Wow today was kind of a lot tougher than I expected! I had 2 big climbs that, although it didn’t look to bad on paper (via the elevation chart), it was tiring. Lol. But wow the views were awesome! I came out of forests and basically dropped into the Colorado River canyon, twice.
The day started out somewhat mundane. Awesome view of mountains on all sides of me though.
I rode by a historic building in the middle of nowhere. It was built in the 1880s as someone’s personal residence, a hotel for travelers, a post office, as well as a stagecoach stop (used by Wells Fargo and others).
Oh! So, I was wondering why Steamboat Springs is called such, because the river that runs through town is way too small and shallow to be able to support a steamboat (or any motorized boat, for that matter). I found out, the reason Steamboat Springs is named such, is because early in the founding days of the town, someone was by the river and said the bubbling springs that fed into the river sounded like a steamboat coming. So there ya go. The community started off as a ranching town in the 1800s, by the early 1900s skiing was a huge activity there, and was included in the school curriculum. The 1960s is when Steamboat really bloomed into what it is today; that’s when the ski resort was built.
It was really amazing to pop over a rise and look down into the Colorado river canyon. That’s a biiiiiiiig drop! I rode all the way down to the very bottom of that, off to the right of the canyon. It’s too bad I can’t really go full speed downhill. There were a lot if sharp turns in the road and it was gravel so kind of slippery. Plus i tend to be on the overly cautious side. Many people on the Divide have had ride-ending injuries due to crashing at high speeds. I don’t intend to be one of them.
I rode over the Colorado River. Multiple times today, actually. This particular spot is a popular put-in spot for rafters, boaters, and kayakers. I saw some kayakers coming in. It looked fun!! Damn I really want to go paddle. Lol.
Leaving that spot I went up another huge ass climb, and got to go down another canyon. That was super awesome. Not as dramatic of a canyon view as the first one but still pretty.
Then I got to go up into another canyon. That seems to be the pattern for today’s riding. Lol. This climb was pretty tough. At some portions of the ride the wind was blowing so hard it was pushing me all over the place. I actually got off my bike and walked several times just because the wind was so strong. When I popped over the ridge, the town of Kremmling was at the bottom.
Kremmling is somewhat of a nondescript town, at first I wasn’t going to even stop in, but curiosity got the better of me. Lol! Plus I was wondering if they had a brewery there. Haha. No brewery. However I did finally satiate a huge craving. Since leaving Banff i reeeeeally was craving a steak. Problem is, they’re generally super expensive unless u make it yourself, which I haven’t had the means to. Well, except when I was staying at the mansion in Steamboat, there was a grill there, but I didnt think about that at time. Anyhow, I finally got a steak in Kremmling that was relatively cheap and super good! Plus it came with a baked potato and some TexMex corn chowder so I was stuffed! Yay! Ok now I’m good on steaks for the duration of my ride. 😀
I did around 10 miles leaving kremmling. Weather wasn’t looking so promising so I started looking for a campsite earlier. It’s nice when I can be a little more picky instead of trying to find a flat spot in the dark. Lol. So the reason it’s extra important for me to find a flat spot, other than comfort, is because my tent doesn’t setup very well if the ground is curved or really uneven. I have a TarpTent Notch, it’s not freestanding, and it sets up with 4 stakes and 2 sticks. If the ground isn’t flat the tension on the tent is weird and it just doesn’t stand very well. I remember when I was on my PCT thru-hike, there was a couple times it was impossible to get stakes in the ground. Good thing it was a rocky area, I was able to secure the guy lines around boulders and do the deadman stake thing and pile a bunch of heavy rocks on it, enough to secure it.
If possible i try to find a camping spot that’s east facing, that way the sun wakes me up in the morning. Even though its usually overcast. But it’s warmer as well. Plus, if it rained, then at least half of my tent will be somewhat dried by the sun.
I’m riding through ranch land again, so my options were slim. I found an area off the side of the road where there was actually an area clear of sage. I Had to kick some antelope poop aside. Better than cow patties I suppose, antelope poop is smaller. 🙂 The ground wasn’t completely level but hey, close enough. I generally wake up at some point of the night, to find that I’ve slid to the downhill half of my tent. Good thing I’m short, or I might actually bust through the bottom side of my tent. Haha. Only one time this trip I’ve slid sideways and knocked down one of the support sticks. I misjudged the direction of the slope of the ground. Oops. A simple solution to me sliding around would be to get a piece of grippy shelf liner and put it under my sleeping bag and pad. I keep forgetting everytime I go into town. Tomorrow I get into Silverthorne, perhaps there will be a discount store there, and I’ll remember to look.
A cool trick I learned from my buddy Jeff on the PCT is, you can use a SmartWater bottle as a level. For reals! Lol! Since the bottle is long and skinny, when it’s filled with water you can put it on the ground and the little bubble will tell you if it’s flat, or which way the ground is tilting, if it’s not obvious to the naked eye. Lol! A SmartWater bottle fits better in an actual backpack though, it’s a bit too big for my little camelbak daypack I’m using. So there you go, next time you guys go backpacking, don’t forget to bring a SmartWater bottle. 🙂