Yeah we are ‘Back on the Road Again’ ahhhh awesome and what a great day it turned out to be!
Song of the day…#ForSure
The scenery in Colorado is breath taking!!
Rick decided to join us for part of the ride. This was great since we experienced our own tour guide out of Pueblo and the more the merrier.
We saw this vulture standing its ground in full spread.
Started to see the mountains in the distance. This brought both fear and excitement.
This lama was not impressed with anything we had to say.
A successful ride in the bag.
We stopped that evening in Cannon city it was a quaint all American town, despite the huge prison at the end of the main high street.
On a recommendation from Red canyon bike shop we had dinner in pizza madness.
Here we watched them cook our pizzas from scratch, which was a novelty.
We got a creamy sugar fix at the cup and cone. Here we met a lady that was 100 years of age. I think the message to learn is that ice cream keep you youthful.
We headed to find somewhere to sleep and stumbled across a beautiful park on the edge of river but it was for day use only. So I called the sheriff to ask if it would be possible to stay for one night only. We want to say a huge thanks to the sheriff and Cannon city police department for giving us that permission. We decided to sleep under a pavilion due to heavy thunder storms. That night we experienced the sky’s best firework show yet (mum you would have been in ore) and it didn’t hit us either. Although we can’t say the same about the sprinklers.
Day 53 ‘LookMumNoSam‘
That morning hunger strikes so we went to fill our bellies in a local diner in town called Good Thyme Cafe. This wasn’t any old place it was a bike friendly cafe.
They even opened early for us and served us the best porridge of the trip so far.
So we set off on our 75miles climb up the Rockies. One mile in the owner of the cafe came to deliver two water bottles we had left behind, oops could have ended badly… You can see we are officially in the mountains now.
First 76 sign for a good 1000+ miles. Felt like meeting back up with an old friend.
This was definitely the longest climb we had ever done, but the nice scenery and road made it all worthwhile.
We paused at a fruit and vegetable stall on the side of the road and got provisions. The lovely couple running the stall very kindly rehydrate us and gave us free bananas.
We also had the pleasure of meeting their neighbors on a afternoon horse ride.
We took a short day to try and give my bottom time to recover. It had swollen after the ride yesterday, my body felt exhausted and to top it off my head felt like it was going to explode. Which I am sure was a mixture of the antibiotics, altitude and climbing all day. So we stopped in Guffey for our last lunch with Sam.
It has been a blast with Sam, but we had been slowing him down since Kansas. His great personality, wit and random humor will be sadly missed. We had got used to being a trio and having a American tour guide teaching us the rights and wrong of their culture. Though we all know he is peddling for love so I doubt we shall catch him up anytime soon. We only hope to see him in England in the near future! Goodbye Sam aka ‘Mobile Disco’ aka ‘Blow Hog’ you will be sadly missed!
So we parted ways and headed off to find our camping spot. We were told that a guy named Bill rented cabins pretty cheap. When we arrived these guys greeted us.
Bill was a absolute legend he directed us to our own private cabin and offered for us to have a beer with him when we were settled. We really wanted to call Sam and get him back, but we new he was meeting friends that evening. This is our little hobbit home.
Bill had made all of the cabins, shower, toilet and all the interesting sculptures on the land. He must of been a collector of old cars too.
One of Bills friends Gary was also hanging out before heading to the pub. He gave us a CD of his wife Lissa Hanner, which we are looking forward to listening to when we get a chance. Whilst we were there a guy came to have a look around the store. He only turned out to be a old school friend of Bills. We all went to look around his local museum, which was one of a kind to say the least, he even has a certificate from the original 1976 ride!
Bill has a natural talent for making beauty out of what some might see as junk, he was a true artist!
Later that evening we went over to meet the east bounders staying in the lodge. Tom and Michael Jack (aka @TransAmCyclists) were hilarious we shared what some may call a meal (left over crackers, avocado and peanut butter) and touring stories/destinations. To see their blog here.
We are loving Colorado, the smell of pine and other distinctive plants (Aaron and Ella you would appreciate it). We set off on an up hill stretch which actually turned out to be a quite flat in comparison to the east coast.
Now we are getting into the terrain where you have to stop in all towns passed. Shops and restaurants are becoming few and far between and there is some 50/60mile stretches of nothingness. For lunch we paused in Hartsel. Whilst the waitress was serving us she oddly kept glancing out the window. Then casually stated ‘its just a bear wandering near the creek’.
