Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To Horseshoe Campground near Fairplay

Beginning today, we went off the Adventure Cycling route to make our way north to Boulder. This means more research, usually online, to find campgrounds and other services. Tonight was going to be a bit easier because we planned to pitch our tent at the home of a friend who lives in Fairplay.

As I rode through the historical downtown of Salida, I stopped to look at a eye-catching store-front.  An old man came up to me with a smile and a twinkle in his eye and said, "Bicycles are supposed to follow the same rules as cars and you're parked in a 'No Parking' zone."  I smiled, apologized, and said that as a rule, I at least stop at all stop signs.  "Oh, I do, too, and if I miss one, I always stop twice at the next stop sign.  You have a good day now," he patted me on the shoulder, and went on his way.

Commercial raft trips are very popular in this area.  There were many old school buses on the road today with or without passengers, all towing a trailer with 4-5 rafts stacked on top of one another.
Mt Antero, one of 53 "fourteeners" in Colorado.  A fourteener (or 14er) is a mountain peak which exceeds 14,000 feet and has at least 300 feet of prominence.  There are 546 fourteeners in the world, Colorado has the majority within the United States.
Heading for Fairplay as the afternoon clouds begin to gather:
Unfortunately, we did not make a connection with our Fairplay friend, so we drove very slowly for 7 miles down a washboard dirt road to Horseshoe Campground.  It was about 7:30, the clouds looking more threatening, the mosquitoes swarming - I got the tent up as quickly as possible and got our bedding inside while Dick started dinner.  The sky filled with lightning, the thunder rumbled and a heavy rain started.  As it got dark, it also got quite cold.  I huddled under the blankets to keep warm while Dick took refuge in the car in between stirrings of the pan.  He was soaking wet by the time it was done, we ate inside the tent directly from the pan and shared one spoon, which was better than going back out in the downpour to find another one.  One more trip to the car to put the leftovers inside since this is bear country.  It was one of those nights that makes you appreciate the occasional motel and the days when there is no drama.

Miles = 1479

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