Fairplay to Hoosier Pass: A couple of Hoosiers on Hoosier Pass
Thursday June 24, 2010, 12 miles (19 km) – Total so far: 1,954 miles (3,144 km)
Jen convinces me that starting so early is too much like work, so I concede to a slightly later start time. It’s a short ride today over Hoosier Pass to Breckenridge. Today we’ll be on the TransAmerica route all day. We immediately pass two guys slowly crawling the hill out of town. The guy on the recumbent is wobbly already – I don’t want to see him on the pass. I’m already losing Jen as I get my legs warmed up. But I can’t go any slower, I need to move and get the blood flowing and the muscles warmed. So I just go. The bike path to Alma has a zillion big cracks in it from where there’s been runoff and such. It’s annoying enough I contemplate just riding the road shoulder. Blessedly, the bike path ends at Alma and I have an excuse to be on the road again. I look back for Jen, but can’t see her. I contemplate waiting for her here, but I just want to get climbing. So onward I go.
I stop at the base of the climb and take my inhaler and then commence riding up. It’s a steady grade around 6% – so it’s a good workout but not intimidating or anything. There’s heaps of traffic though. There’s a wide dirt shoulder and a narrow hard shoulder. I stake my territory in the hard shoulder and work my way up. The scenery is nice, but the traffic really detracts from it. I feel sorry that this is the big pass for the TransAmerica folks since there are definitely more scenic, less travelled and more fun passes to ride in this state.
In the afternoon, Mom drives Jenny and me up to the lower trailhead to Mohawk Lakes. Mom’s being super-kind and dropping Jen and me off and picking us up later. I feel really bad and torn between Jen and Mom. If we take Mom along it’s going to be a slow hike and Jen’s got energy to burn – on the other hand, I hate to make Mom miss any good hiking. I feel bad for Mom, but it’s good to push hard and hike fast with Jen while we talk about all of the frustrations of life and PhD stuff (Jen is working on one, too) we’ve encountered since last seeing each other. There’s a billion other people on the trail but we found a nice spot near one of the lakes and I hang out for a nap while Jen climbs to the highest lake. She comes back to have a nap, too. Later, all three of us have a nice late afternoon lunch on a deck by the river at a Mexican place. It seems like it would have a great atmosphere in ski season.
In the evening, we drive and Jen rides down to the Forest Service campground outside of Frisco. It is a wasteland – they’ve cut down all the trees because of the pine beetles, so it’s like camping in the middle of a freshly logged and clear-cut forest. We leave Jen with the camping chairs which only makes the site with her little tent seem just slightly less desolate. We arrange a time to meet with her tomorrow on a rest day, then we head back to Breckenridge where we’re staying at the homely Fireside Inn. We’ve got a teeny room with single bunks, but it works out well.
**mileage is just Fairplay to top of Hoosier Pass – got 10 mile ride down to Breck from top of the pass
Ave speed: 8.8 mph Max speed: 22.6 mph
Elevation start: 9953 ft. Elevation end: 11,541 ft.
Hoosier Pass: 11,541 ft. Ave grade: 5.5% Max grade: 7.8%