Return to site

The Big Climb

The highpoint of the trip in more ways than one...
July 2, Golden, CO Halfway Break (Mileage: 2,380)
Greetings All,
Here's a weird concept if you've been a vagabond for the last 6+ weeks - I'm actually sitting in my friend's Kitchen, in a real house, typing out this blog, and to top that, I didn't have to wear shower shoes last night :)
My dear high school buddies Jack and Rich picked me up in Frisco, CO yesterday and brought me back to Jack and Kathy's place in Golden for the the weekend - LaVonne arrives in Denver this afternoon.
Yesterday, I capped a long week of climbing, including a three day constant uphill to reach the highest point of the trail, Hoosier Pass. Tuesday's 4,800 climb into the 9000 ft. range brought the altitude factor front and center. I could really feel that my quads weren't getting enough oxygen, so I took it really slow and finally made it to Hartsel, CO to camp at 8800 ft. prior to heading over the pass. I ran into some of my trail buddies in Hartsel, so a few of us ended up celebrating on top together (yesterday). It felt incredible. Talk about a natural high. Although my pose for the top pic seems a little out of character for me, it was no time to be humble - I really worked my already tiny ass off to get there, so a braggadocio pose felt justified and damn good.
I learned and experienced so much riding through the southern and great plains states, but I also felt the constant weight of uncertainty, oppressive weather and that fish out of water feeling. Reaching the mountains, especially coming over the divide into Alpine country, lifted the weight and has me incredibly energized for the rest of the trip. Every day I gain more touring experience and things that I use to have to think about have become second hand. And every day I get stronger. I feel weird resting for 3 days - my body is ready to keep moving and my legs are ready to go... but I know they need time to rebuild and I'll feel much better Sunday.
I'll be dropped off back on the trail in Frisco early Sunday morning to soldier on through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, a small chunk of Idaho and Washington . Talk to "y'all" early next week...
I'm so looking forward to seeing my lovely wife - life is good!
And as always, thanks for riding along - enjoy the pics below.
Hoosier Pass - The highest point on the Transamerica Bike Trail.
broken image
Small herd of Antelope heading north out of Pueblo, CO
broken image
Looking behind at the beginning of the climb to Hartsel.
broken image
Looking ahead from the same spot as the previous shot.
broken image
Alma, CO - 10 miles before the pass.
broken image
The last two miles of Hoosier pass...
broken image
The reward for climbing - a six mile downhill to Breckenridge.
broken image
One of the most beautiful bike paths anywhere: From Breckenridge to Frisco, Vail, Copper Mountain and Leadville.
broken image