Zen On Dirt


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CDT Day 65 – The Great Basin = Fantasy Island

Riding the Great Basin. It’s like Fantasy Island in Tucson. No, wait, hear me out. Fantasy Island is a 2×1 mile, pan-flat tract of land with a million little single track loops built on it. The riding is fairly sub-par, but there are surprises around every corner in the form of trail art or random things to look at.

The Great Basin, so far, has been similar. Nothing super exciting about the riding, but surprises around every corner. Given that there aren’t many corners, surprises don’t come often, but when they do, they’re good.

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We rolled out at a semi-civilized hour, dropping our bounce box off with the front desk of the hotel to mail on Monday, picked up another dinner and a few donuts since we discovered that nothing is going to be open for us in Atlantic City on Monday, and went to Penny’s for breakfast. I love me a good greasy spoon diner.

From there, 15 miles of easy, paved, highway riding north. We opted to skip the fiddle-farting dirt road and cross country sections that the CDT did, paralleling the highway. The wind stayed calm and we made it to Mineral X road in no time.

It was time to go hunt down some hikers. We knew we had at least 8 of them in our sights for the Basin crossing.

A gentle east wind swept us along, and we eventually turned onto the two-track that would be the norm for the day.

We saw a dead cow who’s innards were completely licked clean but most of the skin was intact. Totally gross, but fascinating.

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It wasn’t long before we saw the Fellowship trio in front of us.

“When did you leave Rawlins?” they asked.

“You don’t want to know.”

“We do.”

“8:30.”

“Wow. We hiked forever last night (we’d bade them farewell around 2 pm at Penny’s the day before), but we had a rave party along the highway with glow sticks and everything. It was awesome!”

Then we pulled out our trail magic.

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“You guys want some watermelon?”

Eyes got big.

Undoing my seatbag, I pulled out my sleeping bag and then a personal sized watermelon that I’d been hauling. We’d decided to share it with the first thru-hikers we saw.

Stoked. I think they were stoked. We cut it in half and enjoyed the juicy sweetness in the warming desert sun.

We bade them farewell. We had more hikers to catch. We ran into Analog, Mellow Yellow, and Want Some at a water source, our first meeting with them. They told us that the Chimp crew was just a few miles down the road.

We ran into Chimp and Kipper first. We hadn’t seen them since Pie Town.

“Look at all these petrified rocks we’ve found!” They showed us their two handfuls of beautiful rocks. “This one has a fossil in it! Look!”

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We chatted for a bit about the past 1,000+ miles since our last meeting. “Are Tootsie and Spork up there?”

“Yeah. They weren’t as enthused about findings rocks as we were.”

We laughed and pedaled on to find the next two sitting next to the road, waiting for the rock hounds. “How many rocks do they have by now?” they asked.

“You don’t want to know.”

They caught up eventually and showed their hiking partners their finds. It was one of the cutest things I’ve seen.

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Chimp – “Have you seen this one?”

Tootsie – “Yes.”

Chimp – “How about this one?”

Tootsie – “Yep.”

We left them soon after with our eyes on catching Sunset who they said was about a day ahead of them.

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We rolled on beautiful double track. Wild horses stampeded in the distance. Pronghorn antelope ran with us, babies in tow. More wild horses. More antelope.

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We found a spring with a sign in book and a bocce ball set. Bocce in the basin! Too bad neither of us knew the rules and the flies were horrendous. All you can drink cold water!!

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The trail went from hardpacked to sandy to rocky to sandy to hardpacked. It climbed, it meandered, it ran along ridges. It was absolutely the most gorgeous riding we’ve done since…well, the ride into Rawlins. Every day is the prettiest day ever.

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As the sun started to set, the repeated question was “Where the heck is Sunset?” One could surmise that he’s up to 90 miles into the Basin and we called it quits at 75. We’re perched high on a ridge looking back along the ridges that we just ran with the sun setting behind the Wind Rivers and putting on an amazing light show. I love these wide open spaces with 360 degree views.

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And we’ll get Sunset tomorrow. And maybe Jefe and Bad Seed if we’re lucky.

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CDT Day 63 – Winning the tailwind lottery into Rawlins

The hikers have a saying: The trail will provide.

Today, the trail provided. 10-fold.

When we counted up the mileage to Rawlins, we came up with 45. Sure, it was mostly road miles, but if we had another windy day like we did yesterday, it could have proven to be a post-dark arrival. This would have all been okay if we were flush with food, which we weren’t.

