Thursday, August 11, 2016

Summer Touring

I itch for many months to get out on a tour that is self-contained and solo. This is finally the week to use up some of the stacked up vacation time and just roll away. There is a plan that started out as a six day ride but things change and shit happens and even before I leave I am down to four days. All good, lets just head out!!

As usual I head west into the Park and on over Trail Ridge. It is a Sunday and a lot of people in cars are up here, but, everybody is very kind to this slow moving dude pedaling on up the mountain. The bike and gear always looks so neat and organized at the start of a tour.

It is a nice morning up on the tundra. 60's and very little breeze. Here we go with the obligatory picture of Longs Peak!!

About my set up here. I originally was going to take Ogre because my original ride had some dirt roads involved up above Steamboat over Buffalo Pass. That was nixed so I geared up the LHT since it was all going to be on pavement. I put on my front rack which creates a whole different ride to get used to. Wow!! that first morning with panniers on the front was a crazy feeling to master again. I was all over the road wobbling!! Last time I had those on was when I rolled down through Teesie's neighborhood, What was that Teesie?? Four, five, summers ago??
Here I am past Forest Canyon overlook looking forward to getting to Rock Cut where there is a bit of some downhill to get you to the last push to the high point.

Just some pictures of what you get to see as you pedal over the rooftop of Colorado.

Right before I get to Rock Cut there is a big herd of Elk taking their time crossing the road blocking traffic. I ride up to the front of the line and zip on through and then have about 30 minutes of traffic free full lane to myself riding!!! Thank You Mr. and Mrs Elk!! I got a lot of encouragement from the cars that were parked in the downhill lane waiting.
Coming up on Rock Cut and the nice down hill break

The last push going up past Lava Cliffs and then the high point.
Lava Cliffs

Looking west to The Never Summer Mountains

Looking back to the east

Looking back to the high point, 12,000 some feet of elevation

Whew!! Time to head down, down, down. Rode my brakes a bit to begin as I had to get a feel for the bike  again with that weight on the front wheel.
I got to Grand Lake and stopped at a deli for sandwich and got another one for dinner at my campsite. I tried a different campground than last year and it was very nice with my site being right on the lakeside of Lake Granby.
The family that were in the site in the background were so nice when I first pulled in. They came over and said they had seen me go by when they were stuck in the the great Elk jam and asked if I would like a cold beer?? Hell yes!!! We enjoyed a nice talk. You can see the storm brewing there and they had to retreat to their car for a bit about 10 PM when their tent blew over. I was fine in my little REI house!!
Good first day, I slept pretty well after the storm blew through.
Thanks for reading, We'll pick it up again tomorrow


  1. Impressive...that pic of the Lava Cliffs. I remember lava beds in Arizona. When the top layer of streaming lava cools down and gets hardened, the lava under that solid crust keeps flowing....till finally the lava supply diminishes and stops . And what you get a tunnel. I walked in such a tunnel. Nice experience: howling storm....and you're safe in your tent.

  2. Nice Pics as usual Jim and it doesn't get much better than a lakeside campsite with Neighbors handing out cold beers! Ride on Brother