We woke up with the sunrise, Rebecca fully rested and Tim struggling with a bad night of sleep. We had arranged with Rebecca’s high school friend to be picked up in Golden, CO so we only had to make it there today. About 6 miles into the day we stopped at Taco Bell for breakfast. Rebecca was surprised at how good (for fast food) the breakfast was. We continued on and stopped at Starbucks for some hot tea to balance the light cool breeze blowing through the area. On our way past the next housing area a truck pulled over. Two missionaries got out to talk to us about our trip. We discussed the adventure and the idea of the adventure of a mission with them. One of them was from Germany and the other was from the United States but they both were happy to discuss the excitement of living all around the country. They offered assistance through connections all around the country, and we readily took their information just in case we’d need it later. They even took a picture of the two of us, which is quickly becoming a rarity on the trip.
We continued down the road expecting an easy day with lots of towns. As the sun heated up we realized we’d made a mistake putting our rain gear on in the morning. Rebecca had put her shorts on under her pants, but Tim was beginning to suffer in his rain pants. We passed a shooting range and rodeo area with no open bathrooms and tried to walk in the shade as much as possible.
The road sloped slowly down as we wandered through some small towns on the way to Idaho Springs.
As we walked we passed many rafting companies preparing their customers for a trip down the Colorado River. When we finally made it to Idaho Springs the first bathroom in a park was locked but we resolved to find another one as soon as possible. The historic downtown had three ice cream shops and we decided to stop in one, but found a store with post cards, and a park with an unlocked bathroom to change into shorts first. Then we bought ice cream only to have a cool breeze start to blow into town and rain clouds start to form above us. On the edge of town we stopped at a Subway with the friendliest sandwich maker who made the messiest sandwich we’ve ever gotten. There was another Subway about a block down the road, apparently the rafting companies in the summer bring so many people in they open the second location to help balance the pressure for sandwiches. Walking directions out of town told us to take a road that was closed for vehicles, but still allowed cyclists and pedestrians through during construction. There were some crazy gaps in the road on the way.
As we walked along the river we felt some giant rain drops and we quickly put on all of our rain gear. We weren’t fast enough to keep completely dry as the sky opened up and dumped insane amounts of rain on us quickly. We walked in the rain amazed at how quickly the road gathered water around us. As we followed the bike path we saw a few rafting groups come down the river in the rain, fighting with the rapids but laughing the whole way. A car following the river to take pictures of the rafters tried to take the bike/ped path, but had to turn back when a pole was set up in the middle to prevent them from getting through. Once they passed us headed back, we were all alone except for the rare cyclist that got caught out in the rain. After about an hour of insane rain the sky cleared up and more rafting groups came down the river.
As we rounded the corner and estimated we were only about 6 miles from the end we realized this wouldn’t be an easy 6 miles. A hill ahead of us was almost straight up. We made it about a mile up the hill and decided to change out of our rain gear and dry out a bit. A cyclist passed us and we both commented that we were glad we were walking the hill instead. Tim layed out his gear, it almost looked like we were having a garage sale and we ate as much as we could.
But as soon as we got comfortable the rain started again so we packed up and started walking. The tree had protected us from the worst of the rain but there’s no point waiting it out. We wound around a mountain and climbed a hill for the last 5 miles, it felt like it was never ending, but we knew we’d have showers and a bed in the evening so we pushed ourselves on to the end.
We were meeting Rebecca’s friend Brian at a Wal-Mart, so we rushed in to use the restroom. While Rebecca waited for Tim to get outside she realized we were in a city again. It’s rare in a small town to be looked at like a crazy homeless person, but in a city we’re given more suspicion. However, with a quick smile she changed a family’s opinion of her and went outside to meet Brian. Riding into Arvada we enjoyed the freedom of speed that a car can provide and discussed all of the possibilities for dinner.
Today we walked through:
Rebecca: 58,416 steps
Tim: 54,194 steps
1308 miles finished