Colorado: Up and Down and Wonderful People

July 4, 2012

After spending a delightful evening in Salida, CO, Andrew and I picked up a few items at the grocery store the next morning and made our way to a gas station about 10 miles west where we had breakfast. We really value gas stations with tables; it beats sitting on stoops or against the store walls. Sometimes we have the luxury of sitting on a bench, but a bench doesn’t beat a table. All of that to say: tables rock.

In Salida we had dinner at a neat little restaurant called Amica’s. Along with a delicious meal, Andrew and I spent some time rerouting our trip based on suggestions from an assortment of people we talked with along the way… we’re headed to Utah instead of Arizona! This also changed our route through Colorado, but insofar the changes have been great!

At breakfast I had to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming pass in lieu of my experience with the first pass. The Guenella Pass was a twelve mile assent.  This is no place to lament about physical and mental burn out, so in short it was a demoralizing pass… but we made it! Nonetheless, anytime Andrew tells me we have another pass coming up (normally means biking uphill for a long time), I have to fight back feelings of trepidation. Mentally prepared, we set out to Monarch Pass. Although difficult, I felt much better climbing up this pass and even better once we finally made it up to the summit. From the summit we maybe had to pedal a total of five times during an 18 mile stretch of downhill into the town of Sergeants where we stopped for lunch. Get this. We had lunch inside a small convenience store/café and the guy working there went to the same school as Andrew, not only that, but they were in the same first grade class!

We made it to the top of Monarch pass: awesome feeling.

Flat # 2…and it was because of a staple of all things.

First grade classmates, Andrew and Jeff reunited 19ish years later in Sergeants, Colorado. Crazy. (but really cool!) Actually in the same first grade class in Syracuse, NY!

On our way down from the Monarch Pass

Lunch was exciting. Twenty more miles and we were in Gunnison. Those were a monotonous 20 miles, so I was stoked when we ran into another tourist in the village. Bryan is biking from California to Maine. He just graduated college and heading off to Rwanda in September as a volunteer for the Peace Corps. We invited him to have dinner together and afterwards we went out for ice cream. At the parlor we met a man who competed and recently finished in the Tour the Divide race; he biked from Canada to New Mexico in 18 days. Crazy! Anyway, he and his wife invited the three of us to pitch our tents in their yard. We gladly accepted their generous offer. Along with a hot shower, they gave us really helpful bike route advice. Many thanks!

long, windy, and monotonous road to Gunnison

Andrew, me, and our fellow tourist, Bryan. Really glad we ran  into him!

We were up real early the next morning because we wanted to get to Ridgeway, which is about 95 miles from Gunnison. It was a very scenic route to Ridgway; breathtaking really. We camped at the Orvis Hot Springs, and man oh man did we enjoy ourselves. It was a really nice way to cap off a long day of riding.

wonderful and relaxing

The next morning we biked a short miles to Ouray where we wanted to have breakfast and do a short hike in this scenic little town. I had a particular diner in mind, so when we got there I asked a woman if she could direct us to the diner. She told me where it was, but insisted that we come over to her house for breakfast. Awesome, right?? We accepted her offer and had an experience that no diner could beat. Really grateful for her gracious offer and delicious breakfast! Fueled and in good spirits, Andrew and I went on a delightful 4 mile perimeter hike around Ouray before heading back to Ridgeway where we stayed with a guy who we met at the hot springs a day earlier.

Before pulling into Ouray, CO

Breakfast at Alleen’s. Really great company, super nice people, and just a wonderful experience and a great start to the day. 

Our breakfast company…

Gorgeous perimeter hike

perimeter hike continued….

We stopped at a local chocolate shop before heading back to Ridgeway. (delicious)

From Ridgeway we had a long climb to Telluride, but we made it to this beautiful town and really looking forward to spending the fourth of July here.

YES! Another summit under our belts. I’m growing to love these summit signs because they mean that we have some sort of downhill stretch to look forward to.

Today we arrive in Telluride, CO and staying with a guy named Norm who we met in Ridgeway. When we told Norm that we’re spending the fourth of July in Telluride (his home town), he enthusiastically invited us to stay at his place and we enthusiastically accepted his invite. He left the door open, towels, and a few notes for us when we arrived. Really awesome!

looking forward to spending the fourth of July in yet another little gem of a town in Colorado!

We’ll update ya’ll once we make it to Utah.

Much love,

Anna

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3 Responses to “Colorado: Up and Down and Wonderful People”

  1. Sue Schuh said

    My gosh – is that a real paper map I see on that table?????

  2. TomBassett said

    Look at that river in the backyard! That’s an amazing place to live! Sounds like the sights and people made it certainly worth while to bike through Colorado.

    ~Tom

  3. Lois Eddy said

    I can’t believe you ran into Jeff Worrall!!!! What a God-thing. Amazing. If you are having a party or event when you get back to Syracuse, I’d love to come. This is so awesome to read and enjoy.
    Love, Mrs. E.

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