Cordova is indeed an outlier. Even so, well worth the effort. The Spanish Peaks dominate the view, and the Chucharas River Valley is really quite beautiful. We stayed down at the Fairgrounds in La Veta. Cost us nothing, and we had good electric and water. Make a donation to the 4H Club who hosted us. After a scouting drive in the evening, the ride began on October 6th. The smoke from the California fires and others was threatening, but was hanging in the valley back near Alamosa. We started in Chuchara (a delightful little western themed town and vacation spot…immediately below the old ski resort). The start was on road bike…the intent being to assure that 2000 feet of ascent before capturing the pass. The road does climb steeply, but early on a Tuesday there was not much traffic and it was brisk. Jacket required. By the time the Chuchara Pass was reached — at 9995 feet—the sweat was steaming under the Jacket and it was time to ride with a kit and switch to the MTB. The dirt road to the top is wide and in the shade with the morning light streaming through the pines and aspens it was delightful. The views off to the west allowed views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains that were awesome as the sun was rising. The trek up the hill is no problem on a mountain bike. It kicks up once or twice and the cadence needs to be pumped, but the top opens to greet you quickly (riding this road in the dust of vehicles and ATV traffic on the weekend would require a bandana). The descent to the EAST is wicked fast. Very “Bumpety” in the first two miles, but remember…speed is your friend (if you keep the rubber down). 😎 Once your reach the famous ARCH, (pictures galore), the road evens out and in the valley floor there are fantastic old and historic — but still operational—ranches. With my love of horses and ranches, I was very taken with the area and want to visit again. !!!