Riding our bikes to a destination, carrying all we need in a backpack and returning the next day. This was the idea behind last weekends adventure. Let’s back up a bit and explain in more detail.
Last weekend our daughter had the opportunity to go camping with family friends. Our original plan for the weekend had been a backpacking trip with our friend Alison from Basalt, CO. Plans had changed for Alison so we decided this was an opportune time to have a weekend just the 2 of us and to go on our own little adventure. I don’t know how little you might think it was.
Tossing around a few ideas of what we should do for the weekend we settled on a bike trip with only what we could carry in a backpack and a credit card. It isn’t always the easiest thing to come up with a bike trip route that ends in a place you can find a hotel. My husband came up with the idea. He suggested we drive to Marble, CO on Friday after work, spend the night in our Sequoia and ride our bikes to Crested Butte, CO on Saturday. The thought was we would spend Saturday night in Crested Butte and ride back to our vehicle on Sunday.
The plan was made, now to set it in motion. We quickly found and booked a room for Saturday night and began planning what limited food and supplies we would pack into our day packs. Packing rain gear, warm gear just in case as well as all the food you need is quite hard to fit into a daypack to ride with. A few items had to be strapped to the outside of our packs.
Saturday morning came and we woke up to a beautiful view. As well as a very large herd of sheep being herded down the road. The local sheep rancher was moving the herd to lower elevation before winter sets in just as we got up for the day.
After a few minutes of watching the sheep herd we quickly dressed, ate breakfast and made our final pack adjustments before starting our ride.
Climbing to Schofield Pass
The climb up the road to Schofield Pass was fairly easy up to Crystal Mill and the town of Crystal. Once we passed through Crystal the real climb began. The road was steep and full of loose gravel and big rocks. Riding a bike up a steep loose hill can be quite a challenge. This road definitely proved challenging.
After some climbing up steep loose rock we came to a bridge crossing over a river coming down beside the road. There were 2 large water falls one right after the other. At the bottom of each waterfall was a deep pool. It was very beautiful and cool to look at. The road crossed over a bridge and got even steeper with big loose rocks and bigger jagged rocks as well. It was difficult to get started and keep riding this terrain. We found ourselves stopping frequently, trying to get started again and walking. My husband was much more successful in riding a majority of this road climb.
401 Trail Fun
After quite some time climbing we arrived at the top of Schofield Pass. Now for the really fun part of the ride! The 401 Trail is a single track trail that starts at the top of Schofield Pass and crosses the mountainsides and makes its way down to the trails end near Gothic, CO. The trail although mostly downhill isn’t without its painful climbing to earn the downhill. Starting at the top of Schofield Pass you climb 507 feet in elevation before you finally get to descend. Its steep and hard work getting up this climb. The descent (1,762 feet of descending) makes it well worth it! A smile is guaranteed to be plastered on your face as you descend to the base. You will be hard put to wipe it off anytime soon.
Off with the backpack!
After the 401 Trail we took the road the last few remaining miles into Crested Butte. Arriving at our hotel we checked in and made our way to our room. It was with great pleasure that we took off our packs. I will include a picture of my back below so you can see why I was so glad to remove it. After our long day we spent the evening relaxing, eating Indian cuisine at a local restaurant and soaking the sore muscles in the hot tub.
Back to the Start
Sunday morning arrived earlier than we desired. We ate a hearty breakfast, re-packed our backpack and started back to Marble, CO. The trip back to Marble is less elevation gain and we slowly rode back the way we came. The 401 Trail is a downhill only trail so on our return trip we rode up the road to the top of Schofield Pass and back down the other side to our car. The return trip was faster by about 2 hours than the ride on Saturday. All in all the trip was really fun and definitely an adventure.
Backpack adventure pics
We look forward to our next adventure and will be keeping our eyes open for another backpack, credit card and bike adventure. Are you in the middle of a business adventure? Do you need help building a website or creating your brand? Contact us today to find out how we can help you map out your adventure.