Sunday, August 16, 2015

Short tour is better than no tour......Day Two

I find many examples in life that reality is often different than looks. It all looked liked a great campsite set up last night. Right across the road are vacation lakeside homes and my luck for this Sunday night was a gathering at one of them. It was not too rowdy until about 1 AM when a group of these young men convened a brainstorming session on all that was amiss in these good old United States. Quite loud and nobody really listening to anybody, just everybody voicing their opinions at the same time. While listening, (without choice!), I am always struck how this generation uses the F-bomb as a casual adjective every other word it seems, especially when alcohol is involved. Everything is effing this and effing that. I am not a prude when it comes to speech but as I have asked my kids to tone it just makes you sound ignorant. Finally after about 45 minutes one of the girlfriends or wife came out of the house and yelled at these knuckleheads to knock it off. I got back to sleep right away.

Up and at them in the morning. It was quite crisp, my bike computer told me 35 degrees. I whipped up some quick oatmeal, ate, got packed up and rolled on out.
Beautiful morning riding alongside Lake Granby.

People do, at least what I think, the oddest things with their property and old equipment
 I connected with US-40 coming out of Granby and right there found a place for 2nd breakfast!! A little bit of western kische on the outside but nice people and good food inside!!

A couple of miles down a super shoulder of 8 ft or so and I turn off onto Colorado 125 that will take me over Willow Creek Pass and on to Walden. If every road had this wide shoulder on US 40, bicycle touring would be so popular. So enjoyable to have the space for cyclist out of the way of cars and trucks! I do not know why, as we rebuild our highways we can not do this all the time.
Anyway, off I go up 125 and the climbing starts right away! I lost my great shoulder but there was very little traffic on this road during the day. Everybody was so polite that they went in the other lane to go around. Good riding on a good road.
This fellow has a nice little mill operation working here. He is milling up wood fence posts and railings. I am sure he has a market for his sawdust, either burns in high efficiency furnaces or particle boards. Four or five trucks passed me during the day with his product heading to market.

Why?? Just to show that it snows a bit up here on this side of the divide. After the plows cover up the bottom number, they can still see the marker for the side of the road.
Do you guys like the mile markers on the road while you ride your bike??? I have a mixed feeling. It is good to know where you are but it is also a constant reminder off how slow you are going. For me, it puts too much importance on the destination instead of the ride at hand. I find myself trying to ignore the mile markers and focus on the nice day I am having and the ride itself. Just another of those silly mind games you can find yourself in as you ride on a tour. Anyway, this mile marker marked the end of a pretty good initial climb and then the road turned into a nice mix of rollers along a river that trended more up than down, but enjoyable riding.

I have seen this geologic feature on many other journals on this route. This part of my ride is on the ACA Trans-Am route. It is striking and so I snap a picture. It is a monolith rock formation that has not eroded like the land around it leaving it protruding. I am sure there is a term and geologist explanation of why this occurred. It is beautiful
The road trended up now as I reached the top of Willow Creek Pass. Before I got to the top I met a nice fellow that had ridden from Chicago and was now going to follow the ACA route down through Colorado to Pueblo and then ride Amtrak home. He said he enjoyed his ride across to here except for southern Wyoming. Hot and windy!!

I lollygagged around a bit at the top of the pass but did not take the time to dig through my bags and make myself something to eat. Dumb! And, something I would regret later on.
The east side of this pass is so much different. After an initial two miles of fun downhill you roll out into what is known as North Park. North Park is known all across the west for its excellent hay production and quality. It was busy in the fields as they were cutting and bailing 2nd cutting. Tens of thousands of acres of North Park Hay getting put up to go to market. The road trended downhill but was basically flat with rollers.

The road leads you to Rand Colorado which has a general store but is only open Thursday-Sunday. I knew this but I had read in journals that he always had a water jug set out for cyclists going by. No jug this time so I would have to make my water stretch. I did eat a banana and some trail mix I had.
Here is a business opportunity if living in Rand, Colorado happens to be a dream of yours!!

This road made me think of Junior High Geometry class and parallel lines.....stretching to infinity, never converging!!

And then it caught up with me, being on the bike all day, not taking care of myself with eating and drinking enough, 90 degrees out, and the quality of the road had turned bad. There were those stress cracks running across the road every 6 feet or so.....bump-bump, bump-bump, bump-bump.
I knew I was at my end when I got a drink and fumbled my bottle going back into the holder and dropped it. I almost said screw it and rode on, but realized it was the last two inches of water I had left, so I went back a picked it up. Those last eight miles were tough into Walden.

Yes!!! I felt like a caboose coming into town!!
My original plan was to camp in the city park which they allow for all the cyclists on the Trans-Am. There is a public pool where you can get a shower. But, it was a bit after 6 PM when I got there and the pool was closed. I really needed a shower, so, I broke out for a motel room and that was a great feeling to find the shower and a bed.
Tomorrow I will do better for myself to fuel and hydrate the machine driving all of this!!!


  1. Love the shoulder, and NO rumble strip! Different looking country than your side of the Divide. On the mile markers ..... sure, I like them .... especially if you have or stumble across an accident so you know exactly where you are. Besides, every new mile, every new second is a new and unexplored part of my life, I'd rather it didn't go by too swiftly.

  2. My junior High Geometry class taught me that parallel lines meet in the infinite. It's an "effing" beautiful landscape there in Colorado, I follow your route in the Colorado map, and on Google Earth.

  3. Second breakfast - Jim you're a Hobbit! Sounds like you earned that shower and bed, your pics are gorgeous and if I didn't know better I would say you were in Eastern Washington.

  4. Second breakfast - Jim you're a Hobbit! Sounds like you earned that shower and bed, your pics are gorgeous and if I didn't know better I would say you were in Eastern Washington.

  5. Second breakfast - Jim you're a Hobbit! Sounds like you earned that shower and bed, your pics are gorgeous and if I didn't know better I would say you were in Eastern Washington.