I was wondering what I was going to write about with only two days since my last posting. But as luck (or fate) would have it, I met people who wrote this post for me just by virtue of striking up a conversation.
Thankfully Day Four was short, as my body needed the break. I took a nap in Crested Butte after the ride was over and slept so hard the sherpa guys didn’t wake me as they put my bag in my tent. After I woke up, I was hungry, so I went to the info tent and spoke with the attending guy about getting to the local restaurants. As we were talking, a man spoke up and said if I didn’t mind sitting on a cluttered seat, he would give me a ride to the downtown area. I of course jumped at the offer. We hit it off immediately and introduced ourselves. His name is Tom and about the nicest guy I could have met on such short notice. He said he and the missus were retiring in half a month because “it was time.” He’s been working a long while and now he hopes the missus will give him a hundred square feet of yard space. We’ll see how that works out!! I bet Tom your missus is as nice as you and you’ll get plenty of yard space to putter around in.
Day Five woke up freezing. It took me over two hours to get warm and energized enough to get on my bike and get moving. I was so glad the first leg was down hill and mainly in the sun. At the first stop, I got pancakes even though I wasn’t hungry because I knew the dirt climb was coming. At about mile 30, my body finally got in the groove and the pedal strokes came more smoothly. Fast forward to the dirt: I was pleasantly surprised the climbing was easier than day two. I stopped at the first aid station and ate, again not hungry, but ate anyway. After the food, I continued upward looking forward to the view at the top. As I rounded one of the switchbacks, I saw two fully loaded touring cyclists. Cool. But as I got closer, I saw the tattoos on the woman and thought “It can’t be her.” As I came along side her I asked her name and she said “Gillian and that’s Alex up there.” I smiled and said “You met Russ in Utah.” We all started laughing. It didn’t take long for us to jabber on like long lost friends. We rode together to the top of Cottonwood Pass and they were immediately surrounded and treated like rock stars. Everyone marveled at the load they were both carrying and asked tons of questions. They were both very patient and answered everything. After all the curiosity was over and Alex was taking pictures, Gillian gave me the once over on both their bikes. I had quite a few questions about the shifters which they both answered. We got final pictures and I got hugs from both (so sweet) it was time to part ways, I still had another 48 miles to ride. We wished each other safe travels and I headed down the road. I hope they found a safe and comfortable wild camping spot.
It’s absolutely amazing that I can find two such wonderful young people on a mountain dirt road in Colorado, just by me reading a friends blog (and looking at the pictures) and them taking the advice of an RTR volunteer. This just goes to show again that the magic happens outside your comfort circle and you just never know who is going to be around the next corner.
Well, had best brush my teeth and head to bed, day six awaits…