Outside the cafe we met our first Great Dividers. They were doing the Colorado section of the trail, very hardcore!
We pushed on through a tough headwind and arrived in Fairplay, the town earned its name for giving a fair price for gold during the gold rush. It is also known as South Park City because the writers of the series grew up here.
So we needed to find a place to stay and we planned to camp next to the motel. When we arrived the motel worker informed us we couldn’t camp there. Though she was super helpful in finding us a place. She rang around other campsites with no success. Finally contacted her assistant manger Russ and he offered for us to stay in his garden BOOM.
Russ turned out to be a cool hippie, keen cyclist and recent father to his beautiful daughter Bella.
We chilled with them for a while then headed to town to meet some mates.
Russ was kind enough to let us relax indoors and watch a film with him. It was really nice to switch off to a screen for a couple hours.
Today we conquered the final 10 mile climb, taking us to the highest point of the whole trip, 11539ft over Hoosier Pass!
This was our first crossing of the Continental Divide and we were not disappointed with the view!
The rest of the day was downhill and predominately on cycle paths, which may I add were awesome 🙂
It took us through mountainous scenery
And beautiful lakes.
We stopped in Breckenridge for lunch at a delightful cafe called Amazing Grace. Finally some healthy tasty food and smoothies.
This town was a ski resort and reminiscent of Chamonix. Though it was very busy and full of tourist so we didn’t stay long. The rest of the days cycle was beautiful.
Our final push was to a campsite by a lake called McDonald Flats. The spot was beautiful, but with no running water we opted to swim and wash in the freezing lake.
We spotted lots of these little critters so we were sure to pack away the food cautiously.
Our neighboring family came over and gave us a load of bottled water. Note to other tourers many campsites in CO don’t have running water. Later that evening I got to share a family tradition and watched the moon rise over the mountain and demolished some toasted marshmallows. Overall a grand day!
This morning we woke early and set off for Hot Sulphur Springs. The ride was beautiful from start to finish. The first ten miles was around an outstanding lake. Here we met a jolly artist that offered to take our picture.
We stopped for a drink and recharge at a very cool cafe called Big Shooters. Delicious coconut (standard) smoothie and cinnamon rolls.
When we arrived at Hot Sulphur Springs our hunger was taking over so we stopped at the first restaurant we saw. This place had chosen a very interesting name…
After lunch we rolled down to the Springs, where the staff kindly let us keep our panniers in a back room. Then we hit the springs unfortunately didn’t get any pictures so I will actually have to describe them. There was a total of 23 baths all ranging in different temperatures, sizes and structures. Each pool had various elements within the water though this wasn’t very well sign posted. Some pools were overlooking the contential divide, others the train track with the longest train we had witnessed at 105 carridges. When we were in the pools you could feel your skin exfoliating although the pungent smell of eggy sulpha was quite over powering at times. We were told the white floating partial were just magnesium, though we were a little dubious so decided to get out.
We then went to pitch the tent in the free camping adjacent to the springs. Here the mosquito declared war on us, they even attacked Andy. We barricaded ourselves in the tent until morning.
Waking up to rain and the whole tent covered in mosquito does not give you the best motivation to get up. We found a break in the rain and speedily packed up (whilst still getting bitten). We had a 60mile stretch with no services so we stocked up with water and snacks then were on our way. The ride was tough since my knee started playing up this meant I couldn’t ride stood up to give my bum a rest, it’s one thing after another at the moment 🙁 The weather was pretty wild with heavy rain and hail. Due to the vast openness of the terrain you can see the storms form miles away and count them down as the thunder gets closer.
It was pretty cool watching a bird of prey flying as a lightening bolt crashed to the ground. We took cover under some cowboys hut, though when he returned he didn’t seem that amused, so we made for a quick escape. We paused in Rand that did actually have a seasonal store.
So we got some snacks and Andy used the coolest long drop ever, lucky boy.
We decided that after a tough couple of days riding, bad weather and being covered in swollen bites we would get a motel in Walden.
That evening we had a tasty gluten free veggie meal at the Rock Cafe. Then headed back to the motel to recharge. Ready to cross the boarder tomorrow, Wyoming here we come!!