Tuesday, June 30, 2009

KOA in Gunnison- June 28

How do these kids still have energy???

James and the boys from syracuse.

nice campfire boys! Thanks. Once again a great visit with Scott,
Andy, and Peter.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dan (not Bruce) Rossi

Nice guy Mike met in Telluride and he stopped to make sure we didn't need anything! Again...the incredible people we meet!

Leaving ridgeway-June 28

Going to Cimarron - 42 miles. Did breakfast at the campsite...why do I keep thinking this is a good idea! Didn't leave camp until 10:30 and then at the bottom of the hill, Rebecca got a flat from a fish hook! Took a couple trys to get it right and then on the road at 11:00. First 10 miles were horrible. Busy road not much shoulder. Glad we made the signs with mine saying "Bikes Ahead." It helps I think. First day that I felt folks weren't too patient with us. A stop right before Montrose proved to be fortuitous. While we were resting we saw a group of 5 cyclists. We thought it was maybe the boys from Syracuse but with 2 woman? I think one of us commented, "if it is them, maybe they got lucky!" they rode by and were squirting each other with their water bottles when we held "hi". One of them recognized the wagons and the group turned around. Sure enough it was them. Wasn't sure with the beard Scott was donning if it was them! Great visit with them and the 2 woman were mom (cathy) and her sister. See previous blog:-)

June 28 - Montrose

Guess who we ran into? The boys from Syracuse and their mother and aunt who joined their trip for a couple days! What fun to see them. We saw them ride by and with 2 girls. They saw our bikes and turned around and came back!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sunset on another fine day!

Good dry air to help with soggy gear from last 2 nights. BBQ chicken, boiled spuds, fresh green beans, & salad...yum.

Great campsite at Ridgeway SP

June 27- great path along the river then...

At the lake, it all changed!

June 27th.

We provisioned ( I should say "I") in town while others had hot fudge Sundaes! We started our trek to the state park on the lake and found a great bike path to it or almost to it! Mike and I ended up on a mountain bike trail at the end that was soft sand, drop off to water and insanely steep! The kids made it but wecould not complete the passage with our wagon. The gold rushers and morman settlers would be distgusted with our abilities! I had grocery bags that bungies would not hold. Almost lost our chicken in the drink!

The fireman almost done for the day

So we thought!

June 27. The new Ridgeway Fireman!

Not shown here but after the kids left this photo op, the next time I saw them was a few miles down the mountain. There was a commotion with a truck and a smoking bus and my family and instantly panic set in for me. James was running around, Rebecca was near her bike and I didn't immediately see Mike, just his rig on it's side in the road. When I got closer I saw the back of the bus now up in flames and Mike and James running back to their bikes. In my oh so calm voice, I screamed, "Rebecca and James get out of here NOW!" apparently when Rebecca and Mike arrived there was a small fire but no water. Mike had the kids gather the water bottles and he started helping put it out...but then the man opened the back up and then with the addition of oxygen...up in flames! Mike gathered his stuff and followed us down. I stopped and looked back as Mike passed me and the bus was now engulfed in flames. Emergency vehicles passed us for the remainder of our descent and we later heard that it took 3 tankers to put it out and they redirected traffic all the way around. We were lucky and Mike said if only we had been a couple minutes earlier! Rebecca, our roving reporter got some shots on her camera. Just glad no one was hurt! Very exciting though!

June 27 - on the way down to Ridgeway.

Almost to the summit -June 27

Dallas Divide...bring it on!

June 27

Leaving Telluride - too bad, we kind of liked it here! Great downhill today for the first part...dropped 1,500 in 13 miles then reclimbed it in 11 miles in the afternoon! Nice pastures and ranches but with more vistas of snow capped mountains.

Mountain village at Telluride

Met Erica at her restaurant in MV after our Gondi ride. Plate of nachos and bevs and little respit from the rain that was off and on all day! This posting didn't go through so resending! Thanks for your hospitality Erica and all ourbest for better seasons ahead. Feel free to grab any photos from this blog for "the wall"!

