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Leadville, Co to Salida, CO

October 13, 2007

After a weekend in Leadville with our lovely daughters, Alicia and Crystal, and their friend, Adrea, we set out south on the Colorado Trail (CT).   

 It was 36 degrees, making the downhill run out of town remind us to pedal faster (toward Mexico that is!)  We woke up to the coldest morning yet the next day, with our water bottles frozen solid.  After warming up, we rode a beautiful single track stretch of the CT to Twin Lakes, surrounded by spectacular fall colors and snow dusted 14ers (mountain peaks over 14,000′), then gravel roads into Buena Vista for the night and our friends from Aspen, Greg and Heather showed up in time to take us out for dinner!  We had a great time catching up on things and filling them in on our trip so far and found out they are getting married next month on our anniversary date!  Then it was back to the CT for more rocky uphill (Pat said, she didn’t remember signing up for this part of the trip!), then beautiful level singletrack thru the woods.  We found a fabulous campsites – a knoll overlooking the Buena Vista Valley and the 14ers behind us.  The next day we had some great downhill shelf-type single track, where we spooked up a total of about 20 elk in 3 different spots!  We dropped down to Princeton Hot Springs for lunch, then up a brutal 1000′ hike-a-bike (Pat said, she didn’t remember signing up for this part of the trip either!).  My heart was beating so hard, I felt like I was going to crack a rib or two!  We finally made it to the top of the climb, then a mile down the other side we ran into a controlled burn.  The grass was smouldering right at our feet!  We got to a sweet downhill section, but unfortunately the workers wouldn’t let us continue on, so we had to detour around and reconnect with the CT a half mile beyond.  After some nice flat tracking, we hit a few more brutal rocky uphills, and finally threw in the towel for the day at a stream crossing campsite.  It was by far the most strenuous day we’ve had on the trip to date!  The next day was beautiful, smooth singletrack to the Angel of Shivano trailhead, then smoothment (pavement!) into Salida, a great little Colorado town. 

Ralph’s sister and husband, Phyll and Jim came to visit and camp with us here!  (They sure would have problems getting all their gear on a bike! )  It was great to see them, view pictures of our trip and try to convince them we’re not crazy!  I don’t think Jim is convinced!

We will be here another day or two and then on the Great Divide Route south from Monarch Pass! 

Bike On!  Ralph & Pat

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2 comments

  1. I was hoping to see you guys as you came thru. By time I figured out you were close I managed a phone call. It was great to hear Pat’s voice!


  2. It was great running into you in Salida and chatting about loooong distance biking and our other passion – South America! We wish you the best of luck on your trip and can’t wait to read more about it as you continue. If you have any questions or need information on anything, shoot us an email!

    Take care and happy riding!
    Cristin and Adrian
    Castle Rock, CO



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