When I woke up yesterday, I was so sore and stiff that I could barely move. After walking around a little, and taking a hot shower, I felt better, but was still plenty tired. Looking ahead at the route to Montrose, there are three decent climbs along the way. I really didn’t think I would be able to climb any of them after the Monarch Pass, so I took a rest day. The hostel I was staying in was a nice place and the people running were great. Although, there was a young fellow staying there who kept trying to get me to try marijuana with him and explaining the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms. I had wanted to get to Montrose before taking a rest day, but needed it today.

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Back yard of Wanderlust Hostel.

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This morning I felt much better and set out on my way. The ride was through some canyons. First, the highway traveled along the Blue Mesa Reservoir. This is a narrow lake in a wide canyon leading up to the Black Canyon. Just before the canyon, the highway crossed the lake near Sapinero. That’s another town name that is fun to say.

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After Sapinero, there was the first climb. The highway climbed out of the canyon holding the lake and near Blue Mesa. It was starting to get cloudy, so I don’t know if I ever actually saw the Blue Mesa. Then there was a drop into a side canyon. The side canyon was narrow, steep and very beautiful.

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Soon, however, the highway climbed out of the side canyon. There was road construction near the top and the highway was narrowed to one lane. This isn’t the first time I have dealt with a highway narrowed to one lane. Entering Gunnison, the highway was one lane for about three miles. I pedaled as hard and fast as I could to get through the area before traffic started coming at me, but the one lane zone outside Gunnison never seemed to end. I had to stop to let traffic go the other way. The one lane section in the canyon was not as long, but I was climbing out of the canyon, so moving slowly.

The crest of the climb was not far past the one lane section. As I took a break at the top, it began to rain, hard. It didn’t look like it was going to ease up, so I started to push on. I made it to a cafe about six miles down the road and waited out the rain. Sometimes I think all I will remember about Colorado is the rain. It rains about every day, even if just a little bit.

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Hummingbird at Pleasant Valley

It didn’t take long for the rain to quit. I was pretty cold when the sun came back out. I only rode another few miles to Cimarron, at the bottom of another side canyon. There is a small campground that is first come, first serve. It doesn’t have electrical hookups for RV’s nor showers, so it doesn’t usually fill up. When I got there, there were only about three or four other people there. By the time I went to bed, it was mostly full, but not completely even for a holiday weekend.

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Train exhibit at the Cimarron Campground.

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View from campsite.

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2 thoughts on “More Canyons (September 3)

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