One of my brothers posted a picture on Facebook saying, “We pay the doctor to make us better when we should really be paying the farmer to keep us healthy.” A corollary of this should be, “Junk food is poison.” You would think that at my age I would have this figured out, but every once in a while I have to remind myself.
Yesterday, I ate a lot of junk food, cookies, candy bars, potato chips, etc. This morning, when I woke up, I did not feel well. I was sluggish and had a slight headache. I’m pretty sure it was all the junk food I ate yesterday. Since I had taken two rest days already, I had to get on the road.
I did decide to take two rest days in Dolores. Yesterday, I napped and tried to eat a lot of protein. My legs ached so bad, I could barely get out of bed. Today, I felt much better and needed to do some chores and run some errands. While running errands, I stopped at a local rail museum showing the history of the Rio Grande Southern Railway, which ran between Durango and Ridgway.
I think I may have figured out a couple of things that help with climbing. Today, I faced Lizard Head Pass, which was almost as high as Monarch, but not quite. I got an earlier than normal start and I climbed slowly toward Telluride. About three miles before the town, the highway turns west. I stopped at a convenience store at the turn for a good break. I had already climbed over 1500 feet.
*^%* THE ROCKIES. ^*&% COLORADO. I am done. I am exhausted every day. Colorado is a beautiful state, but I don’t think it is worth the effort. Every day is all about climbing another 3000 feet. Today, the climbing was against the wind, making it that much worse. Starting tomorrow, I head toward the Lizard Head Pass, a 10,000 foot pass with nearly 4000 feet of climbing from where I ended today. It doesn’t end when I get out of the Rockies. Utah has a 9,000 foot pass and a 10,000 foot pass. Nevada has many smaller mountain ranges all the way across the state. Then I hit the Sierra Nevadas. If this is all that is left, is it really worth it?
Last night got plenty chilly. I’ve been thinking of getting something to supplement my sleeping bag. It is an old bag and not very warm. I’m not sure if I need a new sleeping bag, or just some sort of blanket to go with it during the cold nights. When it was raining yesterday, I bought some hand warmers. Maybe I can figure out some way to use them to help at night.
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.
I finally made it up the divide. It took me two and a half hours to ride the five and a half miles to the top. I stopped about every mile and a half for a short break. The climbing itself wasn’t so bad, about a 6% grade. I moved slowly, about four miles per hour. On the way up, I got a lot of thumbs of from motorcyclists going the other way. At one of my breaks, a motorcyclist climbing the pass honked and gave a thumbs up. As he passed, I saw he had a bicycle mounted to the back of his motorcycle. That was a new one for me.
I am a little nervous about crossing the continental divide. I am not a good climber. When I started the day, I was only about 18 miles from the crest of Monarch Pass, but with almost 4000 feet of climbing to get there. I have never climbed that much in one day before, especially in such a short distance.
I fell asleep early last night and slept late. When I woke up, I felt good and thought I would have a good day. Unfortunately, it turned into a short day. I would like to blame the climbing, as I continue the long haul up to the continental divide. But, I only climbed about 1000 feet. I have done more than that before.