July 14, 2016

14 Jul

I know I am relaxed as I am having to look at my watch to know the day and date! Yesterday,we rode the 40 miles from Breckenridge to Vail. Once again over Vail Summit via the bike path. It was the easiest summit ride of the 3 we have done. The elevation climb is not as great as Breckenridge ‘s elevation is 9,600 ft  and  the Vail Summit is 10,600.The bike path does a gradual climb for the 8 miles from Frisco to Copper Mtn and then jusr 4 miles from Copper Mtn to Vail summit. We enjoyed the Vail Summit more this time as it was warmer!  Able to take more pictures (see below) and enjoy the views on the 16 mile descent into Vail even with the wind which did kick up!  Our Colorado Bike adventure covered 3 mountain passes ,262 miles,1 uhaul -plan B, 5 towns, and countless stunning views of this beautiful area!  We are tired but glad to have completed the journey!

Today,we dropped Eric off at the Vail Summit for his 25 to 30 mile run back to Vail. He is training for his 100 Mile run on August 7th in Cleveland. We continued on by car to Breckinridge .  Polly and Carol wanted to ride their bikes from Breckenridge to Vail today. So we came to drive their car back to Vail as well as pick up some gear we had left behind so as not to ride loaded over the Vail pass.

Love M & M 

July 11 ,2016

13 Jul

Sorry for being a day behind in writing the blog! Eric,our oldest son,joined us in Vail,Sunday night. On Monday,all three. of us rode from Vail over the Vail Pass at an elevation of 10,600 ft. to Breckinridge. It was beautiful but certainly a challenge! 

We stayed in Breckenridge last night.This morning 10 of the Menendez Family joined Lisa on a hike up to Mohawk Lake here in Breckinridge . It was an 8 mile round trip hike reaching 12,000 ft. But I will confess that I stopped at the waterfall at about 3 miles up,so doing just a 6 mile round trip.Manny’s sister ,Claire,decided to stay with me and we enjoyed nice conversation and relaxation till the rest of the group returned. Again beautiful weather and just gorgeous scenery!

Still here in Breckenridge tonight and tomorrow our return ride to Vail,doing the Vail Pass one more time.

Have a great night!

Love,

M&M 

July 10 ,2016

12 Jul

Yesterday,we rode from Glenwood Springs to Vail, a 64 mike trip with 3300 ft of climb. The ride out of Glenwood Springs was very interesting as the trail followed the Colorado River and I – 70 thru the Glenwood canyon. At times we were very close to the river and below I-70. 

As we came out of the canyon, the valley opened up and the ride continued on US 6. The road was very quiet and peaceful with a steady rise toward Vail.

US 6 was a great to ride on! Nice shoulder,super courteous drivers,beautiful scenery! In  Eagle, we had our traditional second breakfast! A shout out to our biking friends, Carol and Steve who gave us this thought. When you are riding ,breakfast settles really well on the stomach!The route continued to follow US 6 sometimes on the road and sometimes on a bike path.In Edwards,we stopped for a cold drink and had a great conversation with bikers,Nancy and Doug. Biking talk certainly makes the conversation move along easily. It turns out they will also be riding RAGBRAI,this July. It will be their 8th time! We agreed to keep an eye out for each other,although the number of riders will make the odds not all that great that we will actually see them.But you never know! The ride continued to climb but we were doing pretty well. The last 4 miles in to Lion Square Lodge were the toughest! By then we were tired,we had to keep stopping to check the route as the many paths provided too many choices, and the foot traffic also increased. Nonetheless we made it in and were glad to get off the bike!

Love,

M&M 

July 9, 2016

11 Jul

As we had hoped the bike ride today from Aspen to Glenwood Springs was beautiful!  The scenery all around was inspiring! The 45 miles went easily as it was all downhill. Also riding in the morning is so much cooler!  The Rio Grande Bike Trail was full of bikers ,since it is Saturday, till we got to the Basalt turnoff.  After that much less bike traffic but still used nicely by those communities we passed thru.

Here are some pictures of the views today.

Love

M & M

July 8 , 2016

9 Jul

Our recovery plan to rent a uhaul this morning in Leadville was a success! Initially, we did have some concern as there was no uhaul drop location here in Aspen. But 32 mIles away in Carbondale, right off the Rio Grande Bike path,there was a drop off! It worked perfectly!  This a.m. we drove by uhaul to Carbondale. Then pulled out the tandem,loaded up, got lunch, and rode the bike path all the way here to Aspen. It was a gradual uphill all day, climbing 2100 ft today but nothing compared to yesterday! The pictures are all from the bike path today! Just gorgeous scenery the entire way! We did have a well marked detour off the bike path for the reason noted! Detour?,no problem!

I do have 2 additional comments on yesterday ‘s ride :

1. As we were riding into Leadville exhausted, Manny said” We are stuck down in this bowl with snow capped mountains all around !” The comment was very sobering!

2.As I took the picture of  Manny  at the Fremont Pass Summit sign,I was impressed he mustered a convincing smile! Afterwards ,he said it was because of the truck downhill sign that was just out of picture range at that site!

Aspen is truly beautiful and a very relaxing town with a real community atmosphere. We had a great BBQ dinner that went down smooth! 

Tomorrow, we do ride the same trail back the way we came today,but past Carbondale into Glenwood Springs. We are only too happy to see the stunning landscape and views again! 

