Posted by: bikedave | July 22, 2010

July 21, 10 miles north of Silverthorne, CO to Hartsel, CO

Thunderstorms came again last evening and through the night and early morning.  I don’t think I have ever heard thunder that continues to rumble for as long as the thunder did last night.  I think that the mountains all around us must cause the sound to continue to echo for so long.
In the morning, I drove us back to the parking area where I had finished riding the night before.  Vicki would remain here for a few hours before driving to Fairplay, CO.
I rode south again today on Highway 9 until I reached Silverthorne, CO.  The road had a good shoulder, and the traffic was pretty heavy.

Highway 9, north of Silverthorne, CO

Looking west towards the Eagles Nest Wilderness from Hwy 9, near Silverthorne, CO

Near Silverthorne, there were many nice houses.

Houses near Silverthorne, CO

I rode through Silverthorne to Dillon, CO, where I stopped at a Starbucks for coffee and Wi-fi.
From Dillon to Breckenridge, CO I rode on a bike path.  The path passed through the town of Frisco, while circling around Dillon Reservoir.  It then followed the Blue River to Breckenridge.  There were many riders on the path.  I saw couples, families, roadies, and touring cyclists.

The bike path near Breckenridge, CO

The Blue River had been dammed and dredged in search of gold in years past.  The mining activity left large piles of rock with no covering of soil where once there was a natural river channel.  In the Breckenridge area, the sales of the rock tailings is being used to finance the restoration of the river.  Near town, much has already been finished.

The restored Blue River, Near Breckenridge, CO

I stopped in Breckenridge for lunch.  While I was eating, a very light rain began to fall.  It continued to rain for the next 5 miles of my ride, but it was never heavy enough, or cold enough to wear my rain jacket.
The route from Breckenridge continues along the Blue River most of the way to Hoosier Pass (11,539 feet). About 2.5 miles from the top of the pass, I stopped to take a picture of a beautiful valley.  I met a man there, that was visiting from Santa Fe, and had ridden here on his motorcycle.  He offered to take my picture, with the valley in the background.

Looking west from Hwy 9 near Hoosier Pass. Quandary Peak (14,265 ft) on the right.

Further up the mountain, I saw a parked tanker truck that caught my attention.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tank constructed like this one, with two cylinders joined at an angle.  It has 3 dome lids, one manifold with a 3″ gate valve and camlock coupler.  It’s non-spec, and has a gasoline powered trash pump mounted ahead of the axles.  Has anyone seen a tank like this before?

Strange tank semi-trailer

I was happy to finally reach the top of the pass.  This pass is the highest one that I will go over on this trip.  It is also the last time that I will cross the Continental Divide.

Hoosier Pass

The down hill ride was interrupted twice in the first 5 miles by road construction with single lanes and flaggers.

From Alma to Fairplay, I rode on a bike path next to the highway.  This path was not nearly as nice as the one I rode on earlier. It was quite rough actually.  It was nice to be out of traffic, but if I come this way again I might stay on the road rather than take a beating on the bike path.
Vicki was waiting for me just before entering Fairplay, CO.

Look at that beautiful sky!

From where she was parked you could look down at the middle fork of the South Platte River.  Near the river, there were lots of trailing piles left over from mining that was done years ago.

Tailing piles next to the river, near Fairplay, CO

Since it was still early we decided to continue on to the little town of Hartsel, CO.  I left first, with Vicki to follow later.
The transcontinental route I am following was first developed for the celebration of our nations bicentennial in 1976.  That year thousands of cyclists made the trip. They called it the “Bikecentennial.”  It was a big deal, with groups of hundreds camping in public school athletic fields and such.  Signs were put up along the way to mark the route.  I’ve only seen a few of the signs on this trip, but from Fairplay to Hartsel, every turn or junction has one of these signs.

Bikecentennial sign

The ride from Fairplay to Hartsel was wonderful!  The scenery was beautiful, it was almost completely downhill, the wind was at my back, the sun was shining, and the afternoon temperature was perfect.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

The afternoon sun reflecting off of the waters of the Middle Fork South Platte River between Fairplay and Hartsel, CO

When I arrived in Hartsel, I bought a dozen tamales from Dorothy’s Homemade Tamales, a restaurant in town that is reputed to have “the best tamales in Colorado.”  The town of Hartsel is very small, population about 70 people, yet I waited in a line, three deep, to order my tamales.  I was thinking that there must be something to their reputation.
Vicki arrived soon after and we parked in town for the night, and ate half of our tamales for dinner.  They were really very good.

Miles today: 68 Total miles: 1,802

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Responses

  1. Dave,
    I am enjoying reading your blogs and seeing the beautiful pictures. Almost feels like I’m there.

    Continue to travel safely.

    Janet

  2. Hi Vicki and Dave hope you are doing awesome! thank you for the B-Day Card! Keep up the great pics they are AWESOME! Love you! Rick!

  3. Hey Dave,
    That tanker looks like a converted Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. I don’t know about you, but it made me hungry for a hot dog!


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