After what was a very mild night the tent was dry so it didn’t take long to pack up and get going. It was off down main street to the centre of town, this is where the Grand Canyon Extension cycle ride begins, ending 577 miles later in Phoenix Arizona.
Up by 5.30 am and out by 6.00 am that was the plan, we managed 6.10 am so a good effort I think. It did feel very strange to be driving in the dark, at least nobody else really saw just how bad the driving was.
Our route continued down Interstate 70, which we were driving on yesterday, at this time in the morning we saw very few other vehicles. After a few miles the sun began to rise, the landscape looked almost lunar in appearance, a lot of sand and wind worn rock (not that there is much wind on the moon, and we all know it is made of cheese not sand). A brief toilet stop at Ghost Rock where it looked very ghostly in the half light, and just a little bit rocky (cue Survivor song).
A short (around 5′ 3″) cycle ride to Chaffee Shuttle and our bikes were sitting on a rack and we were sitting on a bus. Ready for a 2 hour journey into Pueblo in Colorado. Once we arrived at the bus station it was a couple of blocks cycle to Enterprise Cars and we picked up a very nice Ford Expedition (cycling has improved our strength considerably) for our one way car hire.
It was straight on the interstate through Colorado Springs and up to Denver where a left turn took us west on the I70.
The drive went through some beautiful country and some very high passes in Colorado, stopping at Silverthorne (we cycled through this town 2 weeks ago) for a lunch break, a Wendy’s Burger, which is only marginally better than McDonalds.
Continued driving saw us leave Colorado and into Utah. This is very different, a lot of very dry looking plains and straight roads.
Finally at 7.00 pm we arrived in our motel for tonight in Green River Utah after a 450 mile drive so far, with another 250 to drive tomorow.
Revelling in the luxury of Woodland Motel in Salida resulted in a complete failure to carry a heavy camera anywhere so no pictures, in fact a failure to move at all, so not much to write about.
Apart from waiting in eager anticipation for the Trump vs Clinton debate this evening, it should make good viewing.
Our plans for the next part of the journey are now sorted. Tomorrow we get a bus to Pueblo, then a one way car hire where we will drive to Cedar City in Utah (around 600 miles west). The Grand Canyon and Zion national parks awaits us there, we are really excited about this.
There was another parcel to send home at 5 pounds total weight containing set of things not used (such as common sense, humour, soap and maps).
I can also confirm that McDonalds over here is just the same as you would get at home, the idea of eating one is always better than actually eating one, I always end up disappointed by them.
(It proved very difficult to move anywhere in the USA on public transport with cycles, hence hiring a car).
As we only had 12 miles to cycle today a nice late start was called for. Our food bag even survived a lonely night up a tree without being molested by a bear.Continue reading
After last nights rain the sky cleared and the temperature dropped very quickly. The rain on the outside of the tent was frozen solid along with any condensation inside. We packed the inner and footprint as they were dry and left just the outer defrosting for a while before it found a home in a waterproof bag.
The diner was open by now so we got a nice cuppa before we started, coffee has free refills which is nice if you like to start the morning with a gallon of it, it is filter coffee as well. I do not think instant coffee exists in the USA.
We has two and a half miles of road before we hit the track, as it was Saturday the road was very quiet so nice to cycle on. The wind was OK at this point, there but not causing a problem yet.
The track proved very different, it varied from a very good compact surface to washboarded sand which was almost impossible to cycle on. Last nights rain did one good thing, it damped the track so for a while there was no great dust clouds from passing cars (although there were far fewer on this track). As we climbed the views improved, we could see that fresh snow had fallen on the higher mountain tops, probably 11000 ft plus, all the tops were very white.
I must break with tradition and not tell you the time we started today (8.00 am oops couldn’t resist it), but begin with the wind. No not the one you immediately thought of then but the real honest to goodness blowing kite flying one.
Even in a lovely bed we were awake at 6.00 am, no lazyness here. Things packed and breakfast eaten, today we had fresh blueberries. I wonder how our blueberries are doing at home, all gone by now I would think.
A goodbye to the Inn owner, who is from the UK as well, he came over 16 years ago after leaving the army. We were off at 8.00 am.
At around 6.00 am some spots of rain began to hit the tent so we said that must mean a later start and set a snooze (by snooze I mean just roll over and go back to sleep). We only have 12 miles to do to Heaton Bay Campground via Silverthorne. Of course it never works out that way.
A freshly made cup of coffee at 6.30, one advantage of a hotel plus nice cold milk on your cereal, then it is goodbye Kremmling and hello Interstate 40. The first 6 miles are along this road and it was quite quiet this early.