Good Night!

Love, M&M 

July 7, 2016

8 Jul

What a day! The 40 miles from Breckenridge to Leadville were tough! The elevation gain was 3100ft. We climbed to the Fremont Pass Summit at 11,318ft. At this summit ,it is also the Continental Divide between the Arkansas River which flows to the Gulf of Mexico and The Blue River which flows to the Pacific.That was interesting to us as we rode The Big Dam bridge over the Arkansas river in Little Rock,Arkansas on our 2013 trip. The Fremont Pass was also the western border of The Louisiana Purchase. But the big story today was the wind. At times on the way up to the pass we almost got blown over by the wind. We both pushed hard  to stay upright We  finally were going down hill for the last 10 miles of our ride today but we were hit with such a strong headwind that the bike actually stopped moving forward. We were pedaling hard on that descent! Much to our dismay the last mile into Leadville was actually back uphill. Our legs were shaky and both Manny and I were physically spent. Right on the edge of town, but on level ground, was a Safeway grocery store. We pulled in to get fluids and just get off the bike as we were both concerned we would just seize up in our leg muscles. We were very glad to have completed the trip today. 

Tomorrow ‘s ride was to be 55 miles over Independence Pass with 3500 ft of climb. We have to admit that we are not up to another big climb – it is not safe for us to do so. Therefore we rented a uhaul for the trip tomorrow. Sometimes you have to be realistic as well as make the safe decision.

The pictures below are obvious what they are except there is one scenic shot we took on the way up to the pass. Few pictures as we had to concentrate on the pedaling and staying safe!

Love,

M&M 

July 6, 2016

7 Jul

We came into Breckenridge today and had a great visit  and lunch with Lisa and her friend ,Pam. I realized that I forgot to  take a picture with her today,though! Bummer!

 Lisa and Pam were here in Breckenridge to hike and also greet us! Thanks so much,Lisa! We are also very appreciative  for the stay here at Lisa and Chic’s  condo!  We want to give a shout out to them for their generosity! 

Tomorrow, we head out for our 240 mile bike ride to Leadville,Aspen,Glenwood Springs and Vail!   The day today was spent packing our paniers and enjoying some good food here in Breck. 

These crepes were oh ,so good!  We got one that was a Philly cheesesteak ( how could we not get that one?) And a second sweet one with apple slices ,brie and almonds! Fab!  

For dinner ,we tried Fatty ‘s Pizzeria! Yummy! 

Time to get some shut eye !

Good night!

Love,.M&M

July 5, 2016

6 Jul

A long drive on I-80 and I-76

across the corn and wheat fields of Iowa,Nebraska and eastern Colorado but we are here in Denver at a Hampton Inn just 10 miles from downtown. 

We stopped at a local Mexican restaurant for some pretty good food in the town of Fort Morgan just 90 minutes east of our destination tonight. The 75 to 80 mph traffic,legal speed limit across the plains, was getting to us despite changing drivers at least every 2 hours.

It was a good decision as even the last miles  after dinner seemed long.

We were able to take a walk here and took this sunset

 

 Tomorrow onto Breckenridge. 

Love, M&M

July 4,2016

5 Jul

One last post on this our Nation’s Birthday.We made it to Des Moines, Iowa this evening. Since,we are at a Hampton Inn,we did watch a Capital 4th on PBS. The music and fireworks helped make our 4th as well 

Tomorrow onto Denver!

Good Night!

July 4 ,2016

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!
The fireworks were last night in Pentwater.  We are sitting on the channel that connects Pentwater Lake to Lake Michigan. Many boats head out into Lake Michigan to watch the sparklers which are igntied from the end of the pier we were sitting on. Lots of locals of the Pentwater area gathered together throughout the day!.

We spent most of the day biking to Ludington a small town just 20 miles away. On the way we rode by the Ludington Power plant. What a facility!
 

The water is pumped from Lake Michigan up 6 pipes(each 28 ft in diameter -big enough to drive a semi  thru)during times of low usage to a reservoir at the top of the dam. 

The water on the left is in the reservoir,which is 2 miles long by 1 mile wide,and in the right corner is the water of Lake Michigan.  The height difference there is about 580ft. During times of heavy power usage the water flows down the pipes from the reservoir thru the power plant and into Lake Michigan. 

They were flowing water from the reservoir to Lake Michigan on the bike trip back to Pentwater yesterday. The reservoir water level drops a foot an hour when they are making power.

On Saturday, we rode 75 miles round trip on a return visit to Whitehall. It was our first back in the saddle ride after being sick. Our speed was slower but we were glad to be riding again! We also returned to the delightful restaurant of Pekadills in Whitehall and stopped again at Cherry Point Farms to have a second go round of their special cherry turnovers! They were just as good on the second taste!

 When I  had last typed on July 1st, we were heading to Lake Michigan to watch the sunset. Here it is:

 

We are now driving across Illinois thru Iowa onto Colorado. Our next  destination  is Breckenridge to connect with Manny’s sister and hubby,Lisa and Dave,for lunch on Wednesday.  We will connect with them prior to their daughter,Jessica ‘s wedding on July 16th. We are looking forward to her wedding and the gathering of  many of The Menendez Family!

Enjoy your family gatherings on this July 4th!

Love, M&M