Traveling through high Rockies remains an adventure
Published 12:00 am Monday, July 8, 2013
Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
I left the perfect hostel environment at the Hotel Eastin in Kemmerling, Colo., early this morning and immediately started climbing.
Slow easy climbing in the beginning turned more intense as the day went on. I visited the town of Silverthorne, and almost immediately got confused on how to head for the next town of Frisco. Eventually, I figured it out and headed on to Breckinridge.
All the little towns have been small and quiet, but Breckinridge is a high-priced, heavy tourist draw. All the trendy shops are there and the streets were full on Saturday afternoon. Breckinridge served as the gateway to begin the climb toward Hoosier Pass.
I asked several people their opinions on how many miles it would take me to get over it. The range was 81/2 miles to 15. Turned out to be about 10, but very steep at the end. Cars were making the sharp turns at 10 mph. No more super high mountains on the trip. Hooray for that!
So far, I still remain less impressed with Colorado than the other states. The roads are so tight, and I feel like I am riding on the edge of safety all the time. It is a pretty state, but so far less spectacular than the others.
If all goes well, it should take me 2-3 days to finish off Colorado and head into Kansas. At that time, I will be heading due east. Right now, nothing sounds better than a lot of flat ground, especially if I can get another good tailwind.
The cool temperatures of the high Rockies will give way to warmer ones very soon.
Tomorrow, I will be coming down from the high mountains and hope to make good time because of it. I am spending tonight in Alma, Colo. Never book a room sight unseen, especially a hostel room. Mine is over a bar, and I have amused myself by watching people go back and forth between the two saloons in town. Nothing else is open in Alma, the highest in altitude incorporated town in the United States. I will spend the night at over 10,000 feet for the first time. No headaches or issues with altitude, and tomorrow I will drop 5,000 feet.
Otherwise, it was a fairly uneventful day. Total mileage for today was 71. The first day of my fifth week on the road is tomorrow.
Traveling across America is truly an adventure every day.
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