Another long day on the road. Beautiful road, but a long one nonetheless. We woke up in the bar parking lot, hit the local coffee shop for bagels and got underway hoping to make it to Durango before nightfall.
The weather was far hotter than we got yesterday and without the cloud cover the temps were really high again and we were pushing overheatng the bus before even getting to the pass. We decided to play it safe, pulled over at a cafe and checked mail, set our course and took care of a few errands (we are still trying to track down our title/registration from the DMV, which will be difficult to cross the border without) while waiting out the heat.
Around four we set out, up and over the pass. Everything we read said this would be easier than yesterday's summit...and it was lower in elevation but certainly not in incline/rate of accent. Pushed the bus harder today than we would have liked, and harder than ever before...but we still made the summit and then gave the engine a rest while we put the brakes through their paces on the way downhill.
I don't think either of us will miss the mountain passes as we head south...the constant juggle between just fast enough to not stall and not fast enough to overheat, and then trying not to burn out the brakes on decent is nothing short of tedious.
That said...the drive was totally worth it. Our stress was rewarded with alpine wilderness the whole way and had amazing vistas throughout... and most of the drive had no guardrail or border, meaning that (while a bit scary) we had amazing views directly between the road under us and the bottom of the canyon far below.
Tomorrow should see us leaving CO, and while we wont miss the heat, the driving stress or the other drivers around us that dont appreciate the slow-mobile (we have gotten more honks, glares and waved fingers in this state than in the entire drive to date) we certainly will miss the scenic beauty.
Every last mile was amazing and breathtaking...and i feel like we can speak from a position of strength on the topic since our average speed over those miles was less than 15mph.