6:00 in Telluride

Leaving today and looking forward to our ride! Finally caught up and enjoying a coffee in a bakery that has the best baked goods as well as food. 4 different pasta dishes last night that were all delicious! Now it's time to get back to camp and either shake some kids awake or be pleasantly surprised by a packed site! To Ridgeway today, then Cerro Summit, Gunnison where we pick up insulin at walmart and thanks to our wonderful neighbor Pam, we will be receiving a general mail delivery there with diabetes supplies, shorts for mike and the stove "that we should have brought" that uses coleman fuel! Just talked to my sister Becka! What a great treat! Thanks Becka... Love and miss all our family and friends! And our dog!

Up early in Telluride - june 27th.

Not many early risers in this party town...

Waterfall in distance

Game 2 with pizza man rollingaround

June 26

After raining off and on all day it cleared and became cool. Caught some of this game on the way to dinner. 2 games in progress - mens league with families all around enjoying the park!

Lovely children!

Coming back down into the village

Don't look down kids! June 26

June 26. - day 26! rest day

Feel like we are in Europe!

Gondola Ride - June 26

The push to Telluride was a good decision otherwise we would have been
up in the mountains in the rain with nothing to do. We decided after
setting up tents in the rain that we would stay another day and hope
for a better riding day Sat. We had a great day exploring Telluride.
What a beautiful spot. The town park has camping and then every sports
facility you can imagine...soccer, basketball, baseball, horseshoes,
volleyball, tennis, pool, ice skating, incredible playground,
pavillion with stage, etc.! A huge waterfall comes down the mountain
and runs through the campground with extreme power! Amazing place! We
had fun hopping around town people watching, eating good food, and
riding the gondola up and down imagining what great skiing they must

Still following the river...

But not at the same plane! The riding has been incredible for days now
with beautiful scenery...greenery too! It is so sad to see so many for
sale signs everywhere though. The poor economy has hit this area
hard...really everywhere we have been on this trip. This area has
beautiful ranches along the river, lodges, campgrounds etc. For sale.
We got to Lizzard Head Pass which was elevation 10,222' Of course my
camera was out of battery but it was also cold and pouring on us so
not sure I would have broken the camera out of the bag!

On our way to Telluride...

Looks like there is still plenty of snow fir skiing!

Rest stop in Rico

Friendly owner

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 25th. Break in Rica

met some bicyclists from Colorado Springs doing a tour and going
many more miles a day than us! Some were nurses at a hospital,
teachers and others. Nice group to bike with and pass or be passed by
throughout the day. They were headed to Telluride for the night and
finishing up in Ridgeway which will be a stop for us also. God is
watching us and guiding our decisions for sure! If we had not met
Brandon we would have definitely gone on passed his house and camped
at a nice place but would have been soaked by the downpours. Rebecca
wanted to plug away to the summit and stay in Telluride and the other
group heading there also motivated us! If we hadn't made it to
Telluride, we would have had a layover up in the mountains away from
everything instead of one in downtown Telluride where there is so much
to do even in the rain! More later about stay in Telluride.

Seemed to have lost this long blog for this picture!

So, Brandon, quite an interesting man! A former Olympic swimmer in the
early 80's and actually on his way to Vegas fir an interview for a
story on what he had been doing since then! He also is working with
many others collaborating on hydrogen fuel kits for vehicles making
them as efficient if not more than hybrids! James and the rest of us
were completely on awe of the process and although Brandon cannot make
money on it because big oil has all the patents on it, we wish him
well with it. We will definitly look into it more when we get back!
James had told us months ago about vehicles that run on water...we
need to listen better apparently because it seems every week James is
right about these concepts! For days he has been telling me about
these sports cars that are worth $1m. I said that wasn't possible. We
learned today that they can go up to 1.5m! We have seen many sports
cars in groups passing us. Yesterday were Shelby Colbras! Very cool!
Today ferraries(sp?). Thank you so much Brandon for your hospitality.
James especially liked the BBQ. Chicken and watching Congo with you!
Brandon insisted we sleep insidedue to a large bear on the property!
10' he thought...yeah, that was smart!

My biker buddy working that climb

Stoner, CO. June 24 - day 26

Lunch at the closed down campground cafe that Brandon talked about.

