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Day 29: A Great Day for Rest

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

We all climbed into the car late in the morning. Having been pretty beat from the events of the past few days, I was sleeping in whenever I could. I had been so cold two days before that my skin was now peeling off my arms. I’m used to dry weather. I’m used to peeling skin from sunburns. I had yet to experience skin peeling from the cold, but besides that, I felt mostly recovered from my time on the Colorado trail. Before loading my bike, Stan thoroughly cleaned my bike and chain. After getting off the Colorado trail soaking wet, a bunch of grime and grit got into the chain and bike. Without a proper cleaning, the sandy dirt that I was riding in can really damage a bike’s longevity. Relying on my bike as heavily as I was, I was very thankful for the cleansing.

Then we were off! Naturally, it was a perfectly beautiful day without much rain. Maybe a small shower here or there, but nothing like what had been predicted in the forecast the previous evening. It would not be the last time my forecasting apps would let me down.

We arrived in Idaho Springs, where Stan and Jenny said there was a chain pizza place unique to Colorado, Baou Joe’s. There, you could order a pizza with a super puffy crust, and they provided tables with a container of honey to eat the crust of your pizza with. Having never heard of such a concept, I was excited to go!

I got a chicken pesto pizza. Not something I would think honey would go especially well with, but it turns out with enough white bread and sugar, just about anything is good! It was a really fun experience and I’m not even a huge pizza fan usually. Jenny and Stan would also buy my lunch. Really great people I hope to stay in touch with once I’m back from my trip! They will just be getting back from their own smaller trip after I complete my trek across the USA.

After pizza, I spied a coffee shop that looked good and stopped there while Stan and Jenny looked a little further down the block. They came back with word of a bakery just down the street. Of course, I went straight there right after my coffee shop baked goods.

Before too long, it was time for Jenny and Stan to return home to complete packing for their trip. Due to the immense amount of rain they had recently received, a lake close to their house was flooding over through some trees and they also hoped to paddle board through the submerged trees before the water receded.

Finally, the weather was starting to look like what was forecasted as well. We said our goodbyes and I began to search for a cheap motel for the night.

Things never get too cheap in the mountain towns of Colorado, and if it wasn’t raining I would probably have just found somewhere to camp. There were no Warmshower hosts in the area. I tried calling The Bearadise Motel and I spoke to the owner, Mark. He was currently away from Colorado visiting family, and all of the rooms online were booked up. However, he said they had a room not bookable online that I could have, and hearing I was biking across the USA, he even knocked $20 off the cost because “he owns the place and can do what he wants!”

I made my way over to the motel where I met Christie. She let me into my room and when I asked her about potentially checking out late tomorrow, she said it was no issue at all. This meant I would be able to climb up Mt. Evans (a 7,000 foot pure ascent) without carrying all of my gear as I could leave it in my room and just come back for it on the way down. This would make my climb soooo much easier.

When I’m not eating pizza and baked goods, I’m eating bread, cheese, yogurt, candy, and some fruit. While not the most exciting meals, they’re fast and easy and contain all the protein and carbs I need to fuel myself across the USA. I picked all that up from Safeway and went to bed at 1:00 AM by the time I got all the stuff off my bike and things ready to go for tomorrow. It was a very long day coming up with Mt. Evans, but also once I was back, I still had over 60 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing remaining to get to Winter Park. I needed to set my alarm for 5:00 AM.

Preview of partway up Mt. Evans:

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