Since about half way across Kansas I have been craving a big climb, and as we left Centennial I was bound to get it, having to pass Snowy Mountain, part of the Rockies Mountain Range and topping out at 11200ft. We had been looking at this mountain for over a day in the distance, little were we to know just how high the roads cross the summit.
After our night camping we fuelled up at The Friendly Cafe, with Hank the wheel chair chef from the night before cooking for us. Scott wasn’t very hungry so he ordered one pancake for $1.50. This is what came out.
I don’t know if this is normal or if it was Hank’s way of helping us out to get over the mountain.
There was a steady rise going out of town, and the air instantly became thinner, the tree coverage thicker and a roaring creek started to follow the road. This would be a 23km straight uphill climb, gaining almost 3000ft. And man, would it be mind-blowingly, ridiculously beautiful.
About three quarters of the way up I looked across and saw it, frigging snow. Scott and I had our first break, just so we could play around and say over and over again, ‘This is ridiculous.’
Back we got on our bike and continued to climb, numerous lakes presented themselves along the way, all wedged between deep snow and ice. Once again, ridiculous.
As we reached the summit it felt as though it was the first time in as long time on this trip where we had really achieved something. If you’re ever feeling doubtful about your own abilities or your path on life get to the top of something really high. It feels great.
I did not want to leave the top of the mountain as it was most definitely the most beautiful thing we have seen on this trip. Looking back towards the snowy summit of the mountain, down across the spruce forests, across The Rockies and across the bare plains of Wyoming I could not stop laughing at just how ridiculous life was, and at our luck at getting to see this wonderful thing. Just ridiculous.
As we rolled into Saratoga the inhospitable plains began again, it was almost impossible to believe that something as beautiful as Snowy Mountain was just a few kilometres away. Saratoga was definitely not centennial, raffles with rifles as prizes where the proceeds go to children beauty pageants and taxidermy bears were abound.
We washed away our day at the wonderful hot springs in town, moving from hot to warm, to the icy river. It was heaven on our aching bodies and a great way to meet some of the locals.
Smelling of sulphur and red wine in our hand we arrived at our Warm Shower hosts’ house. We knew it was dangerous when we were told that they were having a dinner party and saw more wine being produced. We had a big day the next day, thank goodness we’ve been in training to ride with hangovers.