October 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

I was getting a bit fatigued, mentally. It was near the end of the trip and I had to go through the Gila Wilderness, supposedly one of the hardest parts of the entire route. But I had already seen so much and I’ve had so many adventures, I was getting stuffed, so to say.

However, it was time to move on. Pie Town had cleaned me out; I left my last cash in the donation box and there was no ATM. Besides, all you could get there was pie so I was eating my own food. Four days of food, to get me from Grants to Silver City. Frickin’ heavy. Across the toughest part. “PFFFFFFFF…..” (click on “Read More”).

Oh yes. Before I forget: there’s two pictures of a dead fox in this post. No wounds, no blood, no posturing or whatever. But it is a dead fox, so watch out if that sort of thing disturbs you.

Some ruins. Who? When? What? I don’t know.

Tune down in Pie Town

October 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

Grants to Pie Town was going to be one day for me if I was going to catch up with the others. Click “Read More” to find out if I did…

A very short stretch went along the old Route 66.

Mission to Mars

October 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

Between Cuba and Grants there was to be more of all good things: desert, volcanic rocks, thorns, sandy roads, cacti, weird outcroppings… you name it. Click “Read More”…

Lava land

October 12, 2012 at 8:45 am

Two turns to three as we were ready to leave Abiquiu and sample some of those sandy New Mexican roads. Things looked good, the monsoonal rains were gone and the roads were probably dried out properly. I had renewed energy and looked forward to see what New Mexico had to offer… (click “Read More”)…

Winter is coming

October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

This was it. The big one. The bad mother of the Great Divide. Indiana Pass. Biggest climb. Highest altitude (11.910 feet or 3.630 meters). Mount Doom.
And as an afterthought, Stunner Pass right after. I was going to do it. And I was going to do it by myself, because Mat’s rack didn’t arrive. Bummer…. (click “Read More”)…

Not all that glitters is gold

October 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

After sucking up civilisation in Salida we were ready to go. There were some big, big passes between Salida and Del Norte. However, the grades in Colorado so far have proven to be quite agreeable. It’s just that the climbs seem to last forever sometimes.

Riding out of Salida, Marshall Pass came first. I think this was the most beautiful pass of the entire trip so far. We rode amidst billowing oceans of green, gold and red. I will let the pictures speak for themselves (warning: a whopping 53 of them!). Just click on “Read More”…

El Camino

September 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I wanted to ride from Como to Salida in one day, which would entail about 120 kilometers, with some climbs and headwinds to brave. Still, I was going to do it: the day’s ride would involve crossing South Park. The South Park of TV fame is actually a ghost town — THIS South Park is a big piece of “flat”land,  resembling Wyoming more than anything else. Ah well — what can you do but ride? Click on the “Read More” to learn more about my revelation today…

Como in the distance. Bye-bye, densely forested mountains… for now.

What’s a guy to do but climb?

September 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

September 18th marked the day of departure from Boulder. Huybert and his wife Rebecca drove me to Silverthorne and after a late start the three of us would ride together for a bit towards Breckenridge. Then it was all up to me to conquer Boreas Pass, the second highest pass on the Great Divide route (11.492 feet or 3.503 meters above sea level). Soundtrack by Enslaved – Heir to the Cosmic Seed, because of the extraordinary altitude and the otherworldy views. It’s a gentle track, just like the climb itself.

As always, click on the “Read More” to continue… Be warned though: I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

View from Dillon reservoir after a short but steep climb.

Going slightly mad

September 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm

The rest day in Steamboat Springs proved to be just the thing my muscles needed. Mat & I met up with Colin & Jeff and we visited the Old Town Hot Springs. It looks like a normal swimming pool but it’s fed by the hot springs. I would love to visit the place in winter, when there’s snow all around and you can sit in your swimshorts outside in these hot pools.

View of downtown Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs is a really nice town; there is a ski-resort but it’s located a ways from downtown. It also had a great selection of outdoor stores which proved to be pretty handy. I was losing so much stuff, it was crazy. There is this song that played in my head all the way from Steamboat down to Silverthorne. Not something I would normally play at home, but out here, I guess I am going slightly mad. A very fitting soundtrack to this post. Click on the “Read More” to learn why…

A cunning plan

September 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

This post describes my hardest day so far. The recurring theme is wind. Wind, wind, wind. Murderous, furious headwinds. Still, I’m writing this up in cosy Steamboat Springs, so we evidently made it. But I sure had a hard time…

Waking up in the hotel room in Rawlins, I was really hungry. Where did all the food go? I looked into the mirror. Barely any fat left on my body. Where did it all go? We shopped and I ate an entire foot-long sandwich at the Subway’s for breakfast. I finished it with ease. Where does it all go??
Riding out of town, we faced the wind. A headwind. I knew it was going to last, because I had checked out the weather predictions. Ah well. Lots of uphills, facing a headwind. What’s a guy to do but climb, eh?

We met Cam, an Australian who was hiking the Continental Divide Trail as part of a gargantuan, 15.000-mile-trek (that’s 24.000 kilometers) in 18 months across the Northern America’s. Having done already about 11.500 miles, he was planning to finish the CDT in October and then fly up to Maine to start his last hike: the Appalachian trail, southbound. How he is going to survive that, I do not know — it gets COLD up there in October! What an amazing feat though. He was doing 40 miles (64 km) a day. Had been doing so for a year, with a pack on his back. It blows my mind. The Nijmeegse Vierdaagse is like a sneeze for this guy!
Meanwhile, Mat and I were suffering. This was no fun at all. We did about 7 km riding about town and we knew that 24 km downroute, there was going to be a campsite at Teton Reservoir. We decided to just call it a day. It was a pathetic attempt at making any sort of mileage, but the next campsite was about 60 kilometers ahead of Teton Reservoir and after four days of desert, we just didn’t feel like it. In fact, we still were in the desert.

At the campsite, which looked more like a scene from Mad Max than anything else, the wind kept whipping around us. Our stoves even got blown out once while cooking a meal! I was in a bit of a morbid mood, recalling that Alice in Chains song, “Would?“, adding my own twist to the lyrics:

Am I wrong
Have I rode too far to get home
Am I wrong
Left you here alone?

It wouldn’t leave my head for the coming few days, and therefore it’s the theme song to this post.

The campsite. Completely exposed, buffeted by the unceasing winds.