Monday, May 17, 2010
Pancha Pass to Fairplay
Hopefully thins morning was the coldest morning we'll have. The thermometer read 20 degrees and the ice on the bikes, car and tent proved it. We sought out the sun by climbing up the hill and it barely warmed us. By nine, everything was dried out and we were ready to go.
The first part of the day went well. We all made phone calls as soon as we found cell reception and Sean was able to wish his girlfriend Catherine happy 21at birthday. Sean also picked up a small cactus that we planted in an empty coffee bag and velcroed to the dashboard. It's name is Pancha.
After leaving Buena Vista, we climbed up and over another pass and had to compete with lots of weekend warriors for road space. Way too many bicycles hanging from cars rather than joining us on the road. Loads of trailers hauling the comforts of home, off road vehicles and other fossil fuel hungry toys.
After getting to the bottom of the pass we had about 20 plus miles of road through South Park. It was some of the worst riding we've had. Strong head and cross winds, masses of weekend traffic returning to the Denver area going well over 65 mph, very narrow shoulders that we had to share with the "wake-up washboard" that the kind folks at the Colorado Department of Transportation dug into the shoulder space. The idea is to wake up drivers who drift off the road but for us they created a nightmare.
Catherine was really stressed out by the conditions so she portaged the last 10 miles into the town of Fairplay where we are staying in our second motel of the trip.
It's going to be "butt cold" again tonight so we are delighted to have a warm room for the night.
It's hard for me to think of a positive way to look at all the fossil fuel powered toys that we humans are so enchanted with. High fuel prices and hopefully fun electric vehicles will eventually temper the appetite that we seem to have for destructive, noisy toys that contribute to the challenges facing the creation of a sustainable future.
Jim's favorite time of the day