Day 26 - July 2nd
Total: 1004.4 miles
(Plus 69.6 slacker miles, but we are gonna backtrack)
I woke at sunrise. The rain had stopped. It had rained all night. I had high hopes that the clouds had dumped all their water, and the day would be rain free. I gently woke Apricots, and said it was time to go. We had a choice between 16 miles of highway and forty trail miles, or 48 highway miles.
Well the shorter distance trumped the official route. We packed up, and just before we crawled out of the tent, the rain started falling. Big sigh. It was not going to be a good day. Fortunately, it was a light sprinkle, and we wanted to put as many highway miles behind us as we could before the Fourth of Julyers took over the road.
The first mile was nice with a decent shoulder. But that changed, and traffic was unusually high for six am. Four and a half miles behind us, Apricots had started inventing new swear words, and the mosquitos were already out in double droves.
We pulled to the side of the road at a turnout area. We discussed our options. Should we backtrack and take the official route? Should we hitchhike? Should we violently throw our bikes in front of a passing semi? Should we throw ourselves in front of a semi?
One thing is for certain, we wanted coffee. Apricots pulled out the bowls while I half heartedly stuck my thumb out at passing trucks. Suddenly a minivan pulled over and asked if we needed anything. I defeatedly said no. Then the driver asked if we would like a ride. Shocked at the idea that it would work, we excitedly said yes, if our gear could fit in the van.
Ten minutes later all our gear was crammed into a minivan, and we were making record pace to Steamboat Springs. Our trail angel, Audrey, was super stoked to have picked up two great divide tour cyclists. She plans on doing a 28 day south bound ride starting early August. Giddy for the potential knowledge swap, and caring for the pathetic state we appeared to be in, she invited us to her friends house.
Her friends were having a fourth of July party up at Steamboat Lake, with about fiteen other adults. The cabin in the mountains looked out on the lake, where an early firework show would be put on.
While we stopped for a fresh batch of hot coffee in town, Audrey cleared it with her friends. Then Audrey treated us to breakfast, insisting we eat as much as we could. I consumed biscuits and gravy and bacon and creamcheese french toast. Heavenly.
Post breakfast, we headed up to Gina and Karen's house at Steamboat Lake. We were greeted with warm welcomes, offers for showers and Laundry Service, and promises of amazing afternoon barbecue delights.
We socialized throughout the afternoon, and took a nap. My health neared full finally after I got a full day of rest. We consumed amazing barbecue delights and sweet treats, and b socialized into the evening.
Then an amazing storm swept into the valley. The wind whipped up to violent speeds, and rain pounded so heavily on the house, the roof appeared to spring a couple leaks. Lightening was striking less than a second away. We all jumped inside, wondering whether the weather would wipe the evenings firework show.
Thirty minutes later the storm had passed the house. In the distance we could still see solid lightening bolts striking the mountains. The pyrotechnicians jumped on the open weather window, and let the a how start. We watched explosions in the sky, multicolored blasts back dropped by the nature's own firework show.
Two simultaneous shows for our delight, in the company of good people.
Shortly afterward, we made our way to the tent. Everything inside remained dry through the storm, and we had solid rest awaiting us, after our much needed rest day.
Live life at a slower place.