Day 24 - June 30th
24.7 miles (plus 56 slacker miles)
Total: 954 miles
I don't know how we managed nearly 25 miles today. I was still feeling less than perfect, and our ride into town for random groceries showed that I wasn't full strength.
We needed to get to Silverthorne today to stay on schedule. I have a friend meeting us on Sunday, a home stay scheduled for a couple days after that, and a potential home stay a few days after that. I was in no shape to ride the 70 miles to Silverthorne, and the weather was calling for rain and thundershowers all day long, not exactly what one wants when biking over a pass.
Apricots and I sat at a coffee shop discussing our options. I made a few calls to people listed with WarmShowers, a service the connects cyclists to one another for support. After going through almost all possible scenarios, we found a host in Buena Vista. I asked if we could take a rest day at his home to save money, or if he could shuttle us down the road to help us keep schedule. Mark kindly offered to take us to the top of the pass so that we could roll down hill into Silverthorne. As I was only weak, this felt like the best option.
Mark (the second Mark to help us on this trip) picked us up and drove us up the Arkansas river valley, a premier whitewater rafting river. He told us a little history of the area, and movements to turn the defunct rail line into a trail for pedestrians and cyclists. Currently the government says no, so the locals are pursuing a different option to turn an old stagecoach road into a pathway.
We passed through Granite, Leadville, and finally Climax, an obsolete town that was taken over by a giant Molybdenum mining operation. The top of the pass was a giant scar on the landscape, but still very cool to look at.
Since the rain was falling the heaviest at the top of the pass, Mark drove us a bit further to a bike trail on the other side. He saved us the burden of cycling on a highway in a rainstorm. Instead we could cycle a beautiful bike path down into Frisco, and then on to Silverthorne, all of it mostly downhill.
The rain didn't let up much, but we made the wet grind down to Frisco where we stopped in to warm up and have lunch. After lunch we cycled t he last bit down to Silverthorne, taking a winding path around Dillon Reservoir, before crossing the dam and dropping in to Silverthorne.
Silverthorne is a nice town nestled in a valley behind a giant dam. It's a little unsettling to look up at a wall of rock, knowing how much water weight is pressing against the rock. I sure hope the dam is over engineered.
In town we bought new tires for our bikes and did laundry, the had a tasty dinner at a Bakery/Brewery.
The forecast for the next few days is rain. I am not looking forward to biking in cold rain.... but we must push on if we are going to do this whole trail.
Tonight we spoiled ourselves to a hotel for solid rest. Hopefully my illness bug will have taken leave by morning.
Live life at a slower place.