Sunday, July 02, 2006

Rabbit Ears

I left Steamboat this morning at 6:30 and rode 61 miles to Walden (4 hours 17 minutes). Rabbit Ears pass was the highlight, and the amazing high altitude backcountry at the top. The remaining 30 miles to Walden where breezy and relatively flat.

Some hot air balloons preparing to take off from below the ski area as the sun comes up.

Ascending rabbit ears pass, great views of the yuba valley below.

This hill was quite steep and long. We had heard so much about it from other cyclists, that I expected it to be harder than it was. I only sat down a few times.. before I knew it, I was at the top. So great to really feel like you're in the mountains.

Still climbing, almost there. I can tell that my heart and lungs aren't used to the altitude here, though my legs feel strong after resting in Steamboat.

Here are some of the inviting landscapes found above the pass.

I wanted to get off my bike and go walking into the woods, but I knew there would likely be afternoon thundershowers, and I still had a good 40 miles left to cover.

Over a series of rolling hills crossing streams and creeks all the time. Here's the continental divide.

So many pictures, it was just too beautiful. I found myself coasting along pretty slow just gawking at the scenery. I didn't want to just blow through this ride without taking it all in.

This is the beginneng of highway 14, which will take us to Darwin and on to Ft. Collins tomorrow.

Starting to lose a little altitude, trees are thinning out, nice meadows of waving grass on either side of the road.

The snow-capped peaks in the distance remind me that I'm up around 8,000 feet

The high clouds kept things relatively shady and temperatures moderate. Thunderheads are building on the horizon.

I stopped to eat in Walden at the Moose Creek Cafe. After a spell, the rest of the group arrived. According to the signs, Walden is the moose watching capital of Colorado, though no one saw a moose today. Perhaps tomorrow.. It was just starting to sprinkle when we left the cafe. I'm expecting afternoon showers on most days as long as we're in or around the mountains, another good reason to get on the bike early.


Blogger Dana Ross said...

It still amazes me that you are doing this wonderful trip. I can't wait till I get to do something like that.

11:41 PM  

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