July 15, 2006
Yesterday I had to stop and fill the problematic rear wheel with air a few times, so I wasn’t surprised to find it flat when I woke up. The patch from the other day wasn’t holding air very well. This was the last thing in the world I felt like doing to start my day, so I went and had some breakfast first – pancakes and coffee as usual. Here in Frisco they only had “wheat” pancakes, and I’m surprised they didn’t serve me gourmet peach-apricot coffee, organic sugar, and recycled napkins, with Norah Jones music playing. Sorry Norah Jones fans, but her record company stole all the Grammies that rightfully belonged to Bruce Springsteen…
Now you won’t believe how lazy I was next. I walked over to a bike shop in town and paid the mechanic $5 labor to change the tube for me. Haha I don’t regret it, and would do so again. Five dollars well spent. And as a bonus they had a nice pump there, so the tube got pumped up to a high pressure that I would not have been able to achieve with my mini travel pump. So there – laziness justified. The mechanic was a guy about my age who rode the Pacific Coast a few years ago.
The bike paths were a little tricky to navigate out of Frisco and into Silverthorne, the next town. There was so much bicycle and pedestrian traffic around Frisco – in many places it actually dominated the auto traffic! This must be what it’s like in some foreign countries.
I’m really loving Colorado – it takes the crown as my Favorite State So Far. If you’re watching my mileage, you’ll see that I’m taking my time through here. I can’t really help it. Maybe I’ll have to come back here someday. The whole hiking biking running music microbrewery culture really fits my niche, like these are “my people!” The culture is sort of like that of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine I’d say, but 10x more thriving.
My trouble here is that there’s all these cool people around, and I don’t know any of them, and lots of vacationers too, all talking and having a good time… so the abundance of people actually causes a loneliness. Within the last 24 hours I probably saw twenty different young couples on tandems. I told you I see a lot of bikes here… twenty tandems!
I didn’t stop in Silverthorne, and I think I’m drifting away from Summit County and the outdoors hot spots. I rode along the scenic Blue River, and beside two lakes.
Let’s see, on the radio I remember I heard Violent Femmes American Music, Allman Bros Ramblin Man, Bob Marley Get Up Stand Up, Talking Heads Take Me to the River, Toto Africa, Bob Dylan Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Jackson Browne Running on Empty, and surely others I can’t remember. Now that I’ve heard the Jackson Browne song, I think on this trip I’ve officially heard every song from the Forrest Gump running across the country sequence! Sorry if you find my song listings boring, but it’s more so for my own posterity to help trigger memories when I read back over this journal in the future.
Intending to go on to Kremmling for the night, I stopped for a break at the only place in the small lakeside town of Heeney – a bar/restaurant. The dry heat is more comfortable than the humidity that I’m used to, but it sucks the moisture right out of me, so I was out of water and needed to rehydrate. I met some guys in the restaurant, Joe and Randy, and they offered a place for me to stay here right on the lake tonight (Actually Green Mountain Reservoir). I met a bunch of their neighbors, all nice families with little kids and stuff.
So tonight I really lucked out and made myself comfortable here at this gorgeous spot – literally a lakeside vacation home. The neighbors fed me steak! “That was still moo-ing on Wednesday, maybe Thursday,” they told me. In addition to that, I had a baked potato, grilled barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, and two beers. Wow.
A neat thing when I meet people is the way some of them open up about themselves. The way I’m doing a “crazy” thing like biking across the country inspires folks to tell me their own “story” – where they’re at in life and how they got here. Randy for example – his wife died of cancer in 1994 when she was 30 years old, leaving him with 4 kids to raise. His youngest recently turned 18, so now he finally has time for himself again, and comes here to the lake on weekends for boating and fishing. He is childhood friends with the caretaker, Jon, and Jon’s brother owns the place. They’re originally from Utica, NY, and some of the neighbors are transplanted originally from Erie, PA.
I was even offered a ride on the motorboat… but with it being at night after quite a few beers with folks that I just met, I declined. We had a rip-roaring campfire right beside the water tonight. Life is good.