Day 1 Telluride to Last Dollar

elevation profile
topo map

14.9 miles
2,800' ascent
550' descent
8,750' to 11,000'

We spent the night in Telluride where everybody seemed to have a bike and 2 dogs! We left the car at the airport by 9am for a shuttle pickup, hoping that the car would magically appear in Moab at the end of the trip courtesy of
Roadrunner Shuttle, Moab. We had this idea that by leaving the car at the airport and cutting out the first 6 miles uphill from town, that the ride would be easy on the first day. WRONG!!!! The 11 miles uphill with a 10%+ grade, from the airport to Last Dollar Pass was a beautiful but unforgiving ride. Then, there was a near vertical climb, pushing the bikes to a ridge at 11,000' to the MOST beautiful site where the first hut was located. After the exhausting first day we got to the hut by about 1:30 and we were pleasantly surprised by how well stocked the hut is with food, kitchen and sleeping supplies. The composting bathroom even smelled good!
One dark omen is that during the first day, Obie's bike saddle bag broke and scattered his bike repair kit on the trail. He found everything but his spare tire.
Probably the biggest surprise was that we found "cold beer", eggs, bacon, and butter in the ice chest as well as box wine, Oriole Cookies and Snickers bars in the food cache. The only problem was we were too tired to eat or drink much of the food.

I was carrying about 20 pounds of gear split between a Camel Back backpack and a small luggage bag attached to a rear carrier. This arrangement worked well for me. Obie was carrying his 20 lbs in a backpack. I was riding a Gary Fisher 29'er with full suspension and Obie rode a Cannondale hard tail. The full suspension provided a smooth ride throughout the 215 miles of bumps and rocks on the road.
We even got cell phone coverage from the hut to call home!