Food is funny. You feel like you have way too much, until you realize you don’t have enough. There’s no middle ground of “I have just the right amount of food to have enough in case of a wind/weather/trail delay, but I’m not carrying a ridiculously large amount.

You always have plenty, until you don’t have enough.

Waking up, we had: 5 packets of oatmeal for breakfast, a handful of granola, a small wedge of cheese, 1/4 bag of fritos, 1/4 bag of Boulder chips, a pack of Skittles, some Happy Colas, and about 8 oz of trailmix. 45 miles…oi vei.

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We were rolling by 6:30, hoping to beat the wind during our westward trek. The CDT heads west for several miles from the GDMBR before curving north, and then eventually trending back north east to rejoin the route right at the outskirts of Rawlins.

We started on faint and sandy two tracks, navigating by phone and doing a happy dance every time we saw a CDT marker, indicating we were on the right track. Winds stayed calm. We were averaging just under 7 mph. At this rate, we’d be in under 8 hours, in time to make it to the post office.

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Two tracks turned into wider dirt roads and the wind started to gain force. We started heading north, the wind at our backs, carrying us along the aptly named Muddy Creek at warp speed.

Ding ding ding. You’ve hit the tailwind jackpot. Please enjoy the ride.

Pedaling was purely optional as the landscape wizzed by. We turned up the valley, heading north east. The wind howled. We barely pedaled up hills. Up and down and up, through the Bridger Pass area. 25 miles in, we stopped for a snack.

Scott pulled out the remains of a peanut butter bar that we’d eaten for lunch dessert our first day out. It was the best surprise ever. We finished off our cheese and chips and some of our trailmix. At this rate, we’d be in Rawlins for lunch!

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We flew until the CDT turned off for a cross country section. Not liking the look of it, we continued to the GDMBR, 100 yards down the road. The two would parallel each other and we could hop on after the XC.

We saw Gar soon after getting on the GDMBR. He and his buddies, The Fellowship, had opted to stay on the GDMBR into Rawlins, saving them 15 miles of walking. I don’t blame them, one dirt road really is as good at the next, and when walking, shorter tends to be better. The road miles were killing them.

They were hurrying to get into Rawlins before 3 for an All-you-can-eat Thai buffet. Sounded perfect to us! It was 11:30, and with only 12 miles of road or trail to go, we liked our odds. The Fellowship…they’d be pushing it.

We got to our road to rejoin the CDT.

“Such a lovely paved road we’re on,” I said approaching it, “Such a nice tailwind to push us along. What boneheads we’re being for turning onto a dirt road that climbs to the top of a mesa only to come back down.”

“No trespassing! There’s a No Trespassing sign!” I said with delight halfway through the turn. Our cut over road passed by a drilling operation. I wasn’t particularly disappointed.

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We continued on. 8 miles out, we found another road that would have taken us over to the official route. I felt guilty about skipping it for about 1/2 mile and then went back to enjoying our double digit speeds and easy cruising.

We made it to Rawlins in no time, secured a motel room, and made our way downtown to the Thai place. Sure enough, an amazing buffet. We ate until we couldn’t eat any more, then sat and digested, and ate another half a plate, just because we could.

It could have turned into a death march into town, instead, it was as close to a 45 mile nero day as possible.

We’re taking a zero day in Rawlins with a weather forecast calling for a shift in the winds. Maybe we’ll get blown across the Great Basin afterall!


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CDT Day 62 – When things go wrong…

Today didn’t go exactly as planned. It’s not that it was a bad day of touring on the CDT, it’s just, it wasn’t how one would imagine an ideal day.

It started around midnight.

“Scott, wake up. We’ve got to put the tarp up.”

“Why?”

“It’s starting to rain.”

Sure enough, a midnight storm had moved it and we raced, in our half asleep states, to get the tarp tied up, after we’d decided, while sitting with plenty of daylight at camp, that it wasn’t going to rain and that we wouldn’t have to put it up.

We listened to a brief downpour as lighting lit up our tarp and cracks of thunder moved across the sky. When the fireworks died down, we drifted off to sleep on our very not flat campsite.

Breakfast. Rolling.

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“My GPS isn’t turning on,” said the GPS Master.

“I’ll turn mine on so at least we have a track to follow,” I said. “That’s funny, it’s turning on but the map screen is black.”

“Weird. Let me turn it off and on again.” Scott looked puzzled. “Now the screen is green.”

