1400 Miles, Day 9, 10 and 11
There are few places that I know of that are more fun to ride a bike through than what we just finished. Starting out from Pagosa Springs, up and over Wolf Creek Pass and then through the Collegiate Peaks from Salida to Leadville. Tis a gorgeous place indeed.
This time of year in Colorado many of the trees are changing colors and the landscape is truly breathtaking. It's a bit cold this time of year but it's hard to complain knowing that we left Texas and it was almost 100 degrees. It's pretty wild riding a bicycle across so many miles, seeing the landscape change, the weather change and ultimately each of us are changing. For the most part our trip has been smooth sailing. We've not run into any rough weather, yet. We've not had any major mechanical issues thanks to our awesome mechanic. And most of all, we've had a great time spreading the message about our cause.
The past 3 days have been pretty tough on the bicycle with lots of climbing. We forget sometimes in Austin what climbing on a bicycle actually is. We have a few hills that get pretty steep but most of them are no more than 1/2-3/4 of a mile. Things change a bit when you are climbing for, say, 8 straight miles. Wolf Creek Pass was our first day of real climbing, covering 3,800 ft. over the course of 8 miles. Cresting the continental divide is always a cool feeling. What's even more fun though is the descent on the other side, bombing at 40 mph into Del Norte is an experience that everyone should get to enjoy.
Our next day was a bit easier en route to Salida, one of my favorite towns in Colorado. For the most part it's pretty flat with a small climb over Poncha Pass and then another long descent into Poncha Springs, just on the outskirts of Salida. Every year we stop in and see our friends at Elevation Brewing. The hospitality is always second to none and the beer is always tasty. It's a perfect end to a beautiful day of riding.
And then yesterday was our trek up to Leadville. Starting in Salida at 7,000 ft. elevation and then motoring upwards to Leadville, sitting at 10,200 ft. The ride is not incredibly long but the 60 mils it takes to get there will beat you down and this year was no different. It's a beautiful trek along the Collegiate Peaks with the Arkansas river right along the side of the highway.
Today we head towards Grand Lake, one of our last stops before reaching Denver. It's a long day and the weather forecast is showing us some chances of rain and cold. It's another beautiful day in Colorado though and I'll never complain about being able to take in the sights from the saddle of a bicycle.
Thanks as always for following along on the journey. There's much more writing to come from me as we enter into our final days of the journey so stay tuned!