Day 62: August 3: Como to Silverthorne

After the usual breakfast and packing, I went through the little town of Como and down to route 285. This led through more of the valley and down to Fairplay at the junction of Colorado route 9. From there, I headed generally north along route 9.

This was a route that I'd taken during my 1985 trip. I was curious to see how the area had changed in 14 years. I didn't remember too much about Fairplay, but a new addition was a bike path from Fairplay to Alma.

Alma was where I'd attended a town festival and stayed in a teepee that night in September '85. It sits at 10,500 feet altitude and used to bill itself as "the highest town around". It didn't seem to have changed much, only adding a bakery and hair salon. The bath house that I'd used in '85 has now become a veterinarian's office.

From Alma, I rode up over Hoosier Pass, at 11,541 feet a little bit higher than Boreas Pass that I'd climbed yesterday. But the climb was only about 4 miles for the 1000 feet altitude gain, for an average grade of about 5%. As I climbed, I kept having to get off the road because of trucks with oversized loads coming up behind me -- halves of pre-fab houses.

I stopped at the top of Hoosier Pass for a picture and to put on my windbreaker for the ride downhill. I kept having to slow down for flatlander tourists going around the switchbacks. The smell of burning brakes assaulted my nose as I flew downhill at 35 miles per hour.

Soon I was back in Breckenridge. I had dinner, and thought that maybe I'd stay at the Fireside Inn, a hostel that I'd stayed at in '85. But their rooms were $5 more than at the Alpen Hutte in Silverthorne, and I still had a bad memory of not being able to use their kitchen and having to cook my dinner out in the cold in the woodpile. So I decided to go back to Silverthorne, which was only about 15 miles away and somewhat downhill. As I got back to the Frisco area, it was getting dark. I had a nice ride along the reservoir in the deepening dusk, then checked back into the Alpen Hutte.