Gunnison to Salida
Two flats this morning. One of which was punctuated by the automatic sprinkler system blasting Chris in the face. Nice. The four of us rode together for the first thirty miles today. We had lunch at a store/cafe at the base of Monarch Pass. Completed all 11,400 feet of the mountain in two hours, which is quite good for us. Matty did it in an hour and fifteen!!!! Without a granny gear due to derailleur malfunction. Goooo Matty! We celebrated at the top with fudge, Mountain Dew and loads of silly pictures. Mid-celebration, we noticed a bad storm coming in. After a Survivor-esque fight we decided to gear up and head down. I would never win Survivor. But I would be the first to spear a fish.
I was the last to descend. I felt like the last little duck, chasing the flock. It was the fastest I have ever traveled ten miles on a bicycle. As a result of altitude taketh and altitude taketh away, I felt like I was going to blow chunks on my handle bars. But, the show must go on. Blasted out the last twenty five miles, feeling depleted.
Caught up with Johnny just in time to follow the directions to our warmshowers host. This guy is a total genius. He is a cyclist, who put his house on the top of a 13% grade hill. It bested me. I hate it. I hate this hill. I want to kick it in the face.
When I finally made it to the top of Harry Mountain, I could not be spoken to. I did not want to be touched or hugged. I was like a wounded animal, trusting no one. I felt betrayed in the same way that I had in Nevada when a four mile climb turned into nine.
We entered the garage and all the boys greeted Harry. He must have thought I saw a ghost. I said nothing. He was sweet and sensitive to my plight. "Food?" He nodded at me.
I nodded back. He sat me in front of a bowl of granola and yogurt and waited until I recovered.
When I regained my manners and full brain function, I shook his hand. Another down to earth doctor dude. Just a blast to be around. Definitely a dead serious cyclist as indicated by calves the size of cantelopes. We marveled at them as we followed him to the master bedroom that he insisted we take.
Harry, it seems, is nutty in more ways than one. His wife is out of town for a week. He has decided to respond in the affirmative to every warmshowers request he received this week. So, here we are, seven cyclist in total. We have taken over Harry's hilltop castle like an 80's party movie. Total destruction.
Sam, Eric, and Cory are travelling in the opposite direction. We had a nice time swapping stories and tips about where to stay. I wanted desperately to go into town and drink beer with the boys, but I was knackered.
Once more, I have landed in a gorgeous pad with awesome people. Colorado is treating me right.