Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Day 46: Insert witty title here

Day 46
Silverthorne to Hot Sulphur Springs 58miles

After yesterday's exertions I allowed myself the luxury of a 9am start today! I had quite a short ride planned for today, and it seemed as if a lot of it was downhill so I didnt feel the need to get out too early. With the much cooler temperatures in the mountains, there also isnt the need to get out before the sun gets too hot too quickly.

Today's ride was one of those that wasnt that memorable. There were no huge climbs, the scenery was lovely but not really any different to yesterday and the towns I went through were all a bit samey. Thats not to say it was a bad day. It certainly wasnt. It was just one of those days where I got myself 50odd miles further down the route. But not a whole lot happened whilst I was doing it!

The first part of the ride had me riding next to the Blue river. As I was going in the same direction as the flow, I was clearly going downhill. Indeed, a lot of my ride today was finishing off the downslope from the top of the Hoosier pass. At one point the river had been dammed up to form a reservoir, and the route sent me on the scenic, longer route round it. I think this was for two reasons. One, there were some campsites on that side of the lake so if people were planning to camp they had to go that way. And two, the road was much less busy.

At about 11:30 I reached Kremmling, and stopped for some lunch. Had a lovely burger and chips. As I was using their wifi to make a call home, I noticed a fully loaded cyclist so went over and said hi. Tom was from Colorado and had just started a tour which was taking him to Oregon, then down the Pacific coast before getting a train east and doing some of the Atlantic coast too. He had a lot of kit. Just like me when I started. Even after 1 day he had already decided to ditch quite a bit of it! We were both aiming to finish in Hot Sulphur Springs (HSS) today, so set off together to cover the last 17miles. However, his excess weight was slowing him down so I set off and we agreed to meet at the campsite.

Got to HSS and set up my tent in the campsite. Yes that's right, I'm actually back in my tent. And I'm glad too. I want to be using it more than I have, but it just wasnt sensible in the heat I endured in Kansas and eastern Colorado. The campsite was pretty basic (portaloo, no showers) and a lot of it was also quite flooded due to the Colorado river bursting it's banks. But I sent my tent up on a gravelly site, and went for a walk. With a name like HSS, it was unsurprising to find that there was a spa place with lots of hot sulphur springs. Although it was $20 to get in for the day, I figured I could relax and then get a shower afterwards.

Went for a walk into town to see if anything was open (it wasnt), and then found Tom. He had found a local cafe owner who was going to let him pitch his tent and also use the showers. He also supplied beer! So I quickly went back to my site, packed up my stuff and headed back to the cafe. I decided it was easier to just leave my tent erected. So I rode back with most of my stuff, and then walked back to my tent before picking it up and carrying it (with my sleeping bag and mat inside) through town! I got a couple of strange looks!

The cafe owner, Paul, was very nice and I was quickly relaxing with a nice cold beverage. A bit later Tom tried putting his tent up for the first time. It took him quite a while, but eventually he figured it out, once he realised the poles went on the inside of the tent, not the outside as he was initially trying!

We spent the rest of the evening having a good chat. So a good end to the day. Tomorrow is another big climbing day, so that should provide a few more interesting tales!

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