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With just a little over a week left on our U.S. tour, we decided it was time to head to our final destination-Durango Colorado. Before we did, we couldn’t help making a quick detour over to Crested Butte, Colorado for some awesome mountain biking. We were rewarded with one of our best rides of the trip with Crested Butte’s signature, yet very challenging “401″ trail. The ride was amazing! We first had to clime up 1500 feet to reach the top of the mountain where the down hill trail began. I’ve never peddled up an incline that far in my life, but what a rewarding trek it was. The air was thin at the top (over 12,000 ft elevation) making it harder to breath, so we didn’t wait long before starting our descent. The trail took us through beautiful wildflowers with breathtaking views before cutting into the shade of the woods. We sped through mud puddles and over man made bridges with huge smiles on our faces. We were fortunate enough to have rented a cabin while just outside of Crested Butte which gave us some relief from the everyday afternoon rain shower. The dogs chilled out at the cabin while we mountain biked. I’m sure they were thankful for the two-day rest from hiking and driving.
I think we got a little spoiled in Crested Butte, so when we arrived in Durango, we once again rented a small cabin, just in case the rain had followed us again. The actual town of Durango surprised us. For such a small population of 16,000 people, the town is farely large. There is a beautiful hill top college with views of surrounding mountains and neighboring golf coarse and the downtown has numerous restaraunts and brew pubs. We had a fun time trying different local beers and cuisine, like the navajo taco-made with flat bread instead of a tortilla and smothered in chilli, cheese, jalapenos, lettuce, etc. Yummy, yummy! And the Texas BBQ was a treat. We got a kick out of watching groups of rafters tackle the rapids along the river that runs right through town. Although we didn’t attempt any rafting, we did take the dogs down to the river for some swimming in the swift water. They had a blast chasing sticks and their tennis ball. For us, we were all about finding some killer mountainbiking. We knew we would be in Durango for at least three days, so each day we picked a different area to ride. Amazingly, each area was completely different terrain depending on which part of town we were in. In the southeast were fun rolling dirt trails, with some challenging climbs, ending with a fast, technical downhill. On the northwest part of town, we picked up the Colorado trail (a 444 mile trail that runs from Denver to Durango-people hike it, bike it, etc), which was beautiful, but then found some dissapointing, super rocky trails that were probably the least enjoyable of our trip. Not too far from our cabin, to the west of town was one of the best single track trails of our trip. We rode through beautiful forests and were having a blast until Christy’s front tire blew. Luckily we were close to the end of the trail and she only had to walk her bike for about a mile back to the truck.
After four nights in Durango, we decided it was time to head back to California. We were sorry to see the U.S. trip come to an end. Five weeks went by so quickly! But, we were excited to get home and visit with family and friends before taking off for our European adventure. Look out world, here come the McCroskys!!!