June 17, 2001

6/17/01 Walden, CO

64.8 miles

It still was a little chilly when I woke up. Left camp quietly, as Ken was still sleeping. The town still looked asleep, too, as I headed out of town. Lucky for me, the "Lone Moose Restaurant" was serving breakfast, and it was packed with people; probably because of the town celebration.

Today's ride was half uphill to Muddy Pass, then half downhill to Walden. Lucky for me that it was Sunday, because traffic was pretty light, mostly headed the other direction. With a clear blue sky, it didn't take long to warm up and I had to start shedding layers.

Of all my rides, I think this was the most desolate. Nothing but road the 62 miles between towns. My only company was the little Prairie Dogs that lived alongside the road. One little guy darted across the road, almost under my wheel. At the speed I was going, I don't think either of us would have fared well.

As always, clouds began to appear in the afternoon, helping to cool things off a bit. And the weather gods blessed me with a tailwind today. Being Sunday, there weren't many trucks on the road, but there were quite a few RVs and folks with trailers. There must have been a Mustang car rally somewhere because I lost count after 30, the number of cars that passed me.

After checking out the city park, I headed over to the "Coffeepot Café" for a late lunch. The place reminded me of an old-fashioned diner, at least in feel. Must be good, because the place was full of families, both young and old.

Back at the park, I just sat and read a new book I'd found in the trash in Kremmling. Then I see another bike show up. Willem just graduated from high school in the Netherlands and is taking a year off before college. He thinks he want to study astronomy. He said his family has toured a lot, but this is the first time he's done it alone. As you can imagine, he's on a low budget, but he rarely has to pay for camping. Because of his youth and accent, he's been able to camp in people's yards most of the time, simply by asking.

After we settled down to cook, the park maintenance man stopped by. Unknown to us, there is a sprinkler system. He said during the summer, he often checks the park for cyclists so he can modify the system to miss their tents. Lucky us!