Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tour Divide Colorado

I was glad to be out of New Mexico and really had to recover from the first week. Sitting on the saddle really hurt, probably from wearing the backpack with too much weight (water) on washboarded roads the first week. Because of the scarceness of water, that was unavoidable in New Mexico, but from now on, I rarely used the backpack. But my bottom still had to heal and that took a few days. I even used my helmet as a seat at times!

Colorado, going up Indiana Pass, 10 more miles to the top. The climbs are long, very high altitude, but it is easier than NM. Lots of snow, but a plow went through recently. Oddly enough, nobody in this area knows what Indiana pass is, I think the locals call it Greyback Mountain. Seems like Indiana pass is a name that the mapmakers at ACA invented. In any event, it is the highest elevation of the route.

Southern Colorado at times didn't look that different from New Mexico, but it was much easier to find water. This is heading out of Del Norte (a day when I was sitting on my helmet at times). 

Marshall Pass is just south of Salida and by then I felt much better and the New Mexico bruises have diminished. A lot of car traffic in Colorado on those dirt roads and constantly being in the dust diminishes the experience a lot. 

My campsite just north of Salida. There was a big festival going on that day, so I had a beer and quickly headed out of town after getting my bike tuned up again.
Boreas Pass is another of the major passes in Colorado and (my direction) goes down to Breckenridge. There was a major snow storm rolling in, so I hurried up and made it to Silverthorne in light snow flurries.

I met Kurt Refsnider, who was going the opposite direction. We both made it to the other side before the storm, but the riders just behind us had a hard time.
I woke up down in Silverthorne with a fair amount of snow on the road and plenty of slush. Decided to stay in town for another day right then. In retrospect, not the best decision as the afternoon was ok, but then so what, my exact time didn't matter.
Denis Chazelle (on the right) was maybe 2 hours behind me on Boreas and was hypothermic by the time he reached town. He bought $150 or so of additional clothing after that experience, but headed out in the afternoon. I didn't see him again and he finished second.
The view the next day after the storm had passed was spectacular.
The very gentle Colorado river near Kremmling.

Colorado River, you need to go down all the way to Radium and then up on the other side. Now that I've done the climb both directions, I'm done with it. This year, the mosquitoes were vicious.

I camped at the reservoir before Steamboat Spring and rode into town in the morning. A very bike friendly town and there must have been a bike event that I just caught the end of. But a lot of food leftover, so I just arrived at the right time for coffee, bagels, and juice. Then on to the bikeshop for another tune up and lunch.

After Steamboat Springs, I hit a lot of snow. Because I left Steamboat somewhat late, afternoon sun meant very soft condition and a slow, long hike.

I lost my Spot tracker on the snow hike and called it an early day at Brush Mountain Lodge, hoping that somebody behind me would find it and bring it to the Lodge. Nice mosaic table.

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