Friday, September 10, 2010

Hot Springs Time Machine

Raingeared-out Alex rides into the Mountain Mist

Okay you jokers. So we had this really excellent surprise to reveal to you--the one that we built up like a couple of Dubai real-estate developers on meth--but then we were totally SCOOPED in 1920s-esque yellow-journalism fashion by none other than our Pueblo couchsurfing host, Jenny K---!! "Can ya buhleeve it?!"

If you read the comments (which you probably didn't (and to which you most certainly did not contribute)), you would have seen that Jenny revealed to the whole "global online community" our plans to sally forth into the wild, wet world (WWW) of the Coloradan hot springs!!!!!!!!!1!!!!11oneone.


Before we could soak in the hot springs, we had to transport our hairy and not-hairy bodies (respectively) to the hot springs. We decided to ride our bikes. It was a pleasure to ride the 30 short miles from Montrose to Ridgway. Over that distance, we executed a gradual climb of about 1,000 feet up to the base of the San Juan Mountains/Mt. Sneffles Wilderness Area. The approach into Ridgway was heart-flutteringly scenic, as the monumental mountains made magnificently magical mirage-like miraclelands M&Ms mmmmm. Mamma Mia!

Just outside of Ridgway, a wonderful bike trail beckoned us to mount it. "Okay," we implicitly remarked while mounting it. The trail brought us plum into town and to the doorstep of Ridgway's library that appears to be staffed mostly by cougars. No big surprise there--Ouchie Mama!

After blogging away four hours of the afternoon (not JK), we high-tailed it two simple miles outside of Ridgway to the Orvis Hot Springs. Disclaimer: the following narration may include allusions to situations that are appropriate only for mature audiences or nude boy-loving mega-creepers or mature nude boy-loving mega-creepers or boy-loving audiences or audience-loving boy nudes or mature loving boys. We've included this disclaimer because at the Orvis Hot Springs you get naked.

Ladies, one at a time, please!

In all seriousness though, folks, we had an overall soothing and wonderful experience in the springs soaking our naked bodies in the springs. We say "overall" because at the beginning, when it was still light out, we were unnerved by the amount of solo-soakers who were a) male b) over 40 years old and b.1) wearing sunglasses. Fortunately, the sun sets on this godforsaken rock and things got uber-chill once we couldn't discern the amount of creepers hanging out in the springs.

Since we couldn't take any pictures at Orvis (for obvious reasons, duhhhh you pervs!), we wanted to take some time to set the setting. Unlike some of the other spring-locales we've heard tale of in this state, at Orvis the pools are designed to resemble a natural alpine setting (in the better-known springs at Ouray, for example, we hear that the springs flow into standard poured concrete basins). In addition to the natural flagstone construction of the pools and walkways, the organic ethos of the outdoor facility is enhanced by exquisite landscaping, rough-hewn wooden seating/towel-hanging opportunities, and distant views of the area's Rocky horizon. You may even want to take your pre-wedding photos here, if not for the weirdos who might endeavor to insert their genitals into the frame!

Honestly people, we lived the springs up. We soaked for four hours, moving from spring basin to spring basin like a curious robinredbreast seeking out the choicest birdbath in the cul-de-sac. When our time was up at Orvis, we rode back to Ridgway and set up camp in the lovely town park (see previous blogpost).

The morning brought the sun and cereal. We ate a box a cereal. Then we went over to a quaint little Ridgway coffee shop, which turned out to be the #1 freak hangout in this otherwise chill mountain town. Specifically, we're referring to the bizzare barista whose brain was likely addled by the fallout from a weeklong LSD bender at Joshua Tree in 1972, that she shared with her far-out pal Lou who drove an orange Volkswagen. The hallucinations seem to haunt her to this day; we can only assume that beasts unseen to all but this coffee-wretch order her to speak in childish tones and respond to queries as to her state of being with the word "groovy." As we were paying for our beverages, she could not help to giggle maniacally for the duration of the transaction, in all probability remembering a four-hour hula hoop experience at Burning Man back when it used to be about the Burning (weed) and not The Man (corporations). Good-bye Ridgway!

We expected a relatively normy day of mountain bicycling between Ridgway and Telluride. All of our expectations were thrown into a Vita-Mix, however, when this happened. At first, we thought it was really cool because we finally got to use our raingear! The rain even subsided for a moment at the top of Dallas Divide (4,200,205 feet above sea level JK 8,900 f.a.s.l. (asl?)) and revealed Mount Sneffels in all its cloud-shrouded, sun-bathed majesty. On the way down from Dallas, however, the weather morphed from a pleasant drizzle to an obstructive obstruction to our progress and comfort. Sixteen miserable miles later, we landed in Placerville (population: tiny) and hung out in the general store with a weirdo from Shaker Heights for an hour so that we could warm up/dry off.

