Sunday, August 12, 2012

Erika rides Foon's Black and Blue 208km Permanent!

Ride Report for the new Black and Blue 208km Permanent designed by Tim Foon Feldman

 by Erika Van Meter.

This is a great point to point, beginning in Paonia, Co and ending in Gunnison. Here are some lovely views of ranchland and mountains at the start.

A glimpse of the Grand Mesa.

Hwy 50 from Delta to Montrose offers a nice sized shoulder and many refueling opportunities. The views aren’t so bad either!

Make sure to stop at the store before climbing up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park –they have a great cooler full of beverages and a freezer just for ice cream!

Climbing up from the valley floor to the National Park. Mountain views in the background.

A fellow hill climber from Montrose stopped and graciously took a photo of the author.

He mentioned that for a really enjoyable day of climbing that the local riders like to start from Montrose, ride up to the Black Canyon, over Cerro Summit, then Blue Mesa Summit, turn around and repeat on the way home. These 3 climbs are 5-6 miles in length each, so one gets a bit of vertical.

The river is way down there, somewhere…(Black Canyon of the Gunnison)

Cerro Summit on Hwy 50-more climbing, rewarded by a bit of fun….

Make sure to stop at Newberrys in Cimmaron. You will need to resupply there especially if you are self-supporting. There aren’t a lot of stores and such on the Blue Mesa, and they are open mostly during daylight hours only. There is a Sinclair at mile 88 if you forget to stop, or if they are closed.

Blue Mesa must be getting close. Appetizing views along the way.

(before Blue Mesa Summit)

Ahh, there it is. Blue Mesa Reservoir –notice the light-the solar eclipse is currently underway….

There are a few stores with limited hours in this stretch. Most of the campgrounds do have water spigots if you need it, and the main Elk Creek marina on the East End of the rez has a small supply store with a restaurant open Mon-Sat. Call ahead if you plan on dining, as hours may vary: 970-641-0403

Final Destination, Gunnison….I did it as a point to point, but a nice loop would be to return to Paonia via the Black Mesa up and over thru Crawford. Mountains, deserts, rivers, climbs and views galore, what more could one ask for? And remember, this is only one portion of the Colorado Six Pack which encompasses the whole of the Haute Route.

Take a peak at Foon’s website and more info for the Six Pack and Haute Route:

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