Day 57: Silver Cliff to Salida

Yesterday morning after writing my post, Ken made some coffee for the both us. I thanked him for allowing me to stay in the yard. He said if I need anything else on the road just call him since he knows a lot of people in the area. What a kind man!

I made my way two blocks to the Silver Cliff Mountain Inn and Restaurant for some breakfast. I stayed there for an hour trying to upload some photos to my blog but it didn’t work. There were a couple of people asking me about my trip. One guy named Dean rode his bike 31 years ago around the country for 8 months. That’s a lot of miles!

Simply breathtaking scenery!

I started riding around 9 AM. The weather was cool and sunny with some clouds in the distance. Soon I saw two cyclists parked on the opposite side of the road so I went over to see if they need any help. Jusarah and Ed are from Brazil. They are just taking a break. Ed is more talkative and told me about the hills ahead of me. Looks like there will be many hills from here to San Francisco. I warned them about the dogs in Kentucky.

Jusarah and Ed, two Brazilians going east

As I rode along I took in the views. Colorado is just so beautiful. All the states I’ve through so far has been unique, but Colorado is probably my favorite. I just love looking at all the mountains.

In Cotopaxi, there’s a general store with a restaurant. I had a double cheeseburger, a can of iced tea, and an ice cream bar. It was a much needed fuel.

The road, the river, and the mountains

From Cotopaxi to Salida, the road followed the river. It was very scenic with water on the right and mountains on the left. Once I arrived in Salida I found my Warmshowers host, Zack’s place, but he wasn’t home. So I rode back to downtown, parked my bike, and went to a coffee shop to get a smoothie. I walked around town and was impressed by all different types of shops. There was a bead shop, a rug shop, some galleries, some restaurants, and surprisingly, three bike shops. I ended up checking out each of the bike shops. They mostly carry mountain bikes since Salida is not far from the Great Divide mountain bike trail.

A section of downtown Salida

When Zack texted me to let me know he’s home I started riding to his house. That’s when I noticed my back tire is flat. There was a staple in it. I had to fix the flat on the sidewalk. The tube was easy to patch but the tire was hard to put on correctly. Roger, the bike mechanic at Pittsburg, who first put it on, had to use a special tool to even out the rubber. I did the best I could then rode my bike eight blocks to Zack’s.

Zack is also a cyclist. After seeing my bike, he helped me with the back tire and tightened some of the spokes so my wheel doesn’t rub against the break pads. I’m so lucky that my host can do all this for me.

I was shown my room, it has a bed and a bathroom next to it. I met Zack’s son, Ethan. And later I met Zack’s wife, Robin.

Zack made some falafels for dinner. They were really good. I really enjoyed talking to Zack, Robin, and Ethan.

Zack, Ethan, and Robin

I ended up going to bed before 9 PM.

This morning I woke up at 5 AM to the sound of my alarm. After using the toilet, the water had clogged. I had to fix it with a plunger, but the water overflowed. I was panicking since I’m the only one up and don’t know where the mop is. Luckily, the water dried quickly.

Today’s ride will be one of the toughest. I have to climb Monarch Pass, about 4300 feet in 24 miles then come down. Coming down is the easy part. It’s the climb that I’m afraid of. I was aiming to ride 65 miles today to Gunnison, maybe I have to cut short and stay at Sargents.

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