One of my favorite adventures when I’m back in my old stomping ground of Durango, Colorado, is to visit Hermosa Park.
In the summer it is the home of the classic Hermosa Creek trail that I started riding in the late 80’s. This well-known alpine trail is a great adventure ride. In the winter, the park is blanketed in beautiful white. My visits in the past decade have been infrequent and often piggybacked on a day of skiing at Purgatory.
Today I skied with my horde for half the day, trying to blow up my already blown knees. The heavy, spring-like snow on the backside of Purg blanketed Elliot’s and Blackburn’s Bash. After a late lunch I pulled a Superman and changed in my van for a ride up Hermosa Park Rd. In a few pedal strokes, I left the busy parking lot and quickly began the steep climb.
The 8+” of snow from last night had been packed and blended by a bunch of snowmobilers laying corduroy through the Aspen and Pine trees. Previous rides have been battles with traction, but today my tire selection matched the conditions perfectly. The hookup inspired confidence and extra effort to tackle the repeating steep pitches (9%+ grade) as the trail climbed up to a saddle at 9,800 feet. Dripping with sweat I put on an extra coat, unpacked my drone, and put it up above the deep powder.
Upon gaining the top, I dismounted and put up my drone. All around me were interesting winter scenes of Hermosa Park and the setting sun painting the peaks that surrounded me. The light fading in the Western sky and the clouds built a classic Southwest Colorado blessed with a good winter. I was able to use my aerial photography platform and shoot with my handheld camera for a variety of shots.