Oh man I slept like a baby! Thank you again Jen for the awesome lodging! Saturday morning Jeff drove up and dropped Mo off in Vail to ride for two days with us. The Beesons also drove on up for the weekends adventure. After breakfast we packed all the kids into the Honda Element with Troy running SAG, and Jen and Mark both got to ride a bit on Saturday. Annie was so incredibly happy to have friends to play with along the way!
Bright and early we left from Eagle/Vail. The skies were deep blue and cloudless, the wind was nonexistent, and it was gorgeous! I rode a little bit to start off with Michele and Mo, just to make sure everyone was clear on where they were going, and all was good. They were great riding buddies and it was so cool to bring two new people together who ended up having a great time riding together!
Then Jen and I rode the rest of the way up to Tennessee Pass together while Mark and Tony rode together. Jen and I chatted and were happy, and just having a really nice time! This section of road, over Battle Mountain and up the pass were just gorgeous. Green trees, clear blue lakes. I was a very happy girl!
At the top of Tennessee Pass Jen turned around and rode back to Eagle/Vail to pick up their car where she would meet Troy at Twin Lakes.
After parting ways with Jen I got some solo riding time all the way to Twin Lakes. I had a weird situation happen with a guy following me in his car. He would stop on the opposite side of the road and then I would pass then I would see him a few miles later do the same thing again. By the 4th time my intuition was heightened. When I got to Leadville I pulled into a quickie mart for water and he pulled in too. It was very strange. So I called Troy and asked him to come find me and just stay close for a little bit. Nothing more came of it.
After Leadville I made my way to Twin Lakes. This is a major aid station for the Leadville 100 run and I always think about that when I'm here. It reminds me of pacing Erick, crewing for Emily, and just the buzz and excitement of Leadville. Rolling in here Mark and Tony were snacking and the kids were playing. Everyone was happy and life was good.
I refueled and took off with the boys to climb Independence Pass. Mark was off like a rocket and Tony and I took our sweet time! It's a lot of climbing and I was feeling less than spry!
As we got closer we could see there was an avalanche blocking the road and people had gotten out of their cars to start shoveling. We could see snow flying off the edge of the cliff as they dug it out. By the time we made it up there one lane was sorta open. We eeked our way through and kept climbing.
This pass is amazing! I could climb it every day. It's hard and I struggled a bit but the views made the struggle that much easier. Because of the avalanche we really didn't have much traffic, they were all stuck down below. It was some nice solitude time.
Tony and I met back up and snapped a picture at the top and then enjoyed the 20 miles of screaming descent. You actually get tired of descending, it's so much!
We pulled into the hotel. Troy arrived at the same time with Mo and Michelle and Jen. Everyone got checked into their rooms and I headed out and ran 3 miles up Aspen mountain, and then three miles back down. I had to get a feeling of what was to come in Norway, and well, it's legit. The end of that race is going to be something I've never experienced before!
After that we enjoyed great dinner out together and we topped off the night with an ice cream sandwich. I slept like the dead!