Colorado 2010 – Day 52

Breckenridge to Hot Sulphur Springs: The bad mood day

Saturday June 26, 2010, 72 miles (116 km) – Total so far: 2,026 miles (3,261 km)

I’m heading down the bikepath to Frisco before the sun is up. The bikepath is a bit confusing but because we’ve driven to Frisco in the days before, it makes it easier to find my way. The sun is up and throwing sparkles across Lake Dillon as I twist and curve along the bike path there. The path down to Silverthorne from the dam wall is not really marked and I’m just lucky to see a break in the concrete barriers and a path leading off that direction. Almost missed it! It’s a steep, switchback path down past a ballfield.

Today is mostly a downhill day and that is good. I feel like crap today – my breathing is bad, I’ve got that cough again that disappears when I ride but reappears as soon as I stop. My hayfever has been bad in the lower elevations of Colorado, so I’m hoping that’s all it is, and that I’m not getting sick. My head definitely doesn’t feel like part of my body today. And I think this colours my view of today. For example, the scenery is decent, but not outstanding. The increase in traffic and the decrease in shoulder width as the morning goes on irritates me more than normal.

Along the road north of Silverthorne
Looking west-ish over the reservoir south of Kremmling from Hwy 9

But I’m still making good time. Amazingly, Mom and I’s timing is perfect again. I pull up to the stoplights in Kremmling and then head over to the gas station across the street. It turns out the car behind me – I knew there was one but didn’t look in my mirror – at the lights is Mom. She didn’t even honk, just pulled into a parking space at the gas station right behind me. I get an orange juice and we go down to the park to drink it. I see some other touring cyclists at a distance (we’re still on the ACA route) and force myself out of the CRV to get back on the road. Yeah, I feel like shit today.

Luckily, a wide shoulder that isn’t too debris-ridden appears on Hwy 40 and the wind isn’t too bad. If anything, it’s a cross-wind in this section. I find this more scenic than the morning for whatever reason and enjoy the ride along the river. Byers Canyon is also a pretty short but scenic section through a narrow canyon with the river below and the train on the opposite bank. I meet Mom at the motel, and they let us check in early as the room is ready. There’s not too much to Hot Sulphur Springs. Our room is pretty tiny – and it is a real squeeze that requires a slightly acrobatic manoeuvre to get to the toilet – but it is clean and the owners are friendly.

Mom and I take off to Granby for lunch and to see about some hiking. We are fairly desperate for a laundry as we haven’t done laundry since Carbondale and just refused to pay the prices required in Breckenridge or Frisco. However, the laundry in Granby is clean and reasonable, so Mom deposits me and the dirty clothes there while she heads to do some exploring. It’s quite stormy and windy and I wonder how Jen and company are going. They’ve stopped in Kremmling to watch the World Cup game and are waiting out the storms. Mom comes back and we decide to skip a hike because the weather has turned to crap, though she has gotten some info for a hike for tomorrow morning while I’m riding Willow Creek Pass.

We get back to Hot Sulphur Springs and both of us take naps. It absolutely pours at one point, and all of the dirt on Mom’s CRV gets washed off and leaves a dirt ring on the pavement around the car. Jen and company have waited this out and text me when they’ve arrived at the campground by the river. Mom and I head down with all of their gear to get them set up for the night. I’m supposed to meet them at the hot springs later but that’s not sounding very appetising. If I am getting sick I don’t want my head to be in the cold air but my body in the hot water. The cough has gotten worse today and I sleep on the floor so I don’t disturb Mom.

Ave speed: 16.1 mph Max speed: 32 mph

Elevation start: 9603 ft. Elevation end:7670 ft.

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