We got to the end of the pavement, and as the map said, "dirt resumes". Only, it was more like mud. For the most part, it was somewhat easily navigable. We were still following the Yampa River.
Eventually, we climbed away from most of the mud. The guys were ahead of me when I popped up over a little hill. I could see them, but the map said to go right over the cattle guard. I thought to myself, maybe this curves around and goes down to where they are. There was another road than went left, but that went to a trailhead that I knew we weren't supposed to go to. So, I proceeded according to the directions. No, the road did not go down to where the guys were. They took the left. When they saw me, they figured it out, and we're coming back. I just kept going, thankful that I had not gone down the other road (and then would have had to come back up). They caught up, and we continued. By this time the sun was shining, and there were blues skies.
Nice Fall colors up on the hillside.
Before too long, we came to Stagecoach Reservoir. We rode across the dam.
Looking waaaaayyyy down. I think the creek is Sarvice Creek.
After the dam, we got on the Elk Run Trail.
This went to the other end of the reservoir.
We popped out into a parking lot where we got back on the dirt road. There were a surprising number of houses in this area. Even though we were on dirt roads, there were houses almost the entire way.
About halfway into a four mile climb, we stopped for lunch in a meadow of sorts. After lunch, we finished the climb, and then the route was more rolling. At one point, when I looked ahead, I could see the road going up along the mountain side. I wasn't surprised, since I knew we had to go up to Lynx Pass. The climbing wasn't too bad. I would stop and rest every half mile. When I got to the part that I had seen from below, I took this picture.
Yep, was down there.
Both the guys had gone on ahead to the campground. Derik wanted to do a little hike (it was a relatively short day of just under 39 miles). I rolled in at 3:30 having crested Lynx Pass, then ridden the less than half mile to the campground. This is our first Colorado campground. Wouldn't you know it, they're still open, and charging, even though there's no water (they took the handle off the pump). It cost $10. If there's not going to be water, they may as well be closed. However, there is a dumpster, so we can pitch our trash. To get water, we had to walk down to a pond. We filtered a bunch of water for tonight and tomorrow.
We are at 8900 feet. As you would expect, it's rather chilly. We are all cold. I guess we got a little too accustom to warm hotel rooms. We are no longer acclimated to the cold. We've gone soft!!! We've all retreated to our sleeping bags. Hopefully, the weather will continue to be nice tomorrow.