Day 40

Happy I4Birthday to Josh! Each day we have a different holiday or random rider “birthday”… It’s entertaining. We woke up in “Cold-arado” to temperatures in the low 40s. Pulling out warm clothes we have never worn on this trip, we bundled up and downed warm bowls of oatmeal. Today’s ride was dedicated to Shiqi’s grandfather who passed away from cancer. She is riding in his memory.

We took off this morning only to immediately take off all our wintery layers of clothing at the summit of Cameron Pass. Today we made I4K history by reaching the highest point at 10,276 feet. The original route (before van issues) had us climbing to 12,000 feet… I think we are all okay with not reaching that ridiculous elevation; it was hard enough as is. We reached the summit and were rewarded with the most beautiful decent ever: rounding a corner, giant snow-capped mountains loomed before us, and we flew down the hills, delighted by the wonderful Colorado terrain. This descent brought us down to around 8,000 feet of elevation into the basin known as North Park. There we found ourselves briefly in civilization in the town of Walden. The people there were very nice and interested to hear about our trip. We rode through rolling hills up to the Continental Divide, which we ended up crossing twice. The last few miles were reminiscent of yesterday’s difficult climb to the end. We also happened to be camping at around 9,000 feet as we did yesterday.

Once we made our way to Dumont Lake, we had tent parties and generally just napped off the hard day. One of the best parts of today was some of our camping neighbors cheering for the last group as we rolled in. It was heartwarming and just what we needed at the end of a difficult day. We also needed dinner… hot dogs, grapes, and Ryan’s tasty baked beans. The night ended with a dance party, celebrating the fact that it must be all downhill from here to San Francisco… Right?

In other news, we were emailed by Beverly Erickson from the Bridgeport News-Blade who wrote an article about us a few days ago. The website can be found here. We hope to be able to post the full article soon.

Record-setting elevation today! Well for Illini 4000, that is...

Leave a Reply