• Robert Henning

Day 54: A Magical Day

Silverthorne, Colorado to Glenwood Springs, Colorado

90.7 miles, 1,952 feet gained, 5,279 feet lost

Hello! This is Robert, writing about July 24th.

Sometimes, during our rides, we are fortunate enough to have a day with a nearly unbroken downhill. For almost our entire day on July 24th, this was the case. We rode out of the Rocky Mountains; it felt like a rollercoaster.

We awoke in Silverthorne, a lakeside community near Vail Pass. Our team slept in two separate houses, and we had breakfasts apart before meeting up and sharing the plans for our day.

We started from the top of Vail Pass, a few miles from the skiing town of Vail. Our bikes picked up speed on the aggressive downhill, which mellowed out as the ride developed. We stopped from time to time for pictures of the striking views, water breaks, and to let our brakes cool down.

We passed through the city of Vail, which has a wide selection of recreational activities during the summer, among the unused gondolas and alpine amenities. When Google maps routed us through Vail's main street, we dutifully followed it. One problem: Vail had a farmer's market at that instant. The farmer's market was no problem; the six of us dismounted our bikes and marched through the crowded streets. Vail, a place to see and be seen, witnessed us in our sweat-stained lycra and cycling glory.

We continued down the hill, passing a few commuter towns for Vail. Our hosts have warned us about mudslides, which have made many of our paths more treacherous. When wildfires burn the surrounding hills, the dirt lacks the vegetation and root structure it needs to stay in place; a heavy rainstorm can make large portions of a hill fall towards the road below.

Finally, we arrived in Glenwood Springs and met our host, Greg. Our warm showers stay had several roommates in the house, people we met as well.

We shared the space and even worked on a puzzle together, a fascinating mystery-focused puzzle that hides clues within the finished puzzle. The puzzle was nearly complete, but it had a few dozen identical background pieces, which we categorized based on their dimensions and thinner sides. Despite our best efforts, the puzzle sitting around for months remained unfinished, but we contributed a bit.

Greg made us delicious burgers along with barbecued corn, and Mariela cooked us some plantains as well. While it took a few of us to move the puzzle on the dining room table, it was well worth the effort and gave us a space to socialize for the rest of the evening.

After our delicious dinner, our host gave us an impressive Magic Show! Greg had a phenomenal set, mostly of card tricks, and we sat enthralled for the rest of the evening. If you get the chance to see Greg perform his magic show, don't miss it!

After the magic show, we got ready for bed, savoring the day's thrills.

Thank you for stopping by! Robert

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