He did it again, red screen. And again, blue screen. No maps. No tracks. Fudge.

“I’ll figure out how to do a hard reset at the top of the pass,” Scott decided. “We’ll use the phone for now.”

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Both of our legs lacked spunk. We independently spent the first 10 miles of the day thinking about going right on the highway and coasting into Encampment for breakfast rather than going left and climbing to Battle Pass and rejoining the trail.

But we turned left. And into the wind. Heinous wind, straight in our faces. We had seven miles to climb. I’d love to say I handled it with grace…but that would be a lie. I tried to make peace with it, we were in Wyoming after all, but it slowed our progress to nearly a standstill. Pavement. 2 mph.

We eventually reached the top and took shelter behind the outhouse. Scott interneted to figure out hard resets for the GPSs and tried mine first. Red screen. He moved on to his. Now it booted up…but to a blue map screen. Double fudge. He traced the problem down to a corrupt track that we were now close enough to that the GPS saw it…and crashed. We couldn’t delete them, we couldn’t turn them off.

It was to be a navigation by phone type of day.

Luckily, the trail was super well marked. Once we found it.

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Ghetto sign

For good measure, it started with a hike-a-bike. What would a day be without some hike-a-bike. We gained the divide and the trail turned into a lovely little ATV track. Ups and downs, standard divide procedure, but nothing too bad. Well, if we’d had legs, it wouldn’t have been too bad.

After some time, we dove off onto actual 1-track. Quite possibly one of the best kept WY single track secrets. Zoom diggity down we went through the woods, stopping only occasionally to get over a downed tree. We both knew it couldn’t last, but we enjoyed it while we could.

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After exiting Deep Jack Creek trail, things took a turn for the worse. When in the trees, the trail was full of trees. When out in meadows, there was no trail. We spent the next couple of hours climbing through meadows to a highpoint and then dropping down into some trees.

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This went on until Divide Peak where the trail mercifully spit us out on a road. New trail had been built as a continuation of the ridge running, but we were more than happy to take the “old” CDT route and coast and pedal freely for the first time all afternoon.

Whooped, we knew we had to make it to water before calling it a day, so we continued onto the GDMBR and turned north.

“I think we’ve gone too far,” Scott said after a while. He pulled out his phone. “Yep. We overshot it, by almost a mile. I didn’t see a 2-track going off to the left, did you?”

“Nope.”

We turned back, descending the mile that we’d just climbed, wondering how we’d missed the trail. Then we saw the marker. Behind a giant pile of construction dirt, like a 30 foot tall, 50 foot wide pile of dirt. Right. In. Front. of. the. sign.

Scott had some select names for the construction crew.

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We followed our newly found 2-track down to the river where we set up for dinner in lush grass while watching sparrows play. While we wanted to camp there, river valley camping is never warm.

We unwrapped dinner #1, a burrito from Steamboat. Mold on the tortilla. Bugger. Two days was asking a lot of it…but it was supposed to be half of our dinner, and we were lowish on calories, so we unwrapped it and ate the innards anyway. We made the rest of our mac and cheese and pretended that we weren’t still hungry before pedaling our bikes to near the top of the mesa to set up camp.

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We can see miles in all directions. There’s a good storm, complete with lighting far to the south. I guess all we can do is hope that it stays south as there’s nothing here but sage brush, so the best we could do in the rain is get in our bivies and burrito ourselves in the tarp. Here’s to hoping for a dry night!


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CDT Day 61 – Clark and into Wyoming!

Day 61

The big accomplishment for today: We made it to Wyoming. And a little beyond. And really, barely beyond, because once we hit the border, my legs decided that they wanted to be done for the day. After a 10 minute siesta on the side of the road, I coaxed another hour of riding out of them, which is good because we found camping water and a nice little campsite among living trees.

I can’t wait to get out of beetle kill territory.

And mosquito territory. If I had a nickel for every mosquito I’ve killed, I’d never have to work again.

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We left our nice little campsite early enough to still be riding in jackets. The trail continued to be a beautiful little river trail, trending gently downwards through high vegetation. With trail like that, we could cover endless miles. We’d also be bored silly after about an hour.

We rejoined the GDMBR 11 miles shy of the Clark Store. The Clark Store is like a Bode’s, has everything, food is great, and you never want to leave. Unfortunately, when racing SoBo on the GDMBR, Steamboat is a mere 20 some odd miles away, so there’s really no reason to indulge in all that Clark has to offer. Plus, chances are, you’ve just come off a massive feeding at Brush Mountain Lodge.

