Old Flying Farts Bicycling Club
Getting behind in my blog.  A lot like trying to keep up with Pat.  I'll try to recap the last three days from my perspective.  Tuesday was a rest day, Ha!  We decided to do some non bike touring.  Leaving from Blanding, Utah we drove to Monument Valley.  You could almost see John Wayne leading a dusty cavalry charge through the valley with the great stone monuments in the back ground.  After visiting the Goulding Museum and the Goulding Gift shop.  We had lunch at the Goulding restaurant.  I forced everyone to have a Najaho Taco, one of my all time favorite road meals.  The Goulding family came to Monument Valley in the 1920's.  They encouraged John Ford to create many movies in the valley.  Later many other directors came to the valley to shoot both movies and commercials.  Those who remember Clint Eastwood scaling a pinnacle in the Eiger Sanction will realize that scene was shot there.  Forrest Gump was seen running down a long rolling road with Monument Valley in the background.  I lost a fifty cent bet with Pat regarding the location of the Forrest Gump shot.  I don't plan to pay off.
We drove 100 miles to the Four Corners, where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet.  The marker is off the road and surrounded by a fence.  The gate into the marker was closed for construction.  Rod and Pat were disappointed because they were looking forward to achieving something that I had achieved at an earlier time.  Something that involved flatulence.  Sal was disappointed because the marker is surrounded by kiosks selling Navajo jewelry.  The big question was how do you reconstruct the four corners?  Also, despite some recent boundary discrepancies the current location is the accepted corner.
Disgustedly, we continued on to Mesa Verde.  Mesa Verde is the site of the cliff dwellings.  Fascinating, but involving a long drive up a mesa.   That wouldn't have been bad but the National Park Road was under construction.  We had a lot of long waits.  Then it was a drive from site to site.  At the last site we took a long hike down a steep path to one of the ruins.  Then we took a long hike back up in the heat to the car.  Then poor Rod had to negotiate us back down the Mesa with more frequent construction delays.  A late dinner and crashing at the motel.  Not very restful!
Wednesday had us leaving Delores, Colorado.  The morning began with a gentle climb through a beautiful valley towards Lizard Head pass, 10,300 ft.  At 60 miles we came to the Telluride Junction.  We loaded up the bikes and drove into Telluride as the rains began.  It cleared enough for us to walk around the town.  The town is a real wild west town.  The current scene of skiers and movie stars.  Unfortunately,  many towns like this are crowded with tourists and it spoils the effect.   Hmmm, I think we were tourists, too.  As we drove back to the junction the rain and lightening resumed and we decided to drive down to Ouray.  Ouray is another interesting town, similar to Telluride, built into a box canyon.  After dinner Pat took over the driving and took us up to Red mountain via the "million Dollar Highway"  one of the scariest and most beautiful roads in America.
This morning we left Ridgeway, Colorado, passing through Montrose on a mostly fast downhill road.  Then it was a slow grind heading for Gunnison, Co.  We had to climb out of Montrose first passing over 8000 foot Cerro Summit, dropping down to the the base of Blue Mesa and then ascending to 8500 feet.  By the time we had crested our two peaks for the day the sky once again opened with rain and lightening.  We  again loaded up the bikes and headed to Gunnison, missing out on a mostly downhill and flat 30 mile ride.
Tomorrow, we plan to ride over Monarch Pass.  That will be our highest and last major  climb of the trip.

7/8/2010 09:10:02 pm

Love the pictures. I must say I am bit jealous over the site seeing you are squeezing in. I've only seen those sites through a jumbo jet window at 33K feet. I think you should have re-enacted John Ford's "Stagecoach," except do a 'legic version. Flopping around in the dust would be very entertaining.

Keep going! Enjoying your blog and pictures to no end!

Give my love to Sal.

7/9/2010 02:49:58 am

Great stories and fantastic pictures. Be safe.

P.S. I'm jealous.

damnit Bonnie
7/9/2010 08:45:53 am

Loved the latest 3 day blog. I relate to it because it would be the only part of the trip which might involve my participation! I loved the picture that suggested that you would have to curb your speed to 59 MPH....in your dreams.
Don, I think the construction at Four Corners is a public service when you consider how you all may have misused this famous spot.
take care, and tell Sal I miss her.


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    Don Ballingall

    I am a retired elementary school teacher.  Married with a daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.
    I have ridden across the United states at  ages 38, 50 and 60.
    So why not try it again at 70.


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