In Steamboat I took a day off. My bike needed a new rear tire as the tread was almost gone, it also needed new brake pads and some other small tweaks. Both my bike and I received some love and rest in Steamboat. I am grateful to Kathy and Eric for their hospitality and kindness. I left Steamboat eager to arrive in Summit County in the next few days. Summit County is a very special place for me, I spent many many years of my life living there and had many friends I was excited to reconnect with. My first day out of Steamboat was wonderful, beautiful, and perfect. There was a lot of climbing, but, the colors, oh my goodness, the colors were amazing. I arrived at Lynx Pass Campground 39.5 miles later around 4 pm and setup my tent. I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at camp- reading and stretching. In the early evening, Rachel and her husband, Jacob drove into the campground and took the campsite next to me. I usually always try to chat with people at campgrounds, it makes me feel like I am not all alone. Rachel and Jacob were hands down AWESOME! Unbelievably kind and interesting people. Although I kind of invited myself over to their campsite :), we quickly started up a conversation and ended up sharing a great evening together- talking about life, food, traveling, the pandemic craziness, etc. It was great to connect with these two amazing humans. They even let me have three hot dogs 🙂 The evening began to get pretty cold and I knew I needed to sleep, so I said goodbye and crawled into my tent for the night. The night was chilly and rainy, but, I stayed pretty warm for the most part.
In the early morning I packed up and left. My hands were burning because of the cold. I quickly put on my mittens and started to ride out of the campground. The day started with downhill riding and riding across highway 134. The morning air was freezing, I could see my breathe and I was so cold even though I was bundled up. 4.8 miles into the day I had to ford Rock Creek. I took my Chacos and wool socks off and walked my bike through the frigid water, my feet throbbing because of the cold, my whole body shivering. I sat down after I crossed the creek and put my socks and Chacos back on. I continued riding and in about another hour the day began to warm up and my body started feeling more alive and not so frozen. The roads were pretty good, the scenery was beautiful. After riding up and down and up and down for miles, I rode downhill into Radium. Then the climbing began to get steeper, but, the views did not disappoint. Near Inspiration Point the wind began to pick up, it kept blowing my hat off my head and making pedaling pretty hard. I got off my bike and started pushing my bike uphill, fighting against the wind and at the same time trying to enjoy the views. 31 miles into the day I got to the crest of the climbing and prepared for the 7 mile downhill 🙂 I completed the 7 miles down to highway 9 and turned towards Kremmling. I then quickly turned off the highway onto County rd 33 and decided to ride another 12 miles to get to Williams Fork Resevoir Campground. The 12 miles included a gradual climb and the wind, well, the wind was awful and I was struggling to not lose it. I hate wind. Oh my goodness. I arrived at the campground and just wanted to get out of the wind. However, the campground was pretty treeless and I surely couldn’t setup my tent in that wind. I met this fisherman guy who was camped there and I hunkered down at his site which had the only trees in the area. About two hours later the wind calmed down a bit and three other bikers arrived. They were out for a few days and I setup next to them for the night. The night got really cold.
In the morning, I noticed that my bike seat was covered in frost. So was all of my gear. It was hard to pack up that morning because it was so cold out. I left as early as I could and I was looking forward to arrive in Silverthorne/Dillon that day and meet up with my friend Mark. I bundled up as I had been doing the last few days. The air was bitter cold. I didn’t even stop to eat breakfast because I was too cold to stop. I kept riding towards Ute Pass. The climb up Ute Pass seemed to never end, it just kept going up, but the summit was so rewarding and I could finally see the Gore Range. I knew I was close to Summit County then and that I was soon going to see my buddy. I hung out at the summit for awhile, finally ate some food and took a few pictures. The Gore Range is such a great mountain range and I have had many adventures in those mountains, I was so happy to be there! I got back on my bike after awhile and rode the 5.5 miles down to highway 9, the road that would lead me into Silverthorne/Dillon 🙂 I smiled the entire 5.5 miles down to the highway. I turned on highway 9 and rode into Silverthorne. Along the way, I noticed all of the new development and how very different it had become since I lived there. I didn’t care though, I just wanted to get into town and see my buddy, Mark, it had been years since I saw him. I called him right as I got into town and we agreed to met at Lake Dillon.. To be continued….