For the sake of completeness: some of the activities we’ve partaken in on days spent in town. While I seem to do a good job of writing something each night we’re on the trail, there never seems to be enough time on rest days to jot down what happened. I mean, between a little bit of work, finding the best food in town, going for the occasional day ride, and watching PBS’s Sex in the Wild, there just aren’t enough hours.
Winter Park – Day 51 – 55
Back in the early 90’s, my parents bought a small condo up Vasquez road in Winter Park. Being far too cool for school back in those days, I didn’t see it for the first several years. Then I learned how to mountain bike and have probably spent more time up there than any other family member.
My parents came up to meet us, bringing along a potential Ph. D. student from Taiwan. She was visiting America for three weeks and my parents were doing a good job making sure she got a good taste of Americana. We took her to pizza at Hernandos one night and Pepe Osakas for sushi tacos the next. And Rise and Shine for breakfast, of course.
My Osprey Hornet next to Krista’s. Scott says it might be time to retire it after this trip.
When they went back down to the Front Range, we continued to enjoy the brunt of the monsoons from under a roof. It was, once again, perfect timing.
We ran into Mother Goose and Swan one day, we hadn’t seen them since south of Cuba.
We went for a short backyard ride on some semi-techy trails to let Scott’s inner rock monkey come out and play.
Krista and Diaz came by to bum a shower after a day of downhilling at Winter Park. We went back to Hernandos for dinner because it really is the best place for food in town.
Rawlins – Day 64
Rawlins. My first visit was when a snowstorm shut down I-80 and the best solution we could think of was to drink a lot of beer and get a $42 hotel room that didn’t have a working heater. They did give us a spaceheater, and I’m pretty sure we escaped without any major diseases. My second time through was during Tour Divide, when after fighting wind for the last 30 miles into down and running out of food and water, I was sub-stoked. Get food, go fight the wind again.
This time through, we ended up in a semi-clean but affordable motel. We ate the fairly dismal continental breakfast thinking that we’d internet around a bit and then go get real breakfast in an hour. Three hours later, fueled by Fig Newtons and some other snacks, we finally got hungry enough for lunch. We headed straight back to the Thai Buffet.
“Sorry, no buffet on weekends.”
We pointed towards Penny’s, the 50’s era diner instead, on the other side of town. Along the way, we saw the Fellowship on the side of the road trying to hitch a ride across town.
“We’re going to go get the buffet!” they said excitedly.
“Hate to break it to you, no buffet on weekends.”
They were crestfallen.
“But, Penny’s is right around the corner and should provide you with plenty of calories to get you on the road.”
They ate an impressive amount.
We went back, worked a bit more, and then stayed up far too late as I got sucked into some Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore RomCom on TV. It was either that or Why Airplanes Crash, which for someone who’s already scared of flying, is not the correct show to watch. We could sleep on the trail…wait, what?
Pinedale – Day 68
Breakfast as the Rivera Bed and Breakfast was served from 7-8. We set an alarm for 7:15, figuring we wouldn’t need it. When it went off, we weren’t sure what planet we were on or what our names were. Sleep was deep there.
Breakfast was a delicious affair. French toast, fresh fruit, yogurt, and bacon. Emi, the owner, is a top-notch breakfast cook. Afterwards, we moved our stuff into a smaller, and less expensive room. While we enjoyed the luxury of two queen-sized beds, a table for four, and two bathrooms, a double bed and a small table really was enough, as was one bathroom. For $89, including breakfast, I’m pretty sure it was the best room in town. It made the town vortex a strong one.
After digesting and getting hungry again, we stopped by the outdoors shop on our way to lunch to get some more fuel, bear spray, and see if anyone knew anything about the Wyoming Range Trail.
“That trail deadends in the middle of nowhere. There’s a lot of vertical on the trail. That’s deep grizzly country. There’s no bailouts once you go over that pass.” The owner seemed skeptical of our plan.
I, apparently, have a strong physical reaction to fear, real or perceived. My stomach knotted up so tight I thought I’d have to make a run to the nearest bathroom. Looking at the menu at lunch, I didn’t think I’d be able to choke anything down.
“So, how are we feeling about this Wyoming Trail?” I asked. “Can’t we just go through Yellowstone instead and play tourists? That’d be more “true” to the CDT, even if we have to ride more GDMBR than we want.”
I made my case: I’m scared of bears, only one person has successfully traversed this range on a bike (after many tries), this sounds like a route that should maybe just be done as a separate trip, I’m scared of bears, we’d have to carry a lot of food, I’ve never been to Yellowstone, I’m scared of bears, we’d get to ride 20 more miles of official CDT, I’m scared of bears.
“Ok, we’ll look at a map when we get back to the hotel.”
My stomach unknotted enough to eat.
We went back, plotted out a new route and doodled away the afternoon with a trip to the grocery store where we ran into Memento who we’d seen on Berthoud Pass, some time sitting next to Pine Creek, and watching America Ninja Warrior. I’m so glad we don’t have a TV in “real life” but it sure is fun to watch when on vacation.