Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rawlins to Campsite near Aspen Alley

I had 135 miles and three days to plan for, with no real services until I reached Steamboat Springs. Unfortunately I was unable to leave Rawlins until around 1pm, and this was mostly due to the fact that I had to wait until the local Murray's bike store opened. Once my bike was back to health, I headed out with the intentions of reaching the campsite, with a decent mileage ahead of me. The first 25 miles were on pavement, but this soon turned to gravel and forest roads. Once I hit the gravel, the road started to climb as I headed to Middlewood Hill (7965ft). I was within the Sierra Madre Range of the Medicine Bow National Forest, and would have my 14th divide crossing of the trip. This did require a 6 mile climb, and unfortunately I had to dismount a few times to crest this. The roller coaster terrain (with a few difficult downhills) lead me further into the national forest, and the landscape was soon littered with trees, a sight which had been lacking for the last week or so. The last 5 miles were particularly grueling as the road turned to sand, and limited traction was certainly a psychological distraction. I reached the primitive campsite around 9pm, and was quick to set up my tent and get some rest.

Miles: 50

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