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Today, we did. Huevos rancheros for breakfast, some interneting time, the weekly call to my parents (my mom is on a mission to fatten Miss Maia up and has been treating her like the princess that she is, feeding her sausages and adding bacon fat or olive oil to her dog food. Old souls need to be treated with care, we decided.)

Then we walked out with $98 worth of groceries. Three days, two nights. I was a little skeptical that we’d have enough to get to Rawlins, but the hand cart was getting heavy!

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When everything had found a home on our bikes or our bags, we headed up the road, now off the GDMBR. Aided by a tailwind, we made short work of the 9 miles up to the trailhead where we’d rejoin the CDT after detouring around the Zirkle Wilderness.

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We’d been warned that the trail was open to motos and an overall moto’d out mess. I think our standards are getting lower because we thought it was fine. There were definitely some rubbled, steep climbs and descents, but for the most part, it was a lovely little trail. 1-track eventually turned to 2-track as it opened to ATV’s, and we spent the rest of the afternoon on the divide, climbing to every little high point available. Scott called them PUDs. Pointless up and downs. I called the small ones upsy daisies, the medium ones upsy doozies, and the hike-a-bike ones oofsy-doozies. There were a lot of each category, and while we were making decent time, we were both ready to be off the ATV road and onto an actual road. 20 miles of trail was just about perfect.

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We descended down to the Wyoming state line, detouring around another Wilderness area, and since there wasn’t a sign signifying the change of state, we did a little happy dance to signify it instead.

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We rolled along for a while, took a break to let me regroup, and then continued on until we found camp. The fire’s going. Mosquitos are getting killed. Dinner is eaten. Tomorrow, further into the unknown.


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CDT Day 60 – Steamboat town chores and Strawberry Hot Springs

I had a roommate back in college who was, well, let’s call her a hippy of sorts. She was into fire dancing, drum circles, and the clothing-optional hotsprings north of Steamboat, Strawberry hot springs. I’d been there during the daylight where clothing is required, and definitely wanted to go back.

Luckily, our route went right through it. Not just to it, but in one end, and out the trail on the other. There was no way we weren’t going to stop and soak.

But, we were also tired and Steamboat is definitely not a place to hurry out of.

We started our day at CreekSide for breakfast. Becky and Dan understand bike touring. Then know that towns are for eating, sleeping, and recovering, so they sent us to the cafe with the biggest portions in town. We almost made it in time to get the local’s special, but we couldn’t quite get out of bed in time.

Next stop was Orange Peel bikes. We arrived at the same time as a tandem touring the GDMBR, and a father and two sons from Ireland who were touring from Steamboat to Santa Fe via the GDMBR to Abiquiu and then over. We watched them unpack a huge box of brand new Revelate Gear. Seatbags, handlebar rolls, frame bags, the works. I’d be curious to hear how their trip went, they weren’t lacking in enthusiasm.

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To keep a running tally of things we’re replacing (Scott thinks I should keep a photo gallery of equipment that I wear out):

I got new gloves, new grips, a new camelback nozzle, a new pair of socks (apparently when you hike a lot, the heels get worn out quick), and a new rear derailleur cable, as mine had frayed, again.

Scott got new grips, and had me sew a new hole in his gloves.

Back at the house, we installed all of our new goodies and then proceeded to hang out with Becky and Dan for the rest of the afternoon, through lunch and dinner, waiting for the temperature to drop (it was roasting out).

It finally cooled off enough to pedal and we pointed our bikes towards the hot springs. 10 miles later and a boat load of climbing, we found ourselves at the entrance. We’d been riding in the dark for the last half hour. Timing was…a bit off, but we weren’t fussed. Really, how scary could a clothing optional hot springs be?

The soaking was divine. Hot pools, cold pools, a million and a half stars in the sky. Not a light to be seen anywhere. I’m pretty sure we were one of the last ones out, drying off quickly, filling up on water, and continuing on our trip, out the back entrance of the springs.

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Becky had told me that the trail started in a narrow valley but that things eventually opened up. Two miles of fairly blissful, smooth, slightly downhill trail later, we finally found a flat spot big enough for two bodies. We were sold.

Camp went up quick and we were out within minutes. Still warm from the hot springs, we slept quickly and deeply.


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CDT Day 59 – Road relief, and an adventure down Fish Creek Falls

We were hiking our bikes down Fish Creek Falls trail, a wild jumble of rocks and roots, switchbacking down the side of a cliff while overlooking a giant waterfall when Scott started getting a little bit grumpy about life.

