day 1: home to ely nevada

On the first day of the trip we drove all afternoon and evening across Nevada on highway 50, the so called "Loneliest road in America". It was. Long stretches of not much - we played a game guessing how far it was to the point where we could see the end of the road - 5 miles, 10, miles, 20 miles or more. As the sun set and we were about to arrive in Ely, we saw herds of deer, antelope, and elk. I'll apologize to everyone in advance for the lack of connectivity and communication, I imagine that most of our trip will be out of cell range and have little to no internet.


day 2 ely nevada to moab utah

The day two drive was different as the landscape shifted from barren to more barren to a strangely colorful moonscape. We saw lakes with no water, orange canyons, and navajo indians selling pots and necklaces. Moab is beautiful, positioned between two national parks and a river canyon. First stop was a long stretch at the pool and hot tub, second stop dinner.


day 3 arches national park - moab utah to denver colorado

Today was the first real opportunity to get out an do something. We left early in the morning and drove a few miles to arches national park. I exited the car and mounted the bike and prepared for high desert climbing. The views were amazing and the road not yet clogged by mindless RV drivers. There were five climbs on the ride, each of them long, slow grades of about 7%.The out ended at the campground in the middle of the park and the back returned to the hotel in town. We gathered our things and made our way to Denver. The drive left Moab along the Colorado river through a deep, red canyon and finally surfaced 40 miles later. We climbed into Colorado and ran into showers in the high mountains. A rainbow followed us for almost an hour.


day 4 down day in denver colorado

Wendy had to work so I went out for a flat, slow ride. Ended up doing 45 miles along the Cherry Creek Trail which goes from nearby our hotel to downtown denver. Very nice path with good scenery.


day 5 denver to ouray colorado

Today I drove solo, southwest diagonally across the state on routes 285, 50, and 550 through small towns like Conifer, Buena Vista, and Montrose. Notable stops were around Gunnison for lunch at the Sherpa Cafe, where I had Nepalese Jal Frezi, fresh vegetables with lamb in cumin & lemon then sautéed in a mild onion, tomato cream sauce. Then took some pictures of the Curecanti recreational area where the Gunnison river was dammed. Great high altitude all the way between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. I arrived in Ouray, which seems impossibly set in the San Juan mountains along the Uncompahgre river. Visited with Larry and his family, watched the sun set behind the mountain, and enjoyed good conversation well into the night.


day 6 down day in ouray colorado

Today was the highest altitude day of the trip and the elevation was gained by foot (I know, I know, but there were no roads, so I couldn't ride up). I traveled to Silverton from Ouray, outfitted myself with a new hat, ate a tasty green chili burrito and headed to the 9,500 foot trailhead to Ice Lake. The climb up took about 2 1/2 hours and we spent an hour at the lake at about 12,300 feet. Deep ice blue, striking against the red and green mountains. All in all the hike lasted about 8 hours. Dinner was at the Outlaw, Scorpion Steak, shrimp, and muscles. And I could hardly stay awake after all that to post these pictures.


day 7 ouray to idaho springs colorado

No pics along the drive today, it was a long one, from Ouray to the Indian Springs Hotel in Idaho Springs, then to Denver to pick up Wendy and back again to the hotel. Here are some pictures of the pool and grounds. The place has an interesting history with visits from bandits, presidents, and actors and the swimming pool is continually fed with hot mineral water at 115 degrees with an overall temperature of 90+. The pictures below are of the main pool and private mineral water fed jacuzzis (we reserved one for late Friday night, great to soak under the stars).


day 8 down day in idaho springs colorado

Wendy had a half day at work in Denver, so what to do? Oh what about a great high altitude climbing ride up to Echo Lake at the base of Mount Evans. Luckily the skies were sunny, it had been raining each day in Idaho Springs and Denver and Mount Evans had been socked in with thick clouds, high winds, and lightning. The ride climbed gently from 7,500 feet in town and then began to steepen after about 9,000 feet. My goal was to get to the gate of Mount Evans Road at 10,600 feet near the Echo Lake Lodge. Several groups of riders were congregating at the gate having ridden up from either side (Evergreen or Idaho Springs) and were debating to test the final 14 miles. Most decided not to attempt the road as the clouds were gathering, the winds picking up, and temperatures were in the 40s near the top. I decided to scream down the mountain and get cleaned up for dinner and long soaks in the hot, hot mineral waters. 


day 9 idaho springs colorado to elko nevada

This was the marathon driving day to try to keep Sunday's last leg short. We left at 8:30, got our hour back at the Nevada state line, and checked into the hotel at 7:30 in the evening, so about 12 hours on the road. We drove 40 west from Silverthorne Colorado through Steamboat Springs and across the northwest corner of Colorado. Utah was weird, with a lunch stop in Vernal and heavy storms in the Wasatch mountains. It was enjoyable descending from Park City to Salt Lake City. The lake and salt flats were cool.


day 10 elko nevada to home

Six hours home across rolling voided landscape - Nevada is really an empty place. It was nice to see the trees in California and climb up to Truckee and Donner. Good to be home.