Denver, the Rockies, and Western Colorado

After a long, but thoroughly enjoyable stay at my sister’s house in Golden, I finally headed out towards Utah. I was delayed leaving due to my bike had several parts that needed replacing which took time, and besides,  I was having such a good time I did not want to leave. But as Robert Plant sang, I got to ramble on and now’s the time, the time is now.

But before leaving, some last photos of Denver and the surrounding area.

We visited the Denver Art Museum. It is housed in a very cool building.

They had the motorcycle on display that Jack Nicholson rode on in the movie Easy Rider.

 

Here I am just being goofy.

One day we rode up to Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in the US at 14,000 feet. Here I am with my niece Eva near the summit.

A view from the summit.

Storm clouds over Denver from Mt. Evans.

Me at the summit.

Mountain goats on Mt. Evans.

A rainbow looking east from the Bloom balcony towards Denver.

We toured the Coors brewery one day. Here is a shot of the fermentation tanks at the brewery. Adolf Coors started the brewery in Golden in 1873.

We did a hike near Red Rocks which is a great amphitheater nestled among some picturesque rocky formations. People go there to jog and exercise. I thought I was fit until I saw some of these people.

I finally got my bike back a week and $400 later. My whole drive train was replaced, plus a new front rim and some cables. They also adjusted my pedals and trued my wheels. I left Golden on Sept. 4 after a two week respite. I planned out a rough route through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, and have a tentative route through Mexico.

I cheated a bit by having my family drive me to Loveland pass on the continental divide. At 12,000 feet, it was up there and saved me a tough ride. A bit woozy from the altitude, I zoomed down 8 miles before riding to Copper Mountain where I found this great campsite at almost 10,000 feet. It was a chilly 30 deg in the morning though.

The next day I continued west through some nice mountains and on a great bike trail.

A view of the ski slopes at Copper Mountain, where I fell and injured my shoulder when snowboarding in 2006.

Fishing in one of the many rivers in the area.

I continued down the western Rockies, entering the Glenwood Canyon. There was a nice bike trail that hugged the Colorado River and stayed close to I-70, the main highway. Sometimes too close.

https://vimeo.com/232752078

I actually rode underneath the highway several times.

The highway went through some mountains. Here is one of the tunnels.

Colorado River rapids west of Glenwood Springs. 500 miles downstream this water will pass through the Grand Canyon.

https://vimeo.com/232752603

 

On another bike path headed south.

The valley climbing up to McClure pass.

At the pass. A tough climb up. Steep but it’s the altitude that got me.

On the way down the other side of McClure pass.

Leaving the Rockies and headed to Utah and the desert.

Irrigation ditches near Delta, CO. Without this life-giving water the place would be a wasteland.

So I am headed into the real desert now. I will be in Utah in a few days. I have never cycled in this part of the country so I need to get used to the terrain, weather and water access. It is always a bit tricky in the desert where you have to plan your water consumption and check where you can refill your water bottles. I ran out of water a couple of times in western China and it is not fun. Here is my current location and planned route.

Finally, my thoughts and prayers are with the folks in Florida who are about to face one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the area. I’m glad I am not there.

7 Responses to “Denver, the Rockies, and Western Colorado”

  1. KatieOh says:

    Amazing! How lovely for you to share. I met Eva in Lake Charles at a festival a few years ago and am friends with her on facebook. I enjoy seeing the places she is able to go and the birds, etc. she works with.
    I look forward to seeing more of your posts. May the spirits be with you in every way as you make your way on your journey.

  2. Capt. don Sr. says:

    Thanks for the post, Kev. Safe travels. If you plan to be in Mexico City or Alcapulco, let me know immediately. I have close friends there that you will love to meet and be entertained by them. And they would love to meet you.

  3. Debbie Anastasi Black says:

    Kevin Koski! Seems I’ve lost track of you over the last few years, and here you are on another cycling adventure! Linked-In says you’re now retired. Congratulations for taking the leap while you’re still young enough to ride a bike! Do you still have a place in Florida or are you now an official vagabond? I think it’s really cool that you are taking the time to really “see” and experience the U.S. Many people live in this county their whole lives and never do. How does cycling in the U.S. compare to cycling in Europe or Asia or some of the other places that you’ve been – the infrastructure, the people, the scenic beauty, the urban ugliness? Where does this trip end, and then what? Glad to have caught up with you!

    • Kevin Koski says:

      Hey Deb, good to hear from you. It’s a long strange story that led me to this point, one I hope we can talk about. I plan on visiting Seattle next spring and catch up with my old friends.

      I sold my south beach condo so I am officially homeless. Vagabond? hmmm, I hope not. I have cycled in the USA before but it has been 25 years. It’s great to see the country this way and of course it’s easier than foreign countries because I am familiar with the culture, etc. I do miss town centers. It seems in other countries towns and cities are more compact so if you get a hotel near the town square you can walk around and see everything. In the US everything is spread out, not good if you don’t have a car.

      I have a number of places I want to see but the near term plan is to spend the winter in Mexico, then make my way to Seattle in May next year. From there I will fly to Japan–can’t get enough of that place. Then I may make a stop in Vietnam before heading to Australia in the fall of 2018.

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