Monday, July 4, 2011
Del Norte to Platoro
Today started will 11 miles on pavement, and then a 12 mile climb to the highest peak on the divide. Indiana Pass, also known to locals as Grayback Pass is located at 11910ft which meant a 4000ft climb most of which takes part on gravel forest roads. On the way up I was fortunate to meet a buddy of Mathew Lee who helped out with the first five miles. I was soon overtaken by a divide racer and reached the top within 3 hours. From here there was a short climb to the abandoned town of Summitville and then downhill towards Stunner Campground, the designated rest stop. I chose to push further on which meant another climb of 4 miles to Stunner Pass and then coast on down to the town of Platoro. Even though I have stocked food for 4 days, there was another campground located here. I chose to camp in the RV park and was treated to a huge plate of ribs, potatoes, slaw, apple pie and a Coors Light. Enough food for at least 3 people. Although today's mileage hit the 50 mark, the roads were in decent shape, although I would often find that the dust kicked up by passing vehicles became it little irritating. A shower and good night sleep would lead to a late start tomorrow as I figure out the route from here, starting by paralleling the drainage basin of the Conejos River.