Bicycles, Rain, Rain, Party at Uncle Bob's

July 18, 2004

Next morning I was human again. I spent the morning (with some help from Chris & GFred) fabricating a part for the seat of my bicycle. With no little effort we managed to strap four bicycles into the Bike rack and prepared an expediton to Vail Pass. The weather outside was a tad ominous, but it wasn't raining (yet). I was to be the designated driver (no bike for me). After the launch, I was to meet them near the Conoco station by Copper Mountain (half way down the bike trail).

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At Vail Pass, unloaded and getting ready to roll.

The bike trail starts at the patch of white stripes and ducks under I70 between
the yellow caution signs. You can make out part of the trail left of the Colorado flag.

I waited (not at the Conoco Station) just below Copper Mountain by the parking area
near the nature walk. As it began to rain, Chris & Heather arrived... but there was
no sign of GFred or Brandon.

At this point, I didn't think anything was wrong, but as Chris and Heather bundled into the van, the story unfolded. Brandon had been overwhelmed by a bunch of bicyclists and run off the trail above Copper Mountain. In the crash, he scraped up his knee. GFred was on ahead. They stayed for a bit and then came on to tell me.

We loaded the bikes and went back to the resort (the rain was now pouring like mad) to look for Brandon. We drove past the Conoco station (where GFred was waiting... and he saw us go by... and followed but could not catch an automobile). Anyway, we found Brandon... who was a bit wet, and loaded him aboard. We then headed slowly back to Frisco, never seeing GFred who was out there somewhere in the rain. Anyway, a few minutes after we made it back to Uncle Bob's house, a very damp GFred arrived on his bicycle.

We were supposed to be in Denver in about 2 hours, so, after all were dried off, we headed off to Denver in two vehicles. At first all went well, but as we hit the Eisenhower Tunnel, the rain began... but on the other side it let up and we speeded down on a summer Sunday afternoon towards Denver. We stopped for a moment at the overlook above the Georgetown Loop Railroad and took a few pictures of the train.

That was the last joy for quite a while. After we left the Overlook, it began to rain again... this time for real.

I70 slowed down to bumper to bumper traffic, moving, at best, around 5 mile per hour...

We followed the driving herd of automobiles and trucks (and a strange european military looking vehicle) for over an hour... every now and then noticing speeding cars to our right on the frontage road. Eventually we made it to Idaho Springs, where we turned off the Interstate because we all had to pee. A flash flood was going on. Six inches of water was washing across the main street as we made our way into town. Eventually we found a museum and visitor center (very interesting place that I highly reccomend).

The Underhill Museum

We were a bit wet, but we enjoyed the place...

And eventually the rain subsided.

From there we travelled on to Denver and a great cookout at Uncle Bob's house... unfortunately, I took no more photos.

Only there did we learn of the secret frontage road from Georgetown to Idaho Springs that all the locals use on Sunday afternoons to avoid the bumper to bumper traffic and get back to Denver.

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This page updated September 8, 2010