Day 52 Sliding to Ladder Ranch (September 15th)

The thunder and lightning continued for quite a while, what we thought was very heavy rain actually turned out to be pea (marrowfat not those insignificant french petit pois) sized balls of hail. In fact another storm passed over in the early hours depositing more rain. The skies cleared after this and so the temperature dropped, our very wet tent just froze solid (not just the usual frosting).

As we had decided to stop at Ladder Ranch, where we would not be camping the tent was bundled into a bag and left until later to be sorted.

Onwards and upwards was the theme for the track ride, we were gradually gaining height but not in one go, usually a long down followed by a longer up so quite tough. The track was 15 miles long.

The track

After about 5 miles the sagegrass gave way to some trees for a change, it has been many many miles since we last saw some trees and we miss them dearly. The trees were predominantly Aspens, which look a little like Silver Birch, they are already very autumnal, their leaves beginning to change colour.

Look a tree

There were many pickups being driven by men wearing sunglasses and camouflage jackets (I can only assume this as the disguise was that good you could not be certain about anything),  the hunting season is well and truly here.

We passed through Aspen alley where the road builders had reduced the track size rather than cut down mature aspen trees, very nice.

Then the track ceased and pavement began, highway 70, and we are riding a 14 mile stretch. The initial section was, yes you guessed correctly,  uphill topping out at 8200 feet.

The top must be here somewhere

Then came the descent which was a most excellent 10 miles without pedalling and even though I say it myself, most deserved (and this sentence has the most mosts in it).

All too quickly the 710/129 turnoff appeared on our left, we are going to do an alternative route tomorrow to Columbine so will follow this road. Fortunately Ladder Ranch is 4.7 miles further on, a nice coast (a bit like Pembrokshire on a stormy day) for 2 more miles then a typical track for the rest and we were there for 2.30.

JJ (our host) sorted out our room and it is lovely,  we had fresh coffee some pinapple upside down cake and homemade chocolate chip cookies mmmm mmmm mmmm.

I cleaned and dried the tent, it had got into quite a state after the last weeks sandy camping.

We are sitting on a nice settee just relaxing, JJ is preparing food for tonight and we will have breakfast as well. 

Having now eaten, the welcome and hospitality shown by JJ was superb, an excellent host, the food was lovely and lots of it. We would certainly recommend stopping here.

Janet relaxing

All of our things relaxing

A random horse relaxing


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