Start: hidden spot
End: San Isabel National Forest
Today’s miles: 47.2
Total miles: 1795.9
Divide crossings: 0; 16 total
Wildlife: coyote, elk
I probably made more noise today than I have this entire trip put together. First it was grunts and shrieks of pain, then it was talking to myself, then ‘singing’, then back to grunting.
I had to tell my knee, “this is happening” several times today (more like every pedal stroke). When I get into town tomorrow I’ll have to construct a makeshift foam roller to work out the kinks in my legs. I think I’ll be fine after that.
I took a lunch break in the tiny town of Hartsel as the clouds began to build. I filled up my water from the faucet, but the smell of sulphur was so incredibly strong that I ended up going over to the mercantile next door to buy poweraid and water for the night.
Right after leaving I entered a construction zone with one lane closed. I was worried they’d make me ride in a pilot car, but fortunately they let me pass through on the condition that I not get run over.
Once again it rained on and off all afternoon, and headwinds really slowed my progress. The going became quite tough when my tire became about twice its normal size with caked mud. I slipped and slid down the road. A man in a truck stopped to ask if I was familiar with the road; he was worried about what he was getting himself into. I said something along the lines of, “at least you have four wheels.” It was slick enough a few places that I’d spin the wheel in the mud. Somehow I managed not to fall. Things got a lot worse than what you see in this picture.
The heavier rain subsided to on and off showers late in the afternoon, and I started to talk to, and compliment, myself to try to pick up my spirits. I also tried to come up with a unicycle song. It went something like this: ‘I am a Unicyclist. I ride on one wheel….’ I’ll spare you the rest. I don’t know if it was the compliments or the drying out, or both, but my mood did improve and the knee hurt less, for awhile at least. While some may argue this happened when I first decided to ride this route on a uni, I fear I may have finally lost it today.
After entering San Isabel National Forest, I began to look for a place to camp that’d be ‘safe’ should a late thunderstorm come through. I saw what looked to be a beautiful spot in the aspens, and was excited to see a herd of elk! These are the first wild elk I’ve seen on the trip. I was a little concerned as I’ve heard elk can be quite dangerous, but I’m here anyway. In addition to the elk, there are lots of cattle that have been annoying me. They curiously approach, then I shoo them away, then they return in larger numbers.