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Just a little climbing....made it over Hoosier Pass!
DAILY REPORT: The weather report called for another ideal biking day. Temps in the mid 80's again and calm winds in the morning picking up in the afternoon. Less than 20% chance of a thundershower.
So I wrote part of this journal last night but I was just too tired to finish. I finished the rest this morning before we got on the road.
We started out the day with a continental breakfast from Super 8. This gave us an opportunity to get fueled up for our big climb this morning. We packed up the trailer and were on the road by 0730. It was a little brisk out; but the sun warmed us pretty quick.
We decided to take the bike path up from Dillon to Breckenridge, We had a number of different folks tell us that they didn't think Rt 9 was safe because the volume and lack of shoulder. We go on the bike path easy enough but once we passed through Fresco, we began lost because of the number of bike paths and residential areas we went through. After asking the 4th person for directions my frustration level was such that I was ready to get on Rt 9. This was a nice bike path, it just really needed better signage. One of the cool things along the way we kept seeing were lots and lots of very tiny chipmunks. They were about 1/2 the size of the ones we normally see.
James noticed that his bike was making "new" noise so about 10 miles into the ride during a quick bathroom break we took a look at it. It was discovered that when we replaced the chain, that it was not properly routed through the rear derailleur. It took us a bit to get this fixed and on the bike path again.
We stopped in Breckenridge for water and a bathroom break. This is a neat little town. Very much geared to the outdoor enthusiasts. Lots of bike rental places, outdoor cafe's, and of course ski lifts for the winter months. I wished we could have stayed longer on explored but we were on a time table. While I was there I made reservations for whitewater rafting over in Buena Vista for an afternoon run down Brownsville canyon. We checked in w/ Skip who we were going to meet up at the pass and learned that he just gone over the pass and was on his way down the other side. We coordinated our next water stop and we were on our way again.
The climb over Hoosier pass I didn't think was that bad. I would say the climb to Hurricane Ridge outside our Port Angeles WA is a harder climb. The challenge is the thin air while over 11,000 ft. We crossed the Continental Divide for the eight time. Once we arrived we took pictures and chatted w/ folks. While we were up there another biker arrived (Cotton) and was met by his wife (Joy) so he wouldn't have to bike down the pass for safety reasons. We thought he had it all wrong, she should have drove him to the top so he could bike down the pass. They were on vacation and having a good time.
Down the back side of the pass we went. We had a nice tail wind and gravity to allow us some great riding. We had coordinated w/ Skip that we would need to trailer the bikes NLT noon so that we could be over at 4 Corners Rafting headquarters by 1300. I wished we could have biked farther, we really had a great tailwind for a change.....so yes we had to sacrifice a couple of miles of biking. I default to our number one goal - keep the trip fun!!
We had a great time whitewater wafting. We had a good guide who kept it interesting. The rapids were class II & III. Nothing too dangerous. The water flow had been dropping over the last month and was down to 1,010 cfs. (A basketball is about 1 cubic foot so it would be equivalent to having a little over 1,000 basketballs pass by a spot in one second - that's still lots of water.) The water temp was 50 deg; but it was quite hot in the canyon so it felt good as we went through the rapids. The float down the river was diverse and lots fun.
We checked into the Mountain View Motel who is run by Beau Jean in down town Buena Vista. She is most likely the friendliest and most open hearted person we have met on this trip! She generously donated our room and spoke with high praise of the Wounded Warrior Project. She has a daughter in the Navy and a son in the Marines. A very nice family. She even brought us some fresh oranges and grapefruits to make sure we were getting the right nutrition while on our ride!! A great Mom and a patriot!! Thanks much.
We had dinner at Quincy's Steak house. We had the best steaks! My Mom and Bob joined us again. We also had the pleasure of having some friends from some 27 years ago join us as well - Connie and Joe. I had met them when I worked in Buena Vista back in 1982 during college. We had a wonderful time sharing stories and getting caught up on our families, kids, and lots of stories on animals. Connie has kept a large assortment of animals over the years - birds, goats, horses, wolves, and the list goes on. Connie and Joe are just great folk!
Tomorrow we are off to Colorado Springs. We will be meeting w/ the Boys and Girls Club at Peterson AFB late in the afternoon. We are looking forward to meeting their staff and youth.
As I mentioned yesterday, there are a couple new press releases from some of the towns we have passed through over the last two weeks. They can found under "News & Info"
Thanks for joining us.....ride safely and keep the wind to your back!!
The Riding4Hope Team
(David, John, James & Skip)
Signing out 7/17/09; 0745
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