DISTANCE: 56MI / 90KM
STARTS: THURSDAY, 8AM (GROUP) & 10AM (LEADERS)
CUT-OFF: FRIDAY, 6PM
Stage 5 is the long stage and is named Solitario, meaning “alone” in Spanish for good reason – you’ll probably spend a lot of time on the course alone. Remember, this is your adventure, revel in the natural wonders around you and get ‘er done! Overall, the stage is on varied terrain as to be expected through rugged road, gravel river bed, rocky single track, and grassy flatland with a steep 1000ft decent at mile 35 and continuous down-graded hills to the finish. The start travels on an overgrown single track section so be careful of the cactus! Heading westward towards the Bofecillos Canyons big mountain vistas can be seen. Once the Botella Private Residence is reached, the course traverses a long section of Terneros Creek which may have wet gravel and multiple wet boulder crossings. Once at Leyva Dome a hilly and step section follows to reach Yedra and Papalote Colorado vistas and onto the main road again. The course now travels east past the Sauceda Ranger station where we started before turning southeast in The Llano section towards Papalote Chilicote and then onto Rincon mountain, just before the steep descent down into Fresno Canyon. Be sure to look in front of you to see “The Solitario” range with The Flatirons right in front. From here – sleeping at designated checkpoints is allowed. Traveling through Fresno canyon is over gravel river bed, passing by the oldest homestead, Crawford Smith House, and then through the flowing water at Fresno Cascade. The river bed descent continues until reaching the Whit Roy and Buena Suerte Mines check points, and the final stretch into Lajitas is on old ranch roads until reaching “civilization”. Think you’re ready for this adventure?