We woke up safely in our paid for campsite and Rebecca was ready to walk again. We knew we had a place to stay for the evening in Granby thanks to the bicycle community’s website that connects touring cyclists, so we started out with a good mood and happy attitudes. We had oranges (purchased at the grocery store last night) and packaged donuts to get us through the morning. It was supposed to be a hot one, but we were ready for it. There were a couple of small towns on the way, and we knew we’d be heading up through our first switchbacks of the Rockies (well, not really, there were some outside of Steamboat Springs). The road was gorgeous as the landscape changed to a more mountainous one.
We came to part of the road with train tracks right next to us and we were excited but a little nervous about the possibility of trains running by. But when one did and slowed down to barely a crawl Rebecca wondered why. As we got closer we saw the gun range (which someone told us the guy involved in the Aurora theater shootings practiced at). She assumed the train slowed down to go by the shooting range to not cause any problems. We saw the port-a-potties and a group of police officers doing target practice but we didn’t stop to watch (or to use the bathroom).
Once we passed the shooting range we realized the train didn’t slow down for them at all. Just past the range we made a sharp left turn to cross the river. It was the sharpest turn we’ve ever seen for a train, as the tracks were on the inside of the turn.
Tim decided the moment we rounded the first switchback that Colorado is his favorite state (so far). The canyon was beautiful and the sound of the Colorado river kept the road sounding lively and yet natural. Sometimes the sounds are the best part of the trip. The wind blew lightly on the canyon walls and the water tumbled, there’s basically no way to describe the sounds we’ve heard.
As we continued to marvel about the beauty of the valley a cyclist stopped to talk to us. He was doing a training ride and told us about a man who walked across the country last year with a goat, and recommended the ice cream place in Hot Sulfur Springs, the next town we’d come to. He mentioned that in the summer many people bike through this canyon on their way across the country, but there are rarely walkers. We added the ice cream place to our mental list of things to do that day and continued climbing the last 2 miles into town.
As we got closer to Hot Sulfur Springs we saw the free campground on the outside of town and longingly thought about calling it a day. But we had a bed and a shower lined up for the night and we didn’t want to miss out on that. We laughed about the restaurant called Glory Hole in town and took a break in the park to charge our phones and eat.
On the way out of town we bought some ice cream and walked with it, trying to keep the dust off of it while we did. On the outside of town a car slowed down and waved at us, so we waved back. We continued on our way toward Granby where we’d be able to sleep not in our tent for one more night.
We passed county road 219, which is Tim’s area code and laughed a bit.
As we walked a car pulled over and asked us what we were up to. It turns out it’s the car that slowed down as we left Hot Sulfur Springs. The man was excited to hear we were walking across the country and wished us luck on the journey. But the day would not be a perfect one because we saw some clouds ahead of us.
Right after we grabbed some food from the gas station in Granby for dinner, the rain started coming down. Huge drops followed by pretty intense lightning seemed scary, but we knew we were less than a mile from a house, so we pushed on. Once we got to Chris’s house, the rain stopped and the sunset was glorious. His wife was out playing hockey for the evening and we discovered through conversation that his wife is originally from Miller Beach in Gary, IN. We talked about the South Shore Line and Chicago with him for a while. He and his wife biked from Denver to Chicago once a few years ago and he said he enjoyed every minute of it.
After playing with Chris’s baby, showering, and sharing stories we were off to bed. Tim took the world atlas into the room with him, which was probably a mistake, and stayed up way too late looking over possible routes and exciting things in our future.
Today we walked through:
Hot Sulfur Springs
Rebecca: 66,832 steps
Tim: 60,879 steps
1233 miles finished