Day Six - Thursday - 110 miles

Our last of riding meant only one thing, to try Poughkeepsie. I knew going in I would not make the attempt, but everyone else gave it a shot. We had been talking with our camping neighbors who were also riding and they wanted to make the run with us. So, we set out toward Poughkeepsie with Dan and his son coming along. They were very experienced riders from Texas and it was all we could do to keep up with them. Getting to Poughkeepsie is a workout in itself, and by the time we reached the bottom of the hill we were already a little taxed. Off went everyone and there were varying degrees of success as they attacked the hill. Dan and his son made it the top, but our group didn’t quite have the horsepower to make it. I would chalk it up mostly to not having the right bikes and also not wanting to spend hours trying to make it. I think to be fair they all could have made it but the clock was ticking and we had much more to cover. So, we bid farewell to Dan and his son and backtracked out. While I was waiting some other riders were coming down and I struck up a conversation with them mostly to see what they thought of the others in the group as they had passed and they were out of my view. They said they were all doing ok and I mentioned Ralph’s age. The elder statesman of this group, at 61 seemed a little discouraged as he thought he was long in the tooth only to find out he was junior by more than a decade. He had to stick around to talk with Ralph and they all gathered aoround him as if he were a rock star. It is quite amazing what he was able to do in this trip at his age. He rode with us 100% of the way and never slowed in the least and probably pushed us more than we will ever admit. So, back out and up over Engineer Pass we went this time in uneventful fashion. We continued and stopped for a detour up Nellie Creek. The creek was high and I was first to cross. I got half way and lost my traction. Fully stopped and smack in the middle of the stream I had no option but to gun it and hope for the best. I got only a few yards before the bike topped over and I dropped right there in the stream. Before anyone could pull a camera (although Mike tried) I was up and out of there. Everyone learned my lesson and took a more aggressive approach and all made although Shane’s method was very unconventional. It was the first time all trip my bike was not in the complete vertical position so I was a little upset. As we sat on the other side we took some deep breaths and came right back across. I decided to go last to allow everyone’s camera to get focused. I knew I had to blast across and I hit it hard. Speed was all that was needed and I crossed with no issue. Funny no one took a picture of the perfect crossing with my feet on the pegs the entire time. We went back to Lake City and ate again at the SmoQue Shack. We returned over Cinnamon Pass and began to pick up some rain. We decided to go south on CO 110 and into Silverton where we stopped at Grumpy’s for a couple of cold ones before riding back to camp. Dan and his son told us their story and we packed up and got ourselves for an early morning departure back home.

Here is Dan’s Video with us in a couple of scenes