Well! September 25th to October 15th was a home to Fruita Colorado and back trip. What a trip it was! Let me wrap this up in a summary entry.
4,149 miles (6677 km) for a 2016 total of 9,022 miles (14,520 km)
741 miles was the longest single day of driving according to my RoadTrip app (650 was my earlier estimate)
10 states and 1 province
14 nights camping and 5 nights in a motel
671 L of diesel (177 US gallons) with a 23.5 MPG average
Previous blog posts cover the getting there and the bike riding while there. What an amazing place to be, I already long for being back there and Andrea does too. So wrapping this trip up I have to say that spending most of the time camped in Babe was perfect. She never let us down. The nights in motels were a bonus and I think for the most part they were optional. Staying longer, even heading further south to do more riding would have been awesome. Could’a should’a? No going back though, it would have required better planning on my part. And things like full campgrounds at the end of September wasn’t something I expected. Now I know better.
I don’t think Andrea and I talked much about this moment but it was the end of our time riding in CO. Something we’d been planning for a long time and something that was ending too soon. It arrived and there was no turning back so we loaded up Babe, headed out of town and steadily uphill. The climb led us from Fruita at 4500 feet to Vail and over that pass at 10,662 feet, then down to Siverthorne/Dillon/Frisco (9,000 feet) for our overnight stop. We had a late lunch in Frisco with a stop at Rocky Mountain Roasters to stock up on coffee beans.
The weather was changing as we left and while we didn’t get snowed on the was certainly freshsnow up in the mountains. Our days were still warm enough for t-shirts but the nip of winter was there.
After a night in a Dillon motel we went up over the Loveland pass (11,990 feet) and then took secondary roads down through the mountains until they were behind us and the high plains were in front. The distinctive Flatiron foothills were all that remained of the majestic Rockies once we got to Boulder (elevation 5,400 feet). Babe was happy to be done with mountain passes for this trip though 🙂
We spent the day wandering around historic downtown Boulder enjoying the pedestrian shopping area and some of the fascinating architecture. And then a delicious dinner at the Leaf restaurant that was 100% vegetarian. Our plan was for a late(ish) dinner and then head to Denver for our last night before Andrea flew home. I thought we should eat a little earlier because I wasn’t keen on driving in the dark and we agreed to an earlier meal since we’d also be able to watch some of the “presidential” debate (neither a true debate nor very presidential!). Dinner was good though. And the “debate” didn’t take away from that 🙂
On a side note… every town we were in that had a bike shop got a stop from us with me looking for the perfect hydration backpack. Not too big, not too small, room and secure places for all the things I like to bring. That included Boulder. And I’m home without one. I’ll have to look for sales over the off season.
CO to ON
The next morning was one neither Andrea or I was looking forward to. It all went smoothly though. Andrea got to the airport with time to enjoy the lounge. Babe navigated her way eastward and was happy to be getting to lower elevations. And I know we both wished it would have been longer… a good sign that it was a great trip.
I missed my chance to get some wifi before Andrea took off and my route had me in remote places for the next day plus so we were on our separate ways back home. Let’s just say mine was a little slower so it took a little longer. A few days longer. Like the trip out though it was filled with amazing scenery and I very much enjoyed it. I camped in an abandoned campground, next to a couple or lakes, had to use my bug netting for the first time, and enjoyed a final few campfires. I hiked and biked a little. Even took out my u-bass. A little.
I was pressed for time to get to Denver to make sure I was there when Andrea arrived. The return trip wasn’t the same though so I kept my driving time to shorter chunks and avoided major highways until I got close to Canada. And then it a border crossing and a few final hours until we were all home.
It only took me a little over a week to wrap up this trip report… not too bad since there were so many adventures along the way. And now I’m back into my “winter” mode getting Babe ready for hibernation and looking into some IT consulting. And covering bike races… the Vaughan Cyclocross Classic was yesterday.