Forty-Seven: Grand Slam (Breckenridge to Hot Sulphur Springs)

by davidharries

Miles: 77
Total: 2,804

I’d been waiting all week for this. Not getting back on the road (OK, maybe a little), but an excuse to visit Denny’s and take up the all-you-can-eat pancake challenge, part of its $2, $4, $6, $8 everyday value menu.

After gorging on quick breads and fake syrup (my partners in crime made more sensible selections), we loaded up the Matrix and headed back to Breckenridge. I said goodbye to Megan and Sara and, unwittingly, my helmet, which didn’t make the trip. So back to the shop where we rented mountain bikes for a replacement, then down the path.

There’s tons of bike path around, so much so in fact that I ended up in Dillon by accident and had to backtrack a couple of miles to Highway 9 (signage, please!). Riding along the reservoir was beautiful with plenty of sailboats out. About this time I made my first TransAm Taco Bell stop for a couple of loaded potato burritos. I also ran into a recreational threesome who rented bikes, including one with an alarmingly loose NDS crank arm. I don’t have the right tools to fix cranks, so they had to hoof it back to Frisco.

Just outside Silverthorn I spotted a putative swift fox scramble over a berm, look at me, and then turn around. Not sure what he was waiting for, but a nice change from all the prairie dogs and rabbits. I ditched Highway 9 for a bit near Green Mountain Reservoir, and took the long, scenic way way around. Melody Cabins and General provided a Hansens Strawberry-Kiwi soda and Snickers, but no water. The cashier told me there’s nothing potable till you get to Kremmling. Silly and strange, considering it’s on monster reservoir.

In Kremmling I swapped Highway 9 for 40, the Blue River for the Colorado and also promoted a half gallon of chocolate milk from the Kum and Go. Chocolate milk is great, but a poor selection 16 miles from the end of the day. Better than 64 ounces of beer, maybe. Maybe.

Between Kremmling and Granby, the TransAm runs east. Counter productive, considering I’m looking to end up in the Pacific, but the ACA works in mysterious ways. I’m not complaining — with a 2 p.m. start and 78 miles to cover, it was nice to ride east in the evening with the sun behind me (and passing traffic). Lots of folks were out fly-fishing the Colorado. I had some of my prettiest scenery yet just outside of Hot Sulphur Springs, where the road runs next to the railway, and both paths are blasted out of solid rock.

I loaded up on supplies at Shell in town for tonight and tomorrow. This town of 600 doesn’t have an honest grocery, but its selection was decent, including limited fruit. Home tonight is the city park. I’m not sure I’m in the right place — I saw a public RV campground on my way into town — but I found a nice pavilion with a electricity and nearby bathroom, but no shower. I’m set up on a picnic table. There’s a nice community garden next to the horseshoe pits.