Ledges has always scared the shit out of me. Doesn’t matter if I’m on skiis or on a bike, I like having my feet in the fall line , and not in horisontal mode on a steep slope. Whenever I’m on a ledge, I sort of freak out. It feels like I will fall over and tumble down into the abyss, even if that abyss is just 5 meter deep… I definitely need some practice on moving my Entenial body along ledges. Good thing we went back to Telluride. Our biking there offered plenty of opportunities to practice my skills at not looking down.
Yes, we had to go back. Once you’ve gone to Telluride, there is just no other way than returning. It is paradise on earth.
On our way, we visited Grand Junction. Linden told us about a set of trails called the Lunch Loops just outside of town, close to the Colorado National Monument, in the desert. Since Grand Junction is on the way to Telluride, we decided to take a very appropriate lunch stop just there. A very good decision. The lunch loops turned out to be a lunch playground. A very hot lunch ground maybe, but fun as hell, and really easy to access for a two hour ride.
The lunch loops offered so much fun and games that we lost track of time a bit. We arrived to Telluride at sunset, around 8 pm. That may not be a problem in most places, but in paradise, people go to sleep early, and so, most of the slightly cheaper motels were closed. Of course we hadn’t booked a room anywhere, what would have been the fun of that? So there we were, un-showered for over a week, with temperatures dropping, with nowhere to go. So what to do? Of course we went to the fanciest hotel still opened and asked for a room, and of course (this is America after all) we got offered a room for about the same price as the cheap motels, only that we now got a balcony, a marble bathroom, bathrobes, breakfast, a big couch and, what more? I don’t even remember. I just remember that walking into the lobby with my dirty shorts felt a bit bizarre, and great. No one frowned upon us (of course, this is the wild wild west), and the beds were divine (not to talk about the shower!!).
Anyway, I was going to write about some biking too. We did a number, but I’m just gonna write about two: the Wasatch connection and the Wasatch trail.
Wasatch to me is a mountain range outside of Salt Lake City. However, in Telluride, there is a mountain called Little Wasatch. A very weird name of a mountain rising almost 4000 meters up in the air. The Wasatch connection trail is perhaps the most famous trail in Telluride, and supposedly the most gnarliest in Colorado. It is easily accessible by taking the free (!!! Telluride has the only completely free bike park in the world, way to go!) gondola and then push biking/pedaling up about 600 vertical meters before one heads down into Bear creek.
I wouldn’t say it is the gnarliest trail I’ve ridden, but it is definitely challenging, at least for me. Most of the trail down to Bear Creek is on a ledge. It is in no way super exposed, but the rocks are very loose and it is a faar way down, so I got som good practice in keeping my eyes on the trail. Further down, the trail gets rockier and less loose, but no less beautiful. The last part is on an old mining road (I think), offering a great opportunity to bike as fast as you can and jump over everything in sight. Just have to keep an eye out for hikers walking on the lower part (Don’t want to start any fight between hikers and bikers, do we). All in all, the Wasatch connection + Bear creek trail offers a whole lot of highly entertaining vertical meters for very little effort. It may, however, be a good idea to check the break pads afterwards. Mine were completely worn out… I need to get my fingers, not only out of my butt, but also away from those darn breaks!
Although the Wasatch connection trail is perhaps the most ridden one, I think that the real Wasatch trail is perhaps even better. Once again (as almost always in Telluride) the trail can be done from door to door without even touching a car. We biked up the serpentine road that goes over the Bear pass, took off at Bridal Veil falls (which is worth the ride itself), and started pushing up the trail. The hike-a-bike up was a bit rainy, yes, a bit thundery, oh yes, and it took us quite a few hours. Of course it didn’t matter. With that view, one can almost walk as far as the horizon (especially with that horizon), and with that downhill, Im willing to endure a whole lot of pain (yes, even me). More ledges, more loose rocks, but also marmots, wohoos! and Weehiis!
Telluride and the nearby area offers a whole lot of other great biking trails, some of which we rode, some of which we still have to ride, so yes, we have to come back. Of course we do.