Friday, July 3, 2009

Rolling on into Colorado

We got an early start this morning, pushing off from the hotel at 7:30. Mr. Kubiak joined us for the day and it was great to have another fresh face in the group! The day's route called for 82 miles of mostly flat riding with maybe 1,000 feet of gained elevation. 37 miles in we reached the Colorado border. Lauren and Mrs. Kubiak met us there, we posed for some pictures with the sign and headed on out.

Eight miles later we paused for a lunch break in Dove Creek. Mr. Kubiak immediately got back on the bike and headed out while Dave and I lamented how much we ate, fell into the Sprinter, and took a half hour nap. When we finally got up we rode on and finished the last 35 miles or so. Ten miles out we met up with Mr. Kubiak and finished the day. The hills were green, but rolled all the way into Dolores (luckily, we ended on the downhill!).

We arrived in Dolores, CO around 2:30. It's a small town, but is loaded with charm. The buildings are old but the people are friendly and the river that runs parallel to the town makes for a great outdoors area. The team gladly sat in the Dolores River for a half hour or so. The current was fast but we managed to find some rocks that rose slightly out of the water so we could enjoy the beautiful July sun.

We just returned from a wonderful dinner at the Dolores River Brewry and are enjoying a quiet evening around our motel/cabin that we are staying in. Tomorrow we climb 3K feet up over Lizard Head Pass (10,222 ft.) and then descend into Telluride. It's about 65 miles and the grade is gradual, but we are going to try to get an eraly start so we can see the 4th of July parade that goes through Telluride around midday.

I suppose this is officially the start to the Rocky Mountains. Since the beginning of the trip people have been wishing us luck on the Rockies, but frankly (I could possibly eat these words) I'm not that intimidated. We just spent the past 2.5 weeks in the mountains; in Nevada it was not uncommon to do three peaks in a day. So even though both major passes we go over are 10K+ (10,222 and 11,500) since our base is already 7,000-8,000 ft, I think it should be very doable. Not easy, mind you, but not devastatingly difficult. Check back in a week to see if my words hold true!

Answer to yesterday's Trivia: The Four Corners are formed by the state borders of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. With three correct answers, Sean Keeley is awarded 9 points. (Good work Little Man!)

Today's Trivia Question: 100% of the funds raised through Face AIDS are matched by private donors and thrown behind the work of what organization? (Hint: Paul Farmer founded this organization while still a medical student). (10 points)

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