Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 43

Friday, August 19

Miles today: 63

We started off the morning bright and early, leaving our motel at 7:15 at a cold 52 degrees outside. Bike shorts and a thin sweatshirt are not quite warm enough for these cool mornings. We had a gorgeous ride on the Community Recreational Pathway (at home we just call it a bike path but I guess they are more inclusive of all outdoor sports in CO). The path followed the Blue River for 6 miles into Silverthorne. I could live in Silverthorne- it is so beautiful! On the river, in the mountains, bikepaths everywhere, what more could you want? Even though it was chilly, it was a great little ride.

This part of the path was along the Dam Road... We had some fun with that one.

We had breakfast in town and then rode on about 35 miles to Kremmling. It was downhill for the first 20 miles and we were feeling great! Its an incredible feeling to go 18 mph for so long with minimal effort. As we got into lower elevations, it started warming up and also getting hillier. The mountains changed from looking like rocks to sand; we could have been in Egypt. It's so cool how quickly the terrain changes with the elevation. After a short lunch break in Kremmling, we decided to go off route to Hot Sulphur Springs to enjoy the springs. Our alternative was 61 miles away, so we decided the 17 to the springs was more practical for our first day back on the bikes. We found out that the route has actually changed since our maps were published so our detour was the right way anyway. Along the way we descended into Byer Canyon which was carved out by the Colorado River. Ben says the Grand Canyon is more impressive but i am not sure how it could beat this. I guess I'll hold off judgement until i have seen both. There was also a railway on the side of the canyon - scary!

We pulled into the springs and could immediately smell the fresh cooked hard boiled eggs. Yum! (I actually do like the smell, I'm not being sarcastic). There are 24 different pools, ranging in temperature from 85 to 112 degrees. It felt amazing to soak in the pools, getting into a cooler one when it got too hot and enjoying the mountain views. It started raining pretty much as we arrived, which was great because we were warm and not riding in the rain! We spent about 3 hours in the pools, trying each one out, with no real motivation to get out as long as it was still raining. The rain finally stopped around 5:30 so we got out and set up our tent just down the road, along the Colorado River (free campsites! Wahoo). We cooked a great meal of mac'n cheese, black beans and salsa. It was still early after dinner so we walked into town to find some dessert.

We walked over to the only place open in town-the Glory Hole Cafe (a term used in fishing for a fish-rich spot). There were a few other people inside and a man playing the guitar. We ordered coffees and cherry pie a la mode, which was delicious. The musician asked us where we were from, what we were up to and he got a kick out of our out-of-town status. The Moby Man (his stage name) sang old love songs for us and some comical songs too. There was a couple in town from Rocky Ford, which is known all around the state for their cantaloupe. The couple was in town to sell the melons, which are famous but rarely make it out of the state because everybody here eats them up. Before they left, they brought in a melon which the waitress cut up and served to us all. It was so sweet and juicy, by far the best melon I've ever had. Hopefully we can get some more before leaving the state! After an hour or so, we left the cafe and headed back to camp just as the rain started back up. Its so great to be in our warm and dry tent as the rain trickles down the fly!

Moby Man singings his tunes

Ben shaved for the first time in 6 weeks. Looking good!

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