Colorado, USA – Resplendent in the Fall – Simply Stunning – and Cycling Up Some Very Steep Hills

We are currently in Breckenridge, Colorado,  and are about to embark on the highest part of our Great Divide route, which will involve cycling over passes of around 12,000 feet. So far we have cycled more than 1720 miles since we started in Calgary, Canada, and have done 81,000 feet of climbing.

We had spent a week cycling across the arid Mars-scape of Wyoming.

The bleak, treeless, MartiaN like landscape of Wyoming
The bleak, treeless, Martian like landscape of Wyoming
Meeting some of the Wyoming inhabitants
And meeting some of the Wyoming inhabitants
We were now back on the Great Divide gravel tracks. Sometimes we were glad of the Wyoming wind as these pickups never slow down to reduce the dust and stones they through up, unlike Australian drivers on our previous trips who were always very considerate.
We were now back on the Great Divide gravel tracks. Sometimes we were glad of the Wyoming wind as these pickups seldom slow down to reduce the dust and stones they through up, unlike Australian drivers on our previous trips who were always very considerate. American drivers are very considerate when on tarmac, it is only on gravel things go down hill.
So on reaching Colorado we were exited to see our first tree for a week
So on reaching Colorado we were excited to see our first tree for a week
And to cycle down the famous Aspen Alley
And to cycle down the famous Aspen Alley
The colours of the Aspen were simply stunning
The colours of the Aspen were simply stunning
So I will apologise for putting in so many photos of them
So I will apologise for putting in so many photos of them
As Aspen spread by under ground roots each clump is basically the same tree and therefore the same colour. This gives a wonderful patchwork effect from the different family groups
As Aspen spread by under ground roots each clump is basically the same tree and therefore the same colour. This gives a wonderful patchwork effect from the different family groups
Autumn is the hunting season so there are more people up in the hills than usual. It starts with Bow and Arrow for a few weeks then they are allowed to use progressively more powerful guns. These two, who we met just as it was getting dark, where after a male elk they had heard calling. We had also heard it the previous night, a beautiful, eerie sound like a mixture between a bugle and someone tuning bagpipes. The hunters were very nice but I hope the elk got away.
Autumn is the hunting season so there are more people up in the hills than usual. It starts with Bow and Arrow for a few weeks then they are allowed to use progressively more powerful guns. These two, who we met just as it was getting dark, were after a male elk they had heard calling. We had also heard it the previous night, a beautiful, eerie sound like a mixture between a bugle and someone tuning bagpipes. The hunters were very nice but I hope the elk got away.
There are also lots of people fishing on the rivers. As we sit with our tired legs watching them being rowed down the river I can't help thinking that it looks like a very pleasant way to spend the day.
There are also lots of people fishing on the rivers. As we sit with our tired legs watching them being rowed down the river I can’t help thinking that it looks like a very pleasant way to spend the day.
These guys were working a bit harder rounding up cattle
These guys were working a bit harder rounding up cattle
Colorant, of course, has some very steep hills to climb
Colorado, of course, has some very steep hills to climb
And there have been several days when the campsite was 5 miles further up than my legs thought they could go. Cycling at this altitude certainly takes its toll
And there have been several days when the campsite was 5 miles further up than my legs thought they could go. Cycling at this altitude certainly takes its toll
But when you get to the top you get some stunning views
But when you get to the top you get some stunning views
This campsite was at the top of Ute pass. We were the only people there and these there was no where bear proof to hang our food bag overnight, so we left it in toilet building
This campsite was at the top of Ute pass. We were the only people there and there was no where bear proof to hang our food bag overnight, so we left it in toilet building
In the morning there was a hole through our thick waterproof bag and into our trail mix that was about the size of this guy
In the morning there was a hole through our thick waterproof bag and into our trail mix that was about the size of this guy
We saw our first black bear. It crossed the road in front of us and shot up the bank at great speed. It looked like quite a young one but luckily mum and dad were not around
We saw our first black bear. It crossed the road in front of us and shot up the bank at great speed. It looked like quite a young one but luckily mum and dad were not around. In fact it caused a bit of a pile up as I was all for cycling on quickly and Bernie was trying to stop and take a picture.
We have passed some beautiful scenary
We have passed some beautiful scenary
But also some mining areas. This new lake may look lovely but it is the spoil run off from the mine.
But also some mining areas. This new lake may look lovely but it is the spoil run off from the mine.
You can really see the weather coming in the mountains
You can really see the weather coming in the mountains
We have had to do very little maintenance then we had a pucture each within 5 miles
We have had to do very little maintenance but then we had a pucture each within 5 miles
We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Breckenridge for receiving and storing our box of bike spares, in particular Todd Barson.
We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Breckenridge for receiving and storing our box of bike spares, in particular Todd Barson.
Just got to finish on the one that got away and some more autumn colour
Just got to finish on the one that got away and some more autumn colour

Just a reminder that we are cycling the 3000 miles from Banff in Canada to New Mexico to raise money for the humanitarian charity ShelterBox. ShelterBox are currently helping the Syrian refugees in Greece, and well as continuing to support the communities in Nepal who were devistated first by by flooding in 2014 then by earthquakes in 2015.  You can donate directly to ShelterBox via our Just Giving page by clicking on the Donate tab at the side of this blog, or on the ShelterBox tab along the top. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

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