It was cold as usual this morning, frozen water (except the bottle in my tent), but I slept warm, and that's all that matters. We had some company this morning.
The cows were asking if they could come where we were. No, we told them, no cow poop allowed!
I told Derik my new plan for the day was to be pessimistic. I'd tried optimism yesterday, and that didn't work, so today...pessimism. To get to where we were camped, we had to go through a gate, and down a steep hill. Connor had taken MC down for me yesterday. Since I was pretty much ready to go, I took the bags up first, then pushed MC back up myself.
We were back on the road by about 9:45. The wind wasn't blowing yet, but it was only a matter of time (remember...pessimism). We had about 13.5 miles to get to Aspen Alley. This is one of the highlights of the Divide. It's a mile long section of narrow road that is bordered by...you guessed it, Aspen trees. But, before we even got there, we were finally back into the trees. We were still climbing similar to yesterday, but the guys stayed with me, and there were TREES!!! TREES TREES TREES!!!
I was so happy to be riding amongst trees again, that I totally forgot to be pessimistic. Even when we got to Aspen Alley, and the leaves were pretty much gone, I didn't care. Besides, it was still really pretty!
Not quite as colorful, but beautiful in its own way. It was after noon, so I suggested we have lunch among the Aspens.
There were even logs to sit on!
After lunch I had Derik take this one.
Riding through Aspen Alley.
We had another mile to go before we got to Highway 70. Then we were on pavement until we entered Colorado. That's right, we are finally done with Wyoming! Fortunately, as we were riding, Wyoming was looking more like Colorado (instead of, for example, when you come from Kansas into Colorado, Colorado looks more like Kansas). There was no "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign, so we stopped at the post office sign in Slater.
Gotta have proof, you know!
Just after the PO, we were back on gravel. We were trying to get to Brush Mountain Lodge. We had another 12 or 13 miles to go, and 1000 ft of climbing. Derik was thinking we might not make it (now who's the pessimist???). However, it turned out to be not too bad. There was one 1/2 mile section that was very steep. Connor and I traded bikes. He rode MC up the hill, and I walked his bike. I could have ridden it up (because it's so much lighter), but I couldn't reach the pedals. Still, I walked up about as fast as I probably could have ridden MC up.
A few miles later, we made it to the lodge. We were worried it was going to be closed. Well, it is. But, Kirsten said we could camp out back. Then...she goes on to say there are towels for showers, dinner will be ready soon, and there is breakfast in the morning!!! I couldn't believe it! I gave her a hug right then and there!
We got set up, took showers, and hung out in the lodge until dinner was ready. It was spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, watermelon, and chocolate chip cookies. Absolutely delicious! There were quite a few people for dinner. Kirsten's parents are visiting, as are her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Then there were various others who seem to work here or live nearby. We enjoyed talking to Hunter, a young kid from Michigan, who's been here about a week and a half working. Kirsten couldn't be nicer! We are so lucky to get to be part of the Brush Mountain Lodge family for the night!