves one of the grandest landscapes of the American West. Bold, big, and beautifully colored, this plateau and canyon country with its towering masses of naturally sculpted rock embraces 32 square miles of rugged terrain…rising 2000 feet above the Grand Valley of the Colorado River…with magnificent views of colorful, sheer walled rose colored canyons…”
The Monument did not disappoint! Immediately after unloading the bikes at the west gate, we climbed 1100 feet up to the Monument Rim Road including passing through two tunnels carved out of the deep red rock. The Rim Road then winds along the top of the monument gaining an additional 1400 feet until ending with a 7 mile plus rocking descent back down to the entrance at the east end of the Monument.
Again, everyone riding well – so well in fact that Mike Blum headed back along the base of the Monument to the west gate and then back to town on the bike trail andDave Thompson and Rob Short got back to town and then decided to just get back on the biked and head back out onto the bike trail for an additional long ride back out towards the west entrance!
Dinner last evening once again a “tailgate event “at the trailer in our 8 canvas chairs with the menu provided by Chef Phil once again turning out a multiple course dinner including appetizers and ending with huckleberry cones courtesy of Tom Rolfs.”
Today we shuttle over to Mesa, Colorado to begin the climb up Grand Mesa – 5500″ of climbing up to 10,880′ over 19 miles followed by a 19 mile descent by 4600′ . The weather is expected to be perfect with temps 55 to 65 and a slight tail wind from the NE.
The team is excellent – good humor, lots of laughter and good stories, everyone pitching in with all the tasks of a gig like this, everyone paying attention to Covid guidelines, everyone healthy!
Rachel arrives tomorrow in Cortez and then John on Monday in Durango. We are all looking forward to seeing them. Their bikes are hanging in the trailer ready to go!
Dave Thompson is coordinated sending pictures and I am sure there will be more by this evening!
Thanks again to everyone for all of your support and especially to our Andean Health Cycling Satellite Community Team cycling sisters and brothers who are also out on the road all over the country having a blast in support of the important work of AHD!