We slept in until 9 that morning, we deserved it. We packed up and headed for some food in Granby. It was a decently easy ride to Granby, and we got some breakfast at a small restaurant with a bar.
We left there and had to cover 30 miles to Klemming. It was a nice ride, although we dealt with a lot of headwinds. At Klemming we had to figure out if there was anything in between there and Steamboat Springs, our destination for the night. We stopped at a grocer and asked that question. As we had suspected, there was nothing. We would have to cover 53 miles over two passes with no stopping. We made sure to really fill up on water, and got some bread and nature valley bars again to help stave off the hunger should it strike.
I called ahead to a friend of Sarah's (the couchsurfer we stayed with in Fort Collins) who lived in Steamboat and was willing to host us. When I called he answered and said he'd gladly take us in, and to call when we were in town. After I got off with him, we began talking with a guy who used to live in Steamboat. He explained that the climb there was fairly gradual, and that after the passes it was all downhill to Steamboat.
With those two pieces of good news, we were ready to take on our longest stretch yet. It was a challenging ride again, as some of the elevation gains would be given back to quick downhill runs along the way. When we eventually made it to the first pass, we met 9 other bikers who were there biking from Cleveland, Ohio. Cool. They were resting on the Continental Divide , an imaginary line where water that falls on either side either eventually makes its way to the Pacific or the Atlantic.
The next pass was another few miles and a roughly 650 foot rise. We found it slow, but fairly easy. Ahhhh, we were at the top time to cruise… or so we thought. We went down shortly and began to climb again. What, we just passed the pass? Fairly challenging biking continued for about 3 more miles. At one point Paul yelled an obscenity in frustration that is not proper for a public blog. I laughed pretty hard on the inside.
Eventually, we came to a sign that said Rabbit Ears pass west summit. Now it made sense, there was an east and west peak. It was a 7% grade downhill for about 7 miles . I maxed out at a scary 43.5 mph! I was really cruising. The views as we descended were absolutely beautiful; everything was green and lush. Steamboat is a gorgeous place.
When we rolled into the downtown area, I checked my voicemail. Chris, the person we were staying with, had left me a message calling for a dinner party at their place. He mentioned they were having lasagna… shucks.
We easily navigated to their house as they were one street off of main street, quite the prime location in the town. We were greeted with a bevy of people, as they all had some friends to join in on the feast after they had returned from a hike to the natural hot springs. Chris shares the place with three other people, two girls and a guy. There place is really cool; a stream runs through the backyard with nice cold snow melt water. They had a hammock right next to the stream. Awesome.
The cooks, of which there were about 4, started with a nice huge bowl of guacamole and chips, and some garlic dip with pitas. Yum. Then came out the fruit salad. Delicious. The main course was lasagna, garlic bread, and the best leafy salad I've ever had with apples in it! Dinner was really fun because the food was so good, and there were some jokesters at the table. Rusty, one guy we met asked if his mom knew that they took her silverware. We got a good laugh out of that one as it was e pluribus unum (look it up).
After we all feasted, I assumed the role of disposal again until I was in sheer pain. We were all sedated by the food, a movie was the only option for which anyone had enough energy. Superbad was the choice. Nice, no thinking required. We all had a good laugh, and I actually fell asleep through some of it (my signature move… wonder where I get it from mom and dad). I was roused at one point from all the laughter and watched the rest while the few remaining champs hung out.
We were really happy that we were fortunate to meet so many cool people who spent so much time cooking, and just being generous. We had a nice pull out couch begin enough for Paul and me to sleep on without it being weird. It was a shame that we would be on our way the next day. Or would we?
Life was good.