The early morning sun caught our tent and quickly started to thaw the layer of frost that had formed overnight whilst we packed all of our things away. Last night was also a full moon, so whatever you do, do not stray off the path when you walk across the moors.
Today is a road ride all the way in to Steamboat Springs, mainly along the county road 129 around 30 miles long with no hills to speak of.
I had sent messages to two people on the Warmshowers cycling website about stopping with them tonight, I have yet to receive a reply from either so needed to access some WiFi. A stop off at the Steamboat Lake Visitors centre proved fruitless (they do not grow any fruit at this altitude so I was not surprised) we are not allowed to use theirs, $20 to camp no facilities apart from a composting toilet is very poor value for money.
Carrying on down a nice wide shoulder (you could have cried on it and still had room to spare) past a nice cafe and something called a “roadhouse” which seemed to do everything; food, lodging, RV’s, car repairs, buggy sales, etc etc..
Ignoring all this we xarried on down the a lovely valley following the Elk River, at around 9 miles we stopped in Clark, it has one grocery store which is also the post office, it was very busy. We had cake (coffee and cherry) and coffee and sat outside basking in the warm sunshine. Again checked for warmshowers people, no reply.
After Clark the wide shoulder vanished fighting back the tears we continued on. All of a sudden it felt just like riding back home as cars passed very close.
The nature of the housing changed noticably, there are now far more luxurious non-farming homes around, also lots of land or houses for sale as well, no doubt very expensive.
We made a slow descent towards Steamboat, the road got busier and busier and felt less safe, when being passed by a lorry made me unhappy.
Eventually we nearer Interstate 40 and hit some roadworks, they were filling every single crack in the road with black tar, they must be preparing for the long winter they have here. We turned left towards Steamboat, after a short while realising thatvwe needed to go right (sigh). Before we did I called both the warmshowers people, lone no reply, the other said no. We have had no luck with this website, all we have done is waste our time.
A short backtrack later and we were at a campground (much more reliable). The only problem with many town campgrounds is that they are never actually anywhere near the town, this one was no exception. But Steamboat Springs has a free shuttle bus running from the campground right across town, some 4 miles, hooray.
The tent was pitched, a quick lunch eaten, bodies were showered then it was off to test the bus system, they run every 20 minutes from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm how refreshing to see something useful like this. We did a little shopping one pair of new socks (me) and one pair of new socks plus new gloves (Janet). My socks are smartwool, they have 8 GCSE’s including English, Maths and a Language, they are currently learning how to live an independent life away from their parents.
Catching a bus back to the campground was easy, a nice tea was eaten, then a relax, it does not feel anywhere near as cold here.
You can see that Steamboat Springs is a town built on skiing, and is just waiting for the snowfall to get itself going.
In case you are interested you can become one of the bus drivers earning $17.50 an hour if you want to spend a winter ski season here.