Rolling down in the early morning, I saw more of what I missed by riding last night. The rocky oucroppings were impressive but soon gave way to flatter red rocky hills. I lost some time miutes getting lost in between La Garita and Del Norte.
Rattle snake warming up
I stopped at the first café I saw in Del Norte and it turned out to be a good decision. I was thirsty and ended up downing a few litres of ice cold sprite before a massive breakfast. I again spent too long in a town by stopping at the grocery store. I filled up 9 or so litres as I was not sure about the water situation around the Summitville area and then was on my way. I am not sure if it was this extra weight or something else, but the climb up to Indiana Pass was the hardest and my least favourite of the whole trail. The earlier sections were okay but the last five steep miles were a bitch. It started to hail about a mile from the top and so I hid under a conifer and killed a Snickers.
The 25 miles from the summit to Platoro were pretty sweet. Amazing scenery and my favourite riding time in the afternoon helped me over the few small climbs there were along the way.
For once I had made a restaurant in good time (even though I did want to be in Platoro earlier) and even though I had been scarred by chicken fried steak before, I had to have it as it was really the only thing on the menu (and they didn’t have an alcohol license either- WTF?). The uncomfortable chairs and the waitress hitting on me (Retro- I seemed to not be the only one) took my mind off the steak. I paid $5 for a shower (as had Matt Lee done a few days earlier they told me) and set out in the dark. It didn’t take me long to get sick of riding in the dark- washboards give me a headache when you cant look away, but I managed to trick myself into riding further. I just became a little fussy about where I would sleep and after telling myself I would stop at the next decent campground, it became a little easier to keep on going.
I found a place and quickly set up near to a loud river and ate my takeaway chips.