June 28, Day 27: Olney Springs to Tribune, KANSAS! (131 miles)

The van circling us last night turned out to be the neighborhood watchman. “Oh he just likes young girls,” our waitress at breakfast told us. Haha.

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Uncle Billy’s Favorite Things. Free coffee for cyclists.

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“Buffalo gourd? The Indians used to eat them. I tried one but they taste awful, like old wood.”

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One of the many small towns we passed through on the plains past Pueblo.

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The wind wasn’t so bad today. Our lunch stop in Haswell.

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We met Eric back in Sugar City. He’s from Santa Cruz and is going to NY as well. He averages 100 miles a day. We first saw him near Sargents at the end of our day — he came out of nowhere super hyped and was heading up Monarch’s Pass.

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“These rumble strips are quite gentle”

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Break with shade. 58 miles to go!

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Towner, last town in Colorado.

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KANSAS! 16 miles to our campsite at the city park. It was slightly downhill and we had a thunderstorm to look at in the distance.

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Tons of buggies and toads by the pool. Took cold showers, ate pasta and called it a night.

Oh yeah, the town’s speakers were blasting Super Freak at 9:30pm when we rolled in. Huh? It was great.

June 27, Day 26: HEADWINNDD – Westcliffe to Olney Spring, CO (100 miles)

We were woken up by the wind at 5:30am and knew it was going to be a bad day to be riding east.

Both of our phones were dead and we still didn’t get a camera so no pictures of today, which is too bad because we saw some crazy stuff.

The last climb of the Rockies was nore drawn out than we thought, mostly due to the wind. On our way down we saw signs for big horned sheep — but no sheep. Sigh. Once we got down the landscape flattened out a bit and started seeing a lot of different plants on the side of the road, including buffalo gourd.

The wind wouldn’t stop! Going through Pueblo we passed a little yard with two adult emus, two baby emus, and… A pony. Magical dinosaur and unicorn yard.

It was crazy being in a city. Stopped for lunch at an Italian Deli called Joe Tomato’s. Got sort of lost and biked in circles before getting on the US 50, a four lane highway with tons of traffic. It was hot, dusty, and stressful. After a slurpee break we powered on to the SR 96 where traffic was lighter. The wind, however, got even worse. We were averaging 5 mph on flat terrain and we only had about 18 miles to go. Awfullllllll, but the sky became really pretty at least. We passed a prison with a lightning storm behind it and then saw a cloud that looked exactly like a fire-breathing Chinese dragon, we kid you not.

When we got to Olney Springs everything was closed. We set up at the city park and ate leftovers from lunch. A white Ford Windstar kept circling us slowly and freaked us out a bit so we went to bed with our knives and pepper spray.

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Olney Springs and our camp spot in the morning

June 26, Day 25: Sargents to Westcliffe, CO (82 miles)

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It was pretty cold last night.

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Banana oatmeal and tea

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Our campsite by the river.

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I tripped over this last night and cut my knee, whoops.

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We had a mile or two to warm up for the climb over Monarch Pass, supposedly the highest paved road in America and the highest on our trip.

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Met Mike and James at the top — they’re going from DC to SF. Love it when we meet other cool cyclist to share stories with. Their blog is http://ahadventure.us/

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Snack time

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Root beer and amazing strawberry rhubarb sodas in Cotopaxi.

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Country Road 1A — it was so hot.

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Fire on the hillside that has lasted for a week thanks to a bonfire some dumb kids started.

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On the 96

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We got into Westcliffe and didn’t feel like paying for an overpriced RV park campsite. The fire department turned us away so we went to the city park. A nice elderly couple said that was no long allowed and let us camp on their lawn. We used the park’s restrooms and ate on the grass. Hobo status.

June 25, Day 24: Cimarron to Sargents, CO (78.5 miles)

Slept through the alarm and didn’t get out until 10am — it was HOT! Four mile climb up to Blue Mesa Summit, saw lots of dead marmots. Matt was on the phone with Dario the entire way up (how?! I could not even breathe let alone talk).

