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It’s Not The Destination, It’s The Journey

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

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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!!!    



The Rockies

Sunday, August 19th, 2007


We thought we would try the Telluride area for our first taste of the Rockies. We would attack the Rockies like we did the other places, no reservations and no plans.  Pictures cant do justice to a place like Telluride, a box canyon-when you drive in all you see are huge mountains and one big waterfall cascading down the cliffs. We spent 4 days mountain biking, hiking and wandering this amazing old historic town. We also found out why those mountains are so green, because it rains and it rains often! Within an hour of setting up our tent, the rains began. This time we were prepared though and set up a huge tarp over our tent. It would usually rain in the afternoon which we would time for our afternoon siesta. Then it would pour again late at night.  On our first night we were laying in the tent getting ready to fall asleep when we saw a big flash of light that lit up our tent. Christy asked “what was that?” and a second later her question was answered by a huge explosion of thunder which echoed off the mountains. We couldn’t have been happier though knowing that our tarp would keep us nice and dry. Its amazing how the little things in life come into play when your camping. Our last day was spent at the Telluride jazz festival listening to all different kinds of jazz in an incredible outdoor setting. To give you an idea of the wealth in telluride, we met a nice family at the festival who was very intrigued about our travels and how we were camping in the Rockies despite the daily rains. When I asked her if they drove or flew to Telluride, she said that her husband was a pilot so they come to their house in telluride about once a month. I said “oh really what airlines does he fly for” she said “ oh, no airlines, its just his hobby, we have a jet that we fly here.”  Lifestyles of the rich and famous. 
Our next stop in the Rockies would be Ouray, known as “the Switzerland of America” and the historic town of Silverton. Thinking that after 4 days of rain, we were sure to catch a break so we decided to continue camping. Again, after setting up camp, the rains came and we had our forced siesta before doing an afternoon hike. What an amazing place Ouray is, huge 9000 ft cliffs totally surrounding the little town of 800 people. Our first hike was straight up the cliffs to the top of the mountains overlooking the town and the surrounding mountains. We hiked to a beautiful waterfall and an old mining camp where you could walk into the old sleeping quarters. The following day we decided that since Ouray is the “4wd capital of Colorado,” we had to test out the old Toyota and see if she could handle some off-roading. We drove a crazy dirt road to the Continental Divide and then hiked up to a little lake at about 13000 ft. You could see forever, even far enough to see the huge thunderheads that were ready to pound us.  Again the afternoon rains came and soaked us as we hiked back to the car.  

Bend–> Boise–> Moab

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
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