Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 51 - Saratoga, Wyoming To Rawlins, Wyoming

Tuesday, June 14,2016, 45.0 miles(72.4 km)

After a good breakfast at Karim's house I rode north out of Saratoga.  The ride was through cattle country.  Often it seemed like the horizon went on forever.  I did see several pronghorns along the way.  They often would stand there watching me until I stopped and then they would run away.

Brown Cow Watching Me

Horizon Goes On Forever


The ride out of Saratoga was to the north until I got to Walcott, Wyoming. At Walcott the route gets on I80 for several miles. (In some of the western states bicycles are allowed on interstate highways as there are no other roads available)  The interstate had nice wide shoulders to ride on.  The main problem was that there was a very strong west wind (20-30 mph and some gusts higher) and I was heading straight into it.

The Ride Down The Internet

Possible???  Likely!!!

I exited the interstate at Sinclair, Wyoming, the location of a large oil refinery for of course Sinclair Oil Company. The rest of the ride to Rawlins was on back roads through the wind was still very strong.

Sinclair Sign

Sinclair Dinosaur

Sinclair Refinery

I stayed the night at a small but very well run motel in Rawlins.  I went across the street to a Chinese buffet for dinner, I think they were probably glad when I left as I consumed a lot of food though I am sure I could have eaten much more. 

Day 50 - Walden, Colorado to Saratoga, Wyoming

Monday, June 13,2016, 69.5 miles(111.8 km)

Woke up to a wet tent due to the sprinklers coming on during the night and spraying it down.  Just as it was about dry the sprinklers came on again and doused it down again... oh well guess I will pack up a wet tent.

The ride from Walden, Co to Saratoga Wyoming is generally downhill with a few bumps in between.  Although those bumps do amount to nearly 2,000 feet of climbing.

The ride was mostly through range land used for cattle ranches, often mountain were in the background.

Colorado Rangeland With Mountains In Background

Colorado Rangeland

Rock Formations
I crossed into the state of Wyoming with the slogan "Forever West".  As expected the range land continued.

Entering Wyoming

Wyoming Rangeland - See On Forever

Most of the day the wind was from the southwest which was a good direction as I was travelling mostly to the northwest thus a somewhat crossing wind.  I stopped in Riverside, Wyoming for a late afternoon snack of delicious bread pudding..  The restauran/bar had three dogs that kind of wandered around.  The did not agressively beg but passively sat their staring at you and watching you take every bite. None of them got any bread pudding from me.

Restaurant Boxer And Me
Once I got to Saratoga, Wyoming I went to get something to eat before I headed out to the city park to camp for the night.  As I was getting ready to leave the convenience store I was chatting with someone about my trip and he said I could sleep over at his house.  He then said other cyclists were staying there that night.  I said sure and he said to follow him it would be only a block.  When I got there the cyclists I had been with in Walden were also there.  Karim is one of the Warmshower hosts in Saratoga.  He knew all about our wet tents and we set up tents in his yard to dry out though we all were sleeping inside the house for the night.  It was great to have a place to get laundry done, dry out the tent and most of all Karim baked cookies which were excellent.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 49 - Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado - Walden, Colorado

Sunday, June 12,2016, 64.2 miles(103.3 km)

After a good nights sleep in the park in Hot Sulphur Springs Pioneer Park I headed to a cafe called the Glory Hole for breakfast.  I had an outstanding breakfast burrito smothered in green chili, just what I needed for the climb I would have on my route.

Once done with breakfast I headed east a bit more before heading north.  Almost immediately after turning north my climbing began but was intermittent. The climb up to Willow Creek Pass at 9683 feet had some amazing scenery, though at times the climb was quite difficult

View While Climbing To Willow Creek Pass

View While Climbing To Willow Creek Pass

View While Climbing To Willow Creek Pass

View While Climbing To Willow Creek Pass

Willow Creek Pass Sign

Deer Watching Me

Once reaching the pass it was a quick descent.  I stopped in the small community of Rand, Colorado as it was sprinkling a little and I also needed to refill my water bottles.  The rain stopped as I was eating a snack and I decided to move on.  I had not gone 3 miles and the clouds darkened and it began to hail.  Fortunately the hail was only pea-sized and did not last long.  It was still stung a bit when it hit my bare legs or my hands.  After that short hail storm I seemed to ride between the storms as I could seem them both to the east and west of me.

Storm Clouds

More Storm Clouds

 I spent the night in Walden, Colorado, known as the Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado, I did not see any moose.  As I entered town it started to rain again so I headed directly to a restaurant for dinner and to wait out the rain.

Walden Sign

I camped in the Walden City Park, a nice park with one big draw back.  It had sprinklers that came on about 11 pm for about an hour and then they came on again at 7 am just as I was packing up.  My tent was almost dry from the overnight spraying when the sprinklers throughly drench it again in the morning.  Fortunately I had packed up everything else so only the tent got wet. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day 48 - Breckenridge, Colorado - Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado

Saturday, June 11,2016, 73.7 miles(118.6 km)

After a great night of sleep at the Seeling house near Breckenridge, I rode up to Dillon, Colorado on a great bikeway to watch part of an air show which was taking place over the lake.  They were also having a sailing race following it though I did not stay for the race, I was able to meet Allen Seeling as he and Tim were racing.  He was instrumental in getting me connected with Tim.  