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On the 50

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Blue Mesa Reservoir in the Curecanti National Rec Area

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Chicken Bay

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Gunnison River. Tons of cute places to camp and fish.

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Cows on a peninsula

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Lunch at Gunnison

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Llamas and baby llamas. We also saw white elk (whoops not a reindeer).

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Owners of Tomichi Creek Trading Post, our campsite for the night in Sargents.

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DJ, a heavy equipment driver, bought Matt a PBR and hung out with us for awhile. They bonded over being Sicilian and other things, haha. He was really funny and was dumbfounded by what we were doing.

That’s our night on the town! Tomorrow we climb the tallest peak on our trip, Monarch Pass at 11,312′ and cross the Continental Divide.

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Mashed potatoes and beans

June 24, Day 23: Telluride to Cimarron, CO (85.5 miles)

Our BBQ friend Dale warned us the road out of Telluride would be treacherous, and it kinda was. It was 9 or 10 miles downhill with blind curves, little shoulder, and quite a big of traffic. Busted out the emergency gear and we were fine (we believe our vests make us look like road workers and people are just trained to slow down, ha). At the bottom though we got yelled at by the craziest looking logging truck driver. Didn’t understand a word he said.

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Climb up Dallas Divide wasn’t bad at all and we had a huge, beautiful shoulder!

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Got to Ridgeway in no time and had a snack.

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Cerro Summit, last climb of the day when 4 miles feels really, really long.

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Campsite at Cimarron, so glad we did our break day at Telluride. We have now mastered the art of showering in the sink and under spigots — from the looks we’ve been getting we are contemplating changing our blog name to Athletic Hobos.

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Watched these bloom as it got dark.

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Dinner: TJ’s harvest grains, veggie chili, bread, and sardines. Hot green tea, a grapefruit and pretzels for dessert.

June 23, Day 22: Off Day in Historic Telluride

We decided to break a day early in Telluride instead of Cimarron, a very wise choice.

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Telluride, a very cute ski town/old mining town. They have 350 miles of tunnels.

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Free box.

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Lunch. Gyros and hella hella good fish tacos from the Telluride Taco truck. We were impressed.

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Cute dogs at almost every storefront.

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Free gondola ride to Mountain Village! You can bring your bikes up and ride down, but we didn’t want to touch our bikes today.

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Travel guitar + gondola = epic song writing we can’t talk about here, haha.

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What else would you stencil in Colorado?

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View from the city park.

Ended the day with some ok Thai food and bought some tasty cheap breads for breakfast from Baked in Telluride.

At 11:30pm, our camp neighbors from New Mexico drove back from the bar piss drunk and started screaming at each other (again). We tried to ignore it but it went on until 12:40am and got pretty intense. We heard stuff along the lines of: “Shut up you fucking whore! Dirty slut!” and “Help me find my contact lens case or everyone will be up the whole fucking night!” “Ow goddamnit!” Definitely heard people getting slapped around and felt sorry for the daughter and her friend inside. We called the police and they showed up in seriously less than a minute (Telluride cops are on their shit!). After that all was quiet and right in Telluride City Park.

June 22, Day 21: Dolores to Telluride (65 miles)

Slow start, got out around 10am and we were both pretty tired. I had another flat (what’s up Hetres?!) and tried riding a different tire in the rear for today. It was way smaller. Donut tire overall no fun, switched back to the Grand Bois after patching it up later.

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Gradual uphill along the Dolores River. We’re on the 145 to Rico.

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Rico is the last noncommercialized mining town in CO according to this guy Dale who we met at the BBQ stand yesterday.

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Ownera of Dew South are from Georgia. Yummy shrimp bisque made this morning.

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Bye Rico

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Our climb for today was Lizard Head Pass at 10,222′. Our buddy from last night, Dale, was waiting for us at the top and gave us the play by play for the way down, haha.

