The consensus around camp Friday night had been to shoot for an early start. Boxing bikes, getting to airports, starting towards home, these things all seemed like they would be simpler, easier, if we could get the 94 mile ride over with as early as possible. Some riders stayed on US160 all the way from Durango to Pagosa Springs. I'm not sure how many miles it cut off the ride, but I'm sure we dealt with lighter traffic and better scenery by following the route towards Vallecito and down to Bayfield.
After the aid station we had a great descent into Durango, losing about 1600 feet over 9 miles. With all of the great climbs/descents we'd had over the week, I hit my high speed coming down Hesperus Hill. Taylor Phinney wouldn't be impressed with my 52 mph, but I had fun! I had started the morning with a jacket, taken it off as we climbed, and put it on again after the aid station. I was really glad when I was flying through the shadows in the canyon. The only tricky part of the route was how we were getting through Durango. Dale was right there at the stop light where we needed to make a left turn with directions to the next turn that would get us out of town.