Day 79: August 20: Cache Poudre River to Gould

I thought that if I pushed I could make the 75 miles or so into Walden. So I got up early, and was on the road by 8:15. The road continued along the Cache Poudre river canyon, which meant that there was a gentle uphill grade all the way. It wasn't too noticeable, but it reduced my average speed to 7 or 8 miles per hour. Finally, after about 35 miles, the river left the road, and the road got up to 5 or 6 percent grade. After another 8 miles or so, I was at the top of Cameron Pass, at an altitude of 10278 feet. This is yet another 10000 foot pass over the Continental Divide. This is the fourth one I've gone over in Colorado (Hoosier, Vail, and Boreas were the others). I kept getting sprinkled on, and I'd been riding about 6 hours. I was starting to get some chafing from my knee braces, and was looking forward to the downhill side.

The downhill slope gave me about 4 miles of 30-35 mph coasting, then after another 5 miles I was in Gould. Bill had recommended the Howlin Coyote Inn there, so I stopped and had dinner. By this time I was pretty tired and my knees were getting sore. I'd been riding about 7 hours. I asked the bartender/owner Hank about local campgrounds, and he invited me to stay on their property. This was welcome, and I set up my tent. Hank had, however, warned me about local black bears, so I hung up my food bag.

A few hours later, about 1:30 in the morning, I was awakened by voices and other noise nearby. Hank and his friends were setting up a pig roast for the next day, and were out there drinking beer and lighting fires. I eventually got back to sleep.