Day 27 (48 mi.) The Day Before The BIG Climb at Monarch Pass

  Sunday we took it a bit easy.  Waking up just before 9am, having a bite to eat around a picnic table, and slowly pushing down though downtown Westcliffe.  It is a small but beautiful down with an amazing view of the Rockies, very friendly people, and from what I hear there is great fly fishing.  This is a place I will want to return to some day!

The first half of the ride was all down hill to Cotopaxi.  Once again the fellas arrived a good five minutes before I did, but there was plenty of shoulder and very few cars.  There in Cotopaxi we had another light breakfast, enjoyed the views in the canyon, and made our way for Salida.

There was supposed to be some climbing in to Salida, but after the prior day’s climb it felt like the whole ride was downhill.  The only issue was the lack of shoulder and the copious amount of RVs on the road.  RV drivers are quickly making my “Not Top Ten” list for this trip! One even honked and seemed to swerve toward us and I went off the road a bit on to the gravel.  I guess a few are giving the rest a bad name.

Other than that the ride was amazing, following the Arkansas River through the canyon and in to Salida.  Along the way I saw lots of kayakers, rafters, and people fly-fishing.  This seems pretty close to paradise.

Tonight we are staying at a hostel and resting up.  Tomorrow we make our largest climb, up through Monarch Pass.  

And just before the sunset there were two rainbows. This is the best shot I got of one of them. 


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