We got up early, strapped the Voyageur on top of the mini cooper and shoved the 520 in back. Those things are roomy, With three fella's and two fully loaded touring bikes it was very comfortable.
Breakfast in Gunnison, very nice, This will be our last breakfast. Very emotional. There are aspects of being alone that I have missed, but having someone to ride with has made the trip much easier.
I was dropped off in Montrose about 12:00. This is the latest I have set out on a ride. Loneliest ride of the trip. Just passed Colona I saw a trio of older gentlemen on my right with their bikes leaned up against a four door pickup. They fed me lunch and I let them know whats to come. I'll be off the trail by the end of tomorrow so there isn't much they can let me know about.
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Just passed Ridgeway I passed another cyclist, Sean, Big dude, mountain biker. This guy is doing 90 mile days, he is a maniac. He told me about a bear that roamed into his campsite last night. He said I should get my hands on some pepper spray, luckily I keep a can in my handlebar bag. Sean told me about this guy Dale that I'll be running into. He is some crazy dude that has been biking around the west for the past five months.
I climbed the Dallas divide, 8,970 ft, It was a bump in the road compared to Monarch. Then I carried on easily to placerville, all down hill. on the way down I could see what looked like a bunch of junk crawling up the mountain. It was Dale.
I stopped and talked for a while, this guy started out with nothing but his bike and he said he has aquired everything over the course of his travels. Even the two dogs Sadie May and Chloie. for the past five months he's just been roaming. He was walking up the pass, with his load he has to walk up almost every incline, but he's in no hurry. He's been to Vegas, Phoenix, up and down the western coast, he had a whole list of places written on his covered wagon, it went on and on. This guy is on a real adventure, or he might just be a crazy homless dude, you tell me.
I chugged along late into the day, I had a campsite in mind in the national forests just past Telluride. I wasn't paying much attention to elevation, I knew there was another pass coming up but I didn't't realize I was halfway up it untill I got to my home for the night. It was almost 8:00 and getting dark when I arrived but there were signs posted that the campsite is closed. I figured I would be better of just camping here rather trying to find a spot up the road.
I set up and made a backpacker's pantry dried meal that Paul and Rebecca gave me before I left Elmwood Park. I had been holding on to them for an emergency but I decided to dig in. I just added boiling water and then enjoyed a delicious helping of organic tofu pesto pasta. Thanks Paul and Rebecca.
I called my brother and talked to him for a while, He informed me that Timi, my longtime childhood friend and neighbor in Elmwood Park was looking to buy a touring bike. This is exciting. I gave Timi a call and left him a message about how I am extatic to see one of my closest friends is getting interested in this type of adventure. It is a big investment, the bike and all the gear, thats what usually holds people back. I would love for him to get involved in this, Especially after riding with Tyler this sort of thing would be awesome to do with one of my friends from home. It doesn't even have to be a 30 day trek to phoenix, a week long tour or even a weekend excursion would be tons of fun. Get the touring bike Timi, lets ride around Lake Michigan this summer.