Yellowstone, Tetons & Shoot Outs

Phil and Yogi having a moment by Yellowstone Lake. Yogi's name was inspired by the famous bear from this area.  Emotional!

Phil and Yogi having a moment by Yellowstone Lake. Yogi’s name was inspired by the famous bear from this area. Emotional!

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Leaving a small town like Ten Sleep meant the only was was bigger! Cody is world renowned for Shoot Outs and Buffallo Bill but we  were there a bit too early in the season for it all to be kicking off and the town felt a bit sad and empty for its size. However, we are sure that in season it would be buzzing but for us, the Cody charm wasn’t drawing us in and we only spent enough time there to get a feel for the place, a coffee and a brief climb at a local crag – not aesthetically pleasing but did the job.

So Yellowstone was our next port of call despite the fact the weather not being at its best. So, we drove into Yellowstone and arrived at our northerly campsite near the main wildlife area. The weather on the drive in was gorgeous and we got the best views and feel of the place that night.

Yellowstone is somewhere that needs to be experienced by hiking, fishing or on horseback. The bike was not recommended by 3 different sources, as people driving RV’s and the general public are so busy looking at the scenery and wild life that there are regular incidents. Once we saw the roads, we reaslised exactly what they meant so we became tourists in the true sense of the word and drove around the main areas, stopping at the look out areas and posing for photos. It seemed so much more exhausting than cycling everywhere. We have to admit, we prefer cycling or climbing in a place as it makes you feel like you have connected with the area –oh that was deep!

Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Yellowstone Grand Canyon

Anyway, we saw the rear end of a brown bear which lasted 20 seconds as the ranger spent 2 minutess telling us to ‘not look at the bear for too long’. Work out the maths on that one! We saw buffalo and the famous geysers which seem to time there natural outbursts to compliment the tourist flow, namely 2 times per hour with a 10 min variation. How convenient.

Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Inn

The Old Faithful Hotel was as impressive as the geysers as it is made from knobbly wood and is still the biggest log structure in the world with amazing features such as the giant clock and fire place and it is fantastic! Worth looking around and it is booked up for a year in advance, not that we are planning on staying but we like to look interested in how the other half live.

Geysers everywhere. Pity we couldn't have a bath in one.....for everybody's sake

Geysers everywhere. Pity we couldn’t have a bath in one…..for everybody’s sake

We found that 24 hours of being a truck bound tourist was enough for us and we headed for the Tetons. WOW! We love the Tetons!! Amazing mountain range that overlook the flat meadows and rivers in the valley with more moose and buffalo than I dreamed possible. We had only planned an over night stay but couldn’t resist staying longer when we heard our friends were in town and the bike routes and climbing were fabulous and the weather changed to ‘perfect’…..fate was calling us.

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Cowboys will never stop shooting at each other in Jackson

Cowboys will never stop shooting at each other in Jackson

The benefits of staying longer in any area mean we get the feel of a town, in this case Jackson Hole, which include shoot outs by cowboys (the cowboys were corny but entertaining), country dancing to a local band (we were corny but entertaining) and of course soaking up the art galleries ( all 27) and café culture.

 

 

The Law still has 4 legs in this area

The Law still has 4 legs in this area

The Millionaire Cowboy Bar was a ‘must do’ for tourists, so we did it and it involved sitting on western horse saddles at the bar. It was all I could do to stop Phil pretending he was on a bucking bronco – oh how he craves public attention – but he did drag me out onto the dance floor much faster than I anticipated once the band came on – how will I ever get him to adjust back to Radio 2 and ‘popular music’?

Phil getting into the cowboy mood and the nearest he will get to riding a horse.

Phil getting into the cowboy mood and the nearest he will get to riding a horse.

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This area has invested millions of dollars on safe new bike routes which go for miles and miles. We went from our fantastically scenic campsite, which seemed to host its own local herd of buffalo and moose, all the way to Lake Jenny at the foothills of the Grand Teton. Awesome!

