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Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Rails-to-Trails (and backroad) Ride To Ridgway Reservoir

Debbie, a steadfast member of the Red Rocks Gang, availed her service as Subaru Valet Bicycle Pickup for our ride to Ridgway Reservoir. Turned out we needed two Valets, so Kimbopolo drove a second Sue Bee. We agreed to meet at Taco Del Gnar for lunch—the Gnar standing for gnarly, which is the absolute, if not understated, truth.

Our ride was mostly downhill and followed alongside the oft mispronounced Uncompahgre River. It was about 11 miles to Ridgway, another 5 to the reservoir. We called it "good" where the bike path morphed into a dirt trail. It continued on another 4 miles or so, through the State Park and ending at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Campground, an exceedingly scenic and interesting trail with views back across the lake to the almighty San Juan Mountain Range.    

The Boondocking Contingent, camped high and away on a remote cliffside, zoomed down a couple of steep miles in order to meet up at "The Bridge." If you could see their hands there would be a lot of white knuckles. They are quite relieved to have a Valet Service to haul them back up a hill they wouldn't dare attempt to pedal. I scoff, "That's why mountain bikes have low gears." :)  

We are The Red Rocks Gang, after all, so I was pleased to show off some of Lovely Ouray's colors along the old railroad grade, now a narrow county road.

Jim and Chris, with Lovely Ouray's box canyon in the background

Gayle, trailed by Bobbie… Both with full suspension bikes, which was helpful due to potholes that lurked in the shadows

Out of the close, shadowed confines of our box canyon, into sunny, rolling pastoral horse and cattle ranch country… with a few llamas and camels thrown in.

After a potty break in Ridgway's version of "Central Park," we caught the paved Rails to Trails bike path, all the way to Ridgway Reservoir. We stopped along the way at Dennis Weaver Memorial Park to admire this enormous bronze sculpture of a Bald Eagle in flight. Mr Weaver played Chester on the TV series, "Gunsmoke," then Mc Cloud, a fish-out-of-water cowboy detective in New York City.

Jim surveys Ridgway Reservoir, lamenting the end of our downstream free ride. It's uphill and against the wind from here back to lunch in ridgway, baby. 

We met up with Debbie and Kim in the park, where a "farmers market" food fest was just getting cranked up. Bobbie disappeared for a while and came back with a homemade, golden-crusted, mouthwatering strawberry-rhubarb pie. How can something be so tart, yet so sweet to the palette? Yum.

We loaded the bikes on the racks and strolled up to Taco Del Gnar. I ordered the "Drippy Mitch" taco, to which Nurse Kim retorted, "Sounds like something I treated back at the hospital." I almost changed my order, but thankfully not. It was amazing. Others had "Portobello Mushroom" tacos and I forget what else cause I was too busy devouring my Drippy Mitch. 

We ended our evening by watching the Republican Debate with the Andersons Four… more of a three ring circus, with The Donald in center ring. Who will be "The Last Comic Standing?" Lord help us...


  1. You ride back for a photo of the camel, yet you deprive us of a photograph of "Drippy Mitch??" ;-)

  2. What Suzanne said - we want to see your Drippy Mitch!

  3. Ah memories! I loved riding that trail. Now I have to return to check out that taco place!

  4. Really enjoyed that ride even though Bobbie got the last pie! Forgot to ask you if it was good.

  5. That's my kind of bike ride, downhill and the wind pushing from behind. Is that the same pack Bobbie uses on the hikes?

  6. Now I have to return to visit Taco Del Gnar! Great day.....

  7. Thank you for the beautiful photos of the Memorial to Dennis Weaver, beautiful yet moving with the Eagle touching down....Yes, a photo of Drippy Mitch please!

  8. I've got a batch of rhubarb ready to pick, now you've got me thinking it's time to make pie.


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