David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Between a Rock and a High Place


tl;dr: I made it through Coal Bank Pass, Molass Pass, Silverton and up to Animas Forks on the Alpine Loop.

So this is basically what took me three months of peddling to prepare myself for.

I spent the morning peddling up to Coal Bank Pass and then to Molass Pass on narrow roads congested with RVs driven by utter retards (and, by the way, if you drive an RV, I'm probably talking about you.) There were also a lot of semi trucks and every fourth pickup was towing a trailer wider than the vehicle.

Needles Country Store provided me with a microwaved breakfast. The owners kept hummingbird feeders stocked. As I watched, a dozen of the little birds fought for feeding rights. I was told sometimes there are three times as many.

I eventually made it to Silverton where I stopped at Tourist Information and asked, "If I take the southern route through Cinnamon Pass over to Lake City on a bicycle, will I hate myself?" This is a jeep trail. The information monger replied, "Oh, yeah." But as I was eating a tourist-priced (but good and filling) lunch at Mattie and Maud's, I was informed that Highway 550 out of Silverton (which is the only other route available) becomes so narrow that semi trucks take corners with their trailer tires hanging off into space. Nope. I am not dealing with that. So I purchased a small $5.00 jar of peanut butter at the only grocery store in town and headed for the Alpine Loop.

One nice thing about Colorado is I have no need to lock my bike up. I don't worry about people stealing my stuff, because everybody else is rich and has better stuff.

One uncomfortable thing about Colorado is the need to constantly add and remove layers. Depending on elevation, time of day, going up or down, intensity of drizzle, etc, I find myself adding and removing layer upon layer of clothing a dozen or more times day. Also, I have to stop in order to drink water because I'm huffing and puffing so much.

The dirt roads out of Silverton are choked with jeeps and four-wheelers and other all-terrain vehicles. At first they ignored the guy on the bike. As I made it farther along, they would wave. At about ten miles up into the mountains I actually started receiving gestures of respect.

Eventually I made it to Animas Forks, a ghost town that some society is attempting to restore. It is kind of neat. I set up camp not far from there. Apparently, there are mosquitoes at 11000 feet.

rocky mountain horses


mountain geese

and bad RV drivers

Coal Bank Pass Elevation 10640

mountain flowers

Twilight Peak

this is what I have to deal with

from Molass Pass Elevation 10910

Silverton (all of it)

downtown Silverton

Welcome to the Alpine Loop

Eureka Gulch

Four Wheel Drive Recommended

an abandoned mine

last winter avalanche still hasn't melted away


Animas Forks ghost town

hallway to the bathroom

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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