Ciao Darlings! Is life beautiful wherever you are located?
It’s hard to believe that a full four days have elapsed since I completed my 20-day, halfway-across-America bicycling extravaganza! I’ve got a panoply of posts planned to cover the lessons I learned during my trip; hopefully they will be helpful for aspiring tourers to eschew any of the perilous pitfalls and major mistakes that I encountered during my journeys. I’m going to save those thoughts for a later date, however; today’s typings are dedicated to what I’ve been doing with myself since I’ve been out of the saddle and the awesome excursion I’ll be embarking on this upcoming weekend!
I, again, felt fairly chagrined at the amount of UNNECCESSARY items that I carted along with me for the entire 1,338 mile excursion. In particular, I brought WAY too many clothes. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. BUT when every single ounce you carry is added weight to pedal over mountain passes, prevention can be overrated. I’m particularly humiliated that I packed THREE pairs of underwear for the trip. Over the entire twenty days I existed exclusively in tights and bike shorts; thus I wore underwear a grand total of ZERO times. Those three pairs ended the tour as pristine and untouched as when I first packed them.
I apologize for subjecting you to a lengthy discussion of my laundry unmentionables. I offer a photo of my dog happily frolicking in the creek as atonement.
After many miles in the saddle, we both needed some serious soothing for our sore bones. Steamboat Colorado happens to be the perfect location for a revitalizing, warm soak. The town of Steamboat is situated on top of some pretty fantastic geological features; specifically, a fissure in the Earth’s Crust where hot magma from the mantel warms the water in an underground mineral spring to almost boiling-hot temperatures. The city itself is, in fact, named for the techtonically active aquifer upon which it sits. The sound of the warm water bubbling up from beneath the Earth reminded early white settlers of a SteamShip chug-chug-chugging along. Roughly 20 minutes outside of town in Strawberrt Park, the springs flows directly into the Yampa River, where the hot and cold water mix to make perfect pools at a balmy temperature of 108 degrees farenheit. The owner of the land in this area has built up GOURGEOUS natural-rock oases right into the river; for a small entry fee anyone can stew their troubles away in relaxing water amidst amazing scenery.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs is one of my favorite places on Earth. It was a pleasure to relax in the soothing warm waters (and take a dip in the bracingly frigid, yet highly rejuvenating Yampa River adjacent to the pools). After our trip to the springs, my dad and I slept soundly: sore yet satisfied, exhausted but exhiliarated. We woke up the following morning, packed up our bikes, and departed Steamboat to head to our house on the other side of the Continental Divide.
Of course, no visit to Steamboat would be complete without a trip to Winona’s Restaurant for the best breakfast in the American West, and 10,000 calories worth of carbohydrates in the form of the world’s mossy outrageous cinnamon roll.
We arrived at my family’s home in the mountain town of Nederland, Colorado (17 miles west of Boulder) safe and sound Monday evening.
In the intervening three days I’ve been taking it easy. I spent some time with my foam roller.
I hung out with my pet snake, Gatsby.
I hit up our phenomenal local yoga studio to stretch myself out and re-balance my Chakras after so long on the bike.
I took a gentle swim to wash away the last of the road-grime from behind my ears.
This morning I went for a transcendentally turtle-paced run along the banks of our local reservoir and watched the cascading water slide down the spillway to the creek below.
I missed running during my gear-headed gallavantings. Pedaling is an empowering way to cover a lot of distance, but nothing can compare to the feeling of flying forward on your own two feet! I’m excited to start getting back into the swing of racing and training; I need to identify my next event.
However- resuming a regular running schedule will have to wait until after this weekend. Right now I’m on a bus bound for Denver International Airport.
Two of my BESTEST friends from graduate school are getting married this weekend in Seeley Lake Montana! My flight lands in Missoula this evening at 8:30 pm! I’m so excited for their wedding; my friends (Other-Sam and Katie) make a perfect couple, and I was living with one of them as their relationship blossomed. I know that they have a wonderful, love-filled future ahead of them and it’s an honor to be able to celebrate their joy!
I’m also looking forward to this weekend for the adventure the next few days has in store. My flight lands in Missoula. Missoula is 55 miles from Seeley Lake. How is your ever-faithful blogger-errant getting his narrow behind to the church on time?
Hello, my name is Sam and I’m a bike-a-holic. Four days is simply TOO long to spend out of spandex. I located a bike shop that’s renting me a SWEET Trek with a touring rack. I re-packed my tent and my panniers last night. Tomorrow I’m biking myself, my tent, and my suit to a campground 3 miles from the church; I should be arriving right before the rehearsal dinner/pig-roast.
I’m shivering with antici…pation for all the fun this weekend has in store! For now I’ll leave you with one more shot of Colorado cloud-porn and then I’m signing off for three days of champagne and cycling!
Stay GRoOVY, stay grateful!