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After quickly pitching tent in a thunderstorm, on our 16th day we completed our CT adventure and descended 8,300 ft into Durango. In total, we had traveled 420 miles and climbed over 60,000 ft in accumulated elevation.

Indian Trail Ridge

We awoke to cloudy skies and continued our ride along Indian Trail Ridge.

Sharkstooth Peaks in distance
Kyle coming down one of the talus slopes
more wildflowers
looking north
the trail skirts the edge

Taylor Lake

At the top of the ridge the trail took a sharp left and began a steep descent down to Taylor Lake.  I said to Kyle that this lake was a reminder that we would like to have my daughter Taylor on this trip, but alas, she just graduated from Boston U and has a real job.

above Taylor Lake
we came down that trail on the ridge

Kennebec Pass

We then started down Kennebec Pass over a steep talus field. Riding on talus is challenging and takes practice. It’s like riding on marbles. Kyle wasn’t happy but dealt with it.

big talus field on the pass

Leavenworth Gulch

This part of the trail is really fun as you ride next to the Flagler Fork creek. At one point the trail darts left, and all of a sudden you are in front of a 100 ft waterfall.

100 ft waterfall in middle of ride

Gudy’s Rest

As you further descend, you come upon a cliff and beautiful view of the valley below, named for Gudy Gaskill, the ‘Mother of the Colorado Trail’ who passed away last year. She was instrumental in establishing the trail in the 70s and 80s and was an icon in the Colorado mountaineering community.

view from Gudy’s Rest

Trail’s End

After what seemed like an eternity of descending, we spotted our car in the CT parking lot in Durango with Cris waiting with beer and soda.

Again I want to say we couldn’t have done this without her – setting up hotels, getting us food and water, washing our clothes, putting up with our serious multi-day trail funk. Thanks so much hon!

We had actually done it. As I write this days later I’m still a bit surprised. We traveled 420 miles and ascended 60,000 ft through rugged mountainous terrain without injury, rode the best singletrack in the world, saw epic views every day, drank water out of streams and ponds, chased a marmot in the trail, helped a guy with a shattered shoulder get help, bumped into friends in the middle of the forest, met really cool people on the trail, gave a water system to hikers in need, got soaked in daily thunderstorms, and laughed ourselves silly every night in our tent which served as an effective dutch oven after a “delicious” meal of Mountain House and Whole Foods burritos.

high five!
Durango terminus

On our first day my friend Eric said that as a father and son we will have something that we will remember till the end of our days.  He was right.

Kathryn at 4:56 pm, August 1, 2017 - Reply

Congratulations! We enjoyed the ride. What a great accomplishment.

Ed Pfromer at 4:57 pm, August 1, 2017 - Reply

Thanks! It was so much fun. Much to Cris’ chagrin I’m thinking about what’s next!

Stefan Kowalewski at 11:18 am, August 2, 2017 - Reply

Amazing journey!! Thanks for sharing with us!

Ed Pfromer at 11:31 am, August 2, 2017 - Reply

Glad you enjoyed it.

Eric Morris at 3:30 pm, August 5, 2017 - Reply

Anticipation, elation, exhaustion . Repeat for 16 days. Awesome Ed and Kyle and congratulations on an adventure done well.

Ed Pfromer at 3:39 pm, August 5, 2017 - Reply

Thanks Eric – it was so much fun! I’m going through trail withdrawal now…

Linda Frost at 9:16 am, August 7, 2017 - Reply

Cool! Thanks for sharing, it was fun to follow vicariously! Congrats.