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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bob, Patrick and I arranged a bit of a shuttle to ride Kennebec Pass. Not being very fond of several hard miles on the road, we arranged to be dropped off at Mayday, at the mouth of LaPlata Canyon.
Now, before you start to laugh, keep in mind Mayday to Kennebec Pass is about 10 miles, with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Kennebec Pass is at 11,750 feet.

The first few miles are pretty flat, and even up to this point, it is never really steep, but sometimes it is very rocky. Here is a rest point at Columbine Basin, about 2/3 of the way up.
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And another perspective, we are still smiling and happy!
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The climbing after this is pretty stout, with around 1500 to climb, and only a few miles to do it, at elevation. Once you get past the parking area, where anyone with 4wd can go, there is still 1/2 a mile to the pass, and views like this.
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Now the fun begins, a few thousand feet of descent into the Junction Creek drainage.
Oh lovely alpine single track
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Hey I'm still smiling, but why not, the only climbing left is hard, but not over 10K
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My Father's day ride, continued

High up the mountain, just as you enter treeline, there are some pretty old spruce. I don't see enough of these anymore.
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This is the Junction Creek Drainage, which we will finish up on.
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But not before we cross over to the Lightner Creek side for a bit. More on that later.

So much single track, smooth at times, rocky at others. Eventually, after several long fast traverses, mixed with tight switchbacks (this is Colorado afterall), we hit the creek.
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Which requires several crossings. This one, which Patrick is waiting after, had 2 very old beams across it. I think any of us could have ridden it, but when you are still about 20 miles from civilization, it pays to be cautious. Broken bikes or bones could make for a very long day.
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From this point, or shortly after, there is the dreaded climb out of the creekbed. If you live and ride in Durango, you are familiar with it. A little over 1000 ft gain, pretty steep in spots, and you are already tired. It only takes 5 miles to hit "High Point", but the majority of that climbing is in a couple of miles. No pictures, no fun, let's just get to "High Point" so we can smile again.
And we did, a few miles after that point, as we sweep down the trail and cross over to Lightner Creek, Bob is all smiles.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My Father's day ride, last page

We spent a few miles in the Lightner Creek drainage. We are very familiar with this trail as it is a typical weekday ride up Dry Fork to "High Point" and back. Nice woodsy ride, only 15 miles, some good climbing (well, all climbing for 7.5 miles) and the Dry Fork trail head is near our homes.

We arrived at another familiar place, which is also on a typical weekday ride, Gudy's rest.
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IIRC, this is named after a woman who was key in the creation of the Colorado Trail. Last year, this lovely bench was created by Trails 2000, or local trail org.
We were commenting, you know you are tired when it is all downhill to home, and you still take your time getting back on the bike.

Gudy's rest affords a nice view of some of the remaining trail home, all singletrack the the beginning (or end I suppose, if you live in Denver) of the Colorado Trail.
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It was a great day, about 35 miles, nearly 5K of pure climbing (not including rollers and such), no injuries, crashes, or mechanical problems. It went so well, I'm not sure you can call it epic.
Were we tired? Of course! But somehow our swallow reflex was intact, and the waitress at Olde Tymers patio was willing to keep the beer coming.
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