Starting Location: Walden, CO
Ending Location: Granby, CO
Lowest Elevation: 7854
Highest Elevation: 9623
At 1:30 this morning Joop and I were woken up as the sprinkler system turned on. Even though we were under the gazebo, our tents got hit by the sprinkler a little bit. We got out of our tents in the cold night and looked at the sprinkler to see if we could do something about it. We could have put a table sideways by it, but decided that it wasn't that big of an issue because it was moving so slow and hardly hit the tents. So we went back into our tents and went back to sleep.
In the morning we made a nice breakfast then got our stuff packed up and headed out. It was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky. We were surrounded by mountains in every direction. Not too far from Walden we ran into an english cyclist going our way, Tony. He said that he is a bird watcher so he is going a bit slower than us. Like me, Tony was planning on cycling through Rocky Mountain National Park tomorrow, so I told him about our place at the Worldmark in Granby and he said that he would love to join us there for the night. I gave him my name to ask for at the desk when he gets there, then Joop and I continued. A few miles down the road we stopped to look at a bull with massive horns who gave us a stare down as we approached for pictures. I've never seen such long horns up close!
After passing through Rand we had 10 miles to go to make it to the top of Willow Creek Pass. The climb for the pass was fairly gradual and had a few ups and downs. We eventually made our way up to the top of the pass and then took a picture of course. We decided that we would start heading down the pass before eating lunch so that we could get to a warmer spot since it was a little colder higher up.
On our way down we ran into a group of three cyclists going West. Two of them had started their trip all the way from New York, so they had some information to give me about the trail when I get out to the coast. We then stopped shortly after to eat our lunch. While we were eating, one of the racers on the Trans Am Bike Race passed us, though she didn't stop to talk because she was in the zone. Another cyclist came by heading West and we chatted for a while. He was excited to hear that there were three cyclists heading in the same direction as him and only 15 minutes ahead. He said he hadn't seen any cyclists for days.
After lunch we continued to descend from the pass. We thought we would make it to Granby very soon since we were making great time before lunch, but when we started to ride again we faced some wind that slowed us down a bit. When we were getting closer to Granby, we came to a nice steep hill that we hadn't expected to be part of or ride. It wasn't too long of a climb but the absence of wind made it very hot.
We had a nice ride down the hill before turning on highway 40 for Granby. When we got on 40 we joined in with the cyclists doing the Ride The Rockies tour. They were heading for Grand Lake, and will be riding through Rocky Mountain National Park tomorrow as well! They all gave Joop and I some appreciation for riding our bikes with so much equipment since they all were just on racing bikes.
We stopped in at the bike shop to pump up our tires and so I could get another mirror. Third time is the charm, right? We continued on up the hill into Granby and then headed for the Worldmark. When we got there we were greeted by Connie who was very kind and helpful. She gave us our information and sent us on to our private casita.
We were lucky enough to get the casita with disability access so it was easy to get our bikes in - this was the only unit available when my grandparents booked it for me. We opened the door to our casita and were instantly amazed with how beautiful and big the place was. There is 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, an awesome kitchen, and plenty of space for us to chill out in. We even get our own hot tub! We spent a good amount of time just admiring the space that we had for the day. We then took showers and relaxed for a bit and enjoyed some tea. Then, we headed to the store to get food for the night and morning. We bought a ton of food since we were expecting Tony to meet us.
We got back to casita and relaxed for a bit and made some coffee. Then we put a couple of pizzas in the oven. Joop and I each ate a DiGiorno rising crust pizza to ourselves. I'm pretty sure that this is the first time I've ever been able to eat so much pizza. And we even kept eating afterwards since we had so much food! We kept checking out the window to see if Tony would arrive, though he never did.
Update - Tony made it!
Right as Joop and I were getting ready to jump into the hot tub to relax we received a call from the desk that Tony had finally arrived! He had been slowed down a lot by a puncture in his tire. We heated up the oven to make the last pizza for him and let him settle in a bit before we all got into the hot tub to enjoy some nice conversations with a beer. It was a very clear night with tons of stars out. What an awesome end to the day.