A quick recap of the last two days of riding in beautiful, colorful Colorado.
Early Monday morning I hit the road to get from Denver area to Salida to jump on the 10 am Monarch Crest shuttle. I decided on Sunday afternoon that although I have already ridden Monarch Crest, I wanted to do it again, very last minute (the theme of this trip). The drive was incredibly pretty, with sweeping views of 14,000ft mountains, and high country meadows... I wanted to take pictures the whole time.
|No complaints about driving for a few hours when the views are like this the whole time.|
|This is my heaven, wet dirt and trees, plus this trail flows like no other!|
|A section above treeline just before heading back into the forest.|
|Near the end of the Continental Divide section of trail. Made me want to race the entire Continental Divide really badly!|
|Post techy fun descent there is smooth, fast trail through wildflowers and meadows.|
|Stoked out of my mind about the views and what an incredible ride I just experienced.|
I pretty much immediately threw my filthy body/bike straight into the car and headed to Salida to get some plugs for my tires/a quick service of my drivetrain post ride. Being on the road solo for so long means not really taking care of my bike like I should, so I figured spending a little $$ on some TLC for Scalpel would probably go a long way. We hit Absolute Bikes in Salida, and they BLEW me away with the incredibly fast, friendly and thorough service. The boy I talked to took the tires off my rims to look for the puncture!!! I didn't even ask him to do that! And they definitely could have charged me twice as much and I would have thought it reasonable. PLUS he worked on my bike right after I dropped it off, so that a few hours later (which I spent writing about the Firecracker and drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee) my bike was ready! Another super friendly boy helped me figure out where to ride in Crested Butte the next day, and I was back on the road to find a camping spot in the rain.
The drive from Salida to Crested Butte also took my breath away/cause me to pull over multiple times to take pictures. I'm pretty much only writing this blog post because I feel the desperate need to share how incredibly beautiful Colorado is with the world.
I arrived in Crested Butte at dusk, and the moody/cloudy sky made the scenery even more magical. I honestly think CB is the prettiest place I have even been. The landscape is so dramatic, and green!
My plan was to drive out on Washington Gulch road and look for a camp site on National Forest land. Thankfully I got there with enough time before the rain that I was able to set up my tent and climb in! The meadow I camped in was full of other campers, so although I was camping alone again, it wasn't as scary as in Fruita!
In the am I woke up early and rode for a few hours on some pretty fun/technical trails. It would have been nice to have had more time to explore, but I did get to see an epic amount of flowers, aspen trees, snowy peaks, and sweeping views on my short ride. At one point I was in a meadow and there were pink, blue, purple, red, orange and yellow flowers in every direction. It was magical, and my cell phone camera couldn't begin to capture the beauty!
Post ride I grabbed coffee and an egg sandwich (I'm obsessed right now), and hit the road to get to SLC by 6pm. I didn't really realize when planning this trip that this leg of the drive would be 7.5 hours, so that kinda sucked. It was pretty enough though, and there were two huge rain storms, so overall I would say it was a great day!
|It rained a lot on my last three days of adventure. Being from drought ridden CA, I rather liked the rain :)|
|Snowy mountains in the distance.|
|Looking down on Mount Crested Butte from Snodgrass Trail. This town was seriously adorable!|
|Aspen trees so dense you can't see past the white trunks.|
|Sweet, smooth, perfect trails...|
I have about 100 more pictures, but maybe it's better if you just go there yourself and see all the pretty things! I'm sad to be ending this long, beautiful trip this afternoon, but more adventures are on the horizon!