Cortez - Dolores - 9/3/2006

This morning, the three of us had breakfast at the Naked Moose Cafe.  Slow service, but good food.  After breakfast, Dave wanted to go to the Anasazi Heritage Museum before meeting us in Cortez.  No problem since he didn't get a chance to yesterday since he arrived in Dolores late.  The plan was to meet in Cortez for lunch.

Ed and I headed all the way downhill to Cortez.  It was something like 10-15 miles of pure downhill.  Great - it only means 10-15 miles of pure uphill later that day (We opted to stay in Dolores for two nights because it was Labor Day weekend and we barely got a room in Dolores as it was, so we didn't want to risk not getting a room in Cortez.).

In Cortez, everything was closed.  Dammit.  It was Sunday and it was Labor Day weekend.  There were a few vendors at a street fair type thing.  We met this Native American woman spinning yarn.  Was very cool.

Afterward, we managed to find one Southwest Native American jewelry store that was opened.  There, Ed fell in love with a turquois ranger set.  For those who don't know what a ranger set is, as I didn't, it's the buckle, tip and loop(s) you put on a slab of leather to make yourself a nice belt.  After much negotiations with the store owner and self-debates on if it was worth the cost, Ed finally decided on getting it.  It really is a beautiful set.  While all this was going on, I lamented over a much less expensive green turquois bracelet but decided against it since I am poor.

While waiting for Dave to do lunch, we hung out at the Cortez visitor center and adjacent outdoor park.  We were approached by a Ute Mountain Ute.  When he told me what he was, I could not understand him to save my life.  Ed had to translate for me.  A Mountain Ute is a tribe (or something like that).  And the first Ute in the "UMU" means he's from a certain part of that tribe.  Kind of like saying I'm a West Village Manhattanite.  He was a little scary looking.  Dried blood on his face.  Ed said his breath reeked of alcohol (it was only about noon).

We finally get a call from Dave saying he blew out a tire.  Oh Lord!  He was going to try to patch it up somehow.  He had no idea how many more miles he had to get to Cortez because of course his bike computer, too, doesn't work properly.  Hungry, Ed and I got some bread, cheese, pepperoni and grapes for lunch for the 3 of us.  We sat in the park and had a nice picnic lunch.  A nice picnic lunch until a bunch of kids plugged up their electric guitars right next to us and started jamming.  And by jamming, I mean the equivalent of someone just banging all 10 fingers randomly on the piano.  It was the loudest public nuisance imaginable.  Aren't there city ordinances against such public display of crap?  Encouring these kids to further jam on their guitars, younger kids gathered around to watch.

Unable to wait any longer for Dave since we had a long uphill back to Dolores, I called him and made arrangements to leave his share of the food at the visitor center.  Apparently after he tried to patch his tire and rode for just a little more, the boot did not hold and he got a flat again.  I think he walked his bike into town where he limped into the Walmart to look for a new tire.  Unhappy for their selection, he opted for a $10 tire that didn't fit very well.  The tire was so big that it constantly rubbed against his fender.  I guess his options were limited since it was Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Anyhow, instead of going back home the way we came, we opted to try some smaller country roads in hopes of the hill grade will be more forgiving.  Instead of one big uphill, the backroads were, I'd say, equally as steep with a few flats where you could catch your breath.  Not sure which road would have been better.  The country roads were a little rougher whereas the main road would have been smoother.  Regardless, we finally made it back to Dolores about 2 hours later.

Here we are back at the Anasazi Heritage Museum overlooking a reservoir.

Here I am with a "schwebber".  Ed just doesn't understand how one can get these imprints; he calls it sloppy riding.  It's very easy to get a schwebber - if you're standing with your bike and you move your leg too close to the chainring, that's how you get a damn schwebber.  Apparently the NYCC gives out awards at the end of the year for such schwebbers.  Check out the calves on me!

Here's a view of the mesas in a distance.

Back in Dolores, while we ate ice creams from the local grocery store, Ed noticed some bird nests above us.  Standing all unbalanced and almost falling off a chair, Ed managed to take this great one of hungry baby birds.

For dinner, we ate at yet another mediocre diner/restaurant.  Our waitress was interesting, though.  She was a senior at an alternative high school.  Alternative means they don't have a real curriculum.  There's lots of hands on type classes where they take field trips to what they're learning about and see it first hand, as opposed to reading it in a textbook.  Everything sounded fine except for the fact that students are allowed to smoke in school (in a smoking section).  I was appauled.  As you can imagine, Ed was completely against this.  He tried to talk the girl into running for class office on the position of ending smoking in school.  He started throwing out 100s of statistics about smoking.  A little afraid, she asked if Ed was a doctor or something.  He answered in the affirmative.  We told her if she succeeded in stopping smoking at school, she would definitely get on the likes of the Today Show.  And just imagine how it would look on her college application.  I wonder if the students are still smoking at that alternative high school.