On our way to Angel's Gate Outpost

From Dolores we followed the river and turned out to be a very east
ride up to Stoner where our angel Brandon lived! Great riding and we
definitely would have ridden further if I hadn't talked with Brandon
but it all turned out for the best! Worst rain of the trip came that

Waiting for bike repairs

So late start today and much anticipation for a climb today (okay,
procrastination) we had a little layover next door at a bar. Kids had
sliders and fries thanks to the very nice bar tender and I chatted
with a few locals. Brandon Cecil was one of the locals that we asked
about the camping ahead and where we might end up. He said it was
closed. He felt badly as he was asked to manage it this summer but he
could not. He liked what we were up to and offered his yard and
facilities to us and even took some gear for us!

6.23.09 - day 25

Dove Creek to Dolores. 36 miles. This mountain range is getting closer! James had another flat this morning and after repairs we went to Deb's diner and after my morning chats with locals (family just loves that!) we were on our way to finishing the 3rd map of the western express route! Dolores will start the 4th and last map then we begin the trans American that will bring us to Kentucky. We made it to Lewis and even though it was hot the riding was good...except after a picnic lunch on the front overhang of a closed down bar, and Mike and Rebeccas departure, James discovered another flat in the rear tire. Well we made the most of a bad situation. James got an ice cream and water for me and we went to business changing our first flat! We patched the tube after finding a nail, got it all set and then discovered another hole caused it to flat again! Repaired that one and put it back together and still didn't work! We went out on the road to look more helpless and within 2 minutes...bingo...James and I rode the double yellow for the last 11 miles. A man with his son who I think only stopped to ask directions for a fishing hole soon found himself driving a mother and son and bikes and gear down the road to dolores! They did not seem to mind and mike gave them $10 for their troubles and to buy worms perhaps! Rebecca and Mike were still on their bikes and had scouted out a nice but expensive stop...15/tent! Great market with awesome produce offered good salad and deli meat wraps for dinner...nice healthy meal! Good sleep although Mike's side (:-)) of the mattress is losing air! Mike and I rose early to check out town and I took James' bike and once again-flat! Front tire this time! We decided to wait till bike store opened and get new tires for James!

Day 24 to Dove Creek

An example of the vistas. The only problem is that I am pretty sure I saw this mountain range 3 days ago from a different perspective but still off to my right! Are we doing a big circle around it? NO, just a half circle! So Dove Creek did not have an open campground. Another example of the failing economy and closure of more support for tourism! We asked the local sheriff about possible places for camping and he directed us to the town park and community center. We got hotdogs and beans and salad stuff at local market and headed to park. There we watched a baseball practice in progress with kids James' age. Nice community with lots of activity. Seniors were gathered in the center playing bingo and people walking the HS track. There was a huge pile of wood slats in the picnic area that we learned from our new friend Josh was for the big 4th. of July celebration Pick and hoe festival. They would burn this wood to cook the huge quantities of meat they would sell that day. Josh wanted us to stay but we must move on as we find ourselves slowly eating up our spare days due to the easing into my original goal of 50mi/day. May need to do the uhaul thing again through some future area to get some slack time again. The good thing is the fact we can finally do 50 miles with no problem. I see some 80plus days in Kansas! We also met Trace, Jordan and Andie, nice kids who introduced themselves because Andie also has T1diabetes. We are hoping for you also Andie, they find a cure soon!

Another state! CO!

47 miles today and part of the excitement was crossing over into another state! Nice to see greenery again! The cattle must like it better too. Seems like we have seen cattle ranches for the last 2 weeks. We then crossed into farmland where they were growing beans, wheat, sunflowers and a purple flowered crop that smelled wonderful. Beautiful vistas of roadside flowers, sagebrush(still), crop fields then distant snow covered mountains. Nice rolling terrain where the work and reward were much more equal. Good grade for us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another side trip for James and I

On the way to Dove Creek James and I decided to weigh in! Yep, you read it correctly, I weighed in at 290! I cannot believe my bike, trailer and gear weigh 190!!! Ha ha ha! I was surprised though....the trailer and bag alone weighed 60.

