Day 2 done! – Pagosa Springs CO
What a day! Again Tony, Jerome, Dave and Lisa flew through the night. We day crew riders (Frank, Joe, Jane and Lee) and crew (Bruce, Bridgett,
Amy, Charlie) met up with them around 3:30am (EDT) in Kayenta AZ, which is in the Navajo Indian Reservation in NE Arizona. We road due north
from there to Utah. In the cool of the night we rode around 15 miles each before exchanging with the next rider. This is a very sparsely populated area and at every exchange we had a clear view of the brilliant night sky with the Milky Way blazing across the sky. At one point an Joe spooked and owl and it flew up and then swooped down on him, missing by just a few feet.
In spite of being over 450 miles from the start at that point there were a dozen teams strung out along the road within 20 miles of each other. We often passed and repassed the same team over and over. We would continue to see these same teams throughout the rest of the day.
When we crossed into Utah it was still pitch dark, with only a sliver of the new moon coming up over the horizon. When sunrise came we were most of the way across Utah and soon entered Colorado. As we climbed in altitude to 6000 and 7000 feet the desert gave way to the green trees and valleys of the Rocky Mountains.
After leaving Durango we had our 2nd flat. The first was on a bike, but this time it was on “Betty” one of our two mini-vans. Charlie jumped into action, changed the flat, got it repaired and had us back on the road within 45 minutes. Jane, Joe and Lee went ahead to keep our riders on the road so we didn’t lose a minute in all that.
Now we had three riders in one van, Frank in the other and the night shift in our Sprinter van all spread out on the road out of Durango with limited cell coverage. But as Jane, Joe and Lee took turns climbing Badger Mtn and then descending into Pagosa Springs it all came back together and we were finally able to pull Jane and her day-shift compadres off their bikes after a 13-hr day. We left the night crew to tackle the highest and longest climb of the whole race – Wolf Creek Pass.