We didn’t think to take a photo before we packed the bike in the back of the Avalon, but there she is neatly fit into the trunk. Timing is everything and as it was Stanna was 26 miles from Steamboat Springs when I called her from McDonalds. She had anticipated my arrival by watching the Spot Locator track and was right on.
She was in Denver after having made a road trip with her brother, David, to Mississippi for their aunt’s 90th birthday celebration. I had pre-arranged to meet her somewhere enroute with a box of re-supply items such that Don and I could have hard-to-find things available for the next stage of the adventure, since we’d theoretically be crossing paths on her return to Durango.
As it was, I was ready to “pack it in” anyway, primarily because I’d already ridden the next 700 miles out of Steamboat solo in the previous two years: a 500-mile stretch from Steamboat to Del Norte and then an aborted leg from Del Norte to Grants, New Mexico when I only completed 200 miles due to saddle sores from a new saddle. Having ridden the last two weeks alone wasn’t as fun as with Don, and the prospect of repeating the next 700 miles by myself once again didn’t appeal to me.
At this point all I have to do to “finish” the Great Divide route is ride from Abiquiu, New Mexico to the Mexican boarder (a little over 500 miles) and I can take credit for the entire route. August probably isn’t the best time to tackle this portion anyway.
So it was anti-climactic arriving in Steamboat Springs and fortuitous, because just after loading the bike a thunderstorm opened up and poured rain. It was the first daytime rain I’d experienced in the entire 21 days and I was smugly inside a vehicle.
The bike and the gear worked out perfectly. Other than the crimped cable housing I caused from strapping on the handlebar bag above rather than under the shifter, I experienced not a single malfunction. If I asked myself the same question I’d asked the other riders and thru-hikers, “What would you do different?”, my answer would be “nothing.” I’ll use the same list for the next bike adventure, and I’ll be looking forward to it.