Days 37, 38, & 39

This blog was posted a day late because no internet access… yay camping! :)

We have been enjoying the wonderful state of Colorado! In Fort Collins, we took two rest days while we awaited the return of our beloved van, the “Silver Bullet.” On Monday, the Alumni Club of Boulder brought us out to dinner. Jaime Kelleher, 2010 and 2012 rider, kindly treated us all to Coopersmith’s. We were also joined by another alum. During our rest days, we made it to Ben & Jerry’s, various grocery stores, the laundromat, Fort Collins Club for numerous showers, and coffee shops. It was super chill and a number of riders had family and friends visit. We travelled places, baked cookies, and cooked meals. Walder picked up the van on Tuesday and we all rejoiced its return. We also celebrated the first holiday of “Every Day Is a Holiday July”: April Fools Day in July. Yesterday came to a close and we all rested up and drank ridiculous amounts of water for a new phase of riding: the Rocky Mountains.

This morning, Josh’s parents brought us Panera bagels. We also had cookies donated by Jeff’s parents and some bananas from Bill who met us at the church. His wife made wonderful rice crispy treats for us on Monday. We had a lot to be thankful for as we left LifePointe today. They hosted us for three nights, and generously provided space and a kitchen for that time. We left Fort Collins preparing to climb high into the mountains. Alex dedicated today’s ride to her grandmother who passed away three years ago after battling breast cancer.

Riding into the beautiful mountains which have been sitting west of us for days – enticing, menacing, beautiful – was exciting. We knew we had a lot of climbing ahead of us, but the average grade was less than 3%, so it really didn’t seem very bad. Compared with the steep grades of Appalachia, this was hardly uphill at all. It helped that CO-14, the road we took today and will be on for the next several days, follows the Cache la Poudre River for most of its length, so the climb was gradual. Today was by far the most beautiful day of the ride (okay I’m biased because I love mountains), but we had to ride in small groups of 3-4 to be safe on the winding roads. Towards the end, some of us definitely noticed the altitude. The shortness of breath was not just due to the climbing, although the grade did increase towards the end. Never forget rule #2: the stayover is always on top of a hill. On top of the maximum 9,000 feet elevation for today, we were attacked by evil biting flies for the last five miles. It came as a relief to arrive at Chambers Lake Campground and get a campfire going to escape the swarms of bugs.

Here at the campsite, we hiked around and had stretching parties. Dinner was spaghetti followed with Ryan’s incredibly yummy refried beans. Grace and Isalia got s’mores supplies for the group and we had a fun time with the varying philosophies on how marshmallows should be cooked. Bedtime when camping is always at sunset. We are now in bear country, so we had to be careful to throw all the food in the van.

So in conclusion, Colorado is a pretty awesome place and high altitude is cool and survivable!

Happy I4Birthday to Isalia!! (It’s part of the holidays in July thing)

Chilling on a hike around Chambers Lake

Also, this might be useful information.

Comments (2)
  • Monica Levy says:

    So glad everyone is doing well and enjoying the scenery! I can’t seem to find the information for us so that we can ship a package to the riders. Can you re-post please!

  • frontpage frontpage says:

    Hey Monica I added a screenshot of the information I found on the Facebook page. Look at the end of this blog post!

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