From Great Sand Dunes National Park over Medano Pass to the Rainbow Trail...Plan is to ride as much of it as we can or have time to without any gas stops, hotels, support, etc.
After making it to Oasis for fuel, which was critical or else we were out of luck altogether, and
we were now concerned about having to trek uphill on the sand.
But we made good progress by deflating the tires to about PSI of 12-14, which we should have done on the way down...
, and by coming up with the rule better to crash than to stall...
Here we are at the spot where we picked up all the gear we had dropped off looking west:
and looking east:
It was truly bizarre to come over the mountain pass among the pine trees to encounter these sand dunes. Highly recommended to anyone traveling with a light bike.
We stopped here to get tires up to regular pressure.
We crossed Medano Creek half a dozen times:
Finally, over the pass and then heading north to catch the Rainbow Trail! Things started very pastoral
We took the road up Music Pass. These next two are at the TH for Music Pass:
This one back on the RT. Things got progressively more difficult but fun:
No question the gear was not making things easier. But the plan was to ride it unsupported yadi yadi yada...
With dusk approaching, we made it to South Colony Creek, the TH to three 14 thousanders in the area, including Humbolt Peak which we intended to hike. This is right after making it to the TH and before the hike.
We got our gear and tent on small backpacks. Plan was to hike and make it as close to South Colony Lakes as we could and set up a base camp. The trek up was a pain in the dark, and with rain about to come down, we set up camp near the old TH about 2.5 miles from where we had left the bikes.
This is what it looked liked the next morning, getting the java ready: