Durango and Fort Lewis College from Hogsback. Oct, 2009
Kinsee and I are moving. We’re headed back to San Diego. We’ve known for a while now that we’d be leaving Durango, we just didn’t know exactly where we would be going or when we would be leaving. Last week Kinsee got a job offer in San Diego and we decided we’d be heading back.
San Diego’s not the perfect city, but it might come close. I feel like I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it in the past, but I’m excited to be going back. I’m sure there will be things I hate (traffic, well driving anywhere in general) but so many of my friends are there, the weather is damn near perfect, and there’s a whole lot going on in the craft beer realm.
There are things I’ll miss about Durango (and a lot of things I won’t miss, but I don’t want to dwell on the negative). I can’t imagine a better place for cycling (well 9 months out of the year). Road or trail, it’s pretty much perfect here. It’s beautiful, the picture above doesn’t do Durango justice. And I’ve had no complaints about the craft beer in Durango.
But we need to get back to a bigger city. Durango can be a little stifling if you’re not prepared, that’s not to say we haven’t had a lot of fun. We’ve met some really great people too.
My last hurrah in Durango will be the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. I’ll be racing the train 50 miles and 5700 vertical feet up to Silverton in just a few weeks, then we’ll be on our way to San Diego.
We’ll be back to visit plenty (hopefully in the summertime) but we’re both looking forward to getting back to San Diego.
I had hoped to ride the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic last year but didn’t do it. I didn’t train enough and it filled up before I felt I was ready. I’ve been talking for a few weeks now about wanting to ride in the Iron Horse, and decided I’d better get serious and sign up for it. I’m definitely not ready right now, but have a few months to get in shape. I even talked Chris into riding.
Last week I started training for it. The weather had been really nice for a while so I got to ride about 60 miles on the road and then when a storm came in last weekend I rode about 20 miles at the gym. There’s a good 15 mile, mostly flat loop I can do on my lunch break, and an 11 mile out and back ride with some climbing I can fit into my lunch break as well. My plan is to ride about 100 miles a week for a while and then some longer rides on the weekends as we get closer.
The Iron Horse is a 50 mile ride/race from Durango to Silverton with abotu 5700ft of climbing over 2 10,000ft passes. It happens on May 29th, so I have about 95 days to get in shape.
Kinsee and are doing a radio show on the local college/community public radio station, KDUR. It’s on Sunday’s from 12:30-3pm and can be streamed from the KDUR website.
We’re also trying to podcast as much as possible. You can stream it after the show from our website or subscribe to it in iTunes.
This past week, our first show, we were only able to podcast the pre-recorded produced piece, but in the future we hope to have all the talk sections on the podcast. Unfortunately we won’t be able to podcast the music, but we will post the playlist online.
For a blog called “Just a Life Story”, it seemed strange that I hadn’t posted about getting married yet. Kinsee and I got married September 19th, 2009 at the Silverpick Lodge just north of Durango. Kinsee made a slide show of some of the pictures from the official wedding photographers. Below is a slide show I made of pictures Chris took at the reception. For our first dance we started dancing to a slow Whitney Houston song, then had a record scratch come on and Kinsee told everyone to get up and dance with us, and the much more danceable song in this video came on. (Hopefully they won’t remove the video or the song because I don’t have permission to use it).
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The sheep were back this year. And that was a big deal I hear. The annual Heritage Days Festival celebrates the history and heritage of Bayfield, and ranching has played an important role in our little town’s history. The sheep have been a part of this festival for a while, but recently the rancher couldn’t afford to move his sheep from the high country down to the lower valley to coincide with Heritage Days because there was still plenty of time for them to eat up in the mountains before moving down (where they would need to purchase food for the sheep), so I hear.
Well, a new rancher was willing this year and so the sheep were back. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly if you’re familiar with Bayfield) this wasn’t my first run in with sheep on the highway — one day while cycling I saw the hand painted signs: “Sheep in road ahead, use alternate route”, I kept going, it was late in the day and I thought I had missed them, after a while I forgot those signs and soon enough I turned a corner and was met by at least 500 sheep.
A couple hundred people lined the sides of the Buck Highway Saturday morning to watch the sheep walk by. As they approached and saw all these people standing around they got scared and stopped, then ran up a driveway, got herded back, stood around some more, then finally ran past us all. Let me tell you, it was exciting.
Click below for some more pictures and video.
I’ve only done it twice so far, but I love the drive from Durango to Denver. It takes about six hours, about the same amount of time San Diego to Santa Cruz is (a drive I did about ten times) but it’s way more exciting. One of the things I really like about it, is that depending upon which way you go, you’re only driving on the interstate for between 10 and 60 miles. The rest is mostly two lane highways, that go right through small towns. I like slowing down and driving right through a town rather than speeding past on the interstate. It reminds me of a lot of the cities I passed through while travelling by bus in Argentina (and the landscape is similar in places also).
There’s plenty of things to see along the way, one of which is South Park, Colorado. We stopped there last weekend to check it out while driving home. It’s not identical to the tv show town, but it’s apparently where they got some of the inspiration for it.
Just a few miles down the road is “Two Mile High Stadium” I’m hoping to stop there next time.
I don’t consider myself a localvore at all, but lately I’ve been eating some great local food thanks to our CSA share with La Boca and the farmer’s market every week.
With the CSA we don’t get to pick our food, they just deliver what’s been grown. This is nice because we eat things we otherwise might not. We’ve been eating some great beets, chard, kale and all sorts of other things. We got some potatoes this past week which were awesome. Yellowish fingerlings, red and purple potatoes. All delicious.
At the farmer’s market I’ve been buying basil and eggs. The eggs are from local ranches and the basil is from a local farm. I bought a gallon zip lock bag of basil for $3. Pesto made with the local basil and local garlic was just amazing. The garlic we got is so much more flavorful than any garlic I’ve had before (even at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the supposed Garlic Capital of the World).
I was afraid I’d use all the basil for the pesto but there’s still so much left. Summertime is good out here…
Lake City, Colorado is the spot where Alfred Packer ate five of his fellow travelers while stranded in winter 135 years ago. I’ve heard that Packer is the only person convicted of cannibalism in the US, but I’m not sure if that’s true. You might know Alfred Packer from the fantastic Cannibal: The Musical, a musical retelling of his story.
We headed out early Saturday morning for Lake City, Colorado, about a three hour drive up into the mountains to do some backpacking. Some friends were supposed to meet us there, but they decided to take the “short cut” over Cinnamon Pass and couldn’t make it over, so it was just Kinsee, Walter, Mona and I. The trail was only 4 miles but over 2000 feet of elevation gain. It got steep in some parts but not too bad. We got to Waterdog Lake and were the only people up there.
I was a little disappointed that the surrounding mountains weren’t more rocky and that there was no good beach or jumping rocks at the lake, but it was nice regardless. We camped around 11,100 feet and the weather was perfect. As is usually the case (unless you’re in a canyon) the hike out was much quicker and easier than the hike in.The physical geography of Southwest Colorado reminds me so much of that of Andean Patagonia, from El Calafate to Bariloche.
Below are some more pics from Lake City and Waterdog Lake.