DAY 5 Continued: Lake City to Buena Vista (COBDR)
Apart from the mini-detour we took to play in a little bit of slick mud, our ride had been pretty calm.
And then we ran into Jason from RawHyde and a group of 5 BMW GS Riders on our way to Pitkin. *I actually found the guys here
I hope they chime in with pics and vids since I was too busy holding on for my life to take any
We were all stopped at an intersection for a little break and they were waiting for 1 of their riders whom we passed about 10 minutes back.
Jason came over to chat and to get a closer look of the shorty that just got off Jeremy's bike! Was it a child?! LOL! I apparently, I gave him a good laugh!
It turned out we were all headed to Pitkin for lunch. We were going to go via Waunita Pass and they were going off course via a different climb and asked if we wanted to come along.
Now who would pass up on that invite?!
Not anyone there that day who was looking for a little something different and off the grid... we were in! be careful what you wish for...
I don't know exactly where we went and what it was called but...
...it was well past this marker...
...it was past a bunch of hay stacks...
...and there were lots of cows at the turn off...
...somewhere around here...
Does that help?
We got to the starting gate and we were off!
It started off innocent enough, nice meadow, rolling hills, wonderfully scented trees, nice cool breeze... and then...
ARE. YOU. FREAKIN'. KIDDING. ME?!!!
And before I could I open my mouth to say anything, engines were revving and we were moving! My heart was beating in accordance!
Jeremy yelled, "Hang on!" on the Sena and I hung on for dear life on the bumpiest ride we have ever ridden!
We're getting air!
I'm sweating up a storm!
We're speeding up!
Phew! Close call! He saved it!
We're dodging cow pie being hurled at us by the rider in front riding over them!
It's getting bumpier and it's relentless!
I'm bouncing in the air!
I'm hanging on!
Suddenly, I realize... "Oh $hit! We're racing! He's racing!"
So, I stay calm and then scream on the Sena, both reminding and encouraging,
"I'm still here!!! You're doing great, babe! Let's get through this in one piece! This is not a race!"
I hear him breathing and calmly say, "I got it, babe! Hang on!"
And we're bouncing again!
And I'm up the air!
Suddenly, I realize what this reminds me off, a runaway horse!... I was in Hawaii horseback riding and my horse got spooked and took off with me on board...
That's my strategy now, ride this out like a runaway horse!
I stood up a majority of the time absorbing the shock with my lower body.
And held on tightly to him as best I could with my short arm spam.
And I'm in the groove now.
And we're flowing as one rider on his bike.
And I'm comfortable enough to take in everything around me.
I couldn't see Mike and Russ as we had made our way and held on to 4th position.
There were 2 GS's right in our sight.
I thought "Wow! They ride on the GS's so effortlessly! Graceful! Smooth!
Suddenly, the rider in front of us crashed trying to avoid running into the rider in front of him who slowed down.
Even the fall was graceful!
We avoided crashing into him or running him over.
Phew, a little break for me.
He was fine. Jason helped him up and we were off again.
And it's back to my galloping wild horse!
Jeremy was doing great!
We could feel Jason on our tail!
We let him go!
He was big smiles as he passed us.
We were still in 4th!
And then the rode calmed and we were on our way to Pitkin!
As someone still new to this particular world of adventure, I was in shock!
I was relieved! I was overjoyed that we made it! I was astonished at the accomplishment - by everyone!
My arse was sore, my lower body was sore, my arms were sore, my fingers were still in the "death grip" mode,
I was sweating from the workout, my body was still intact and everyone made it through OK.
Now - it was time to eat!
Mike and Russ had to wait a long time for their hamburgers and Russ' chocolate shake that they ate it up super fast as soon as it got to the table.
The store was cute and cozy, but if you're in a rush, know what you're getting before you get there and get your order in ASAP, otherwise, prepare to wait...
While lunching and discussing the final planned ride for the day, Jason mentioned Tin Cup.
He said, "Tin Cup is the ride you really want to do. It's one of the famous and popular passes in CO. You gotta do Tin Cup.
You did Black Bear and all those passes, so you're gonna love it. It might get sketchy 2-up though."
