Day three began overcast and hazy. In fact, the whole day was overcast, which we were fine with as we were riding open country and direct sun all day would have been tough. The riding was through rolling hills, nothing too steep or long. We did have a couple hills that were around three miles long, then nice fast downhills on the other side. We stopped for a break at the Wyoming-Colorado border.
Once entering Colorado the shoulders disappeared. In Wyoming we had it good with nice wide shoulders, but in Colorado there were literally no shoulders. There was only about 4-6 inches of pavement to the left of the white line. At least most of the drivers were courteous and gave us a wide berth.
Our pace was pretty leisurely and we rolled into the small Colorado town of Walden at around 4:00 pm. Based on my research, there were no campgrounds in the vicinity of Walden, the closest being about 15 miles further along the highway we were traveling. It was also overcast and sprinkling a bit, so we checked into a cheap motel. We squeezed all six of us, and all six bikes into one room, containing a full size bed and two twins. Lars and Connor had to sleep on the floor between bikes and beds and other gear.
After we unpacked and showered, we walked down the street to the River Rock Cafe for dinner. The food was okay, not as good as the place in Centennial. We also learned that the only grocery store in town was a mile and a half back down the highway we rode in on. We didn’t feel like unearthing our bikes from the motel room and riding back there, so we went to a dollar store and bought some basic groceries there. During dinner I began not feeling too well, and it concerned me. I didn’t eat much dinner, and went back to the motel room and slept while the kids explored the town a bit. While I was resting it occurred to me that maybe it was side effects from an antibiotic I was taking for a deep cut on my elbow from a couple weeks previous. Sure enough I looked at the side effects and they included: diarrhea, dizziness, tiredness, etc. I had it all, and these were not symptoms you want on a long bike trip. Fortunately I was almost done with the medication, so I stopped taking it, and felt fine the rest of the trip.
We had a nice evening talking, laughing, watching YouTube videos, reading, and relaxing.
Day 3 totals: 49.3 miles, 2,477′ elevation gain.
Natalie decided to call it as she was having some back and neck pain (she didn’t get to train much as she just moved back to Utah after four years in New York City), so she called her cousin in Laramie, who picked her up. She then drove to Denver to visit her aging grandmother.
We packed up and left around 8:30 in the morning. It was again rather hazy, but nice and cool. The road rolled up and down for about 25 miles getting closer and closer to the mountains that we could see in the distance.
We took a break to refill our bottles at the Moose Visitor Center, State Forest State Park. After a break there, the road began climbing into the mountains toward Cameron Pass (10, 276′). The climbing was steady but reasonable and ridable. We took a break up top before descending down to Chambers Lake a few miles below the pass.
When we arrived at the turn off for Chambers Lake Campground, a sign indicated that it was full. We rode in anyway to check it out, and there were plenty off campsites open. It was a Thursday, and it seemed all the sites were reserved for the weekend, but we had no trouble getting a nice site in the wooded campground, not far from the lake.
Whenever we go backpacking, bike touring, or travel of any kind, there is always an assortment of books. Like me, my kids can’t seem to go anywhere without books. Here is our selection for this trip.
After we set up camp, we changed into shorts and headed for the lake. We found a nice big rock above the water and prepared for a swim in the very cold water. While we were hanging out we spotted a bald eagle, and not far from us we watched it dive into the water and come up with a trout. He carried it to a tree across the way and ate it. It was really cool to see that, and from so close up, maybe 75 yards away. We finally mustered the courage to jump in, swim around a bit, then climb back out. Of course the wind was blowing pretty hard when we got out. We hung out at the lake for awhile longer then headed back to camp. We lounged around reading. chatting, and eating.
Day 4 totals: 38.4 miles, 2425′ elevation gain.