“I should have done more research on this trail. We should have done the 600 foot climb to the top of Steamboat Mountain and been able to ride actual mountain bike trail down to town. This trail isn’t used by mountain bikes.”

I shrugged. Downhill hike-a-bike. Do it all the time.

But then I pointed out, if we hadn’t found ourselves on this rather adventurous trail (for bikes, seems pretty popular for hikers), it would have been a fairly routine day on the CDT. This way, we got to have an adventure! (We learned later that some people didn’t consider it any more technical than Oracle Ridge. I couldn’t comment, I walked down both. And Fish Creek is ridden somewhat regularly, but mostly on 6+ inch travel bikes.)

The day started out with me crawling out of my sleeping bag to find the fire roaring and breakfast almost ready. Yes, I have the best touring partner on the face of the planet. After eating, we had to tear our way away from the fire, food wasn’t getting any closer just standing there.

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The trail started out promising, an old closed road that had grown into a singletrack. Except for the trees. Still in the midst of beetle kill, we lugged our bikes over 50+ trees before opting to take a straight line up the mountain short cut to get to a road that was still opened to motorized travel. I’ve never been so happy to see treeline. No tress = no trees on the ground.

We were also anxious to finally start making some miles after yesterdays low-milage day. With wide open roads, bikes finally became an advantage instead of a hinderance. We followed fresh footprints, knowing that we were closing in on Walker and Medic, who the Brits had told us were ahead of us.

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Many miles later, the footprints almost became mocking. We’re cruising at a good pace, where are they?

We came across two section hikers first. They were disappointed that we weren’t day-riders. “Day riders always offer us pastries and other good snacks.” We had none of the above.

“We’re pretty low on food, we’re looking forward to making it to Steamboat,” we said.

“I’ve got way too much food,” one of the hikers said. “Want some?”

“Ummm…yeah!”

We rode away with a PowerBar, a CliffBar, and a LaraBar. Scott ate all but one bike of the PowerBar (I ate one bite and had to try my hardest not to spit it out), I ate the CliffBar, and we shared the LaraBar. They were much welcome calories…though the PowerBar…yuck. They haven’t gotten any better over the years.

10 miles of road later, we found Medic and Walker where the dirt road turned to pavement. They were looking at a 12.8 mile road walk (mostly highway and paved) to the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. They were jealous of the bikes, realizing that we’d be there in under two hours.

“But you hauled them up Peakview? Up all the shale? You carried them over all those downed trees?”

Bikes. You win some, you lose some.

They were one of the few groups that hadn’t flip flopped on the trail to avoid snow and were planning on hiking Wyoming without a single zero day. It was time to move, they said. I said we had the same plan. The moving part, not the no zero day part.

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The pavement went quick. No navigation needed. No skills needed. Minimal effort needed, at least until we started climbing Rabbit Ears. We soon got on dirt paralleling the highway and reached Old Rabbit Ears Pass in no time. We’d snowbiked here two winters ago and had been talking about coming back in the summer ever since.

“This is where the shuttle ride GPX starts,” Scott said.

“How many miles is it to Steamboat?” I asked.

“You don’t want to know.”

I paused.

“I might need to readjust my expectations…how far is it?”

“32 miles.”

Oi vei.

We hoped for tree-free trail, but it was not to be. Some hikers told us that there were dozens of trees down along the trail. They weren’t lying. Still, beautiful, meandering trail. Pretty lakes. But the trees…I may have said something about not being to wait until the Great Basin where it would be flat and treeless for miles and miles.

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Eventually, we dropped down Fish Creek Trail. While the GPX said to take a quick exit from the trail to Mountain View trail, which climbed up the backside of the resort and dropped down, we opted to stay on the trail, the most direct route directly into downtown Steamboat. It had been called a “technical classic” by a fellow bikepacker.

Technical, yes. Classic, maybe. Probably not the correct choice with bikepacking gear when you’re out of food and just want to make it to town.

But the waterfalls were beautiful!

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And whenever we saw hikers coming up, we happened to actually be riding our bikes down.

Fish Creek Falls, ride it all the time!

Once in town, we sighed a sigh of relief. After a quick stop at Natural Grocers, we made our way to Becky and Dan’s place where chicken was marinating for the grill, potatoes were boiling for the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten, broccoli was steaming, and supplies for grill roasted s’more were waiting.

