Day 34: Dillon – Hartsel, CO

Miles: 69

Climbing: 3717 ft

After a really wonderful and relaxing rest day in Dillon, my legs felt ready for action (and the big climb up Boreas pass) this morning.

Leaving Dillon, I got on a beautiful flower-lined bike path that lead through Frisco and Breckenridge.

I stopped in Breckenridge for a second breakfast—it’s a cute but touristy ski town, it almost felt like riding through one of the Disney World villages.

Leaving Breckenridge, the route took me immediately UP, a winding paved road, where I climbed up to 10,000 ft for the first time, and kept climbing. Honestly though, the grade was gradual and constant enough (and my legs were fresh enough) that It wasn’t too horrible.

The paved road eventually turned to gravel, winding up and through rock formations and forests. There was a lot of traffic, but it was a Friday—there were tons of little pull-offs where people were camping. Arriving at the top of Boreas (11,482 ft) held beautiful views, of course. Heading down was equally gradual, only slightly marred by the washboard surface in places. Honestly the rest of the day was a blur, cruising down 20+ miles. I was feeling good, so I decided to push on to Hartsel. The last bit coming into Hartsel was a little scary, on a very busy road with no shoulder. 😬😬😬 Luckily it was only a couple miles.

Arriving in Hartsel, I found Gaelan at the place in town that allowed cyclists to camp out back…….a bar. On a Friday night. The bar was very much a small town dive, and it was a stark difference from being in Dillon and Silverthorne, ha! Lots of local characters. The backyard, where we were camping was an open a lot with an assortment of seemingly discarded tables and chairs. We found out that “Hartsel Days”, the town’s festival was taking place the next day, and we were going to be camping in the middle of where they’d be setting up the next morning. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We set up, again watching clouds come in. Just as I was finishing setting up my tent (again, in the back yard of a bar), the rain came, and it POURED for several hours. It was the heaviest rain I’ve been in yet, and it turned out I had set up my tent in a kind of low spot in the yard, and a lake was developing under my vestibule. Crap. During a quick break in the rain I rotated it to keep myself from floating away. Luckily, I can sleep pretty well in the rain.

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