Monday 5:00pm – just west of Durango CO
After leaving Prescott AZ in the afternoon Sunday, Jerome and Tony rode on to Flagstaff, passing through beautiful Sedona, and up Oak Creek Canyon. Then it was on to the Navajo Indian reservation in NE AZ. This is a long and desolate section of the route and the boys passed through entirely at night. We saw many teams on the road that night.
The standings are starting to sort themselves out. This RAAM has the biggest field ever ant there are some very good teams here. There are several we seem be near a lot, passing them and later getting passed by them. We hope to put at least one of these teams behind us for good.
Frank and Dave came back in the line-up early in the morning, while still in Arizona. The temp was in the low 40s at that point and it made for some cold riding. but after about 3 hours dawn broke and we found ourselves entering Monument Valley just over the border in Utah. It spectacular landscape and a great way to see the dawn.
Our crew chief at home base in Atlanta, Warren Bruno, has been checking in regularly with all the team and crew, anxious for the latest update and to see how everyone is holding up. During one of his calls, Mark was able to patch him into our PA system so Warren could speak directly to Jerome while he was on the bike. It surprised Jerome so much he started talking back. Yes – we are experiencing some sleep deprivation.
Just short of Cortez CO, at the 48 hour mark, we were 820 miles into the race. We can all use some more sleep, but the riders are all doing well. Our Master Massage Therapists, Stephanie and Matthew, are doing a great job keeping our muscles smooth and loose and working out the kinks.
Tony and Jerome took over in Cortez and started on one of the hardest sections of the race, including a climb up and over the continental divide at Wolf Creek Pass – a long steep climb to 11,000 feet, in the dark. The temps will likely be the lowest we see this week.