Riding trails is great. Hanging out in towns with friends is great. Touring is great.


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CDT Day 58 – Big peaks, mountain goats, tundra freeriding, and dodging thunderstorms

Tomorrow is going to be a hungry day. But that’s okay, because we have our tarp up, a fire going, dinner cooking, and it’s raining.

We’d gotten to the base of a surprise climb, as in “Surprise! You didn’t look at the map close enough and didn’t realize you had a 1,000 feet to climb and then four miles of traversing high on the divide before you really get to drop down for the day”. We were filling up on water and had determined that we’d need to fill up completely to be able to make dinner, breakfast, and make it to the next water source. I picked up my bag with 100 oz of water in it – Hey, it looks really grim and gray up on the divide, how about we call it early, go back to that beautiful camp site we saw 25 yards ago, and make a fire instead of climbing and getting stormed on up high?

Seemed brilliant to me. Unfortunately, it leaves us with about 40 miles to ride tomorrow on minimal food. But that’s an issue for tomorrow.

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We woke up at first light and had our “mystery breakfast”, it was like eating horchata. I think it was cream of wheat based…but beyond that…yum. I wish I knew what was in it.

We were rolling by 6:45, knowing that we had a high peak to get over and then more exposed riding a few more miles down the road. Weather forecast was ok, but not super.

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Riding trail soon turned into hike-a-bike trail. Chamois came off, music went in. I’d taken as much weight off of my bike as I could and put it in my pack to help with the 2,000 foot climb. It made a world of difference, not to say that the hike was easy, but it wasn’t as cumbersome as climbs have been with stuff on my bike. Live and learn.

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We reached the summit fire lookout just shy of 10. We’d wanted to sleep up there last night, but we discovered why the maps say, “Not a suitable camping spot.” It was filled with bees, flies, and mosquitos. And high voltage equipment.

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We did get to share the summit with a mountain goat. He watched us curiously as we gained the summit and then hung out with us as we waited for the Brits to catch up. We’d seen them gaining on us throughout the morning. We shared a summit snack as they told us a story of someone who’d been killed by a mountain goat at Olympia National Park. He’d charged the guy and severed his femural artery.

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We gave him a wide berth as we made our way down from the summit along a broad, grassy, and somewhat rocky ridge. 1,000 feet down without trail, 80% ridable. Wheeeee!

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I’m king of the mountain!
No. *I’m* king of the mountain!

The trail followed the divide, gaining most of the high points with minimal BS factor. Beautiful tundra riding. It then dropped down to the saddle by Haystack mountain and the trail turned Meh. Lots of trees down, lots of pointless climbs and descents.

I had to remind Scott (and myself) that if every trail was a contour trail, mountain biking would get boring real quick.

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We had lunch at Troublesome Pass and headed up towards Poison Ridge, another long, exposed section. It was bluebird when we first regained treeline and we were loving life, powering up steeps and understanding why people did this trail as a day ride.

And then we looked up, and clouds were quickly gaining momentum. Bluebird one second, thunder the next. We still had 4+ miles of divide riding before we’d drop down from 11k. No bueno. We found the last clump of trees before a long, exposed traverse and hunkered down, willing to give the thunder 10 minutes to see what it did. What did it do? It started raining.

We pulled our tarp out and used our heads and tent poles, listening to the rain beat down around us and thunder clap above our heads.

It wouldn’t have been a true Colorado experience without at least one thunderstorm stop.

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A break in the rain and thunder gave us a change to scurry across the traverse and back into the semi-wooded divide. Each time we left the trees, we scoped our next bail out incase the dark clouds started to grumble again. It was stressful, but soon it became apparent that we were going to make it out. High-five!

The descent was awesome. It was just unfortunate that Scott discovered that there was a climb that he’d overlooked following it.

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We covered nearly 20 miles today in just over 10 hours with a lunch break and a thunder break. We haven’t seen the Brits, so we must have made okay time. We’re about 12 mile shy of where we wanted to be, but worst case scenario, if we make it to Rabbit Ears Pass tomorrow bonking and miserable, we can just coast down to Steamboat. But I think we’re going to be just fine – we have horchata breakfast, a 450 calorie bag of cashews, a package of poptarts, and single fig newton, a Luna bar, two tortillas, two single slices of cheese, a few bites of summer sausage, and a single Mento. Yeah. We’re golden.

(We also have two single serve packages of honey and two jam packages pilfered from a diner if things get dire)

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