I finally made it over the passes including Wolf Creek and rolled into Durango to give Craig a big hug. He got me set up with a sweet parking spot and I got set up and took a quick shower. We then rolled around town and stopped at Velorution Bicycles to say hey to the owner Joey who I have met before. The shop is sweet and has tons of great products. We also met Cody who was working there. The guys even invited us to dinner that evening with a rep that they had been planning....how nice! We then made our way to several other brew pubs. Durango seemed like an awesome spot to be and I know that Craig absolutely loves it there. He gave me the grand tour and I was pumped to hit the trails in the morning.
Waking up with a slight hangover from the previous night we had some bacon and eggs and then rolled out to Animas Mountain which I had heard was a very steep climb with some incredible views. I had no choice but to ride the fat bike as the single speed was geared a little hard for the midwest. So the climb begins and is way rockier than I was expecting....but nonetheless it was awesome. We stopped at several spots along the way so I could gasp for air and also take some photos. At the top we looked north of the city and saw some 14'ers in the distance covered in the snow from the blizzard that I got stuck in. This ride was literally out Craig's front door....how lucky is that. The downhill was fast and flowy and my hands got tired and we had to take a break to let our hands rest. We then headed into another rocky and technical section where we saw lots of bouldering and climbing going on....again minutes from Craig's place. It was awesome that the community of Durango pushes the outdoor lifestyle so much and the town really gets behind riding and hiking and climbing and all of that.
Craig then drove me around the mountains and over to a friend's house with some spectacular views. We headed back over to Ska Brewing to grab a beer and some lunch and then got back on the bikes to meet up with Joey of Velorution for an evening ride. This ride was even better and we headed over to the horse gulch area and into the mountains with a climb called telegraph onto a trail system called south rim. These trails were world class and I was smiling ear to ear to be able to ride them with these guys. Craig had been telling me about these trails for years and now I knew that everything he was saying was true.....why had I waited so long to visit??? We had a beer with Joey and his wife at their house and then said our goodbyes. Craig and I got ready for bed and then I took off in the morning. All in all it was an amazing stop along the way and I was beyond happy to have experienced Durango. My only regret is that I didnt have more time....I will absolutely be back to visit to get some of the high country riding in.
Coming soon: Part III On To Topanga