posted on Friday, June 02, 2017

Priest Gulch

The flat farmlands have given way to the first hills and once reached Dolores some threatening snow capped mountains loomed ahead. We are still on a high plateau and before starting the real climbs I am already over two thousand meters of height and often out of breath. I see lots of large animal carcasses by the side of the road and in the fields and wonder what kind of beast chewed them so neatly down to their bones. It's good to know that whoever does the chewing has such a large choice of food around here; very unlikely to chose us, after all we are only half meat, half steel with some unappealing rubber and plastic mixed in. Today a four wheeled preacher overtook me up the mountain, his diesel pickup puffing black smoke and pulling a trailer. On either sides the message 'Jesus Saves' while all I could think of was 'Gasoline Kills'. Half way I reached Dolores which was not as painful as the name might suggest. The mountains rising it felt like the typical alpine resort in between seasons. Winter skiing over and a summer yet to come. The second part of the day followed the Dolores River on a gentle and long climb to the 2400 metres of Priest Gulch. I was hardly enquiring about prices when Menno walked in. I hadn't seen him whole day as he got involved in passionate conversations with other bike enthusiasts he met along the way. We found an idyllic spot to share, just metres away from the fast flowing river that will surely be our gentle soundtrack for the night. Tomorrow Menno will move on to meet some friends. I wish for him that he'll be able to finally get on his bike and do what he so much likes to do. He was a great support on the way to all of us cycling and his cool cokes in the desert and chats along the road will be thoroughly missed.