Cycling to Lake Jenny

Cycling to Lake Jenny

 

Cycling past buffalo on the road with their young was novel for the first time and became normal really fast but never less than fantastic. Another route took us into ranch country with massive gates and entry areas which made you think that JR had influence outside Texas as every ranch entrance was HUGE. Quiet roads, great scenery and the odd cowgirl/boy on horse back.

Team Sky rider Phil Sanderson showing us how to 'chill' between training sessions

Team Sky rider Phil Sanderson showing us how to ‘chill’ between training sessions

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We also got some great climbing in, the best route being on The Guides Wall. We walked in from Jenny’s Lake for an hour plus and true Scottish conditions kicked in.

Walking into the Guides Wall

Walking into the Guides Wall

Walking into the Guides Wall

Walking into the Guides Wall

 

 

It was cold with the skies threatening most of the time but we managed to keep above freezing so that worked for us. There was a local team ahead of us who were fun but shivered their way up, ( softies). It always makes route finding easy having fast moving locals ahead of you. At the end of the climb we walked back down to the lake in time to get one of the last boats back across the to the car park. Always a joy to short cut a route home and it was sunny! Hooray. Good day.

Jackson Hole Gang - Rex, Phil, Pat and Jack

Jackson Hole Gang – Rex, Phil, Pat and Jack

Then to finish off a great time in Jackson we met up with our pals Jack and Pat Tackle and Rex whom we had originally met in Spain 2 years ago. We met up in a stunning bar with huge windows overlooking the Tetons, gorgeous food and the largest variety of Scottish whiskey we have seen over here. Phil was on form! Needless to say we had a great night and our friendships with our Yanky mates continues to grow.

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We made a dash for Oregan to make sure we got to see our mate Whit in Baker City for a couple of nights but managed to stop off for the night en route in another climbing mecca called City of Rocks in Idahoe. We arrived about 7 pm after being on the road all day but managed to get one route in before sunset. Great way to have a stretch. It was a bit of a recce trip for the next time we are in these parts. Then off to Whit who greeted and entertained us with culture, hikes and of course a wee bit of alcohol. We visited Baker Museum where we were into everything now that I am fascinated by the Pioneers but we all spent an extra bit of time in the Jest Stream display where we read and saw how these iconic camper vans first started – we are a bit geeky on the whole camper thing, just in case you haven’t noticed.

 

First Friday in Baker is when the art galleries host open evenings and free food and wine – oh yeh! We went to all three and ate and drank at all three but more importantly LOVED some of the art and met loads of Whit’s fan club and what a great bunch they are. So diverse. Joel is over 80 and has never been abroad and reared cattle and children all her life. She is an absolute hoot to be with and had me laughing non stop and her beef is to die for.

Phil chatting about how it felt to artificially inseminate 35 000 cows

Phil chatting about how it felt to artificially inseminate 35 000 cows

The nicest ever – sorry mum. Then there was Steve who has lived all over the world working on conservation and then there were the Cooke family who now make wine having moved on from cattle but stunned us with the fact he went to Russia for a month last year to be part of a team that artificially inseminated over 35 000 cows in 30 days…..that has to be a record! So as you can tell we were not bored at all.

Pauline and Whit enjoying a hike in his local hills

We went for a hike into the hills where Whit had his ranch and met the man who is buying it from him. He has moved in and he and his wife and new baby are moving from Switzerland to start a dude ranch and there is a reality show from Germany that is following his progress so Whit is now going to be famous in Europe too. He is a great guy and Whit could not have wanted to find a better person with all the skills to take on his beloved ranch.

 

We managed to grab a couple of days back in Smiths Rock to finish off some unfinished business and it felt surprisingly nostalgic to be back in the place that we started our trip in earnest last year. We did the occasion proud by climbing Zion and the Monkey Face. Both classics of the area and we do love a good classic.

Phol on the first belay of Zion

Phil on the first belay of Zion above and on the summit of the Monkey Face below

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I have to fast track this last blog as we are flying back home in 2 days and I know I will not do it if I don’t do it now. We are going sea fishing with Tina and Vito this weekend before we fly out and what a great way to finish our 8 month (out of 12) trip ie with the friends we made on our first day here.

