Positive Altitude

30 06 2010

Beauty in Colorado

Mileage: 56 Miles

We woke up this morning, collected our belongings from around the Holland’s house and enjoyed our last meal with Tom.  It was around the time we left when Tom gave us some left over pasta, monster cookies (they won’t last very long with us…), and offered us anything else we wanted from their refrigerator.  I don’t think Tom and Brenda could have been any nicer…

We stopped by the store and around 2 o’clock we were back on our bicycles.  The weather was fairly warm and it took us about 10 or so miles to get back into the groove of things.  We reached the top of the first summit and as luck would have it that was around the time that Brittany drove by.  We stopped and ate as we enjoyed her company, we love spending time with her as she is a beacon of hope.  We left sooner than we would have liked as we wanted to make it to the campsite before the owls came out.  The downhill would have been better had it not been for the wind.  We exercised caution as we do not want to make a second trip to the hospital.  The second summit was more of a challenge and we eventually made it to the top, to yet again meet our girl!  We continued down the summit and made it to a beautiful view.  We all stopped for a bit to enjoy what Mother Nature had to offer and continued downward.

It was when we began to ride alongside Blue Mesa Lake that the weather began to take a turn for the worst.  It must have been about 10 miles away from our campsite when we notice that storm clouds were coming.  We were hoping to be done before it hit us but, unfortunately, we didn’t make it.  As soon as we crossed the lake the wind instantly picked up and the rain came down.  We quickly stopped our bikes and due to the wind, struggled to get on our wind breakers (which are still not water proof).  We were lucky for two reasons:  Brittany noticed that bad weather and offered to pick us up, and the storm only lasted about 5 minutes.  Since we were close to our campsite and the weather improved, we finished the ride at the campsite. 

While the rain had died down the wind was still present.  We made dinner and took refuge in our tent.  Unfortunately not all of our tents are as strong as they should be and Colin’s tent took a beating from the wind.  This windy weather did not last long for after an hour or so Mother Nature ran out of steam and the wind calmed down.

Mileage: 67 Miles

We wanted to try and be out and on our bicycles around 8 o’clock.  As our luck would have it when Colin was unlocking the bikes that he noticed Joe had a flat tire.  Apparently Trek does not make tires that come off easily.  After a while and with the help from some screw drivers we were able to pry off the tire, to change the tubes.  While Joe replaced his tire Alex was able to patch his old one, and Colin took care of the chain on his bike (it’s okay to be impressed ladies).  While we were unable to leave when we wanted to we understood that unexpected things do happen.  Also, we all knew that today was the day we were to climb Monarch Pass.  From looking at the maps the top was about 50 miles away from where we started, and all of it was uphill.  This mountain is 11,312 feet, to give you an idea of the size.  The first 40 miles or so were fairly gradual and it wasn’t until the last 10 miles that we climbed about 2,500 feet to reach the top.

We were all excited to have this mountain behind us as we knew it would not be an easy climb.  This mountain would be the highest elevation that we would reach in our journey across country.  Therefore, in order to make it a special trip Joe decided to make it Moustache Monarch.  While he is very rugged and can grow facial hair fairly easily, he decided to wear an artificial moustache.  He tried to persuade Colin and Alex to join him but as they are not quite as manly and opted not to.  (Foolish, right?)

About the ride:  We made it to the town, Sargents, at the foot of the mountain in fairly good time.  It was at this town that we took a break before beginning our last major climb.  We biked at a steady pace and took a few breaks before reaching the top.  We made sure to stop at a few of the beautiful views that this mountain had to offer.  Now, this wouldn’t be a bike ride in Colorado if it didn’t rain on us.  Of course, as we began to reach the top wet weather was upon us once again.  We did not let this discourage us from reaching our goal and within no time we made it to the top of Monarch Pass.  We then biked about 10 miles down the side of the mountain to a campsite where we spent the night.

In Health,

Joe, Brittany, Alex, and Colin

Rain over Blue Mesa Lake

After fixing their bikes they are ready to go!

The climb over Monarch Pass

Joe and Colin - Looking good!

Monarch Pass: Conquered!




One response

4 07 2010

I love that picture of Joe and his mustache, too bad Alex and Colin did not joined you with the mustache.

Alex picked up your glasses so that you know.

Hope you guys still having fun???


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