June 14, 2001

6/14/01 Heaton Bay Campground

16 miles

Even since my experiences hiking the AT, I'm not usually comfortable in a bunkroom sleeping arrangement because of my snoring. There were three of us in the four-bunk room, so I spent the whole night trying to minimize my snoring by sleeping on my side or stomach, neither my preference. But at least I was toasty warm on this winter-like night.

My wonderful hosts, Nickie and Andy, offered me a free breakfast as their way to help out my fundraising ride. It was some wonderful French toast, sliced fruit, juice, and tea.

Nickie & Andy

We could occasionally see patches of blue sky, but it was still cold and very windy. Everyone in the hostel seemed to be waiting for some sign of improvement in the weather. Chris wanted to do some mountain biking, but only had shorts. Kirsten needed to put on all her shirts because she didn't have a coat. Damian went in search of some gloves. You hope for better weather, but sometimes you just have to go.

Kirsten wanted a group picture before we left. After that, Damian and I went to the library. Waited around 'til an AYCE pizza place opened up. We ate and talked, and ate some more. By the time we left, the weather hadn't improved much.

Chris, Kirsten, Jim & Damien

The best part about today's ride was that it was all on bike paths. Summit County boasts over 50 miles of paved bike trails, many connecting the town. As the clouds broke, we had some great views of the mountains all around us.

Did a few errands, including a stop at Pioneer Sports. Found a great tripod stool, but it seemed too heavy. Talked a bit with the ladies at the Frisco Visitor Center. Then it was a quiet bike trail ride right to the Heaton Bay Campground on the Dillon Reservoir.

What great bike paths!

Bob and Phyllis, the campground hosts, invited me into their trailer for some warmth and conversation. Bob loves to bike around town, but has also done some cross-country trips by motorcycle. He's also a respiratory therapist, while his wife is a psych nurse. So all in all, we had a lot we could talk about. When I asked about bike camping, they kindly offered to share their campsite with me.

After walking along the lake and looking up at peaks like Swan Mountain, I can see why every campsite is reserved for weekends the whole summer. The views are just amazing.

Tomorrow marks two months on the road and I'll probably also pass the 3,000 mile mark. It seems like yesterday that I left the Victory Monument in Yorktown, Virginia. I honestly don't feel like I've gone that distance for that long of a time. I don't seem to have many expectations about the trip. But that makes all the kindness shown me even more precious. I just thank God that I can get on a bike and ride, meet all these wonderful people, and see a part of this country.

Swan Mountain