22. Holiday Weekend in Denver

We enjoyed a long 4th of July holiday weekend at the lovely and relaxing home of my brother Dean and my sister-in-law Carol in Parker, Colorado, 25 miles southeast of Denver.

Last Wednesday, Dean drove all the way up into the mountains to Dillon to pluck us off the TransAmerica Route and take us back to Parker, a four-hour round trip for him. On the way home, we dropped off our bicycles at Elevation Cycle in Parker for maintenance.  When we later walked into Dean and Carol’s home, we were greeted by ten giant balloons, spelling out “2200 Miles!”  It was sure nice to be bike-less, and to sit down to a healthy meal with Dean, Carol and daughter Elli.  After dinner, son Jackson and his girlfriend Elle joined us, and spent the next couple of days with us. 

Thursday, Dean drove us to REI in Denver. We bought a new tent (shaving four pounds off Jens’s load on his bike), sit pads for when we pull over and have no where to sit but on the ground, fuel for our stove, and some clothes to replace clothes we sent home from Denver. Thursday night we all went out to dinner together at a very good restaurant in Parker. 

Friday Dean and Carol went bicycling, in training for two upcoming grueling, organized rides in the Rockies that they are participating in.  Jens and I were more than happy not to join them. We hung around the house relaxing, sat out on the deck reading (or nodding off), did some laundry, and reorganized our bags, deciding what we should send home, either because we did not need it or because we wanted to lighten our load. 

Dean, Carol and Elli prepared an amazing surf-and-turf dinner that night, and our son Jordan and daughter-in-law Ashley drove down from their home in Denver to join us.  We had not seen Jordan and Ashley in 10 months. 

Concerned that Jens and I were in need of exercise, Dean and Carol took us to Aurora Reservoir to teach us how to paddle board.  Ellie and her dog Willow and Ashley and hers and Jordan’s dog Winston joined us.  Paddle boarding was a blast, and it was also a nice change of pace to sit by the lake and relax.

Sunday Jens and I Ubered up to Denver to  see Jordan and Ashley new home, which is located in a cute neighborhood just a couple of miles from downtown, and to take them out to breakfast at Lucile’s Creole Café, a restaurant we really enjoyed when we tried it the last time we were here.  Fabulous beignets! 

Monday, July 5th, Dean and Carol got up early and drove us back up to Dillon for us to continue our journey.  They brought their bikes and pedaled with us the first 15 miles north of Dillon. (By that point, they had learned what slow pokes we are, and they headed off for higher speeds and a more challenging ride.)  It was fun to have their company and for them to get a little taste of what we experience.  We had a glorious day, beautiful scenery and mostly downhill terrain the remaining 45 miles of our ride to Hot Sulphur Springs, CO. 

Today’s ride was supposed to be a 60-miler northward to Walden.  Mother Nature had other plans. 

Seven miles into our ride, we turned onto Highway 125 and were greeted by a flashing sign: “Road Closed: Mudslide.” After looking at alternate routes around the mudslide, and talking to the local sheriff’s department, we decided to wait until the road was reopened.  We detoured a couple of miles into Granby, where we’ll spend the night.  There are worse places to be stuck than Granby.  It sits just west of Rocky Mountain National Park, and is surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers. 

We’re grateful that this is the first real disruption of our trip, after 2,200 miles and two months on the road.  We’re also fortunate that we have no time constraints for this trip, and that we are in a position simply to hang out in a cool little town like Granby for a day. 

As I write this, the road has been reopened.  We’ll shove off early tomorrow, another 9,500’ pass to cross. 

In closing, we want to thank Teresa at the Da Brim (dabrim.com). Da Brims are sun brims that attach to bike helmets. They keep the sun off a biker’s face and neck.  After seeing how well they worked for our friends Mark and Pat on our sun-scorched rides in Kansas, I ordered a couple for Jens and me when we entered Colorado, to be delivered to Dean and Carol in Denver.  Unfortunately, I forgot to request expedited delivery. I contacted Teresa at Da Brim, and she agreed to expedite their shipment to Denver at no extra cost to us. Very generous, and great customer service.

We rode with our Da Brims yesterday and today. They work very well. Wish we’d had them from Day 1.  

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Diane Schilling

    So happy you got to spend time with your family! And to get a well deserved rest! Keep up the awesome work, love hearing about how you tackle adversity.

  2. Margie & Larry

    What a wonderful time to look forward to when you were weary and discouraged, and what a well timed and planned respite for you and your bikes! Love the picture of you two rested and recharged riding off on to the next adventure and challenge on your facebook page (courtesy of your sister-in-law).
    (Prayers For Safety, Stamina, Pleasant Surprises)

  3. Jane

    The kids look great. I’m sure you had a wonderful time with them. Iceland has a ton of bike paths around the island. I’m scoping some out for you.

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