Day 35: Hartsel – Salida, CO

Miles: 50

Climbing: 2480 ft

The rain didn’t stop till after 11 last night (according to another cyclist staying in the yard—-I was sound asleep), but the sun came out this morning. By the time I got up around 6:30, preparations for Hartsel Days—the social event of the year, it seems—were well underway. People were setting up craft stalls, a stage, and games. Gaelan and I hung around till the fire station’s pancake breakfast before heading out.

Leaving Hartsel meant more of the open fields surrounded by mountains in the distance, and open green hills all around. The climb of the day broke out on the other side to an absolutely astonishing view.

I wish I’d have taken a better photo, or a video to capture all the layers of mountains going back and back—-my photos don’t do a good job of capturing those in the distance. The fun, fast descent into Salida definitely had the feel of the Southwest for the first significant time on the trip.

We immediately went for Mexican food, and I wasn’t disappointed with the giant delicious meal (even in a town pronounced Sal-eye-duh).

I had wanted to check out Salida more, having heard it’s a cool town, but I was honestly exhausted. This was one of the first times of my trip I felt a strong sense of weariness with bike touring, and a readiness to just be finished. I was feeling increasingly apathetic……We made our way over to an RV park that, despite being across the highway from a Walmart, was cute and tree-lined, and next to a river. We walked over to Walmart to get some supplies, and I got WAY TOO MUCH food, as per usual. A whole grapefruit Lilli? Really? I carried it for the entire next day. Carrying tons of food and then always eating at restaurants is my number one dumb move on this trip.

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