When I was a Kid…
18 years ago, I spent a winter in Breckenridge. There were around 10 of us that moved there together, and we shared a few different living spaces, but basically we worked a little, and all snowboarded and hung out together a lot. It was one of the best times of my life. It was also the last 6 months before I settled down and got a real job, and all the responsibilities that come with that. I have visited Breckenridge several times since I left, but I was still very excited to be there.
We set up camp on Hoosier Pass. At 11,539 feet, we were up definitely feeling the effects of the altitude. Simple tasks like brushing our teeth made us have to stop and pant for air. We had a nice fire, and I played around with my camera some more. See Day 5 for night time photos.
In the morning, we went up to the top of the mountain. Although I’ve been here many times before, the views never disappoint!
Todd and Chaka at the top of Hoosier Summit
Sam posing with his Ducati
After waking up at the top of the world, the boys humored me by agreeing to put our trip on hold so we could do a side excursion. It is one I got to do before in a truck. Mosquito Pass is a 13,125 foot pass located between Alma and Fairplay, and when I lived in Breckenridge, we spent a lot of time out there. The negatives of the ride up the pass today were that Chaka tried riding on the back of the bike, but bailed out since the bumps were too much, and that when we hit the top of the pass, the winds kicked up, and it started hailing. On the descent, the hail was coming down hard, and starting to accumulate. The positive was that we actually made the top. This is only my 2nd time over the pass in about 10 attempts, and it was fun.
Ducati header pipe smashed
Sam and Chaka about to attempt Mosquito Pass
We are really starting to feel the effect of the altitude, or the cold weather (it’s been near 40 degrees the last few nights), or the fact that we have put over 1000 miles on our bikes in the past 5 days, or maybe a combination of all three. Whatever the cause, we were tired today. So, we decided to go into Breckenridge, have a nice lunch, and have a small ride from there.
My city had changed
I should have known that Breck would be different, but it was a shock. It made me feel old to keep saying “it used to…”, but I felt in some way that “they” had ruined my city. I know – that’s progress. We fought our way through traffic, into Frisco, then Silverthorne, and headed North on Highway 9.
I have not wanted to talk about it, but we have not ridden in any real rain yet. We have skirted dozens of storms, seen rainbows, and arrived at soaking wet roads, yet we have not gotten wet. Today was different. It poured on us. It was raining so hard, that the raindrops really hurt, through 2 layers of clothes and our riding gear. Luckily, it only went on for about 15 minutes.
We made it just past Radium, and called it quits. We found an excellent camp site, and after we were all set up, I went on a photo safari. It was getting too dark, so I did not get any shots, but I saw movement in a grassy field behind us. I thought it might be a bear, but I was a little gun-shy after the false alarm yesterday. Either way, I didn’t want to miss it, so I ran back to the others, and dragged them over to a spot we could view them. Sure enough, it was a momma bear and her cub. I took some terrible photos since they were so far away, and I did not have a zoom lens, but they were bears nonetheless.
2 bears across the field. Still a little close for comfort
Overlooking one of the great views on Marshall Pass
We’ve been getting great shots of his underwear travelling all over the place. I’ll start sharing more.
Brad’s underwear hanging out in the bush
Something’s wrong, Sam
Todd took a turn cooking the ramen noodles tonight. He got the stove lit, and as he was waiting for the water to boil, he went to his tent to grab a fork. I lit a smoke bomb right behind the pot, and then ran and hid behind our tent. It was nearly dark when I did this. Chaka heard the fuse, looked over and saw flames shooting up about a foot, and then a ton of smoke. He called out “Something’s wrong, Sam!”, but I did not respond. He called louder, and ran over to check as I really started cracking up! I know I’ve got one coming now.