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There’s the lizard head. We got mobbed by mosquitoes!

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Downhill. Dandelions everywhere. At the bottom a car yelled, “that was amazing!” at us.

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Bike path to Telluride! Nice gesture but it was the bumpiest path ever. We passed a cyclist that invited us to camp in her spot at the city park since it was pretty full. Thanks Rosie!

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We are camping at the city park and it’s pretty happening. There is a very dysfunctional family next to us from New Mexico. They like running their generator all day and night.

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June 21, Day 20: A Great Day for Food – Blanding, UT to Dolores, COLORADO! (81 miles)

We love having a ton of groceries. Started the day off with yogurt and granola, some jarred and fresh fruits, and bagels with cream cheese.

The beginning of the day was spent on the 121, a busy highway with semitrucks and bad shoulder. When we got to Monticello we were on a mission to find a milkshake.

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A place called PJ’s has to have milkshakes. Nope. But they did have some of the best buffalo wings ever and redirected us to the Shake Shack.

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Came with pink sauce, supposedly a Utah thing spread by Mormon missionaries. It’s just mayo and ketchup mixed together. Mmm.

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So much for cooking lunch today.

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It’s hard riding in a food coma. Colorado! Gentle rolling hills all the way from Monticello to Dolores.

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Dove Creek, first town in Colorado. I got the stink eye walking into the grocery store.

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Filled our bottles with ice water, listened to some music, and got pretty in the zone. Bean farms all along the way.

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Turn off to Dolores.

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Couldn’t help it. This was the first thing we saw when we came into town. Dolores is one of the cutest places we’ve seen. It’s nestled in the foothills of the Rockies, not touristy, and right next to the Dolores River. There are two places to camp — in town at the Cozy Comfort RV Park and the Dolores River RV Park, just at the end of town. We opted to stay by the river.

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So much cottonwood fluff it looked like snow. We ended the night with Cream of Rice and honey, a super tasty camp dessert.

June 20, Day 19: Hite to Blanding (78 miles)

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Another hot morning.

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Jacob’s Chair in the distance.

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Not many services yesterday and none today along the 95. Lunch? Tuna and free condiment burritos.

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Spearmint I picked in Boulder, still looks fresh to me.

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Right before Natural Bridges National Monument this truck stopped to give us soda, Oreos, salami, lemonade mix, and Tecates. Thanks Taylor from Moab!

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Doing the Dew, haha.

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Finally up on Salvation Knoll. We thought this was the end.

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Neat pass through the rocks. Is that the end?

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Still had a ways to go after this.

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A series of short, really steep uphills brought us up to Blanding, a little farm town about 6,000ft above sea level. We camped at the Kampark RV park behind a Shell gas station. Kind of spooky but the showers were really clean. There is a big Clark’s Market across the street for groceries. Dinner of pasta and salad hit the spot.

June 19, Day 18: Capitol Reef to Hite Recreation Area (89.5 miles)

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A yellow bellied marmot and raccoon teamed up to upzip Matt’s front pannier. They ate a loaf of bread and some Barbara’s cheese puffs. NOO

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Breakfast of blackberry pie, ice cream, and coffee from the historic Gifford house near the campground. We saw the catering truck… It’s all from Cafe Diablo in Torrey, not baked there by a cute Mormon family like we were told, haha.

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Leaving

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Pteroglyphs

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Dramatic change in scenery as we decend. “It’s Capitol Reef after the apocalypse”

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Found this gem 13 miles before Hanksville. This is Randy, he makes goat cheeses and the most delicious crusty bread at his market.

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Couldn’t help stopping for malts and cheese steaks here in Hanksville.

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Highlight was going into Hog Canyon

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Going around Hite Recreation Area was beautiful but so windy, it felt like the bikes were going to fly out from under us.

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Colorado River

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Finally at Hite, dinner of garbanzo beans, spinach, and mashed potatoes.

Happy Father’s Day!