Emelio tries out his raincoat while Mt. Sneffles hides behind the clouds (scaredy-cat!)

When we hit the road again, Fortune spun her mighty wheel in our favor and the rain held off for the final twenty-mile stretch into Telluride. Our route along Hwy 145 traversed breathtakinger and breathtakinger landscapes: crystalline mountain rivers, fluttering aspens, ruddy canyon walls, looming peaks, and some birds. We hopped on a bike path a few miles outside T-Ride; it was smooth sailing all the way into town.


Two miles out of town, Emelio hit a chunck of glass that instantaneously flattened his rear tube immediately on the spot. What appeared to be a major bummer turned out to be a flavorful stunner! "Why?" you are probably asking. Well, here goes: WE MET A TOTALLY CHILL MAMACITA WHO ENDED UP HOOKING US UP EXTREMELY! Megan was riding home from working the fields (basically landscaping Tom Cruise's house literally probably) and stopped to chat our brains out when she got the vibe that we were on biketour. Turns out, she has also gone on biketour! After engaging in some excellent conversation, she gave us a couple good localtips and left us to flat-fixing. We thought our days with Megan were over...

...but then we ran into her again later! Phone numbers were exchanged, and soon enough she was inviting us to dinner in her chill-ass crib!!!!

This shrimp is totally dwarfed by the Telluride surroundings. Grow up, jerk!

First, however, we had to find our evening lodgings. Emelio's friend Colin Raffel's family's apartment (please excuse the triple possessive; there's no better way to explain this) was our destination. Only one problem: in the course of arranging these accomodations with the Raffels we never asked what the name of their lodge was. We felt like Mary and Joseph looking for a place to birth the savior of mankind, sheesh!! Eventually we found the spot and checked in like your freaking mom when you're trying to get a smooch or two in the basement, golly Ma ever heard of knocking??

Let's just say that we owe the Raffels a portion of our firstborn for hooking us up with such an amazing place to stay. We can't thank you enough!! So the place we stayed was sort of in Telluride, but sort of not. To be precise, it was in a nearby (as in a few miles up the mountainside) town known as Mountain Village.

Get a load of our view from the Raffels' condo! (hint: they're mountains)

You see, while Telluride itself is a historic mining town with a spectacular nationally-registered core of Victorian-era structures, Mountain Village is a 1990s-era product of Telluride's booming real-estate market and burgeoning wintertime skiing/summertime festival culture. The way we understand it, a bunch of developers took a huge chunk of mountain and turned it into a jaw-dropping mountain village (we think that's where they got the idea for the name) of condominium lodges, detatched luxury homes, and upscale dining/shopping plazas. The Village, along with the town of Telluride, comprise one of America's most glamorous destinations (although we guess there are about 2,000 lucky, lucky year-rounders who call the town home).

After dropping off our bikes (and "stuff") at the lodge, we had to make our way back down into Telluride to meet Megan for supper at her abode. "How'd you get all the way down the mountain (and up to Mt. Village in the first place)?" you are perhaps pondering. Well, it's like this: there's a mega-nasty, freegtastic TOTALLY FREE GONDOLA that transports freaks like us (even our bikes) up and down between the two alpine communities, TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE from 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight, you dummies!) seven days per week. Riding in this gondola is really really rilly fun.

While riding the gondola, Alex takes a couple "personal minutes"

At the bottom, we had a short walk to Megan's cute little place that she shares with two other mamacitas. She prepared us a delicious chicken dinner and we both ate it (even Emelio's stupid vegan ass)! We all got along great and had a lovely time, but eventually us couple dudes had to skip out in time to catch the last gondola "home".

Further highlights of our stay in Telluride:

1) An awesome hike to the bottom (and then the top) of Bridal Veil Falls at the eastern end of town.

"Bouldering" "up" "the" "veil"

2) Super-chilling and movie-watching in the condo (PS: DVDs borrowed from T-Ride library, which is tiz-ite).

3) Visiting Travis' radical bike shed for a once-over on Emelio's bike.

In all srsnss, you gotta hit up Travis' shop when you go to Telluride. Thanks for the great hookup, Travis!
Good luck with the new shop!

4) Another dinner with Megan and Hong (Megan's roomie); this time we played hosts.

5) General sense of deep relaxation imbued by the glorious natural and built environment of this special, special town.

