Riding the Colorado Trail: Days 6 and 7

Video

Day 6 Map

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Day 6 – Twin Lakes Singletrack

After packing up our wet tent from the thunderstorm the night before and heading out a little before 9am, Andy and I were granted leniency by the CT gods in the form of beautiful singletrack around the Twin Lakes area.  We rode a long, twisting downhill to Twin Lakes and then rode alongside the lakes on vista-rich, arid singletrack before reaching the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness detour and cruising downhill the last 20 miles into Buena Vista on pavement and dirt.

A Day of Rest

We had planned on arriving at Buena Vista and spending whatever remainder of daylight we had as a rest day and, for once, our plan worked out.  We arrived in Buena Vista around 1pm, barely missing a massive but brief rain storm, and checked into a Super 8.  Other than the hotel clerk thinking Andy’s legs were cracking and peeling from the dry Colorado air, on account of them being disgustingly dirty after 5+ days on the trail, everything went smoothly.

After paying an outlandish amount of money for the hotel, we surreptitiously wheeled our bikes into the room from the back entrance, hung our tent up to dry, charged our electronics, washed all our clothes (I’ll let you imagine how we pulled that one off), and then headed out to Eddyline Brewery for some food and beer.  The remainder of the night was spent watching Batman movies on FX, drinking another beer, and generally feeling good about our progress thus far.

In total, we rode 37 miles and climbed 2,100 feet of elevation.  Not bad for a rest day.

Day 7 Map

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Day 7 – Into the Wild

We were in no hurry to leave our hotel in the morning and took advantage of domestic life by sleeping in until 7am (CRAZY!), eating a breakfast already prepared for us in the hotel, and then packing our belongings up afterwards.  As soon as we left Buena Vista, we would be starting the longest section of riding without any resupplies: 207 miles.  We bought all our needed groceries the night before, so after packing up and going out to eat one last time, we said our farewells to civilization and hit the road around 1pm.

Broken Camera and Broken Pride

From Buena Vista, we climbed steadily for the remainder of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness detour, before hitting the CT and continuing to climb on singletrack.

A couple miles into the CT, I hit some loose dirt and came down hard on my hip.  Somewhat in disbelief at falling on a seemingly mundane strip of singletrack, I got up to make sure everything was moving properly, and immediately had some sharp pain in my hip.  I keep my small point and shoot camera in my hip pocket on my backpack and had smashed my it hard into a rock on the trail.  I’m not sure whether the camera cushioned my hip or made it hurt worse, but I immediately had a bruise from the impact, and my camera was completely destroyed.  Pictures definitely suffered in quality as a result of the loss of this quickdraw camera.

After gathering all my faculties and collecting myself, Andy and I were off again, and the pain from the fall slowly subsided throughout the day.  We kept riding along rather dry, rocky terrain until settling on a campsite atop a small butte, next to Browns Creek.

In total, we rode 32 miles and climbed 4,800 feet of elevation.