The ride north to Dillon had many beautiful sites along the way.

Mountain View

Mountain View Over Lake

After watching part of the air show I rode north on CO Hwy 9.  Though busy the road had a good shoulder and was a nice ride.  Once I had ridden north my route left Hwy 9 and went on the west side of a lake.  This road was hilly but had less traffic.  This ride north had some interesting things and beautiful to see along the way.  Even though there was a flying deer sign I did not see any of them, just a few ordinary ones without wings.

Highland Cows

Mountain View

Flying Deer Sign

Fast Flowing River

North of the lake the route rejoined Hwy 9 in a construction zone.  Fortunately I was traveling through the zone on a weekend and no work was being done, unfortunately the road was torn up that for about five miles it was as if I was riding on a continuous rubble strip. Once through the construction the road was great as it was completed last year.

Once reaching Kremmling, Colorado the route turned east to go to Hot Sulphur Springs (heading east to go west... oh well it wasn't too far east).  A few miles prior to reaching Hot Sulphur Springs the route went through a canyon.  The ride was quite deceptive as it appeared that I was heading downhill however the effort required to pedal  indicated I was going up and anytime I stopped the trike would roll back if I did not hold the brake.  The ride in the canyon was beautiful during the evening as the sun was getting lower in the sky.


Canyon Wall

I camping at Pioneer Park in Hot Sulphur Springs.  The town was celebrating Hot Sulphur Springs Days and the park had many people camped there however there was still space to fit my tent.  They had a fireworks display that evening.  The crowd in the park was quite loud during the evening but did quiet down shortly after the fireworks.

This part of Colorado did not disappoint when it came to colorful especially the wide variety of wildflowers I saw along the roadside.

Wild Iris


Friday, June 17, 2016

Day 47 - Guffey, Colorado - Breckenridge, Colorado

Friday, June 10,2016, 77.4 miles(124.6 km)

Woke up to a cold morning in Guffey but that is to be expected when you are at over 8,600 feet in elevation.  The one mile downhill ride back to the route was very cold despite that I was wearing a fleece jacket and glove, I had to slow down just to cut the windchill some.

When I began the day I was unsure what my destination would be for the day.  Originally I had planned to stay in either Fairplay or Alma but I left it open to go over Hoosier Pass if it was early enough in the day and my legs felt good to make it up to the pass.

The route was nearly a continuous climb through beautiful Colorado countryside.

Colorado Ranch


Colorado Countryside

Colorado Countryside

Colorado Countryside

Colorado Countryside
Colorado Countryside

Colorado Countryside

I arrived in Fairplay in time for lunch and decided to press on to Alma.  Alma is the highest incorporated town in North America at 10,578 feet in elevation.  Arriving at Alma I decided I had time to press on and go over Hoosier Pass

Alma Colorado Sign

Going Higher In the Mountains

I finally arrived at Hoosier Pass, the highest point on the TransAmerica bicycle route at 11,539 feet in elevation
Hoosier Pass

The descent from Hoosier Pass to Brenkenridge was 13+ miles.  The first part was quite steep with several switchbacks and hairpin turns.  Then it became a bit more gradual in descent and the turns not nearly as sharp.  It made for scary ride at times and exhilerating at others.  As I approached Breckenridge the lake pictured below was along the route.

Picturesque Lake

When I was in the town of Breckenridge I was not quite sure where I would stay that evening.  I hoped I would be able to stay in a National Forest Campground near Frisco but it being  a weekend I was unsure if any sites would be available.  I then got a message from Allen Seeling, a person who had friended me on Facebook saying his brother Tim lived in Breckenridge and that I should give him a call.  I call but did not get an answer and then Allen called his brother to let him know someone with the same last name was riding cross country on a recumbent trike and was in Breckenridge.  I then talked to Tim and he and his wife would meet me on the northside of Breckenridge.

I rode my trike north out Breckenridge on a great bikeway and met Tim and Linda Seeling.  They invited me to stay at their house for the night.  I was able to shower, wash my clothes, have a great dinner and breakfast and sleep in a nice bed, but most of all I was able to meet some very nice people who share the same last name but are not related (as far as we know).

Day 46 - Royal Gorge, Colorado - Guffey, Colorado

Thursday, June 9,2016, 25.9 miles(41.7 km)

As my previous day was long my ride for the day would be quite short to Guffey, Colorado however there would be a fair amount of climbing to get to Guffey's elevation ast 8,658 feet.  The view from my campsite at Echo Canyon Campground was quite beautiful.

View From Campsite

The scenery on the way to Guffey was varied and quite beautiful.  The road had a nice shoulder to ride on which makes it much easier to enjoy the scenery and the ride.

Colorado Countryside

View Down The Road

Colorado Countryside

Colorado Countryside

For the night I would be staying in Guffey, Colorado, a kind of unique rustic town which was nearly a ghost town but has now been revived a little.  Bill, a unique individual, has been hosting cyclists since 1976.  He has built these small bunk houses for cyclists to stay in.  He has a rustic shower facility but it has nice hot water.  There are two restaurants in town but only one was open on the day I was in town.  It served very good food.

Bill's Place In Guffey

Living Quarters For Night - Mine is on left