More to follow if I get round to it.

ROCK, ROAD AND RODEO!

Phil going local- ho ho ho

Phil going local- ho ho ho

Ten Sleep has proven to be everything a small town should be in the wild west. It is super friendly, with not a lot going on but when the rodeo is on…..it is ALL going on!!

 

However, lets start with the climbing and the Ten Sleep Canyon is an immense goldmine of limestone sport and trad climbing  a few miles out of town. We loved the easy access and well bolted routes and great views. Altogether a superb place. It is quite early in the season so we only saw other folk at the weekend so we could flail in the comfort of our own company.

Ten Sleep Canyon is a dragging dream!

Ten Sleep Canyon is a cragging dream!

 

The biking was limited but the three routes that were there were on great roads, stunning views and hardly any traffic. You really get to take in the scenery on a bike – especially at my speed – and the smells and the feel of a place. I love it!

Ten Sleep Saloon hosted its own fare share of local eccentrics. One ‘cowboy’ had his jeans tucked into his obviously new red cowboy boots. Maybe it is me and we are out of touch with the current ‘yee ha’ look but I feel he was single and in the bar for a reason. I got talking to one 68 year old man who was part American Indian and part white American and he had stories of huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ that would make your hair curl. He was just passing through but it is just normal to talk to complete strangers if they are on their own in a bar like this and I am glad it is.

The Main Street in Ten Sleep with the Saloon we frequented

The Main Street in Ten Sleep with the Saloon we frequented

The local and renowned café ( 2nd Street Café) is run by a hard working lady called Megan who looks like a model but has an eight year old son and gets up at 2am in the morning to bake fresh bagels, muffins and bread. How can she do that and look like that?! I learnt to my horror that if you are not there before 9am, she runs out of rhubarb muffins as she opens at 6am and all those early start ranchers come in! She really reminds me of Kirstin Gilmour in Aviemore who’s café  ( Mountain Café) is also one of the biggest draws to Aviemore. They both wear the same head scarf….spooky.

Phil enjoying some of 'Dirty Sally's'  ice cream the food of athletes

Phil enjoying some of ‘Dirty Sally’s’ ice cream the food of athletes

Campsites are great places to meet fun people and this was no exception. Phil went off for a spin on his bike while I saved my energy for the Rodeo dance that night. I am so pleased I did as it meant I was at the camp site to meet and greet our neighbors for the night. I said my usual hello and queried if these 3 men were here for the rodeo. They replied calmly that they were the country and western band playing at the after party – YEEE BLOODY HAA!!!! I was over at their site faster than Phil can get into my purse……saying something. We spent the next hour or two chatting away and they soon got the idea that we were country fans. Then my highlight came as they got their instruments out and played 4 songs to me – yes I had my own private band at the campsite. I was willing Phil to come back as they broke into a Jonny Cash number that he loves but he was about 10 mins too late. No matter as we were going to get the full deal later that night. What a great bunch of men. They are Steve Froome and his Rebels – aka Jim and Travis. Good giggle was had by all.

Steve and his Rebels Travis and Jim giving me a personal show at the campsite - rock and roll!!!

Steve and his Rebels Travis and Jim giving me a personal show at the campsite – rock and roll!!!

 

The Rodeo was the best one we have been to so far because it was small town. It had all the same level of talent and action as the country ones we went to in Oregan last year but at a much more intimate level. You could feel the pain as the men got bucked off and see the adrenalin. It was fantastic. We were entertained for 4 hours with bull riding, horse bucking, sheep riding by the kids – hilarious! The clown was particularly entertaining as he dressed as a horse. He  and his partner ( the rear end) danced to a variety of music which had us in stitches. Phil and I blended in with our cowboy hats and we got a mention on the loud speaker as we were the people from the furthest away by miles ie not America.

