Saguache to Del Norte – 37 Miles

I have been fascinated by the Sangre de Cristo range (named by Spanish explorer Antonio Valverde y Cosio “Blood of Christ” mountains after being impressed by the reddish hue of the snowy peaks at sunrise, alpenglow) since we first saw them a few years ago during a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The range averages 14k feet and extends 75 miles long east to west. It’s the dominant feature in the San Luis Valley. The size of the range, the name, and the somewhat obscurity of it is fascinating. Be forewarned I have a lot of pictures of the range. They are not good pictures as the range is faint. I encourage you to see it in person. The fall would be a perfect time to go!

About the ride…it was an easy flat and fast ride to Del Norte. We were on the highway for the first 12 miles then on gravel county roads for the bulk and the last 7 to town back on the highway.

The well maintained county gravel roads were through farm land. We learned that the San Luis Valley in CO has the highest production of potatoes in the U.S.. They need someone to market that. “Rocky Mtn Potatoes”, “Get High on CO Potatoes”, or “CO potatoes to fuel your adventure” are a few tag lines  we could think of. In any case we rode vast through potato fields. We saw many birds of prey Hawks of some sort hunting near the irrigation ditches along the way. As we neared the Hawks they would fly out of the irrigation ditch and we could see their white and brown underbelly and hear them call out. Yellow sunflowers (?) Lined the road ways as if it were early spring. Farmers were entertained by us on bikers waving and smiling as we passed. Storm clouds holding off at bay until the late afternoon we hoped and is it turned out correct. It was a good day on the Divide!

Interesting highway sign

Not too gusty just a consistent 8 mph head eind

2 thoughts on “Saguache to Del Norte – 37 Miles

  1. Roy Egawa

    Awesome Alphapack, Erika and Mayumi,

    Too bad the Alphapack is now down to two of you, but knowing you, you will continue to overcome all the challenges comes your way, and most of all, enjoy the extraordinary experiences and discovering many interesting places, which Roy and I are having tasting the same joy through your informative blog and photographes, and our hearts goes out to you knowing some undersireable road conditions. It’s fun to know your experiences at Breckenridge and Leadville since Roy and I was there (a long time ago).
    Let’s hope Mayumi’s bike will hold up until the ride is over.
    It will be nice if you’d take a lot more layover days so you could enjoy the places appeals to you. Besides that, you can refresh your body and have some food that’s different than the one you eat on the road !
    We continue to look forward to your fantastic blog and pics !!
    Isako and Roy


  2. Mayumi Stroy

    Roy and Isako-san,

    Thank you for your continued support from home! We crossed into New Mexico yesterday and I promptly became sick from food or water I ate. Not sure which one is the culprit. We cycled off the route and to Chama a city in northern New Mexico so I can rest and fight off what ills me. The weather has turned yet again this week and we had rains all night and even some sleet as we came into Chama. As Erika says we need to “gambate” to finish!


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