Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 2: Salida to Lake City

I should start this update with a recap of what happened after I posted yesterday. Beth and Jeff stayed up to 1 am working on her bike. But come morning she and I were both still fighting the same issues we ended Day 1 with. I tore into my bike again and came up lucky on my adjustments which allowed me to hit the trail with Gregg, Lloyd, and Bob. Jeff and Beth lined up several contingency plans which all started to look like certain realities before they towed her to start the bike...and it worked. After the initial start the bike would idle and restart without any drama. That's a weird deal. By mid-morning our whole crew was on the Trail with staggered starts and various routes to Lake City. That in itself seemed like a victory.

The group I rode with opted for the less extreme Marshall Pass which wasn't technical but some of the views could distract you enough to ride off the mountain. None of us did but we could've. We came out of that section in a little town called Sargent which had a gas station/diner combo which fed all of our needs. They had Elk and Buffalo on the menu and some tasty deserts. While we were loading up to hit the Trail the group of Ryan, Dan, and Mark arrived after surviving Hancock and Tomichi Passes (the extreme route). Sounded like I made the right decision and by the looks of Dan's saddlebags it was rough going.

We got back on the Trail as the other group was sitting down to lunch. The next section went through some wide open high meadows with beautiful views in every direction. The scenery changed everytime we went over a hill it seemed and we just couldn't stop to take all the pictures we wanted. We took it easy and stopped alot to enjoy being in the scenery. Jeff came along and stopped to join us for a few. Jeff told us that Beth's bike developed trouble at altitude again and that after getting her down she was taking the paved road to Lake City. Eventually our group made our way to a river where Gregg, Lloyd, and Bob went fishing. Dan and Mark stopped off to join us after breaking off from Ryan and Jeff who decided to take a side route on an old Stage Coach Trail.

The day was getting on and we decided it was time to head to the hotel. Surprisingly we all arrived within about 15 minutes of each other. SURPRISE our hotel had our reservations for yesterday, not today. They were really nice and cleaned some cabins for us which really saved the day. We grabbed some dinner at a really neat little place that had Dr Pepper with pure cane sugar which was really tasty. This was the first time we'd all been together all day so we caught each up on our individual adventures. Turns out one group had a run in with an angry land owner that just so happens to be on the TAT Route. The dinner discussion was lively and continued back at the cabins along with pictures and video. Lloyd and Gregg spooned as Jeff put on a fashion show and everyone else just made bad smells. What a way to end the day.

Tomorrow is a big day at very high elevation. Beth and I are both still nervous about our bikes. There is a freeze warning in effect for tomorrow morning just to add another wrinkle. Lets just hope that the Trail is kind to us.

Link to larger pictures

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