You remember that old PBS series Joy of Painting? Where our afro'd and bearded host banged out dreamy landscapes with brush and pallet knife, all the while encouraging you to do the same in his measured, honeyed tones?
Yeah, well the Owens Basin and West Mancos trails of the western La Plata range are kinda like that.
'cept replace the kindly old hippie with a lung-scorching two-mile beat-down ascent at the outset.
The kinda climb that leaves you croaking like a frog, forehead leaning on the bars, your conscious mind pleading to turn back to truck and home.
Once topped out, and the aneurysm subsides- beautiful, serene, not a soul for miles.
Like a dream really.
Tip of the hat to NuMexJoe for sharing the trail beta that made my ride possible- thx Joe!