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October 10, 2020

Steamboat Springs and back

Today, I rode to Steamboat Springs and back, about 350 miles. Mostly, I'm just trying to get some riding in while the weather is nice. Before the temperature drops and the snows come.

I've been thinking back on some rides I did several years ago, when I was riding a lot in this general area. It seems to me that I was riding around Grand County, Summit County, Routt County, Eagle County.

I was hitting a lot of trails and passes like Mosquito Pass, Webster Pass, Shrine Pass (Pass from Vail Pass down into RedCliff), Middle Fork of the Swan River, etc.

(I do see some references to Shrine Pass in 2010).

At some point, it seems like I did a ride north of I-70, that cut through and came out north of I-70, on Colorado Highway 9, somewhere between Silverthorne and Kremmling.

So, in any event, today, I took I-70 west, then took US 40 west to Empire, over Berthoud Pass, down into Winter Park, Fraser, Granby (stopped for gas in Granby), Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling, then up and over Rabbit Ears Pass, and down into Steamboat Springs.

Now, I should mention that there's a problem with Rabbit Ears Pass. And I remember this problem from the last time I was here. The problem is that somehow, I end up on the wrong side of the continental divide. Let's say there are 2 sides to the continental divide: Atlantic and Pacific. So, I start off on the Atlantic side. Then, I cross Berthoud Pass. Now, I'm on the Pacific side, following the Colorado River, which runs dry before it ever makes it to the Sea of Cortez. Then, when I get to Rabbit Ears Pass, it shows that I'm crossing back to the Pacific Side as I go down the hill into Steamboat Springs. But I was already on the Pacific Side. I crossed over to the pacific side once I crossed Berthoud Pass. So, this is quite a conundrum.

OK. Muddy Pass. That's the pass that I missed. I've discovered this before. I vaguely remember dealing with this last time. The 2 passes are only 3 miles apart.

My route looks something like this:

I can't really say that I remember Steamboat Springs, because I didn't. At all. All I remembered was Rabbit Ears Pass, and then rolling down into town. My guess is I've only been in Steamboat Springs once or twice in my life. But it's a very cool little town, and I hit it at peak season for the colors, with the aspens changing to yellow and orange.

I got into town at about 3:00 pm, which really didn't give me a lot of time to hang out, as I have to be home before dark due to the danger of colliding with wildlife. So, I ate at a McDonalds on the south end of town. I ate inside, which you weren't supposed to do. So, they told me to leave, so I finished my burger and just left all of my trash where I was eating. They were yelling at me to clean up my trash, but I just ignored them.

Took some pics of the river that flows through Steamboat Springs, then I started plotting a route back to civilization. I'd seen a sign when I was coming north into town that showed a turn for I-70, if I'm not mistaken. So, I figured I'd go back that way. So, when I was leaving Steamboat Springs, just on the south end of town, I followed the sign for I-70, and it basically routed me down Colorado State Highway 131. It follows a railroad bed from Steamboat Springs down to I-70, basically.

It's about 70 miles from Steamboat Springs down to Wolcott on I-70. But what surprised me is that I'm almost certain I've never been on this road before. It was a very nice ride, with the aspens changing, and all. And then, just before I get to I-70, I recognize where I am. There's a bridge across a river, and a very, very, very small town (basically only one building), and a sign that says "State Bridge". The name of the road is Trough Road. I'm almost certain this is the road/cut-through I was looking for. I'm pretty sure that I took this road, back in the day, and it came out at or near Kremmling. So, that's another road to explore.

Then, I kept going south until I hit I-70, and the funny thing is I remembered where I was when I got to the I-70 intersection. A sort of Deja Vu.

Then, I just took off, hell bent for leather on I-70 east-bound. Stopped for gas in Frisco.

There was a backup coming down into Georgetown (again). So, I'm driving down the shoulder. Exit at Georgetown. This time, there was an 18-wheeler on the shoulder of I-70 burned to a crisp. I stopped to shoot some pics, and the idiots at the truck were just dog-cussing me, as if I care.

Got home about 6:15 pm. Trying to get home before it gets dark and I hit another deer (I didn't hit another deer....I'm just afraid of hitting another deer, so I try to make it home before 6:00 pm). I end up getting home at about 6:15 pm.

The ride for the day was about 340 miles, and about 6 hours.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2020 at 7:35 PM


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