The tour group left the motel early, starting the San Juan Skyway ride that would head up towards Ridgway and then down to Durango.
First order of the day was breakfast, which was a short ride into the San Juan Mountains to the mining town of Rico. It is interesting to note that most old and small mountain towns were usually related to mining. It is said that the '49's on their way overland to California for its gold rush walked over in Colorado more gold than they ever found in California.
As happens in the local restaurants, you usually get some color with breakfast, and we were entertain- ed by the waitress/owner/cook describing a very party hardy birthday celebration the night before, from which she and the rest of the town were recovering.
Breakfast in Rico, CO
We learned she could definitely multitask by nursing her's and others' hangovers while fixing a very good and hearty breakfast.
It was a beautiful day in the mountains, clear and crisp...... so far we were avoiding the smoke from the wildfires fires that were essentially all over the state.
The riding through the San Juan Mountains was quite spectacular, especially around Telluride, but as beautiful as the views were, we all paid attention to the road which was fun to ride, but required one's complete attention.
At the town of Silverton, our luck on avoiding the smoke plum ran out, but before we arrived in Silverton we rode through Ouray, a town with few level spots, but a lot of beautiful views and a spectacular road running out of the town with dramatic views, and one very twisty, but fun mountain road.
By the time we arrived in Durango, which is a region center for commerce and transportation, the sky had cleared and it was getting fairly warm.
The ride from Durango to Southfork, CO was very scenic with pastoral country broken by a moutnain pass with grand vistas of valleys and the San Juan Mountains.
We were very much looking forward to a beer along sitting along the Rio Grande in South Fork which is but a few miles from the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
We closed the day with drinks and a good southwest style dinner along the banks of the Rio Grande with a beautiful sunset.
It was was a day of grand sights, good roads, food and company.
George, along with us, was able to visit with his mother-in-law, have a beer along the Rio Grande and enjoy a good home cooked meal.