Saddlesore 1000

I will be leaving for a loop through the four corners region on what I hope to be my first successful attempt for the SaddleSore 1000 IBA challenge.  This ride of 1078 miles takes me up through Payson, AZ and into Durango, Co where I intend to have breakfast, around past Telluride, CO, through Monument Valley, and back home.  The ride itself is estimated to take almost 19 hours which is cutting it very very close and so my confidence is not high that I will be successful.  Departure time will be sometime late evening on 8/20.  I’m estimating between 10 and 11 pm.

A successful IBA ride is secondary to a successful return home from the ride itself, but I’ll give it my best effort and be as safe as possible along the way.  The average speed needed to accomplish this is pretty high, at nearly 45mph, but perhaps there will be legs along the way that will allow me to make up time and possibly get ahead.

Here is a map of the route itself.

If I do it correctly, you should also be able to track my progress on SpotWalla.com here.

I suspect that once I begin the tracking for this ride the map at SpotWalla will update.

If time permits, and I have access to data, I will try to post updates and photos.

Update 1:  10:29. A bit early, but I am on the clock. Next stop will be Payson Arizona. I have my sour candy for the rescue!

Update: 12:14am  Lonely stop in Payson. Made pretty good time and got myself ahead of my pace by about 30 minutes which I’m sure I’ll eat up North of Durango. Whether is perfect.  A cool 68 degrees under the moonlight. The smell of pine in the air, country music playing overhead through the gas station’s overhead speakers. Nary a car in motion everywhere.

Next stop either Holbrook Arizona  or Gallup New Mexico.

Update: 05:27 New Mexico time. Just had breakfast early since I’m unsuspectingly freezing. I’m in Gallup New Mexico at 6500 feet with a temperature of 50 degrees. I expected it to get into the 50s as I checked the forecast however I apparently had forgotten exactly how cool that was. Fortunately as I head north from there the temperature will increase about 10 degrees.

Next stop, Farmington New Mexico. A small city where I spent most of my childhood growing up.

Update: 9:00. I’m on top of the world and almost half way through. Thought I would stop to take in a bit of the scenery I have been missing to fit this 1000 miles in in time.

Glad I did.

Update: 12:00 pm. I found Telluride. What a quaint little ski resort town full of rich people and the occasional hippie/transient. Lots of people wearing jewelry with their polo shirts while wielding walking sticks and Safari hats and over-sized sunglasses. There is an omnipresent scent of perfume in the air to go with with the pine and burgers.

I’m at almost 9000 feet in elevation and yet the mountains that surround the town on three sides tower above the town with authority.

Decided to eat at Florandora Saloon and ordered a Smugglers Reckoning Pale Ale and the Tavern Berger. Gruyere cheese, Slaw, caramelized onions, house made pastrami, and habenero 1000 island on Ciabatta.  I sided it with sweet potato chips.

I would not recommend this burger or the establishment. Perhaps I feel pressed for time because of my motivation for this ride but they don’t have a sense of urgency when seating and serving. The ambiance is right up my alley however being rustic and dark, and for that, if you are into that and in need of a drink, the bar seems to move patrons quickly.

As for the burger, it was underwhelming. I expected the pastrami to have a more flavorful punch, but instead it was flat and in addition to the size of the bun made biting the burger difficult. This was the 2nd time in three days that I have received a burger for which the bottom half of the bun was so dry that it fell apart while eating it. However even if the bun held together it would have still made a monstrous mess while eating it, which it did.

I was excited about the habanero 1000 island. I really wanted a bite of heat on the tongue with this burger but a last it was entirely missing. The dressing was there, the habanero however must have been out of season.

I could not taste the Gruyere cheese and the tomatoes were soft and lacked the acidity I expect from them. In the end, being the second most expensive burger they sell at $17, the only good thing I can say about it is that for that price I feel good that I’m helping keep this quaint little town alive. Although when looking at the clientele, I don’t think they would miss my contribution.

Two stars for the sweet potato chips, which were excellent, and the pale ale, which eased my disappointment in the burger.

And if he doesn’t  stop complaining about his eggs Benedict, I am inclined to throw my leftover Tavern burger at him.

Next stop, Cortez Colorado area.

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