Ear to the ground 

“When you hired me, I told you I graduated from Fort Lewis.”

-Local employee explaining why she had misspelled a word

RAAM passes through Durango

They’re hard to spot. After all, they’re just road cyclists. However, unlike local roadies, these riders will have been in the saddle for more than 800 miles when they pass through Durango.

One of the most grueling athletic events in the world is making a local stopover this week. The fabled Race Across America (RAAM), a 3,000-mile, cross-country cycling race, started passing through Durango on Tuesday, with the bulk of riders expected today, Thursday.

Now in its 24th year, RAAM is the ultimate endurance race. Both individuals and teams compete in the event, with individuals spending as many as 30 hours at a time in the saddle and teams sprinting in relay format across the country.

The 2005 race started in San Diego on June 19 and finishes in Atlantic City, N.J., on June 28. In all, successful RAAM competitors will climb more than 109,000 feet, cross 14 states and pedal 3,047 miles. Racers will be in the Four Corners region after crossing California’s Coast Range and making their way through the Mojave and Painted deserts. The route will pass through the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona and into Utah’s Monument Valley. From there, cyclists will find their way to U.S. Hwy. 160 and eventually drop from Hesperus into Durango. The 2005 route will make for a Durango stopover as well as the addition of “RAAM’s classic trio of mammoth passes.” From Durango, cyclists will tackle Wolf Creek, La Veta and Cuchara passes before rolling into the windy plains of Kansas. When riders roll through Durango they will have traveled 824.9 miles and have another 2,223 to go before arriving at the finish line in Atlantic City.

More than 150 cyclists from 15 countries are participating in this year’s event. For more information on RAAM, log onto: www.raceacrossamerica.org.

‘Riding the Wave’

Local photographer Scott Smith received high honors last week. Smith was recognized with a Durrance Photojournalism Award, named in honor of legendary ski pioneers and photographers Margaret “Miggs” and Dick Durrance.

Judged by a panel of Colorado Ski Country USA representatives, Smith was given top honors in the Adventure Category for his photograph, “Riding the Wave.” The judges stated, “Scott’s impeccable sense of composure, lighting and focus of this photograph make viewers feel as if they are a spec of snow embedded in the ski hill. ‘Riding the Wave’ won best photo in the Adventure Category based on its composition, technique, originality, and most of all, unique perspective.” 


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows