September 11, 2001

9/11/01 Praire Point

80.9 / 7575 miles

Gets mighty chilly up here above 8000'. Frost covered the ground and my tent. A lot more difficult packing up with gloves on. This weather probably doesn't help my cough any either.

Joanne & Carl

I wanted to get some miles in before the winds kicked up but when Joanne asked me to join them for breakfast, how could I refuse. Besides, it was too cold still. Found out a little more about Carl. He owned a restaurant, sold it and retired to Florida. That's where he met Joanne. He works part-time for Sears but thinks he will give that up next year. As we were leaving the Coffee Pot Café, the waitress asked if we had heard the news. "A hijacked plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York!" she told us.

Most of the morning's ride was pleasant, even if we did have a slight headwind. The sun warmed things up fast before I'd even gone ten miles. I almost caught up to Joanne and Carl, but was content just to keep them in sight. Almost half our day was climbing up to Muddy Pass, another crossing of the Continental Divide. It was at the pass that I finally caught those two.

Carl had been listening to the news on the radio as he was riding. It was then that I heard about the extent of the day's tragic events. Such devastation, and to what purpose? My thoughts go out to those children who won't be picked up at school today.

Said goodbye to Carl and Joanne as they were headed west towards Steamboat Springs and I was going east to Kremmling. For miles, I sped down from the pass. And I even noticed I had a slight tailwind. Wonders never cease. Most of the afternoon was spent riding a roller coaster of a downhill. The only difficulty was the lack of shoulder and what seemed like a lot of traffic both ways.

Crossin' the Continental Divide

I knew it was too good to be true! About ten miles out of Kremmling, that nasty headwind had found me again. The drivers seem in an awful hurry too. Twice I had to dive off the road because people passing oncoming traffic didn't seem to see me coming towards them. Made it to town, alive, about 3PM.

Probably got some climbing ahead

Decision time. Ended up eating a late lunch, or early supper, and listening to the news on the radio. They should name today "Black Tuesday". I checked my maps and decided that I could push on another 15 to 19 miles to a campsite. Leaving me a much shorter ride tomorrow. Might be able to make it in time for AYCE pizza. So, with the sun already near the horizon, I pushed on.

The profile shows a steady climb immediately leaving town. That doesn't end until I go over Hoosier Pass. And I won't argue with that assessment. I'm definitely not getting any stronger as those miles took everything I had. But I made it, to an empty campground.

Not even going to cook tonight. Just relax and get some sleep with the sounds of the Blue River in the background.