Day 5:

Durango - San Juan Skyway - Silverton - 
Telluride - Rico - Ridgway

US Highway 550 heads north into the San Juan Mountains from Durango, passing through Silverton, Ouray and Ridgway.  At Ridgway, Colorado 62 goes west to Placerville across the Dallas Divide.  From Placerville, Colorado 145 heads east to the ski village of Telluride and south through Lizard Head Pass to Rico.  Near Rico, we retraced our route to Ridgway where we spent the night.  The route covers a distance of 220 miles.

Situated in the spectacular San Juan Mountains, the San Juan Skyway encompasses the national renowned Million Dollar Highway, often called the most scenic drive in America.  The San Juan Skyway climbs to more than 10,000 feet three times as it loops through the mountains and high deserts of southwestern Colorado.  Starting at Durango, this spectacular route heads north over the San Juan Mountains and passes through the historic mining towns of Ouray and Silverton.  

After having dinner in old town Durango at the Olde Tymers Cafe and spending the night, we headed for breakfast at a local favorite-- Lori's in the Durango Mall. 

At Lori's we ran into some friendly local bikers who shared some thoughts about the ride we were planning.

After breakfast, we walked into the parking lot with the local bikers and exchanged introductions.  Imagine our surprise to find that the local bikers consisted of the U.S. Senator from Colorado, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, his wife, and a group of their friends.

They invited us to ride with them to Silverton and we readily accepted.

Pat and Judy talk to Senator Campbell before we begin the ride to Silverton.  The Senator proved to be a good rider and obviously enjoyed riding his Harley.  On this day, he wasn't a U.S. Senator, he was a fellow biker.

Judy dons her jacket and grabs her camera to record the day's trip.



Pat and Judy follow the Senator immediately in front.  As you can tell from the windshield in the lower left-hand corner, Judy took this picture from the back of the bike.

A welcomed midway stop at Andrews Lake, just before going over Molas Divide at 10,910 feet.  We would have never found this beautiful lake if it had not been for the knowledge of our local guides. 

Mountains peacefully reflected in Andrews Lake.  

The clouds reflecting in Andrews Lake make a beautifully serene picture.

Above and below:  Mountain views from Andrews Lake.

The girls chat (above) while the guys talk bikes (below).


The bikes make a nice picture lined up in the Andrews Lake parking lot. 
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