Tuesday, July 21, 1981

30. Grand Lake, Colorado

Day 30:  Tuesday, July 21, 1981
Walden to Grand Lake:  74 miles

We left the Transamerica Trail today.  Guy is on his way to graduate school in Manhattan, Kansas, and we've decided to accompany him there.  Then we'll rejoin the trail after that.  Guy's sister just moved to Denver, so we'll be going there first, via Rocky Mountain National Park.

From Walden, we headed south to Granby, stopping at a quaint general store in Rand.  The route was generally uphill, but it was good to get back to the mountains and the pine forests after the deserts of Wyoming.  We traversed Willow Creek Pass, and met a Bikecentennial group which had left the trail and a Great Parks bicycle group.  The GP tour is also organized by Bikecentennial, but tours the west's most scenic national parks instead of crossing the country.

a real ranch
Wow!  A real ranch!

At the A&W in Granby, we talked to a couple of girls, one of whom was from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was moving to Seattle.  And we also bought groceries in Granby - Jack and I didn't realize that there was a town in Grand Lake, so we hauled the extra supplies the next 15 miles for nothing.

natural rock wall
A natural rock wall

The road through the park goes north from Granby to Grand Lake, then over the mountains to Estes Park.  So we headed back north.  For half an hour, due to a level road and a nice tailwind, the four of us were able to do some close-formation riding, but the first hill (a steep one) managed to split us up.  At a rest area beside a lake, we met some friendly marmots, who obligingly posed for us when we offered them food.  Rick and I also met a friendly National Forest Service employee whom we both would have liked to see more of.

Guy feeds the marmots
Guy feeds the marmots

The hostel at Grand Lake is named Shadowcliff.  It's been a-building for the past 25 years, and is very picturesque, perched on top of a cliff, commanding an excellent view of the village and the lake below.  We had a room to ourselves this evening.

After supper, Guy, Rick, and I rode a mile or so to a waterfall, where we watched the sunset through the woods and saw a weasel.

Relaxing by the waterfall
Relaxing by the waterfall

At bedtime, when I unpacked the refrigerator so I could use it as a sleeping bag, it squished.  The darn carton of milk had leaked.  It's a good thing we're inside tonight.

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