CO Tour Day 3: What Goes Up from Carbondale Must Come Down to Paonia

Greetings from Paonia! We wish you were here. Then the mosquitoes wouldn’t just be gnawing on Felkerino and me.


Another great day on the bike, tempered with looming saddle sores. Haven’t had one of those in a few years so maybe it was time. I blame Trail Ridge.

This day, which was essentially a 30-mile ascent up McClure Pass at 8,762 feet and a 30-plus descent into Paonia, had less of an “out there” feel compared to yesterday, but was still awesome.

Gathering clouds and thunder paced us much of the way up, but except for a few big drops we scampered away safely until arriving in town, where we watched the rain fall from underneath a store awning.


For our entry into Paonia, we took a side road that skirts a coal mine and crosses the worst railroad tracks I have ever seen. I can’t help but admire these ridiculous dangerous tracks. They’re awful!

Paonia is a lovely spot to overnight.

Tasty espresso, ice cream, farm to table food, and mellow residents. World class mosquitoes. Wish you were here.


    • Yeah, I returned from our tour in a dream state from all the beauty in those mountains. The mosquito bites were totally worth it.


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