Day 57 Up and Over Ute

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.

The lovely hotel

Then on to Country Road 39, this was even quieter and the track surface was as good as tarmac, unusual I know.

The turn off I40

There was a total distance of 55 miles to get to Silverthorne,  the intention is to cycle around 30 miles camping in the Arapaho National Forest somewhere then finishing tomorow. We have enough food to do this. Overall there is a big height gain eeek.

Waiting patiently for their turn to use the toilet

The track to Williams Fork Reservoir was very straight forward, a brief break there before we carried on. The water level seemed very low, but I suspect that it is usual for this time of year, waiting on the winter rain and snow to fill it.

It was quite a few miles around the reservoir, a guess would be 6 (I like the number 6, it is a perfect number, if you are mot sure what a perfect number is go away right now and look it up!). All very beautiful though.

The first climb up

Following that it is another section of climbing up to around 8300 ft,  all quite open country, the track still excellent, slow and steady are the words of the day. At 27 miles we entered the Arapaho National Forest close to where we were stopping,  now we were surrounded by trees, a mixture of Pine, Spruce and Aspen. The colours are fantastic, the Aspens glittering like gold in sharp contrast the greens of the pines.

An Aspen in all it’s glory

Then we were faced with the huge dam and an equally huge mine possibly even huge-er-rer. They may be mining molybdenum  (possibly) it is a big operation.

The pavement then started along with the final 4 miles of very steep climbing. The mine we got up close and personal to,  with the water behind the dam leaving some kind of white residue.

The final push (no not literally there was no pushing at all today) to the top, we did have very many “looking at the scenery” stops though. The top is at 9524 ft called Ute Pass.

The final climb up to the top of Ute Pass

The views across the valley are incredible, autumn colours adding an extra layer to the landscape. Several pictures later and a little use of the Gopro and a 5 mile descent starts.

All too soon we are at highway 9 where in 4 miles we get to Blue Creek Campground.  The 4 miles took a long time but we were there by 4.00 pm. The observant among you will have spotted we did not stop at 30 miles, we must have had egg powered legs today or something to do with eggs and wind! Our actual distance cycled was 44 miles.

I discovered why the pump handles are removed from many of these sites, when the water quality cannot be guaranteed, particularly late in the season it is a safety measure.

A nice meal (or as nice as camp stove cooked pasta can get) followed by fruit and nuts.

We are camping high again, 8340 ft.

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