A long day in the saddle today – almost 11 hours. We rode over four major mountain passes : Monarch Pass on route 50 at over 11,000 feet, and 3 others on route 149 at just under 11,000. Most of the days was therefore spent at quite high altitudes with both bikes and riders feeling short of breath. This is Colorado mountain country at its best. There is evidence of spruce beetle infestation but not nearly as extensive as I saw in British Colombia last year. Tomorrow we leave Colorado for the high green pastures of northern New Mexico.