18 Jun

Start: Walden, CO

End: Sportsman RV Park in Poudre Canyon, CO

Distance: 45.26 Mi

Elevation: 2506 ft

I woke up to a wet tent and 43 degrees outside by 7am.  No sun, heavy overcast gray skies.  Uh Oh.  It took me two hours to get things dried out enough to pack.  I thought I will be tenting tonight I could finish drying out tent and fly then.  I really needed to get moving. 

I put on double jersey plus rain jacket and tights trying to stay warm. Plus skull cap with neck buff.  It was going to be a cold riding day, all day.

I did take the time to get a huge omelet breakfast.  I was going to need it, for it proved to be my only meal of the day.

Off I rode with a goal of 50 miles for the day before camping. My calculations was 20 miles to Gould then 18 more to the top of Cameron Pass at 10,276 feet.  The ride would be another day of climbing for the first 38 miles.  (38 miles to Chambers Lake). 

As I left Walden the weather report said there would be no rain today. It would be low 50s all day but no rain.  Looking at the clouds butting up against the Rawah mountains, I thought for certain it would rain.  My riding through WY and now CO it seems like I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about rain.  If the temps where in the 70s I would not care so much, but with temps in the 50s rain is wearing, and hypothermia is a real possibility if bike breaks down or some other mishap, so I worry 😊 

In about 2.5 hours I make Gould and pedal on for there is a community center in Gould and campgrounds.  Not much else, as in not resturants or groceries.  

Now Gould is where moose were reintroduced into Colorado 40+ years ago.  Moose are one of the main sites that draws in people.  Yes I got to see a moose munching on willows beside the road.  It brought a smile to my face.  Pedaling up steep grades it is good to get some smiles in.

I was getting a strong tail wind which was great, but the wind was cold, and tiring.  I was having to stop for quick rests more often.  I thought I had 8 more miles of climbing when the tail wind became a head wind, clouds were closing in, I thought, maybe I had miscalculated where the summit was.  It is fools gold to allow yourself to think you have less to go than what you figured.

My calculations were correct, my location for the summit was incorrect.  The summit is right before Joe Wright reservoir, not Chambers Lake, woohooo it was great to be wrong by 6 miles!  

Downhill I go quickly for it is really cold at the summit area.  I drop elevation and warm up.  

I pulled into Sportsman RV park, for being a Saturday night, down canyon campgrounds would likely be full.  I am in a very rustic cabin that will do for the night.

I am elated to have gotten over the pass without getting rained on.  I was very surprised to have dry weather.

Tomorrow, is on down to Ft Collins where, my wife and I are going to celebrate her birthday!  It is great when things work out.

On to tomorrow! :-)

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