During these cross-country treks, Trek includes "rolling recovery" days. Meaning, we tackle much lower mileages at slower speeds to allow our bodies to heal. Hard to express how welcome these two days were.
Today, we rode a mere 44 miles from Cortez, CO to Durango, CO. The ride was quintessentially Colorado picturesque and bore the first marks of Fall on this trip. Just 8 miles in, I encountered a bald eagle perched nearby and stopped to appreciate him or her in silence. The rest of the ride was similarly dotted with deer, elk, and every imaginable variety of raptor. All this set against a fully autumnal palette.
We got to Durango and checked into the Strater Hotel. Man, what a historic and lively place. The employees were all in turn of the century getup and even showed us some of the secret stashes where guns and hooch were stored during prohibition. The town itself was celebrating Oktoberfest, so I helped myself to a few beers in the sun and hosted a Tweetup of locals. Such a great vibe there. Though, as a mountain town resident myself, I think I always have that feeling when I visit similar places.
I spent the time before dinner checking out a Steve McCurry photography exhibit that I found humbling and enchanting. I was stuck by how he snuck into Afghanistan to take what has been called the most recognized photo in the world and escaped back out by sewing the film into his native disguise. So daring.
With the worldly and dire context of his photos on my mind, I crossed the street and grabbed some Nepalese dinner. It wasn't until I looked at the menu that it occurred to me how decidedly "American" our dinners have been on this trip. Some tear-inducing curry and spices later, I remedied that situation and strode back to the hotel feeling peaceful, rested, and ready for tomorrow.