A one-month trip mountain biking the Continental Divide Trail northwards through New Mexico and Colorado.
New Mexico and Colorado were experiencing their worst drought in over 100 years. As a result National Forests were closed due to the threat of fires, and we had to settle for hot, flat highways.
New Mexico is home to the Chacoan people, a major centre of the ancestral Pluebloan culture. One thousand years ago Chaco Canyon was a centre of community life, commerce and ceremony. Pleublo Bonito, shown here, was the largest structure in the Chacoan system. It stood four stories high and contains hundreds of rooms and dozens of kivas. This structure, and others within the canyon were orientated to solar, lunar and cardinal directions.
A record number of forest fires have broken out so far this year in Colorado. While we were staying Durango, a fire started in Missionary Ridge. You can see the smoke plume here. The fire ravaged the tiny resort town of Lake Vallecito with a 500-foot-high wall of flames on June 17. It also reappeared above the Animas Valley on June 18, scorching more ridgeline and to venturing down slope, consuming 12 riverside homes and pushing toward Durango. By the time we left Colorado two weeks later, this fire would burn 71,000-plus-acres, it finally succumbed to monsoon rains a month later.
For more details on this trip visit www.trainharder.com. There you can find a photo essay of our trip.
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