June 11, 2001

6/11/01 Schechter Hostel

35.9 miles

Last night, Joyce's husband, A.J., said there was a lookout just before the main entrance to the Royal Gorge Park. So I took off early, leaving the trailer back at the campground, and rode the four miles off route to get to the bridge. A lot of the gorge was still in shade, but it was still pretty impressive. The bridge, though, was a lot smaller than I expected. It almost looked like a miniature Golden Gate Bridge.

The Royal Gorge Bridge

Had a huge breakfast back at the Thunderbird Restaurant (I couldn't eat it all). While I sat down, the TV reported that it was only minutes before Timothy McVeigh was to be executed by lethal injection for the Oklahoma City bombing. When you're out on the road like this, it's easy to be far removed from world events.

I went back to the campground to get my trailer and to say goodbye to Karen. Last night, while we were talking, Dough Grein, the water man, stopped by. All the campgrounds, restaurants, and raft outfitters have no source of water, so it's all trucked in by Doug. When he hard about my needing a spare tire, he called his son. Mike races locally and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and he had a bunch of old tires he didn't need. So his dad had him drop one off. Just super nice folks around here. Gave Karen a hug and it's back on the road.

Cattle country

Today's ride was relatively short, but I had a lot of climbing, from 6300' to 8750' here at Warren and Lynn Schechter's hostel. Besides almost constant climbing, it was pretty windy, too. But it did help keep the temperature down a bit. It took me four hours just to go 24 miles.

The Schechter's have a beautiful home here and they've been letting people camp here since the 70's. Besides tenting, they've got a couple of bunk houses and a bucket shower with very cold spring water. And the view is fantastic!