Colorado Springs-Palmer Lake 25
Palmer Lake-Chatfield SP 38
I left Cheyenne MT SP and headed into Colorado Springs. Once I was downtown, I stopped at the post office to pick up some warmer clothes. Then I stopped at Old Town Bike Shop. I wanted some advice on a route to Denver. They were very helpful and helped me map out a route on the computer. I made my way down to the trail that follows the river through Colorado Springs. If I had a mountain bike, I could take this trail all the way to Denver. I took it to the northern part of town and grabbed a hotel room. The temperature was set to drop into the lower 30s that evening.
The next morning was very cold. I'm glad I got that shipment of warmer clothes. I did have to stop and buy gloves though. The sun never came out. The mountains had a dusting of snow on their peaks. Definitely the coldest weather I've faced in awhile. Most of the day was easy, a lot of it downhill. Towards the end, however, there were some big hills to climb. I made it to Lake Palmer. The wind was pretty strong at this point and I needed some shelter. I set my tent up in the park and crawled inside. Shivering I didn't want to leave the tent to cook dinner, so I went without.
The next morning took me awhile to get moving. I stayed huddled in my tent for warmth. However, it was the weekend and the park was busy with people. I needed to get out of there. I took the 105 north, passed many cyclists and motorcyclists. Fortunately there were very few uphill climbs and easy ones where they existed. Cars were very friendly as well, they must be used to the weekend bike traffic. I stopped for a rest in Sedalia; shared my lunch with Brown, charged my phone, then headed out.
From here the road only goes a little further before you're forced to get on Highway 85. The first mile there was no shoulder; However, it then opens up to become a two lane shoulder. I was on 85 for about seven miles before turning onto a hilly rode that would take me to Chatfield SP. When I arrived I found out the campground was completely full. After staring at the park map for awhile, I scoped out some picnic pavilions that were further out. Unlikely to be occupied for the evening. I rode out towards them. Found one away from the road and trail and set up shop.
I woke up the next morning to the sight of hot air balloons rising with the sun in the sky. I got packed up and rode my bike towards them, then over the reservoir dam. Then down the dam. At the base is a huge dog park. Obviously, we stopped. Probably spent two to three hours there. Brown ignoring me, not leaving the water, swimming after other dogs balls and not giving them back. When finally I was able to trick him to come near me (something he avoids doing at dog parks because he refuses to leave) I was able to grab him. He fell asleep in the trailer as we hopped on the Platte River Trail. We headed north and passed through the greater Denver metropolitan area. When we reached Denver proper, we passed the broncos stadium. Game day vs. The Kansas City Chiefs. Denver broncos have a lot of support from the people of this city. Many use the trail I was on to get to the stadium. I saw an REI and Starbucks on the trail and decided to stop for a bit charge my phone, people watch and appreciate having reached Denver.
A week later I moved into an apartment. A month later I got a job. Made some friends and I'm enjoying my time in Denver. Going to do my best to save up enough money to leave next summer.
Every one I met, every one that has supported me, offered me food, shelter, company, conversation. To my mom for sending out my packages weekly for me. Thank you, my success this past year I owe to all of you.
I can see the mountains in the distance from my bedroom window. I fear and look forward to tackling them next year.
I don't think I will blog for a bit. Maybe to keep you posted on my planning, training progress.
Thank you readers. Thank you everyone so very much.