Over the Bars Mountain Bike Club

Colorado Trail MTB Bike Tour

Day 18 - Day Off, Cinnamon Pass, Silverton

August 7, 2006. Everyone was still feeling the effects of the day before. Hans slept in to an unusual 7:00 a.m. Dale was the first up, announcing that he'd had enough of the rain (even though it had only been one day) and he wanted to head back to California. He packed up, said goodbye and headed out. We pleaded with him to at least get a weather report, and stay one more day, but there was more to it than that.

We were blessed with patchy sun and cloud in the morning, and took our time packing up camp, drying things and thawing out. It took us until 10:00 a.m. to get on the road. We wanted to get over to Silverton, and head to our next camp at Sig Creek, just above Durango Mountain Resort. Tomorrow we'd shuttle back to Molas Pass, and ride all the way back to our next camp.

The road over to Silverton and on to Sig Creek was at least a two-hour drive that went a long way out of the way. Hans knew of a short cut that was a dirt road, and after a few inquiries found out that we shouldn't have a problem driving through Cinnamon Pass.

We first drove through Lake City and showered, washed and dried all our clothes from the day before, and had some mexican food at the Blue Iguana Cafe. We had high-speed internet for a change at the private campground where we showered, so Steve got the last few days of the journal updated.

We headed out about 1:00 p.m., headed for Cinnamon Pass and Silverton. It turned out to be a spectacular drive, with jeeps, motorbikes and quads forming the traffic. It was four-wheel-drive all the way, with tight switchbacks for which Ed had to back up and do a three-point turn in his truck to get around. The Cinnamon pass itself is beautiful, with bright green hillsides, glistening in the morning dew, and waterfalls and creeks streaming into the valley from both sides (since it had been raining all night).

Cinnamon Pass

Cinnamon pass Switchbacks

The "short-cut" took over two hours to drive. At one point the road got so rough that Ed's bike fell off the rack, but he was quick to see it in his rear view mirror. We tied down the bikes on the Saris rack, as the rack itself was falling apart, and had gotten extremely loose.

From the peak of the pass, with snow patches everywhere, we descended into Animas Valley and followed the trail down to Silverton. The views were breathtaking in all directions. There were lots of old mining remnants along, and it was obvious that this was an old mining town, now listing off-road driving as it's primary attraction.

Silverton itself has a decidedly western flavor. We asked around and were directed to a Jeep Rental place to see if Hans could find a more permanent solution to his rear shock problem. The mechanic there found a bolt that would fit, screw in at least part way, and support his rear shock a lot better than the broken bolt, zip ties and duct tape he'd ridden on for the past two days. Only problem was that he had to move the shock to it's 4" suspension position, instead of the 6 " position.

We ate again in Silverton at the Brown Bear cafe. It was good food and definitely had some history to it. From there we headed out to Sig Creek to set up camp, with only about a half hour to spare before the rain set in again for the night.

Steve worked on the journal for yesterday's epic ride, while everyone else got ready for bed. It rained on and off through the night, with the full moon peeking through the clouds every now and then, but it seemed everyone had a little trouble sleeping.


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