Sun: Friend or Foe? Great Divide Days 3-5

Day 3

Del Norte to Storm King Campground

35 Miles

Slight Tailwind. Hot.

To kickstart the day the Mystic Biscuit served up some mean green chili’s and quesadillas for breakfast. This powered us through a morning climb on rocky and sandy two track. The dry terrain and rock formations look more akin to New Mexico than the high alpine meadows we’ve peddled the past two days.

Bahne navigating sandy soils.

I’m not complaining, BUT the sun was brutal today. I’m already sporting crisp tan lines and a red hot nose. We decided to sit out the high sun and peddled off route to La Garita. A meager store blaring country tunes provided refreshments. It’s unclear if they are officially a store. They were surprised to see me walk in then said they had no change for a $10 bill and locked the door once I purchased our drinks. Nevertheless, their shady porch provided the respite we desired.

Sign reads: La Garita Cash Store. Groceries. Gas. Oil.

We wrapped up the day with a gradual, but long climb to our campground. The slight tailwind helped the gears keep turning at the cost of hot body temps. In the end, a creek bath helped maintain homeostasis.

Mountain Fresh Laundry. Found the hanger at the campground. Score!

More sun in the forecast tomorrow.

Day 4

Storm King Campground to Upper Dome Reservoir primitive camping

42 Miles

Slight headwind, intensifying as day progressed.

Happy Solstice! We popped up with the sun and rolled out of our campsite by 6:00 am in an attempt to beat the heat.

When packing for a trip of this magnitude you often forget something small, like a spork. Sometimes, you forget something important. Like, really important. We forgot our Aquamira water purification drops and only brought iodine. Upon learning iodine doesn’t treat for cryptosporidium (I’ll spare you the details of the symptoms) we opted to fill our bottles at the nearest water pump-two miles from the campground. We spooked a few Texans as we tiptoed around their forest service rental cabin in search of water at the break of dawn.

Jumped the fence in search of water.

With our thirst satisfied we crested Carnero pass and floated down the next ten miles while skirting Carnero creek.

The remainder of the day gets a little foggy as we spun through a high and dry, mountain basin. On the way, we passed through colorful rock outcrops and flopped over our handlebars.

Luders creek provided the fixins for a three hour nap in the shade. After cresting Cochetopo pass we battled a mean headwind to reach our campsite for the evening. We dusted off the stove for the first time and Bahne whipped up a Lemon Chicken Parmesan Alfredo! Yum!

Upper Dome Reservoir Campsite

Striving for Sargents tomorrow and the promising potential of a shower and a big restaurant meal.

Day 5

36 Miles

Dome reservoirs to Tomichi Creek Trading Post

40 degrees rising to 75


Sunrise on lower dome reservoir.

Today I entered the “flow” state as Bahne would say. It’s a feeling where everything’s going just right and you’re completely present in the moment. Each crank of the peddle feels effortless and the miles tick by. The scenery helps but so does being off the grid for three days. No distractions, no deadlines just thinking about moving forward. It’s utterly serene.

Bahne hasn’t quite entered the flow state. But he’s a champ nonetheless.

After a crisp peddle through another arid, high basin we arrived at an Oasis: Tomichi. For $12.50 each we get a tent site with electricity, WiFi, clean water, a real shower, and coin operated laundry. What a steal! Resting up this afternoon and hoping our tents stay survive the 40+mph winds.

Picnic table and bike wind block.

Marshall pass tomorrow and a screaming 4,000 ft descent into Salida. Big city day planned-a bike shop for some repairs, grocery store for more eats, and a hostel for some sleeps.

1 thought on “Sun: Friend or Foe? Great Divide Days 3-5

  1. The “flow” sounds awesome!

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