Virginia to Alaska and back on an '86 Yamaha Radian
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10-14-2012, 09:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Day 5: Longmont - Fort Collins, CO
May 25, 2012
Longmont – Fort Collins, CO: 85mi
It’s always nice to know a chef. Ian is an old friend of my brothers and an amazing head chef at a restaurant in Lyons. In the morning I woke up to the smell of smoked bacon, fried eggs and roasted coffee he prepared for his wife Kristen and me. There’s something about a good hardy breakfast that always hits the spot when traveling, especially since I tend to just eat trail-mix and jerky all day.
Ian headed off to work while Kristen and I went back into Boulder to the REI to get a few more things. I was going to be heading into the “unknown” soon with no planned contacts so I wanted to be sure I had everything I needed. I got a few backpacker meals and extra straps in case something fails and headed back to the house to pack up the bike.
Since I was only heading to Fort Collins for the night to see my cousins, Kristen and I decided to go for a hike in Roosevelt National Forest with their three dogs. I followed her on the bike to Lyons where we left it at Ian’s restaurant and drove up into the Rocky Mountains. It was a beautiful twisty road banked with rocky cliffs and evergreen forest. I was actually wishing I was on the bike for this fun road.
After enjoying some exercise near Button Rock Mountain we headed back to Lyons where we had an early dinner at Ian’s restaurant. The food was amazing of course.
With not far to go, I decided to take the road to Estes Park for a more scenic ride to Fort Collins. It was fun to be riding on a windy two lane road since the majority of my ride had been interstate until now. I followed 36 through the Roosevelt National Forest until I summited the edge of the forest overlooking Estes Lake, just at the base of Mt. Olympus. It was one of the most beautiful views I had seen causing me to slow down and take a deep breath.
As I descended into Estes Park I turned east onto 34 to follow the Big Thompson River through a steep, rocky, narrow canyon back to Fort Collins. I had fun leaning into the curves and feeling the weight of the bike as if it were part of me. It was an exciting technical ride so it took me a bit longer than anticipated. I made it to my cousin’s house just before dark and was happy to be visiting with family on my adventure.
Plan tomorrow: Get as far as you can into Wyoming.
May the road rise up to meet you
And wind be always at your back
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