Monday, July 15, 2013

Loveland Pass

The weather forecast for today was for rain & thunderstorms starting early in the day and that’s what happened yesterday too, so we were trying to plan our day around the potential for big storms, possibly starting around mid day.   We decided to get an early start and head out to hike or bike and be back by noon or a little after.

Dad had found a bike path near Loveland Pass so we drove up Route 6 to the top – 11,990 feet and the Continental Divide!  We were a bit confused as we thought the bike path was at the top, but it’s at the bottom, by I-70.  But there was a trail at the top, that I thought was *the* Continental Divide Trail, but it is just *a* Continental Divide Trail! 

We walked out about 2 miles, gaining about 1,000 feet so we were up over 12,000 feet again!  The views were amazing!  The mountains look different out here – more rounded and grassy on top, but there were still a lot of jagged topped mountains.  We could see 3 ski area – Keystone, Breckenridge, and Loveland.   The clouds were building, but not looking too bad.  I was a bit nervous after how fast that storm whipped up yesterday…standing on a bald mountain over 12,000 ft pretty much tops the list of “places you don’t want to be during a thunderstorm”, but we got down before anything got going!





We decided we’d go down the other side to attempt to find the bike path.  We got to the ski area and that’s all that was there.  Just a deserted ski area.  The road we were on was going to put us on I-70 East and we didn’t want that so Dad turned around at the last chance he had and all the sudden we were looking at the bike path!  We were at the other end of it – we thought it was heading west, but it was heading east!

We decided to ride a little bit down the path and see what it was like.  We started at the top of the path so we were riding downhill.  It was fun, but we were mindful that we’d have to ride back up.   Dad had the GPS so we knew how far we’d gone and when we’d ridden a mile we decided to turn around and ride back.  The bike path wasn’t all that exciting, – it was wooded and nice, but you could really hear I-70 and it wasn’t that scenic!

We both made it the whole way back without having to walk our bikes!  This may not seem like much, it was just a mile, but it was uphill the whole way and I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden a whole mile uphill without getting off to walk.  At least not since I was 10 or 11! I was also riding a bike that doesn’t have enough gears to get low enough to make it easier (I’m using Mom’s bike, it’s a “beach bike” with coaster brakes and only 4 gears. It’s a good bike for flat, but not so good on hills and such).  And, oh yeah, we are at 9,000 ft so the air is thinner and aerobic activity is harder!

By this time we were both out of food (we’d only brought snacks since we were expecting to be chased down by storms early) so we headed back to the campground by way of I-70.  Dad says I-70 through Colorado is the prettiest section of interstate anywhere!  I know that the 5 or so miles of it I’ve seen are more scenic than the entire state of Nebraska so I’m anxious to see the rest!

Once back in the Frisco area we decided to walk the .7 of a mile path around the top of Shadow Mountain and see the views of Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne.  Almost as soon as we got out of the car we heard thunder.  There was a huge black cloud coming over the mountain.  We continued around and we were about .5 miles in when we heard another big clap of thunder.  We picked up the pace and even broke into a jog!   Uphill biking and jogging on the same day!  And we walked 3 miles, with 1,000 feet of elevation change!  We got back to the car without anymore thunder and headed back to the campground. 

P1140159View from Swan Mountain – storms building over the mountains

Once here I got Roxy and headed into Frisco to the Ferrellgas place to get propane and then we planned out the last two weeks of the trip.  After dinner we went out in search of ice cream and to check out Breckenridge.  Breckenridge was ok, it was very touristy and kinda reminded me of Bar Harbor, only Bar Harbor has about 12 different ice cream shops.  

We were rather unsuccessful on the ice cream front, there are no ice cream stores in Frisco, Dillion or Breckenridge!  What’s up with that????  Big touristy towns and no ice cream?  We finally went to a grocery store and bought pints.  The grocery store had some hard to find Larabar flavors! No ice cream shop, but every type of energy bar you could want! 

To see more pictures from the hike please see my album on Google+, Loveland Pass

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