Hoosier Pass continued….
Hoosier Pass was high, cold, wet, clouded, and exhilarating.
I waited for the traffic to clear and headed down the mountain after Eleanor’s lead. I was wearing every bit of warm weather gear that I had including my bike gloves that were sure to make the descent easier than without gloves, as Eleanor would try, or with plastic bags on my hands, as Kaitlyn would do. Bah! By the time I had gone about 2 miles down and made it around several hairpin switchbacks I tried very hard to slow my bike. I squeezed the brakes and the pain shot through my arms. They were so cold that it was incredibly painful to make a fist or squeeze the brakes. Shake shake shake the hands. Warm them up. Jump around. Grin and bear it.
Down again. The wind was penetrating my gloves like they didn’t exist and I stopped again. If a car came near me, could I stop? If I hit a rock and began to wobble would I go flying off the mountain top? Fear set in. I removed my gloves this time and stuck my hands on my bear stomach for warmth. When Kaitlyn caught up to me she asked if I was okay and I shook my head “no”. I wasn’t sure I’d make it down. She gave me one bag so I could try keeping one hand dry and blocked from the wind. Down again but not for long. I was just too cold and had to stop once more. I began to cry. I just couldn’t help it this time. It was not what I had imagined the downhill being like. I was cold to the core. I was turning blue and couldn’t trust my hands to close around the brakes. We went around one more turn and thankfully Eleanor stood there breathing hot air onto her bare hands. Breckenridge was 9 miles down hill….I had to give up. We all did. We stuck out our thumbs for a ride but all we got in response were thumbs up and waves from drivers. We looked so pitiful. How did they not see that we were asking for a ride? Eleanor cleverly suggested we put our bikes away and try to hitch hike down the mountain. We would warm up and come back or find a kind soul with a pickup truck to do the honors. Within 1 minute we had a ride from a wonderfully nice man in a sports car. He could barely squeeze us in but wanted to help so badly that we made it work. Down into Breck we went. SO Beautiful! Kaitlyn found a guy in a bike shop who offered to ride his bike home, pick up his truck, drive us up to get the bikes and take us to the hostel. I didn’t fit in his small truck so I stood in the bike shop making small talk with the bike employee who so kindly poured me a glass of warm water(my lips were blue). I stripped off the soaked clothing and threw on the over sized ski outfit he found in the back room. A solid 30 minutes later the girls returned to throw me in the truck and get to the hostel. It had begun to rain again. Ugh. The best part of the whole experience was the amazing hostel. A hot tub did the trick of warming us up and stopping the shakes. After showering and settling into our bunk room we headed to get pizza. End scene.
The next day was spent on logistics that I won’t even bother to talk about. When you are solo and trying to get down the road you only have to discuss the million options for the day with yourself. Not the case with 3 brains and 3 agendas and deadlines and money issues and so on….we spent a solid 6 hours looking for rides to boulder, having them fall through, exploring every possible option of what to do for the next week. Having nothing pan out, we headed to Frisco at about 4pm.
It was down a bike path along a stream. This was the beginning of the prettiest riding of the trip. We only went a few miles down the road when we began to scope out Frisco for a place to stay. From what we could tell, our best bet would be putting our sleeping bags on a sleigh hidden beyond the city park. Ooooo, scandalous. After some much needed brews and the good news that tomorrow evening we would get a ride to Boulder, we headed back to our site. After dark, of course. As we rode into the park we spotted a cop. Turn off your blinking lights! As he rounded one side of the building we rounded the other. A little game of cat and mouse. Safe. He didn’t see us.
I stick my nose out of the sleeping bag. It’s 3 am and I have to pee! Go figure. It was the most crisp and clear night. Millions of stars and I’m sleeping in a sleigh at the base of The Rocky Mountains. Can’t get any cooler than this. 5 am. I stick my nose out again. Brrrrr. This time I really have to pee. So I do. The sleeping bag just wasn’t the same when I returned and I couldn’t go back to sleep. It was quite alright though. Who wants to sleep when you can lay in a sleeping bag covered in frost with snow covered peaks at your toes that are being lit by the rising sun. Seriously cannot beat that moment.
I’m going to skip some details because they are not only boring but they were not fun times.
We waited all day for our ride to Boulder, found out he wasn’t coming, racked our brains for hours, Hertz was out of rental cars, Greyhound buses sometimes come by but are not reliable nor do they have a customer service #. We decide to ride the bus to Denver for $15. All aboard. Not my phone though. There it sat on the ledge outside of the Hertz rental company….
Luckily they put it in the safe for safe keeping until my return in a couple of days. We stayed in Denver at a friends house, got a ride to the outskirts of Boulder, loaded our bikes again, and took off down the road in the wee hours of the morning soon to arrive at my friend Adams house. More to come….