Matt and I were up about 8am and today we took our time breaking down our campsite and getting ready. We were hoping to make a stop at Telluride Brewing Company around late afternoon, although nothing was confirmed. So leaving around 10am would be fine. Matt took off ahead of me, and just when I was about to get on my bike and ride, my phone rang and it was Gavin, the owner of Telluride Brewing Company. Gavin was a cheerful dude, and he said it would be great if we could stop by, but if we could be there by about 3pm, that would be great. I could make it by 4pm, but not 3pm. I told Gavin that we would be there at 3pm, and then I immediately called Matt and asked him to give me a lift the last 10 or 15 miles before Telluride, so that we would be on time. Good deal, everything was set, and I started my ride, now about a 50-mile ride towards Telluride.
What scenery the Southwestern part of Colorado has! The San Juan mountains are magnificent and the The Dolores River — exactly parallel to highway 145 — is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 250 miles long. It was my buddy for almost the entire trip to Telluride. I have a few nice pics. So I pedaled and pedaled and had a good pace going through the mountains. At almost every turn was another scenic shot on this crisp, sunny (but not hot) day. I could also smell the pine and spruce in the air—which to me, is nature. No shoulders on this road, so I kept peering into my rearview “dentist” mirror, affixed to my helmet. It can get dicey at times, but for the most part, the Coloradans are cool with bicyclists.
At about 2:30pm, Matt came back to pick me up, with about 15 or so miles left to Telluride. The head wind had really picked up, so I’m not sure I’d have even made it on time for a 4pm appointment. So we rolled into Telluride Brewing Company and were immediately greeted by Sarah who was tending the tasting bar, adjacent to the brewery itself. Then the brewmaster, Fish, joined us and offered us a beer while we waited for Gavin, the owner. Fish is a very cool dude… laid back, proud of his brews, and fun to talk with. We did some videotaping of the brewery as well as some informal interviewing of Fish. One thing you’ll notice when you enter the brewery is cases upon cases of canned beer. Those are their two most popular beers: The Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale and the Face Down Brown Ale. Both are delicious, and the Face Down Brown Ale won two Gold medals, back-to-back, at the World Beer Cup. Not too shabby at all!
We finally met Gavin, as he arrived from a previous appointment. Gavin is a busy man: a husband, father, owner of a brewery, and a realtor. I don’t know how he does it?! He’s even genuinely upbeat! We then got in some videotaping with Gavin as well, and then sampled their top sellers. So it was a great visit to Telluride Brewing Company and I suggest to anyone who is in the Telluride area, definitely stop and check it out!
Matt and I decided we smelled so lovely that it was time to find a shower. Sure enough at the recreational baseball complex there were public shows. It really is true what they say, that after a good shower, you can feel like a new man. I just feel better about myself… and the fact that I’m not potentially offending anyone with my “camp” smell.
We made our next stop at Smugglers Brewpub, also in Telluride. I had been in contact with the General Manager Josh Klein, and he welcomed us for a stop, but was not able to get coordination with everyone to do a video shoot. Josh was friendly and nice as he offered Matt and I beer and dinner on the house. I told Josh that I would have to write about him and Smugglers on my website. He had no objections. 🙂 I had an Amber-style lager (one of the best I’ve ever had), and Matt had a stout, called the Two Plank Porter. We both ate Elk Spaghetti (Colorado, baby!), and wow – how tasty! Thanks Josh, and hope to see you next time!
After dinner and for the remainder of the evening, I noticed Matt had a “far away, unhappy” look about him. It reminded me of his demeanor back in Nevada — when he first decided he wanted to quit this project. He wouldn’t say much, and just seemed depressed. I didn’t know if it was just a temporary mood or what… I just decided not to say anything, and allow some space. We found a campsite and hit the hay at about about 10pm.