It’s Saturday and we are up at 6 preparing for our first day on the BDR trail. I had done a chain service the night before and all that we had to do now was load the bikes, gas up and hit the trail. I had found a Starbucks in the grocery across the street and had my morning fix of a Latte.
We headed out to Dolores where we will pick up the trail. Getting to Dolores was about 18 miles of road and when we got to Dolores there was about 6 more miles of road to where the trail really begins. Bill and had decided to forgo going to the Four Corner which is the official start of the BDR Trail. To start the trail at the Four Corner would require us to travel 40 miles of paved road from our motel in Cortez to the Four Corners and then turn around come back through Cortez, a total of about 106 miles of pavement driving. 106 miles of pavement to say we started at the Four Corners. We opted to head to the trail. We had plenty of pavement already and the trail was waiting.
We entered the trail aware that there could be mud as it has been raining on and of for here for days. The trail started out as a wet grass two track climbed up a slippery rock trail and then headed through woods where the footing was clay based. We soon found some rutted pot holes and thanks to the modern communications technology we possessed I could listen to Bill grunting and swearing as he navigated the mud holes and to soon experience a fall. I soon dropped into a rut in one of the pot holes, came to a stop and fell over. What fun we were having now.
We came out of this portion of the trail and onto a sandy gravel and a mix of county road numbers. These roads were not much more then a two track but had no mud holes or ruts. We came to a paved road and started out in what we thought was the right direction, we soon found we were heading back to Dolores turned around and headed the other direction. Before we turned around I demonstrated to Bill how good the Heidenau front tire held by driving off into the shallow ditch and when I turned back to the road and was going up a slight embankment the front tire held on while the back tire tried to pass the front tire, and was successful. I was on my ass with the greatest injury being to my pride. I jumped up and asked Bill why he wasn’t over helping me pick up my bike. It’s a good thing we are traveling together as neither one of us could pick up our bikes alone if their all the way over.
We guessed we were on the right path as the map of the trail lacked much detail that would be helpful. The road numbers on the map often did not match the road name numbers and information coming up on my GPS. After determining we were on the correct route we headed to the Groundhog Reservoir where we stopped at a little campground store for a coffee and to figure out where to go from there.
We met two guys, one from Colorado Springs, formerly from Alaska and his riding partner Dan who was from Alaska and had ridden down from there for this ride. We headed out towards Telluride, our destination for the day and where we would get a motel.
The gravel road narrowed and soon had no gravel. We turned and headed north and climbed up the mountains on stone covered roads going through meadows and woods where we reached an elevation of over 11,000’. We stopped often at the places where roads crossed to all get together and figure out if we were on the correct route.
After a number of miles we made the final decent to gravel then paved roads. The rain had been on and off all afternoon and now it started to just rain as we got on State Road 145 for the final leg into Telluride. In addition the temperature dropped into the low 50’s and we were happy to be getting to our motel.
Our motel was an older place called the Victorian Inn just off downtown and within easy walking distance of food and drink. The team of Bill and Dan parked on main street and went in search of a Micro brew.
We checked in about 4:00 and Dan texted me his location and after unloading, drying off and changing cloths we headed down for a beer and food at the Smugglers Brewpub. Good food, good meals and some time to plan our routing. We agreed on riding together again the next day and after a few beers and some map software downloading to cell phones we headed back to the motel.
Hopefully the mapping software Bill downloaded will ease the task of figuring out where the hell we are all the time. Tomorrow we will only go 67 miles but we will cross multiple high crossings on our way to Lake City, Co.