2017 Tour of Colorado Journal

June 22,2017

In 2017, Gretchen Frey rides with her colleague Kern Buckner across the state of Colorado. See the event here and her thoughts before the tour here.

Day one

Day 1 of the Bicycle Tour of Colorado and of our Push for PH fundraiser! Today was a beautiful 98 miles from Pagosa Springs to Antonito via Chama, New Mexico and the gorgeous Cumbres Pass. Only disappointment: we didn’t get a glimpse of the Cumbres and Toltec steam train.

Day 2 & 3

Well, yesterday was a leisurely “stroll” up to Alamosa, at the south end of the vast San Luis Valley. Blanca Peak soars above the eastern edge of the plain as the Great Sand Dunes National Park sits among the foothills below. Yesterday afternoon we enjoyed food, brews, music and local crafts at the Tour site. Today we arose before dawn to trek across 50 miles of sagebrush prairie ahead of the wind and heat. At about mile 52 began a gentle climb to the top of gorgeous Poncha Pass, then a wonderful swooping 12 mile descent into Salida. 82 miles logged today. What a treat to be out moving through this gorgeous terrain! Tomorrow is a rest day, then three more days of mountain riding still left to enjoy. Donations are still coming in and we thank all our friends for their generosity.

Day 5

After a rest day in Salida (we hiked a part of the Colorado Trail), we were on the road again today, this time headed for Gunnison.

The road took us up nearly 5,000 feet of climb to the summit of Monarch Pass, pictured included with lovely PortaPotties in the background!

We were blessed with a clear day and a cool morning, though the headwinds grew fierce as we rode on into Gunnison.

The high country is unusually green due to late rains…beautiful!

Day 6 & 7

So sad to be finished with this wonderful week. Yesterday was a century ride (106 miles in all) from Gunnison to Monte Vista. The first 25 miles took us through an exquisite small valley which narrowed into a canyon as we climbed. Another 15 miles took us to the top of Cochetopa Pass, then it was a beautiful rolling 25 miles back to Saguache and the San Luis Valley. After a night in tiny Monte Vista, today’s ride was a 50 mile climb up amazing Wolf Creek pass (photos are of the summit and the view towards Pagosa Springs on the last 1/3 of the 8% descent). We finished up back in Pagosa Springs, already ready for next year’s ride!

So honored to have dedicated this ride to PH and Team Phenomenal Hope!

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