Another freezing cold morning with everything covered in dew. Knew I had a huge day so forced myself out of bed at 6am when the sun started to rise. Dressed warmly, packed my wet tent and was off by 7:30am. My earliest start yet.
Video Fail. My camera didn't focus in on the amazing view but it looked like the above picture.
Walked most of the 2 miles uphill and then cruised along some downhill. Ran into 3 ladies hiking up and one of them said she saw me 2 days ago riding as she was only doing segments here and there when she could.
As I was leaving a bridge where there were some hikers and bikers, I started riding uphill and one of the bikers yelled out "you're da man" which lifted my spirits. I passed Keystone ski resort and then came around a corner to see Breckenridge.
Lots of houses meant I probably got cell phone reception so I stopped and turned on my phone. Sent some text to let family and friends know I was doing ok. Checked emails to make sure I didn't have any important work ones and I did so I replied back. Turned off my phone and headed down the switchbacks to Breckenridge.
As I rode down a guy saw me so he stopped and started clapping. He had never seen a unicycle ride down those switchbacks and seemed impressed. His name was Greg and he lived ta few houses down and asked if I needed anything. I said maybe some water so we went to his place and he gave me some energy jellies, a juicy delicious peach which hit the spot, and let me use his toilet! What a nice guy! Thanks Greg. This was a much needed hospitality break before the epic climb I was about to do.
It was just past noon and I had a massive pass to go up and over. I contemplated stopping here for the day and going to town for a burger and beer...but decided I didn't want to fall behind. I was a bit concerned about thunderstorms again as you aren't supposed to be above tree line after 3pm but the weather looked good and I could always camp halfway up if it started to turn.
The continental divide trail joins up with the colorado trail for like a 100 miles so I started seeing signs now for both trails.
I met a mt biker named Jason who also unicycles so we chatted for a bit. Thought it was cool that he liked riding different things so much that the bike he was on was a classic. Had front rim brakes, coaster back pedal brakes, single speed and funny handlebars. Love it.
Passed like 30 search and rescue people who were coming down from the top where they were doing training exercises. Continued going up and up and up. The further I went the steeper it got. 4 hours of going up and the top just seemed like it would never come. Felt like Mt Everest. By far one of the hardest climbs I've down.
Finally made it to the top where I met 3 bikers who said they saw another guy on a unicycle towards the end of the trail where I was going. A few other people I met along the way had also said they saw a guy with a white mustache and white hair on a uni. Must be Aspen Mike! He was planning on trying to meet up with me for a day or two along the trail. I knew he was too far ahead to try and catch him but maybe he would be waiting for me at the end.
The downhill from the top was 5 miles to Copper Mt and I thought it would be fast and fun. Nope. Rocky and unrideable in many sections. Boo. Maybe it was cause I was so tired from the climb but it was not as fun as I had hoped. Don't get me wrong it was still fun and ten times better than climbing.
Mike was waiting for me in his camper van at the end at mile 116.9. He showed me a great place to set up camp and so I did. Then went back to his van where he had fresh dinner made! Turkey, cheese, rice, beans and an ice cold coke. Not the burger and beer I was expecting to get at the bar but this was better as it was absolutely delicious. Had some good conversation while the sun set. He even had sorbet for dessert. Thanks Mike! You're the man.
By far the toughest day so far. Maybe it was the elevation gain, rocky technical decent or the fact my iPod battery was dead so I had no music all day and had to listen to my own thoughts.