Very relaxing morning at the Starlite Classic Campground. Thank you Sylvia and David! This place is a “must see” if you are anywhere near Royal Gorge.
Met a father and son team biking across country and biked with them into Canon City. Gene decided it was time to go “rural” – yes more rural than every other day. We biked thru the small towns of Rockvale, Williamsburg, and Coaldale, CO. Lots of rolling hills and head wind today so slow going.
When we arrived in the “town” of Wetmore, there were no services, as expected. There was one restaurant but it was only open on Friday and Saturday. Fortunately for us the “Day Family” was out watering their flowers and gave us a warm welcome to their community. They offered to let us camp at their community church and opened up the facilities to use. (1055 miles)
Woke up early next to the raging Arkansas River. We headed into Salida for a big breakfast and headed East around 10AM (early for us).
Pretty fast riding today with a nice tailwind – pedaled over the 1000 mile mark in Pleasant Valley, CO. We decided a celebration was in order so we gave our butts a break and white river rafted for 15 miles. I can’t say I jumped on this idea immediately but after a little persuasion from Gene I decided to give it a go and so happy I did! I did listen intently to the safety talk as a few miles back we saw a few rafters had been tossed out of their boat. I had no intention of swimming in the 55 degree water.
After we were back on our bikes we came across a few guys on their own “rafting tour”. They appeared to need a hand so Gene came to their rescue. Definitely hard to describe what these guys were doing so I hope the pics tell the story. One thing for sure is that they were having a great time.
We ended our day up near Royal Gorge at Starlite Campground – what a great find! (1020 miles)
Big climb over Monarch Pass today. At 11,312 this will be the highest we go. From our teepee it’s about a 3,000 foot climb over about 10 miles. Teepee was a great find as we had a good storm with pretty high winds.
Fortunately, Tomichi Creek’s new cook started today and some locals brought her some eggs to fry up. After a long breakfast and lots of coffee with the local crew, we loaded up and headed up to tackle the pass. Took our time as it was going to be very cold going down. Another cyclist (Andrew) actually bought some winter gloves from Leon as he was going up early.
Ride up was a challenge but beautiful. Jenn must have had an extra cup of coffee as it took everything I had to keep up with her at the top. We were soaking wet by the time we got to the top so sat in the gift shop and had tea hoping to dry off a bit before we headed down.
The 25 mile ride down to Poncha Springs was amazing. I used the GoPro cam from my family to do a video of the descent. When I figure out how to upload it I will add it here.
Ended the day in Salida, CO – a great town on the Arkansas River. Ran into one of the guys racing in Tour Divide A 2700 mile mountain bike race along the Continental Divide. This may be next years adventure. (981 miles)
Finally the TOP – it should be all downhill from here to Chicago!
Will try to add video of the ride down at some point.
Awoke to a beautiful sunrise coming over the mountains. Made Jenn her coffee and headed into Gunnison for a Mexican brunch and some wandering around town.
Clouds started rolling in and we decided to try and beat the storms to our next stop, the metropolis of Sargents, CO at the base of Monarch Pass. We were just able to outrun the storms but did get a little wet.
A big thanks to Leon at Tomichi Creek Trading Post for staying open a little late to throw a pizza in the oven and join us for some good conversation and a couple of beers. He also set us up in a teepee for the evening so we did not have to set up our tent in the rain and dark. (943 miles)