Day 49: Million Dollar Highway!!! Ridgeway to Durango, where we’d finally have a day off (the first one since Memphis!)
I can’t even begin to describe the beauty and awesomeness of this day. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
The first climb of the day was 13 miles!
I rode with Leader Ryan, Max, and Andrew in the beginning of the day. We took a boy band photo together near a waterfall, and we decided Andrew was like the Justin Timberlake of our band, as shown by the photo.
We sat on the top of an old stone building that was on our route and waved at drivers riding by. We stared off at the Red Mountains in the distance.
At the first summit, a fellow teammate had chalked us a celebratory note!
We cruised downhill to lunch… Another insanely fun descent! They are ALWAYS worth the brutal uphill!
We danced and sang at lunch, so happy to be where we were, living life to the fullest!!
I spent the day riding with my “partner in climb”, Amelia. She was having a rough day of emotions, as a good friend of hers had passed away in a freak accident while they were on a backpacking trip in Durango with a university program. I was glad I got to be with her all day and act as her support system. I let her tell me all about Caitlin, who sounds like the kind of girl who had her life together: smart, unique, brave, outdoorsy, fun-loving, and friendly. I admire Amelia for being able to come back to this place and find joy in it, despite going through such a tragic life event here. The climb up and over the mountain was therapeutic in that it allowed her to conquer the flood of sadness that overcame her upon entering Silverton, a town right outside of Durango. I’m so proud of her, and I’m incredibly thankful for her friendship!
A few more uphills and downhills later, we were in Durango!! Pumped for a day off our bikes and a day to explore the town! We went out to a dance club that night (anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to go dancing!!!) and watched some break dancers KILL IT on the dance floor. I was so happy to be out with great friends, in a new place, experiencing the reward of such a tough climbing day.