Day 42 07/02/22
We took a day off in Rawlings and did nothing worthy of comment. It was just a time to clean the bike, get groceries and catch up on sleep.
Day 43 07/03/22
Back on the road by 6:00am. Once again we were trying to beat the wind but that only lasted for an hour before it picked up. This morning we had to ride on Interstate 80 for thirteen miles or so. Believe it or not it wasn't as bad as we had been led to believe. The shoulder was huge and the surface was very good yet there were lots of 18 wheelers. Sarah got a cramp in her leg probably because we were pedaling so fast because we wanted to get off of the interstate as soon as possible. The exit was in Walcott which was just a gas station. It was time for a couple of chocolate milks. We fought the crosswinds for the next 20 miles to Saratoga where we arrived at the Saint Barnards Episcopal Church hostel. The pastor let us in and made us feel at home. The hostel used to be the parsonage but they have converted it for a cyclist outreach. Nice place with a full kitchen, shower and bedrooms. Tim from the Netherlands showed up and three other young guys from the East coast. They are all west bounders. We had lunch in town and walked around a car show and then took a nap because we both felt exhausted.
Although it was a short day of riding both of us agree that we had not felt this tired in some time. It is in those moments you wonder if you can go the distance. Both of us had little sleep the night before so we are hoping for some good deep REMs tonight. With our hostel-mates, we shared stories around the table for a couple of hours and then it was off to bed.
Rode 42 miles today
Day 44 07/04/22
It's the fourth of July and we spent all day in the saddle. Another morning of oatmeal, a protein drink and a piece of a sandwich we bought the day before. We were expecting more wind today so we awoke at 5:00 and hit the road by 6:00am. Fortunately we felt rested and had a better outlook for the day ahead. It's amazing how a little sleep changes your perspective. Little traffic was soon followed by some amazing views of clouds and rainbows. We did snap a photo of a jacked up redneck truck. We had never seen one like this before.
Riverside was a small town with a gas station and we stopped in for some milk and donuts. After riverside there were no services for the next six hours. We made a few roadside stops to stretch the legs. Usually after every 10 miles we take a standing rest and water break. Today we were looking forward to another milestone, riding into Colorado. Sure enough we stopped at the sign and took photos. It was a well deserved moment.
We had ridden about 45 miles and had planned to take a longer stop and eat some crackers and cheese and drink a couple of Muscle Milks and Poweraide. As we looked in our bags they were no where to be found. We had left all of our newly purchased groceries in the fridge at the hostel. Talk about a disappointment! Talk about an opportunity for a tempertandem! But all was good and we made it a new goal for us to double check each other before setting out in the morning. All was not lost because there was a surprise in store for us. We came across a campground/convenience store that was not on our map and it was open. What made it even more special was the fact that we spent a good forty five minutes sitting around a table talking with the owners Randy and Carolyn. I told them we had to move on and they wanted us to stay and play cards. We told them another time when we pass through by car.
We ended the day in Walden and got a motel. We have another long haul to Hot Sulphur Springs tomorrow so we wanted to get a good nights sleep.
Rode 67 miles today.
Day 45 07/05/22
First things first, I ran over to the convenience store to get Sarah a cup of coffee at 5:45am. We tried to eat breakfast burritos that we bought at the same store but they were far from yummy. The morning started out cold so we bundled up and began pedaling. My body was slow to wake up because I had another night of little sleep, so the first 10 miles were slow going. The ride though the North Park of Colorado almost rivals Big Hole in Wyoming. The sky stretches as far as the eyes can see accompanied by verdant landscape dotted with herds of bovine.
Stopped for a snack in Rand in front of the one store that exists there. The people had clearly taken a day off, but the mosquitos didn't. To escape the fun, we jumped on the bike and had an uphill climb from the moment we started pedaling all the way to Willow Creek Pass at mile 32.
Once over the pass it was a great downhill through a magnificent burn area where Sarah was rewarded with some nice photos. While we were heading up another short climb we decided to walk a bit. A man pulled over to see if all was good. It was so nice of him to take a moment and check on us. Rode into the town of Hot Sulphur Springs and immediately stopped at the only restuarant in town that was open. It was a roadside hamburger stand with shakes and root beer floats. We indulged! We got a motel for the night (Canyon Motel) and within minutes after checking in, the skies greeted us with streams of liquid gold. So thankful we chose not to camp tonight. We have been having problems again with chain suck after having replaced our bracket but somehow it got bent again. Don Boatwright has offered to pick up a couple of new ones for us and Keaton will bring them to us when we come through Pueblo. Nothing for dinner tonight but we plan to get going early tomorrow morning and ride to Kremmling for a real breakfast. So thankful!
Rode 61 miles today.
Day 46 07/06/22
We got so much rain yesterday we decided to get up earlier to beat the rain today. The alarm went off at 5:00am and we were pedalling by 5:30 but not before I put new batteries in our headlight. The first 18 miles were downhill to the town of Kremmling. The quietness of the canyon and the river below, joined with the early morning hues of first light and a touch of cool mountain air, made for an invigorating ride. We rode 18 miles into Kremmling and found a cafe where we could ingest something other than chokemeal. Eggs. Bacon, toast and hash browns were the ticket. We rode out of town heading toward Silverthorne. Along the way we were passed by a cyclist who was riding a supported trip to the East Coast. He was on a multispeed bike with absolutely no gear to weigh him down. His wife drives a support van so he has meals and a place to sleep every night. Sounds nice when you are having a long day but an ebike would also be nice or a motorcycle if you get my drift. We chatted for a few minutes and just like that we were watching his tailight move off in the distance. The route took us around Lake Heeney which was a nice break from the traffic. Speaking of traffic, it was crazy dangerous and continued to grow as we neared Silverthorne. The shoulder on the road? What shoulder? It didn't exist for much of the ride and that explains why we had few pics of the day. We both agreed we would rather ride on the I-80 rather than on the 9 between Kremmling and Silverthorne. We got to Silverthorne around noon and immediately found a coffee house in town for a well deserved iced white mocha and then we went to the outlets to buy some new duds for the second half of the journey. We only have one more pass to conquer, Hoosier pass, and we are looking forward to a break from the mountains. Spent the night in another motel to stay dry.
Rode 59 miles today