As we were fixing breakfast, trying to keep hands and feet from freezing, no one was saying much. Finally, I asked if anyone was thinking that one option would be to go back to Steamboat and call it done. I had actually asked Connor last night if he had the option of going home right now, would he? He said maybe he would. I asked why. He said he was tired and burnt out. Easy to understand since he's been out since April 26th. Our options were to continue, realizing we had another 3000 feet of elevation to tackle, and 2 or 3 more days before our next possible bailout point of Silverthorn or Frisco, or go back the 38 miles to Steamboat. It was and wasn't a difficult decision. It's tough to bail on the trip when we've come so far. If we could have just made it through Colorado. However, it was an easy decision when we realize none of us are really prepared (especially in the footwear area) for, essentially, winter riding. So, by unanimous decision, we turned around and rode back to Steamboat. It was easier in that it was more downhill.
It was harder because there was a lot more mud today. In fact, when we got back to Stagecoach Reservoir, Derik had figured out how we could go without going through the part that was already muddy yesterday when it hadn't snowed! I, for one, was very thankful.
We took the highway back for the last 20 miles. It was snowing (that freezing little ice balls kind) the last 10 or so miles. We arrived at the Rabbit Ears Motel around 1:00. We told the gal we tried, but we were calling it. I had her take a photo of us in front of the famous sign to end our ride.
Tomorrow, we pick up a U-Haul truck, and head for home...
I'm disappointed that we didn't finish, but I'm also fond of my fingers and toes. My motto has always been, regarding cycling and touring, if it's not fun, don't do it. This was rapidly becoming not fun!