And with those last few words, I knew we were doing Tin Cup.
Jason and his guys were going to go a different direction and maybe do Tin Cup at the tail end, so who knew if we were going to see them again,
so I snapped a quick pic with him - soooo tall!
Just before he left, he yelled out, "See ya sweetie! HANG ON TIGHT! YOU GOT YOURSELF A WILD MAN!"
It turns out, the reason why he was all big smiles as he passed us on the trail = we/I was cracking him up, bouncing up and and down on the back hanging on for dear life!
We all packed up and were on our way!
En route, as we got to Cumberland Pass, we were all fully aware we needed to get to Tin Cup before the rain. Little did we know how critical it was to do so at that time.
And there was the marker for the turn off, we were all so excited!
It started off innocent enough, nice meadow,
wonderfully scented trees,
nice cool breeze with an added beautiful lake...
DEJA. FREAKIN'. VU!!!
VERY BIG ROCKS. SOME LOOSE. THE WHOLE WAY. FROM BEGINNING TO END. And we did not know that at the time!
I did walk a small section where it was too loosy goosy.
At this point we thought, we did it! The rest of the way would surely be nothing like this and would get better, so we pressed on.
There. Was. More!
This was BRUTAL!
I was so proud of Jeremy, Mike & Russ!
They were hanging in there on what proved to be a grueling day!
More so than planned!
Despite being 2 up, Jeremy was still fast, so we were in the lead.
We had the summit in our sights.
I looked back to check on Mike and Russ.
I saw them, they were moving along.
But, I also saw something else.
And after I said it, I realized I had just made a mistake!
"The Beamers are here! They're coming up!" $HIT!
Jeremy revved his engine and said, "Ohh no! Not today! Not this ride! We're gonna claim the summit! HANG ON!" $HIT!
And I'm back on a runaway horse with my wild man!
We learned a lot from the crazy wild ride to Pitkin.
We were one.
We had one very close call, but he saved it.
I did not panic.
I just hung on. And prayed.
*Not a very flattering pic of me, but Jeremy's pose is worth it!
We made it!
About 5 minutes later, Jason and crew arrived and it started lightly raining. Plenty of arm shaking and high fives all around!
About 15 minutes later, I realized Mike & Russ had not yet made it and a couple of the BMW riders were missing as well. And it started to really raining.
I walked over to where I could see the climb, and sure enough they were all stopped just short of the summit within close proximity of each other.
I don't recall exactly what happened, but Russ was stuck in a rocky rut, Mike was just behind him parked on the side as well, and same with the other two.
I yelled at Jeremy on the Sena. Told him and Jason to go down there and help.
Jeremy was able to get Russ' bike out of the rut and ride it up and Jason did the same with one of his guy's bike. Mike and the other guy rode up on their own.
Everyone was OK.
The guys were beat! Get up Mike! We still have to go down! And it was going to be more of the same!
I won't tell you what they thought this should be renamed, but I think you get the idea.
It started coming down and we had to get down before it worsened. I did not want to be sliding down slick rocks! No pics on the descent, had to hang on the rest of way.
We said our "goodbyes" and "goodlucks" to Jason and crew. Jason and Crew, you guys are awesome! Thank you for the 411 -- made our day!
So long San Isabel National Forest!
Thank you for the memories!
Heeelllllooooo Buena Vista! So glad to be here!
We checked in to Super 8 and took much needed showers!
Mike's headlight had died on him during the day so he used Super 8's computer to check around for stores in Buena Vista or Gypsum, tomorrow's destination where he could find a light.
Then we went to pig out!
The owner of Branding Iron Restaurant was just closing up when she saw us approaching and asked if we were there to eat.
We said, "Yes, please!" She was awesome and let us in as her last customers! We tipped well!
I was very proud of everyone! Everyone was proud of each other!
After all the passes yesterday and the grueling last half of today, they deserved a drink. And I was more than happy to buy them a round!
*Me in the pic & the other with Russ's eyes open.
Cheers everyone! And congratulations on an AH-FREAKIN'-MAZING DAY!!"