Days 4 & 5 - Horseshoe Campgrounds to Dillon Reservoir and the One Day Layover

View while ascending Ute Pass.

Taking a breakther at Ute Pass.

Fourteeners at Ute Pass.

Dillon Reservoir - less than 1 mile from camp.

Cooking in the rain isn't so bad - especially when you have help like these!

Mission Laundromat.

8/18/2004 (Wednesday) - Horseshoe Campgrounds to Heaton Bay Campgrounds, Dillon Reservoir, 29.47 Miles + 8.64 Miles (grocery).

Today's ride was a walk in the park (not unlike yesterday's). We began with a climb over Ute Pass (9524 ft.), but since we started at over 8500 ft., did the climb over pavement, and climbed early in the morning, the ride up was a piece of cake - like an early morning ride in Palos Verdes. After a short decent down Hwy 132, we followed Hwy 9 into Silverthorne. This section of the ride was tougher for me psychologically since I had to fight a slight headwind initially and since I unnecessarily "obsessed" over the inefficiencies of mountain tread on smooth pavement. Highway 9, however, did offer new, wide, continuous shoulder all the way into Silverthorne. This came as a pleasant surprise since Kathy and David had prepared us for the worst - little shoulders with lots of traffic. The scenary wasn't too shabby either.

Into Silverthorne, Kathy and I meandered around a little, trying to find the route up to the dam and putting up triangels - and backtracking and pulling down triagles when we got it wrong. It was very windy at the top of the dam, where we both put on our windshell. After taking a picture along Heaton Reservoir, we got into camp slightly after 11:30 a.m. We were happy to get in early since we were worried we might not be able to get a site in the first-come-first-serve campground.

After arriving at camp, I spent most of the afternoon not doing much since there was no hot showers and since the weather was misty. I helped David and others set up a portable shower for the group since both yesterday and today's camp did not offer hot showers. After Bob, my cooking partner, arrived at camp, we Kathy and we finally left for the local Safeway at around 3:30 p.m. Unbeknownst to Bob and I, a heavy rain started while we were shopping at Safeway.

The rain would go on for the rest of the day and night, with short little respites. The forecast we got the next day was depressing: a stationary front which was to linger over Colorado and four other states for the rest of our trip...

We went "all out" as far as meals were concerned - cooking up Michael's special Sloppy Joe receipe and making "gourmet" salad consisting of fresh red leaf lettuce, large mushrooms, grape tomatoes, and carrots. For breakfast the next day, we had pancakes, bacons, sausages, cheese quesadillas, cereals, and a variety of juices. This was my first time cooking "in the rain" (we actually cooked under a tarp which others had helped to set up before it started to rain). I was a little annoyed at first, but it turned out to be a memorable experience.

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8/18/2004 (Wednesday) - Layover Day

There would be no rafting or kayaking for us. The weather remained cold and wet, and we were happy to simply drop by the local laundromat. Michael decided "drop out" and get his truck at Steamboat to help the group out since the weather seemed to not be letting up. During the day, several people also went to the Silverthorne Rec Center for a nice shower and hot tub; John and Betsy (the couple who would do EVERYTHING) went to a local museum panning for gold.

The day started out with our big breakfast shortly after 7:30 a.m. which didn't end until after 9 a.m. Shortly afterwards, a group of us walked and took the bus to the laundromat in Silverthorne to shower and do laundary. At Silverthorne, I bought a $30 glove shell and an extra pair of wool socks in anticipation of wet riding days ahead. I came back to camp ahead of most of the group because I realized that I had left some food in my tent and didn't want aggressive squirrels to chew through my tent.

Around 4 p.m. or so, a group of us at camp walked to Frisco to meet up with the others to have dinner at 5 p.m. Since our top choice restaurants were either closed or catering to private functions, we ended up taking the bus back to near Dillon Reservoir to eat at a restaurant called Hacienda Real, which turned out to be a real nice Mexican restaurant. I had a large taco salad and ate tons of the chips that were ready at the table when we sat down.

Today was a very relaxing day. I walked lots, ate well, and got clean soft laundary for the rest of the trip. The good news at the end of the day is that the stationary front seem to be moving a bit to the east. That means we'd be getting intermittent and not the consistent rain as oringially forecasted. It's also nice to know that we have Michael to support us with his truck in case things do turn real nasty.