What a difference a day makes! We opted for the “late load” this morning 6:30 vs 5:45. Are you surprised? When we biked to the breakfast spot it was 40 degrees. Brrrrr … Two good things though, we had real cooked oatmeal for breakfast (great for climbing energy) and we started up hill immediately. We had our first SAG stop at the summit about Mile 14. I was warm by then! Thank goodness for the Swiss Farm ride for preparation a few weeks ago. The hills were similar to those heading to Ludlow, Vt. And, even better, the Swallowtail Butterflies were again hatching and paving our way. 3995 feet at that summit.
Oh .. did I say it was sunny all day? Absolutely gorgeous. A 10 day – all the way around.
The next 40 miles were up and down on Route 26 – pine forest and wild flowers galore (and a fair amount of traffic). We took a right on to Route 3 and could immediately see the change – we were on the high plains. Wow! It was warming up and we did shed the jackets. A new type of flowers and some pines. Not so much shade. We are told that will be the case for many days (will let you know how we like that)
A long descent through barren red rocks and shrubs (reminded us of Sedona) to a river where we turned off for a 14% climb to our hotel (a casino Resort). I was warm enough that we opted to stay inside, instead of the pool and sunshine. I really should be working on that leg tan …. So another hour until we meet for supper and “RAP” and get our instructions for tomorrow. Today: 70 miles with 5,000′ elevation gain and tomorrow and easier day – 60 miles with 3300′ elevation gain. (They are resting us up for a big 116 mile day on Friday … on our way to Idaho.)