Day 27- July 3rd
28 miles (plus 58 backtrack slacker miles)
Total: 1032.4 miles
We slept in this morning. It has been a much needed rest, and the way we felt after the ride showed us the importance of rest days.
Gina and Karen continued their great hospitality by making a delicious breakfast, ensuring we had adequate water, and stockpiling a bag of treats from the sugar tray. We waited long enough for our tent to dry from the rain before setting out. We said our goodbyes and thank yous to Audrey for snagging us, and the hosts for everything else, and then set out on our way.
Our plan: cycle southbound to Steamboat Springs, meet up with an old friend who could shuttle us back to where Audrey picked us up, camp, and then cycle northbound to Steamboat Springs.
And that is what went down. We set off from our hosts, and cycled nine miles to Clark, and checked out a really cute county store / library / post office / ice cream parlour. From there. We cycled the nineteen miles to Steamboat Springs through vast ranchland and cool river valleys with freckled sunlight, where motorists share the road with cyclists.
The clouds had finally parted, just in time for the holiday festivities. Many locals (and likely tourists), were calmly drifting down the Yampa river on various flotation devices. Apricots and I made record pace into town. We then sat at a barbecue joint, waiting for Loren and Natalie to make their way into town.
I met Loren when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2005. My first hike, which covered about 1100 mikes, ended shortly after spending several days hiking with Loren and Denise (aka "Boone" and "Sas"). Eleven years later, Loren contacted me to make sure he could come trail Angel me and Apricots on our Great Divide tour.
Today, he helped out greatly. Natalie (his wife of three weeks) and Dexter, their bulldog, provided great company for our pseudo vacation from vacation. They were happy to get out of town to, as all of their pre and post wedding activities had actually prevented them from getting out for a break of their own.
They shuttled us up to Lynx Pass campground, close to where we jumped on board with Audrey. We enjoyed some wine, some games, and a campfire as the sun set. Strange enough, sometimes our cycling adventure exhausts us too much to actually sit back and enjoy the space we are in.
We consumed the wind, the trees, the stars, the clouds, the smell of campfire, and the good company to heal our energy and spirits. Tomorrow, we will sleep in and say goodbye before returning to Steamboat Springs via the official trail.
It was a lovely day. A true Colorado experience.
Live life at a slower place.