Soaking time! Two days soaking and a night of camping at Orvis Hot Springs. I first stayed here way-back in the mid nineties and can remember when the plants were small and there were not many of them. Now the landscaping is mature, the lilacs bloom in white and purple, and the shade trees blanket the ground with coolness. The town has changed too. Back then it was young people striking out into the wilderness in jeeps. Now there are a lot of retired Californians driving range rovers. Still there are one or two old bearded hippie types keeping it nostalgic.
The drive here from Mancos took about 4 hours. Google says it should take 2-3, but they don’t plan on stoping to take pictures or getting behind a logging truck climbing the pass. There are also two interesting towns along the way: Silverton and Ouray. Both are old mine towns turned tourist destination. Both could fill up a day of sight seeing and post-card buying.
The last time I was over these passes was as a cyclist in the Iron Horse Classic bike event. I got rained and hailed on during that ride and I got rained and hailed on again coming over the mountains on this trip. If the trips weren’t 25 years apart I would be suspicious.
On that first trip we were racing the train on bikes (the train won) this time I think I bested the train.