1400 Miles, Day 7 & 8
We have arrived in Colorado!
After a few gorgeous days of riding through the painted high mountain desert that so inspired Georgia O'Keefe we have found ourselves in the land of the free and the home of altitude. And it is glorious.
Our roll out of Santa Fe was, for the most part, uneventful. It was our 7th day of riding and a shorter day of 55 miles. Aside from a brief climb getting out of town the road was mostly flat. We did stop and take pictures at the epic Camel Rock as well as a few other pretty points along the way. Our destination was a tiny little town called Abiquiu that is home to one of the cooler motels we stay in on this trip. The beds are cozy, the scenery is awesome and the massive trees that we sit underneath and chat make for an all round good time. We got to the motel pretty early in the day and enjoyed beers and conversation whilst we waited for check in.
Day 8 on the bike is one of my favorite of the trip, 105 miles, 6700 ft. of climbing and an absolutely stunning landscape en route to Pagosa Springs, couple of pictures here.
Almost immediately after leaving Abiquiu we hit our first of many climbs on the day. It's a decent pitch and roughly a mile of climbing, just enough to wake you up from the 45 degree temps and cold fingers. At the top of the climb the horizon opens up into beautiful mountain peaks and painted rock that goes on for miles and miles. The part of America is absolutely breathtaking to me and fills me with an energy that I haven't found before. Even though we've been on the bike for 700ish miles I felt absolutely fresh from lungs to legs. It's almost hard not to just smile the entire day taking it all in!
It's also a really great day for reflection and a little alone time in the head. Thinking about life, where's it has taken me, where it will take me and those that mean so much to me on this journey. Family members and friends that I've lost to cancer, those that are continuing to fight cancer and those that inevitably will face it are all on my mind. While this ride is a fantastic vacation away from the bustle of life it's still a job that I take very seriously. Spreading the message of our journey and bringing up that awkward conversation with men that we chat with along the way is ultimately why we are out here. And for me, it's a great privilege to take part is such a great mission. Bicycles, beer and early detection! The first two make the third so much easier to talk about.
Thanks for following along on the journey! Today we venture up and over the continental divide via Wolf Creek Pass. It's a short day of miles but a long day of climbing.
Until next time friends!