June 22-(21 miles to Monticello)

Ah, green grass and trees...we're out of the desert! Beautiful park for a picnic! PB& J or bananas on burritos, our new lunch item. James and I decided to hang back for ice cream and to get more water but it was a nice long break.

June 22 -on route to Monticello then Dove Creek

Rebecca just informed me of my many spelling errors...please know that I am a good speller but with this auto correct I don't always notice what it changes words to. I rely on the corrective feature because I do not always hit the right buttons. I have developed a blister on my little finger (hey, aren't those lyrics?). Anyhow, thought this looked like a better way to get up a mountain. We tried to communicate across the road but it was too loud...they thought the trip sounds crazy like most people!

Blanding -June 22 Leaving town

We ended up treating ourselves to pool, showers, laundry and dinner out. Met the Washingtons (Harold and Christine on bikes a/ motors) and their daughter, husband and baby -the Walkers. Nice family! The kids watched old movies...grease1&2 ghost busters and mean old mom said "enjoy, it's your last motel stay!" Camping is so much better for getting to bed early! On the way into town we met the sweetest couple driving a VW camper van. Annie Bell came over to talk with us while Norton Bell pumped the gas into the van. She was so excited and said of was too bad we didn't meet in SF, CA where they live. She said they would have fed us good. She told us that her husband would be right over to talk about biking because he was an avid bicyclist. Sure enough he had taking many tours and has written much on the rides. He pulled out a map and showed many options for going through CO and also some interesting train rides. They both offered food to us and best wishes fir the rest of our ride. Norton worked as an engineer in science and medical related field and had heard of The Jackson Laboratory. Very bright couple and very unfortunate that Annie suffers from early Alzheimers. Further down the road they handed maps that we were reviewing earlier to James as he rode by them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 21 - to Blanding

So quiet today riding and hardly anyone passing us which wasnice especially on some nasty switch backs! I really focused on sounds today and really the only thing you could hear was birds and the occasional tink sound from the metal guard rail expanding from the heat!

June 21

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers we know and love especially our dads! Packing up for short ride (19) to Blanding, Utah for last night in this state...tomorrow CO! Nice campsite minus the food last night. We got to bed early and rose before the sun came over the cliff. Best pack up yet and even with making coffee and hot cho. 7:30 departure and once we got on the other side of cliff we were glad we left then...HOT and hilly!

June 20

Set up camp in a primitive spot called "Comb Wash". Bottom of a great descent and lots of angst for climb tomorrow ...see the break in the cliff between the tents? Scale is so hard to show!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 20th - Major descent at end!

Couldn't resist stopping to snap a few pics. So I might need new brake pads...it was worth it! You cannot see the pitch here but it was a good one!

June 20 - coming to our home for the night

Beautiful light at the end of the day coming down to "comb wash'

June 20th.

50 miles to get to the top finally! 10 great miles to the end of the new personal best for the kids - they did a great job. We were on a trek of 74 miles between services and the last service at Hite Rec. Area was less than needed for provisions so our emergency backpacking food would come out tonight. We needed to pack extra water for night time and next day. I had 2 1/2 gal. in my trailer and I felt it on every hill! Mike got a flat right away after our breakfast of champions! No milk at store for cereal so packaged foods for us today...yuck. We are craving fruits and vegetables and haven't come to a good market in awhile. We started making plans for the next couple days and decided to push hard today and do small mileage the next day and have a good break in the afternoon. This was good motivation and the offer of motel with pool didn't hurt!

Cheese Butte

That's butte not butt! Kids thought cheese butt was funnier, we were just happy to be east of the cheese house-that's for all my downeast friends!

June 20th.- day 23

Kids did their first 50 miles today and even though there were some tough climbs today, it is getting easier for all of us to put in long days of biking. They can be long days but we try to take many breaks and stop whenever there are things to look at. We all enjoy the landscapes we come across and there are many surprises along the route...like long horn cattle in free range country! Rebecca didn't expect to see one as she came around the bend (it was behind a fence!)

Where in the U.S. are the O'Donnells?

View Where is Rebecca? in a larger map