Day 46: Normal: Walden, CO to Saratoga, WY
70 miles (113 km) – Total so far: 2,478 miles (3,988 km)
–A new state
–Good conversations with other tourers
–One mother of a hill
–Energy drop about mile 50
The ups are all mostly things I’ve seen before. So, they’ve assumed a kind of normalcy. The novelty of snow capped mountains is gone, but their majestic beauty remains. That in itself is a kind of bonus, being able to enjoy these grand mountain views without trying to force some grand philosophical revelation. I’ve crossed another state line. Again, something I’ve done a few times, but exciting nonetheless. We met a couple going East that are about to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. We’ve met plenty of tourers, but each encounter adds something to the tapestry of the trip. And downhills are of course always fun, regardless of how many I’ve had before.
The downs weren’t too bad. There was one nasty hill that Paul named: Soddingbastardwindinyourfacenocover Hill. Apt name. After cresting that bad boy and rolling into the town of Riverside I was very low on energy. Lunch didn’t quite perk me up like I expected, so on the way out of town I used my emergency playlist. Somewhere around Daft Punk I started to get my mojo back.
The day ended well with a visit to the National forest ranger station where I picked up some maps and info on public lands near our route. Our intention is to do some more dispersed camping over the next couple of weeks to get away from the city park camping. I arrived in the final town of the day, Saratoga, excited about the tip we had received earlier in the day about the free hot springs in town. Paul, Terry, Chuck and I enjoyed a soak in scalding hot water and then a shower before heading off to our campsite. The site itself is beautiful, but being right next to a lake, the mosquitos are insane. Just as I’m writing this, a pickup truck came by spraying some kind of mist into the air. Now most of the mosquitos are gone, but my lifespan probably just dropped a year. A good tradeoff by my accounting.