On the trail at last

Last night I stayed in steamboat Springs and this morning I headed out for day 1 of the south loop. Well, I finally pulled out of town at 11:40, so technically that is still morning.

The first 10 or so miles are on paved but lightly traveled county road 14. After passing Catamount Lake, the route turns into a dirt road alongside the Yampa river — absolutely beautiful.

The dirt road takes you to the Stagecoach Reservoir dam, which you cross to get onto a trail along the reservoir’s east side.

Crossing the dam on Stagecoach Reservoir. Note the trail on the left side that takes you around the lake car-free.

The downside of doing so is that the state park’s headquarters (where presumably you could get potable water) is on the other side of the lake! Luckily I was carrying a full, 4 liter dromedary bag, because it was hot.

Took me until 5:30 to make it to lynx pass, then found out there’s no water there! I started down the road from the pass and on a whim I flagged down a passing truck.  The couple in the truck were on their way home from Denver of all places.  Since they were only about 20 minutes from home,  they gave me their water and a ride back up to the campground!

I was the only one at the campground until a pair of GD bikers showed up.  Doug and Jenn are from NH.  They started in Banff 4 weeks ago and they’re going all the way. They are doing the ride as a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association in memory of one of their fathers. They are riding hardtails with Thudbuster seatposts and each is pulling a B.O.B. Yak trailer.

GDMBR through-riders Doug and Jenn.

It’s nice to have some company at this otherwise-deserted campground.

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