It's Wednesday, I'm back in the office, back to reality. My office chair feels so good. I'm resting, content and satisfied. I'm hazed and dazed. Words don't come easy, my whole body is fatigued, maybe my mind the most. My skin is burnt, dry and red. There is no hiding from the sun in Colorado. My pee is dark yellow, I crave food, fatty food and lots of it. I want more. More of that feeling of moving through high peaks in remote corners, more of drinking out of streams. Self sufficiency, self reliance, on my own schedule where time is irrelevant. Where I have places to go, but nowhere I have to be. Freedom of body, freedom of mind, free on the range.
On Saturday at 7am, JahKief and I set off on what might be the most demanding 4 days of riding I've ever done- stage races don't compare. With our bikes loaded down like burros on the way to the silver mines, we set off from East Vail. Day 1 took us from Vail to Aspen via Hagerman Pass and some singletrack. Navigation is not a strong skill for me, we got lost, we got hungry. Dehydration set in, the sun set, but we did not fret. On adventures like this, one has to take ups and downs in stride. Embrace the unknown, relish in what you cannot control.
The bikes take a breather in Leadville.
As much as I hate the Leadville 100 MTB race, I love it. We were able to watch Todd Wells, Joe D and Jeremiah Bishop roll by on our way out to Hagerman. I saw Dombrowski crack a small smile as we heckled like crazed fans as he rode by. Always enjoy seeing the world tour guys do their thing. JB below hammering and oh so serious.
Jah Kief makes the grind up Hagerman. Little did we know, this was not even the half way point of our day.
Day 2 we rolled from Basalt to Crested Butte. By far the most magical segment of our bikepacking trip. Star Pass, holy shit. The 400 trail off of Star Pass, double holy shit. What a day. We capped it off with beers, pizza and visit with some old friends. ALIVE and living.
Among the sleeping giants at 12,300ft.
Groggy and dry we got a late start leaving CB. Day 3 would land us in Buena Vista, via Cottonmouth Pass.
Here fishy, fishy! Standard fishing attire found in the greater Gunnison area. Definitely the most aero-dynamic and fastest way to fish.
Night #3's campsite and Day #4's kitchen. Off to Vail from BV.
Sometimes you need the high octane energy drinks to get you home. #whiskeyrivertakemymind
TRIP Stats: because sometimes I like to quantify...
-4 Days of riding and camping
-30,546 ft of ascending
-5 10mg edibles
I'm not your average cyclist. I don't care about watts and TSS scores. I don't have a scale. I eat more than a horse and honestly I'd rather hear about you, than talk about me. I like bikes and bikes like me. It's a simple relationship.