Oh what a glorious morning it is! Blue skies! Let’s see how long it lasts… Lol! The morning was pretty easy riding. I was pretty close to the town of Hartsel so I was aiming to get there for breakfast. 🙂
Hartsel is a tiny town with not much to it. These are my favorite type of towns, because if there is a restaurant, the food is always homemade, delicious, and cheap! When I got to Hartsel I was pretty hungry. I had a half order of Biscuits and gravy, and a half order of huevos rancheros. It was frickin yummy! But oooooh my gosh it was so much food! I indeed ate it all. Lol! Oh man I am so glad the ride out of Hartsel was mellow, I would have been hurting pretty bad otherwise. Lol! It’s funny, as much as I dislike riding through farmlands, somehow it’s ok if there are mountains in the distance. Haha! Perhaps it’s because subconsciously I know I’ll be amongst trees again. 🙂
Just before leaving Hartsel I met another cyclist! Joy! :D. He was riding the TransAm route. I don’t remember what his name was, but I’m stoked to see another cycle tourist! Haven’t seen one in a while. I haven’t seen a divide rider since my tubing crew in Steamboat! Lol. Seriously though, where the heck is everyone? Perhaps my week in Steamboat put me behind the herd. Ah well. 🙂
The climb right before my massive descent into Salida was pretty steep, yet beautiful. I really like rocks and trees, so I was happy 🙂
When I crested the top of the ridge, I was rewarded with a spectacular view! It’s hard to tell from the picture because there’s really no depth perception, but those mountains in the distance were HUGE!!! They are some of the 14ers (mountains over 14,000′ tall) in the Sawatch Range, and WOW it was a cool thing to see after popping up over the ridge.
After that, it was pretty much a continuous 3,000′ descent into Salida. Yay! And what a glorious descent it was! Shortly after dropping from the top of the ridge, I had the most incredible panoramic view of the mountains. Oh my gosh, it was absolutely divine! I have never seen so many 14k’+ mountains in one place before!! Yes I’ve been to the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and Mt.Whitney (tallest peak the lower 48 USA) in California, but that was just one massive peak, not a whole bunch in my field of vision!
This definitely ranks as one of the top 3 most dramatic views of my entire ride thus far. First one was my 2nd or 3rd day out, when I rode along a huge lake and had a view of the Canadian Rockies peaks, and the 2nd one was a few days ago, when I popes over the ridge and saw the incredible panorama of the Colorado River canyon. I sat at this viewpoint for a while, soaking it all in.
But, Salida awaits! So I did not tarry too long. :). I am so stoked I have someone who will host me in Salida! His name is Roy, and I met him at the hiker/biker campsite my last night in Yellowstone. He was cycle touring as well, not the Divide but his own route. He was celebrating his 30th year of cycle touring. Go Roy!
Partway along my descent, I saw a lady on the side of the road, she was fixing a flat on her mountain bike. She was having some trouble so I stopped to help her out. Her name is Cathy and she just recently got her bike. It was a Specialized Safire, pretty sweet looking bike! She rode down into town with me and showed me where Absolute Bikes was. She said it was *the* bike shop to go to in Salida. There are at least 3 in town. By the way, this town has less than a population of 4,000 people. And they have that many bike shops. Kinda gives you an idea how awesome this place is. 🙂
Absolute Bikes is one of the shops that they featured in the Ride The Divide documentary. I went in to get some info on local trails and riding conditions. The guy there was great! He helped me find a shuttle to go ride the Monarch Crest Trail, which I’ve been told is possibly the best trail in Colorado. Yay!! I’m so excited!! 😀
Salida is a really hip town, according to Cathy. And it definitely seemed that way when I got there! It has the largest historic district in Colorado, and for a teeny town, not only does it have 3 breweries and a distillery, but it has an entire arts district! COOL!! I went to Amica brewery first.
Then I went to Moonlight. By the way, both these breweries are also pizza pubs. Score! Cuz guess what? I’ve been craving pizza like crazy, my entire ride. So I decided to rode a calzone. It was HUGE! But I ate it all! Lol! It was so good! My tummy was as happy as the calzone. Lol!
Oh! For those of you who don’t know me, I am a dancer, and I have been my entire life. Dance is my soul, my passion, my world, and the very thing my entire being revolves around. 🙂 one of the groups I perform with in Hawaii is Cherry Blossom Cabaret. We are Hawaii’s premiere burlesque and cabaret theater troupe, and these people are some of the most creative, talented, and inspiring individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around. They’re pretty much my Family on Oahu :). Anyhow, we’re having a show Saturday night, it’s our Sizzling Summer Speakeasy show! With live music by surf rock band Men In Grey suits. They are so awesome! It’s going to be such a fantastic show I am really bummed I’m not able to perform! Anyhow, for more info go check out Cherry Blossom Cabaret on facebook, or just show up at NextDoor (43 N Hotel st, Chinatown, Honolulu) around 8:30. It’s going to be so much fun!!! 🙂
Oh, and for the record, CBC is the reason I had to wait til mid July to start this ride, we did a fantastic theatrical burlesque and dance production which ran the whole month of June (Alice in Chinatown: Through the Looking Glass), as well as the Hawaii Burlesque Festival. Hence I had to start July and go Southbound, instead of starting earlier and riding Northbound like I originally wanted to. Also, dance is the reason I’m not continuing this bike adventure for all eternity. I have many shows to do come October. 🙂
So, go check out our event at NextDoor! It’ll be super fun! 🙂