It’s funny sometimes you’re in a place and you don’t realize what a special place it is until you leave. Such is the case with me and Del Norte. The town has a highway running through the middle and it’s not quaint like Salida but the town’s people were welcoming and supportive of Divide riders. It was a good place for a respite staying at the hostel before the grind to Indiana pass.
Indiana pass is the tallest summit of the Divide at 11,900 feet. Climbing from Del Norta at 7,800 meant a 4,000 ft climb over 25 miles. Not to bad and in fact the climb was fine. Though the climb was on gravel it was on a maintained road which made the difference between fun and suffering. The car traffic from bow hunters and people chopping wood kicking up dirt was more of an issue than the climb. 30 cars and ATVs passed us during the climb. A mixture of polite drivers and Neandertals!
After the anti-climactic climb to the top of the pass was another 23 miles of rolling roads. Unfortunately there was no bomber 23 mile descent of the other side. Rollers and a steep climb up Stunner Pass to a welcomed steep descent into Platoro.
The Skyline Lodge was the gold at the end rainbow! It’s a small seasonal lodge and restaurant with cabins and three Airstreams. We were very fortunate to stay in an Airstream. I’ve always wanted an Airstream and for a night it was like it was ours. It rained very hard that evening and we had one of the best nights sleep with our stomachs full in our heated Airstream.