Steamboat to Walden

007There’s a party atmosphere at rest stop number two. The last big climb is behind us, a 35 mile descent to the plains before us, and everyone’s smiling and talking. The return to Rabbit Ears Pass this morning was via the steep side – a CAT 1 climb with 3100 feet of vertical ascent over eight miles.

How do you eat an elephant? The same way you eat a mouse – one bite at a time. How do you climb a very large, steep pass? The same way you climb a hill – one foot at a time. I took the pass in 20 minute sections, and five sections later…the top was in sight. I’m reasonably sure that last night’s burrito also contributed to my effort.

But what a lesson. Stay in the moment…deal with the right now…don’t catastrophize. TRUST GOD. Faith and hope go a long way. Deb was also amazing – encouraging me and praying with me before I hit the road, and giving me a congratulatory hug at the continental divide.

Maybe it was the altitude, but getting kissed at the divide was pretty darn good.

earspassRabbit Ears Pass is named as such because of a unique rock formation that can be seen from below the summit on the east side. Don’t expect to see it on the west side. Don’t get your hopes up to see it from the top – you can’t. You have to descend three miles to the junction of US 40 and CO 14 to get a distant view. It’s rather quirky to name a pass based on a rock formation you mostly can’t see, but that’s NE Colorado.

The town of Walden is cute in a quirky way. The manager of our hotel left town and placed the business in the care of a sweet young lady who immediately told us that she had no idea what she was doing, and that the credit card reader was broke. Cell phone service is passable if you talk outside, but may mysteriously end at any moment. The girl behind the counter at the bakery likes to chat. She told us that that they need to do a Costco run to get more cookies.

Walden, we will remember you fondly with a smile: 58.6 miles, 4262 feet ascended.

Over 6 days we’ve ridden 332 miles and climbed 26,321 feet.

And a few more memories:

rabbitears

victory

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