Day Twenty-Seven – Walden to Hot Sulphur Springs, CO

Day: 27
Day Mileage: 61.3
Total Miles: 1,576.3

It got cold last night. Per my phone, down to 32 degrees. It felt like it too. In my tent, I was tucked into my sleeping bag with tights, pants, wool socks, a wool top and a micro puff jacket. I also had on a beanie and a buff around my neck. Only my feet got cold but I did sleep with my head all the way in the sleeping bag all night. I was awake at 5:15 and I knew the cafe opened at 6. I was on my phone for a bit before beginning to pack things up.before too long, I was sitting in the warmth drinking hot coffee. After lingering too long waiting for the sun to rise a little more to warm the ride, I was rolling by 8:05. My phone said 42 degrees by this time but I was still in pants, short sleeve quarter zip and my rain jacket with my big gloves. All of it was needed as I began. 

The first 10 miles were like the last ones from yesterday: rolling hills. The biggest noticeable difference was the lack of wind. It was almost enjoyable.  I couldn’t quite figure out the temperature but by the end of mile 8, I was into my shorts and I had taken off the rain jacket. And eventually put on my arm warmers underneath the layer I had. 10am rolled around and I was 20 miles in for the day and the wind decided to pick back up. Lucky for me, I was passed the town of rand where only a post office existed and was going a little southeast into the maintains for my one big climb for the day so I was hoping I’d have some wind block from the trees, finally.

The biggest climb of the day and my last time across the continental Divide. It rose to 9300 feet but starting the climb at 8000, it made for a moderate uphill. After the last few Wyoming days with the constant winds, I will take climbing any day of the week over winds. At the top, a car pulled over and said another group of riders was behind me about 5 miles. It was Leah and Oakley, the mother-son duo from Maine. We had made plans to be at hot sulphur springs tonight but I had set off before them because I couldn’t stay in my tent any longer than I did at 33 degrees. The descent from the top was the least exciting decent I had experienced up to this point in my trip. With the moderate winds, my speed was limited and at points, had to pedal downhill. Not fun at all. However it was still downhill and not uphill into the wind so I’ll consider it s good thing. 

A few more small climbs and a little wind from the west, I made my way to a short 7.5 miles away from the day’s destination. Luckily for those involved, the wind was directly out of the west and I had a long 50 minutes into camp. As I made my way into hot sulphur springs, I noticed I didn’t have cell service, so I found WiFi quickly to check in and to figure out camping for the night. The map called for a city campground, but that city campground ended up being $15 with ports potties and no showers or water even.  I made due. Took a nice river shower and walked to the gas station in town to fill up waters.

After a few hours at camp, Leah and Oakley rolled in. They had trouble getting out of town and a problem on the road with two flats throughout the day. The winds picked up by the time they had left town so it was a hard(er) day for them. They joined me in my camping spot and after they had dinner, we all went for a walk. I showed pictures from our trip to Peaks Island and they still couldn’t believe they met someone on s bicycle trip from Oklahoma who had been to their island off the coast of Maine. 

With no service at camp and it becoming dark, I crawled into the tent shortly after 8pm and was done for the day. 

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