Back online - who would've guessed I'd learn to love Holiday Inn Express!
We're in Cortez, Colorado, after a 101 mile ride following yesterday's 117 miles. A tougher day due to much more climbing, but another beautiful day of riding. I loved Monument Valley yesterday, and seeing all those famous landmarks. We rode by the Close Encounters mountain, then got to ride past the spot where Forrest Gump stopped his run (that's right, there's a sign!). But that was yesterday, and this morning may have been even more beautiful, in that we saw some amazing rock formations and they were much closer to the road.
Our usual threesome rode well with others this morning and actually looked like we were serious about an easier day given all of the climbing. But after lunch all of those good intentions fell apart as we hit the accelerator. We even managed to drop Super Dave, our lead guide and a very strong rider - then tore into Cortez and our Holiday Inn. Joseph actually called me an "animal". Believe it or not, this is high praise indeed from such a strong rider (at least that's the way I'm choosing to interpret it)!
This is getting repetitive, but I can't believe how strong Jeff and Joseph are. I'm out of my league and loving it. This statement will come back to haunt me, but I can't believe how strong I feel on the bike. That said, I'm sitting here with ice on my knee, so my mortality is never far from the surface.
Unfortunately, we took some casualties today. Michael and Dee both got food poisoning last night and, while Michael managed to rally somehow and get through the day, poor Dee was pretty violently ill and had to lie in the van all day. On top of that, Diana - who seemed to successfully fight off a case of saddle sores - hurt her knee and also had to retire to the van. Hopefully both of them can answer the bell in the morning.
Tomorrow is a short but hilly 43 miles to Durango, which I'm really looking forward to checking out. Then another relatively short 60 miler, followed by a very intimidating 140 mile ride into Taos, where I get to spend two nights with Sara!!
It's kind of frustrating to be in Andy's state of Colorado but be so far away. On a more positive note CC won today's game 1-0, though I couldn't make it in fast enough to watch the game online.