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Day 37: Last Day of the Long Break

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

After the championship race I faced a decision of leaving the very next morning, or, taking one more day off in Winter Park. Given that I had a nice place to stay for free, it was hard to rip myself away from normal comforts and go back to the road. I decided to take this last day to say goodbye to everyone and plan my next day.

I was also debating where I should go next. I had originally thought about traveling north out of Colorado and riding into Nebraska. The only issue with that would be working around the bear can laws inside of Rocky Mountain National Park. During July, the park required any overnight campers to use bear cans or bear boxes. Given my earlier experience with a bear, I was a little hesitant on heading through the park. But what proved to be a more important factor was how long I had stayed in Winter Park. I spent well over a week in Winter Park making no progress east. If I was going to complete my trip in time for the next school semester, and in time for my parents or friends to come meet me, I really needed to get a move on. Bill, from the bike shop, was instrumental in my route planning for the next part of my trip. He had done several trips over the pass connecting Winter Park and Boulder, and when he showed me some of the pictures he took, I was convinced to skip going north and instead head directly east from Winter Park. Going north would not only have been more mileage, but it would have taken me on numerous rails to trails. Normally, that would be a great thing as these trails are mostly dirt and away from the speeding traffic of roads. However, it would take much longer and I didn't have the extra time. I would love to do more rails to trails in the future, but for this trip I need to be direct.

There was nothing more direct than Bill's suggested route, which would take me right over the mountain pass directly east of Winter Park. From Corona Pass (haha) I would have a downhill ride all the way to Boulder, where I reached out to some Warmshowers hosts and soon heard back from Sarah, who also invited me to go innertube out on the boulder river with her and some of her friends. That sounded awesome! So while I was sorry to say goodbye to everyone, I did my best to go to sleep somewhat early so that I could leave in time the next day to get over the pass and meet up with Sarah for some fun on the river. Unfortunately, I wouldn't make it... Here's a preview of tomorrow's ride.

This was one of the easier sections...

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