Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 42 - Grand Lake, CO to Riverside, WY. 121 miles boyyyeeee.

For some reason I was up before sunrise. So I heated some corned beef hash, brewed some joseph and caught up on some news. The original plan was to ride up to Walden today and stay with the friend of a friend. I stocked up on some supplies as I had roughly 60ish miles of mountains and flats to ride through - and that was all - not a store or anything for miles.

The first 15 miles were all down hill but into the wind as I descended out of a draw toward Granby, CO. Then I headed a few miles west and headed north through another draw that climbed for 20 miles until is went over a pass at 9500 feet and into a vast valley. Somehow in this draw the wind swirled all over the place the enitre time. At times it was pushing me uphill and at others it held me back.

On the way down I pulled into the small town of Rand and met another cyclist from Boulder. He was doing the TransAm trail from VA to OR. We set out together and I must say, the dude smoked me. he must have been in his 50s, and of course, me, thinking I'm this young guy with all the speed in the world, was left in his dust after the first 5 miles. I tried to keep up for as long as I could and even have a conversation, but was we kept moving, I felt tired and had to hang back. I never saw him again, except as a little ant-like spec in the distance. nice work, john.

I hit Walden about 4:00 and with plenty of daylight I just decided to keep moving and wing it. But first I had to stop for a bowl of spaghetti - was just what I needed. I kept moving planning on stopping in the medicine bow national forest at some random point, but the longer I rode the more I realized I probably wouldn't find such a place. 50 miles and 3.5 hrs later I was in the town of Riverside, WY just as the sun fell behind the plaines.

The place was booming and the town only has a population of 45. Just so happens that that weekend was the annual woodchoppers jamboree and rodeo. Tons of partying to be had. I posted up with 3 other cyclists at the local campground, which was awesome by the way. There was one dude from france and a couple from Wash DC. The couple were ride recumbent bikes - honestly I don't know how you ride them things, but they seem to enjoy it. The bikes have huge windshields too - guess it keeps em from swallowing bugs. Yes, I have come to swallow some gnats and flies on this trip. We all spoke of the exact same issues and emotions we had all been experiencing on this trip. And of course, hunger, was at the top of the list. Nice to know it's not just me eating errrthing in sight.

Like I said before, there was partying to be had. So we all went across the street to the local bar where bonfires, country music and PBR ruled. I was out by 12 but the word on the street is that on this particular weekend that bar doesn't even close. Riverside, you have won me over.

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