Day 43 (July 10th 2016) Hartsel – Kremmling CO; 108 miles

100 miles in the Rockies should be illegal. Not only because it’s tough, but there’s no time to enjoy the sights and views the great mountains have to offer! Colorado continues to be breathtaking, not only for its beauty, but for the altitude as well. We made it over our highest point (Hoosier Pass) of the trip, 11,500 feet to be exact. Waiting at the top were my parents and Addie, a great way to end the climb! The towns at the base of the ascent were really cool, but unfortunately, due to the time constraint, we were unable to explore them.

After crossing the continental divide, we were led onto a beautiful bike path with spectacular views. The path was very well used and we had to practice caution during riding to avoid a head on collision. After the bike path, however, riding got tough. Because we spent some time in Breckenridge (it looked straight out of Disneyland), we were all pretty far behind. At 5pm we still had 37 miles to go. We thought they would be all downhill, but boy were we wrong.

We took a road whose terrain was very similar to that of the Appalachians. Ups and downs that were not very kind. Once we were halfway done with the road did we realize that we missed a shortcut that would’ve shaved 4 miles from the trip. But we were committed! We were warned about construction on an upcoming road, and ever the optimist, Murph thought maybe taking the long way bypassed the construction. But boy was she wrong.

Once we got off the Appalachian road, we got on the construction road at the very start of said construction. It was 6 miles of pure nightmare. Everything that could’ve gone wrong did. The sun was in our eyes, wind in our faces, the road was unpaved and felt like we were riding on a rumble strip the whole time. In addition, every time a car passed it would throw dust in our faces, forcing us to hold our breath for 15 seconds to let it clear. In that high of altitude, that is near impossible! One semi passed me and kicked up a rock right into my neck. It was the cherry on top. But alas we survived and more importantly, my bike survived. Some were not so lucky. Racks and brakes broke for some from the vibrations and others suffered from flats. It was definitely a rough stretch.

Once we were through with that road, we hit swarms and swarms of mosquitos. I was so busy swatting them away that I nearly fell off my bike, not for the first time on the ride. Earlier I laughed so hard I almost fell off my bike. Sheena accidentally blew a snot rocket in a stealthy road cyclist’s face who snuck up on us. Sheena felt horrible, but didn’t get a chance to apologize.

We ended up getting in at 8:30, with just enough light left to set up camp. Others didn’t get in till after 10. Ten’s mom and cousin were kind enough to provide dinner, breakfast, and lunch. After the day we had, it was much appreciated.


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