Day 61 Almost in Salida but not quite

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.

The hills have changed colour

Again we passed the unitised road network hardly used by anyone, just the very lonely caravan every so often. You could probably pick up your very own piece of this beautiful countryside for $20,000.

Billy no mates caravan

We climbed steadily up to 9500 ft, and the wind blew harder and harder, the same direction as yesterday from the south so straight into our faces. It made any ups steep ups, any flat into an up and any down into a flat, progress was very slow.

Long roads ahead

The plan was to fill up with water at a forded creek 27 miles along the way, then camp in the National Forest which started at 30 miles. Plodding on slowly we even dropped from our 9500 ft we had so lovingly (and battled for) attained dropping to 9000 ft.

The views remained impressive, the snowy tops looking very cold, in fact the wind now had a chill feel to it.

A long road behind

At 27 miles the ford, but the creek was a terribly brown mucky colour, not something you would want to drink. We passed on it and would make do with what we had.

The highpoint of this section at 10000 ft (well just under) was 7 miles further on, it was carry on time lets get to the top. In fact there was only one very steep section in the 7 miles.

We were at the top and at that moment 2 quad bike riders also crossed over. We said hello and they stopped for a chat, Michael and Jay had just completed a 60 mile ride out. They kindly gave us some bottles of water (having failed to top up at the ford) many thanks.

There was a nice flat spot right here so the tent was quickly pitched, pasta rehydrated and general comfy making stuff carried out.

Tonight as we are in a heavily forested area the food needed to be hung outside away from the tent as there are black bears in the areaand we do not want one in the tent with us!

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