Scopin' the views from the top of Bridal Veil. Try not to be jealous, losers!

We could elaborate on our time in Telluride, but we're tired of writing and, frankly, you really don't deserve any more than this.
But in one last call-of-duty, we shall reply to our commenting fans' virtual Inquisition.
Jon -- Our bloggering method goes a little something like this: we spend a lot of time writing things that make us LOL really hard and then have to delete because our families are reading (sorry families!), and then we get serious and try to get through the post, and then we spend a lot more time writing things that make us LOL really hard and then have to delete. Whenever you see a burn on Emelio, know that Alex typed it (and vice-versa DUH!). We basically spend about four to five hours on each post, and it's sort of a waste of time but we mostly enjoy it ^-^
Concerning our route: we actually haven't made too many diversions from our Adventure Cycling maps (if you cared to know, we're currently on the "Western Express" route, having left the "TransAmerica" route back in Pueblo). Telluride was a small detour off the map; the Black Canyon was a longer one only because of the hour-long climb to the top. We'll be traveling through Dolores, CO today and on into Utah tomorrow. Through Utah we're hoping to make some more small trips off the map, simply because of the glut of National Parks near our route. We pass through Cedar City near the border of Nevada; we travel through immense barrenness in the Silver State; we hit civilization once again in California (passing through Sacramento, Davis, and finally into San Fran). If all continues well, we expect to be in the Bay Area before October raises its ugly, horrific head.
Hunter -- whenever any strange formatting shows up in our post (which is happening all over this friggin post), be assured that we are loudly cursing Blogger and punching each other in the face out of fury.
luv yall,
A.E. (American Eagle)


  1. just one more question: what even IS a bicycle??!?!? is it like a car but more stupid?

  2. it's like some legs but for lazy people.

  3. this is presently the greatest blog that I know of - informative, inspiring - hilarious. For reals.

  4. these pictures are really, really incredible! nicely done. and thanks for answering my questions.

  5. hey Emelio! This is JTrim - I just found your blog and have spent time catching up with your most excellent adventures. You and Alex are obviously big time dudes for all you have accomplished... but I have one very. important. question.

    Is the gold fanny pack also biking with you across the U.S.????! There are literally dozens of people in Oberlin (okay, at least two) who want to know this!

    Have a great rest of your trip!

  6. LOSER (just Emelio)! I think old creepy dudes are in their natural habitat at hot springs. I went to one in Montana and it was loaded with old nasty creepy dudes.

  7. Hey guys, just wanted to stop by and check up on you. Seems like the trip is continuing to go well. Should be heading over Monarch Pass tomorrow...

    Great writing style btw

    All my best,

  8. dude I meant to tell you to eat at rustico because they are from italy and they probs would have given you free dinner and high fives for speaking italian to them (well maybe JK on free dinner). anyways great job!!!!!

  9. hi GUYS!
    what beautiful backdrops you found.

  10. Hey guys it's Austin from Louisville. Remember me? Did I tell you that I lived in UT for a while during college? Well, I did. Listen carefully to what I'm about to tell you...If you find yourself traveling on HWY 12 through southern UT you absolutely must stop at Calf Creek Falls - located half way between the towns of Boulder and Escalante. It is well worth the 6 mile (round trip) hike to the falls, plus there's a campground there. Also, when you are passing through Escalante keep an eye out for a local cop running radar. If you look closely you'll notice something quite unusual about the "cop." I'll leave it up to you 2 to figure it out. I expect pictures.

    Happy trails!

  11. So I love the name of Mount Sneffels and the fact that it seems to have the sniffles all the time and be rainy. Did you make that up just to make us smile. I never know if you are serious or not but that is probably because I am old. So you don't have to edit your blog for family - we can take it. And if it will offend your grandparents, Alex, Tracy can take that out before they read it because she copies your blog into another document and prints it in huge fonts so grandpa can see it - makes it easy to edit :). Be safe. Auntie Annie

  12. Sorry for spoiling all your posts forever. I just couldn't resist. : ) Just excited that you guys got to frolick naked in the mountains.

    Remember I'll be in San Fran from the 22-26 of September. Octoberfest on the 25th as an added bonus!

  13. i got your postcard. i would also devour your gross, lanky flesh as well, not as a source of nourishment, but as a way to seal my final victory over you

  14. uh, creepy much? maybe this "eli" character is currently lurking around a hot spring, waiting to pounce!

  15. I love this blog too, you kids crack me up with your antics and hilarity.
    ridestrong dogs, ridestrong!