Friday, June 20, 2008

Hoosier Pass

Out of pure superstition, I've been hesitant to write too much about the streak of beautiful weather that I've had. I still have a long way to go and the weather could turn at any point. But over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed a significant run of gorgeous days. Yesterday and today were no exceptions. Two weeks ago cyclists were biking through the Rockies in a snow storm. I'm sure that has its charms, but I am glad to be riding in the warmth of the sun.

Yesterday began with unfinished business -- climbing the last twelve miles to Hoosier Pass. With a few breaks to catch my breath and take pictures of the stunning surroundings, the climb was not too taxing.

At the pass, I took a hike up a trail to get unimpeded views of the valley below and mountain ranges in the distance.

I was just above the tree line and had to cross over patches of melting snow. Later I heard that the rapid snow melt from these mountains was causing flooding back in Canon City.

The reward of climbing to the pass was the exhilarating ride down the other side. The eleven miles into Breckenridge went considerably faster than the previous twelve. With only fifteen more miles to ride for the day, all on a bike path, I stopped into the Breckenridge Brewery. I had lunch on a deck overlooking the empty slopes.

I met up with Menno and another couple, Wayne and Dianne, at a campground on the Dillon Reservoir.

I pitched my tent at their campsite and, after a bone-chilling dip in the reservoir, I ate dinner with them. Not long after the sun set, I was fast asleep.

The temperature this morning was in the high thirties or low forties, but it warmed up quickly as the sun rose. I continued to reap the rewards of the past few days of climbing, as my ride today was mostly downhill. Because there are fewer roads out West, they tend to be more heavily trafficked and allow higher speed limits, but for one twelve-mile stretch I was on a road reminiscent of those back in Virginia -- quiet and winding. It took me around the Green Mountain Reservoir and over its dam.

Not ready to tackle a sixty-mile stretch over another pass and without any services, I decided to stop in Kremmling, CO, where I met up with Menno, Wayne and Dianne again. We are all staying at the Eastin Hotel in their "hostel" rooms. The clerk told us that these rooms in the basement, which are simple, but clean, much like those found in a monastery, are where the linens go to die.


mouderki said...

Your posts - pictures and descriptions - never disappoint. Wow...that's all I

Anonymous said...

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce loves these photos much more than the ones taken just after leaving Kansas. God finally got a new box of crayons.

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking pictures from here, Brian! God bless!

Anonymous said...

I'm watching you, shazam... Seth

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm sure those views make it all worth it! Hope your weather continues to stay good! Paul says congratulations about "Obama"! You guys can talk in Harrisburg or Milwaukee.

Sarah P said...

Did you get coffee or breakfast at Big Shooters Cafe in Kremmling? One of our favorite stops in Colorado.

Anonymous said...

Amazing pics...those scenes make the increasingly horrible Texas heat seem extra oppressive! Congrats on your progress. (PS- I can tell Jack's wheels are already turning re: guys weekend.) Take good care---Lisa