Breckenridge, Colorado, Mile 1470

P1030514-0.JPGTHE BIKE PATH INTO BRECKENRIDGE

We had already spent an extra day in Steamboat Springs because of the rain so even though it was raining when we awoke on Wednesday we were determined to get on our bikes and ride. Lounging in a motel room, no matter how nice the motel, gets pretty boring after half a day.

The road out of Steamboat paralleled the Yampa River for several miles and then veered off through farm land. Dark clouds ahead portended rain as we rode. About an hour into our ride, the rain began to fall. We spotted a large barn about a quarter mile ahead so we pedaled hard and ducked inside. I walked over to the farmhouse to ask permission and was greeted by the wary owner who after some consideration said that it would be all right if we waited out the rain in his barn.

“I’ve got a lot of tools in there” were the last words he said. I thought of reassuring him that even if we wanted to, we couldn’t steal many of his tools since we were on bicycles but I held my tongue.

The rain came in short episodes of a few minutes each for the rest of the day as we climbed slowly along Morrison Creek toward Lynx Pass on roads that were sometimes mud, sometimes gravel. More than once we dove under overhanging trees to get out of the rain.

In the early afternoon we stopped along the road for a snack near three dense fir trees trees. A particularly dark cloud loomed ahead with a high potential to unleash another downpour. We figured those three trees would provide a convenient shelter should the cloud spill rain. As we chewed our Cliff Bars and kept a wary eye on the cloud, who should come pedaling up the road behind us – Michiel and Margo! The day of rest in Steamboat had been enough to rekindle their spirits after all.

We camped that night at a “real” U.S. Forest Service campground at Lynx Pass. The other campers there were all muzzle-load hunters. Every now and then that evening someone would fire one of those things far off in the woods at some unfortunate deer. They sound like canons.

Mary and I got to try out our new Helinox camp chairs at Lynx Pass. They are excellent for sipping hot cider and enjoying a campfire. Very comfortable.

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It rained hard that night and into the morning. The route for Thursday to the town of Kremmling was described as “very muddy after rain” so we detoured over Gore Pass on pavement instead. We got soaked by rain and hail but at least we didn’t get muddy. We stopped in Kremmling and had breakfast for lunch. I ordered the pancakes which arrived draping over the edge of the plate like saddle blankets. I ate every last forkfull.

Since it was only noon when we finished our meal we debated whether or not to continue. A motel in crummy Kremmling sounded better to Mary than a wet camp down the road. I had had my fill of motel rooms in Steamboat so we stepped outside to argue the matter but the sun had broken through by then so the issue became moot. We had a nice ride fifteen miles down the road to Williams Fork Reservoir where we camped and spread out our wet gear in the wonderful sunshine:

P1030509.JPGDRYING OUT AT WILLIAMS FORK CAMPGROUND

Unfortunately, it rained again that night so we packed up wet and set off for the ski town of Breckenridge. It was a relatively warm 45 degrees when we started riding but being wet made it feel like 25 degrees. Our hands and feet were numb for the first ten miles after which we started climbing toward 9542-ft Ute Pass. For once the exertion of the climb was welcome as our numb hands and feet warmed to the task.

We got to the delightful town of Silverthorne shortly after noon. Silverthorne and Breckenridge are neighboring towns along the Dillon Reservoir that are separated by fifteen miles – fifteen miles spanned by a paved bike path that passes through enchanting scenery:

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If we didn’t already have a fine log house at Lake Chelan I think I would like to live in Silverthorne or Breckenridge. The mountains here are stupendous. Unfortunately, the cost of housing probably is too. Good thing we have that house in Chelan.

IMG_0033-0.JPGTHAT HOUSE IN CHELAN

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