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Friday, May 14, 2010

Wolf Creek Pass - Piece of cookie!

We woke expecting horrible weather with the predictions calling for 70% chance of rain, thunder and wind.  Instead there were some fast moving clouds, sunshine and lots of blue.  Not taking any chances, we got an early start and Jim's friend Tom joined us on his road bike for about 10 miles or so.  Jim was really happy to see his friend again and we enjoyed Tom and his wife as well.
The road from Pagosa rose gently for about 18 miles before heading up the pass.  We stopped just before the climb and Sean did some tuning on Catherine's bike.  The pass went quickly.  We were using about 1 amp of power for each mile of travel so the 8 mile ascent used more than half of the power I used for the 66 miles we rode today.
Going down the backside of the pass was a great ride.  It started snowing just as we left so we didn't linger on the top.  We flew down the backside with hail pelting our faces and giant grins on our faces.
We rode on to Del Norte when the wind and weather and time of day forced us to portage to our destination with Jim's next friend on our route, Ward Olin who lives in Crestone, a community at the base of the Sangra De Christo mountain range.  Right now it's storming outside,  Ward just lit a fire and we are very grateful to not be outdoors riding or even camping.
As we were riding out of Pagosa Springs, we passed a number of housing developments that made me think about sustainable communities.  In Navajo country, the families live together and create the villages that raise the children.  What I saw today reminded me that the American dream of a house in the country has contributed to the polarization and isolation of our communities.  Sustainable communities challenge  many of the rugged individualism values that Americans adore.  Our hosts along our route are helping to build the kinds of communities that the world needs more of.  Sharing their lives and being curious about our lives are two keys to building the kind of world I want for my children.

Jim and Tom enjoying a great morning ride out of Pagosa
Sean test drives Catherine's 'ride' before heading up Wolf Creek Pass
70% chance of rain?   Right!
Heading up the pass
Jim pushing the Surly
May 14th?
The summit - No signs but my phone said we are at about 10,500 ft

I guess they were right about the rain

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