One of the bigger kids clinging onto his sheep to win the 'Mutton Buster ' race

One of the bigger kids clinging onto his sheep to win the ‘Mutton Buster ‘ race

The craziest event I think I have ever seen was the wild horse race where 4 men with more testosterone than a hyped up bull, wrestled with a wild stallion to try and get a saddle and a man on in a race. I have never ever seen anything as mad but really entertaining.

They start cowboy style and etiquette young out here

They start cowboy style and etiquette young out here

 

Then came the music and we got another mention from our friends in the band – we are so celeb. They played great music and as the dancing started we noticed that there was no freestyle, no line dancing, it was all the moves I have leant for rock and roll. We were not expecting this. Phil’s head sank as he realized he now had no escape from the dance floor. He knows 3 rock and roll moves (or in this case country dancing moves) and refuses to learn more but I don’t care, 3 will do and before you knew it there was no holding him back. The event was in the rodeo ring so it was sand being kicked up in every direction by enthusiastic dancers – it was great! Steve and his rebels did the deal and the crowd loved it. By midnight we were the oldest couple left ….we are not finished yet!

Steve and his Rebels brought country music and loads of fun - Fab!

Steve and his Rebels brought country music and loads of fun – Fab!

We left Ten Sleep with a warm and fuzzy feeling the next day as we went round to say bye to the people who had made our stay so great.

 

Mr and Mrs Sanderson trying to blend in  - do you think they could tell we weren't local?

Mr and Mrs Sanderson trying to blend in – do you think they could tell we weren’t local?

Next stop, Cody and Yellowstone where Yogi will be introduced to his home. If you have no idea what I am talking about Yogi our truck was named after Yogi bear from Yellowtone and our truck is not just a truck, he is now a personality in our lives. He is awesome dude.

 

See you folks soon now!

 

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH 4 ROCK HARD PRESIDENTS & SOME BUFFALO

4 rock hard presidents at Mt Rushmore

4 rock hard presidents at Mt Rushmore

 

 

We left Colorado ready for some open spaces, no traffic and more National/State Parks. Bingo!

Anyway, we were off at our usual pace of ‘slow’ in Yogi and the camper to Devils Tower in Wyoming which was the main geographical feature in the famous film Close Encounters (well famous to anybody over 40). It is also incredibly famous as a climbing venue and we had both seen so many pictures of it for so many years – we were excited! Then we heard on the local radio that the park was closed for camping and visitors until they could get a bush fire under control…..bummer. However, out of the rain comes the rainbow and we decided to use the enforced delay to go and visit Mt Rushmore in South Dakota which was only about 3 hours drive away.

I don’t know about any of you but I have to admit that I was an adult before I realized that those huge faces of the 4 founding father presidents carved into a granite mountain……were real. I thought for years that Mt Rushmore was part of some Disney creation. So, as we drove  around the corner from Keystone (local version of Blackpool dedicated to tourists with insatiable appetite for memorabilia, ice cream and all things bad/good ), I got a real buzz to see this magnificent display of craftsmanship which took 14 years to complete. George Washington’s face is over 60ft high from chin to hairline – I know all the important details. Interestingly, there is Crazy Horse Visitors Centre only 30 miles away which is in the middle of creating the largest sculpture in the world in the form of the American Indian leader, Crazy Horse. Seems fair to me, it was their land in the first place.

Mt Old Baldy - dedicated to all our bald mates

Mt Old Baldy – dedicated to all our bald mates

So, while we were at it, Phil did his usual superb research into climbing areas in the Black Hills around Mt Rushmore and found gold. It is the self proclaimed mecca for sports route climbing. We went to the only climbing shop in Rapid City to buy a guide book, but they had sold out. However, that doesn’t appear to be a problem over here as Eric – our new hero and shop assistant– said that he would lend us his personal copy as he was not using it for the next few days. Yet another unexpected and totally spontaneous gesture of goodwill from another great American guy. It really made our day as not only had we saved $35 ( Phil was smiling lots as he thanked Eric), we could go climbing in this beautiful National Park. It gets better though as the Black Hills has a free campsite in the quietest wooded area we could have hoped for. Bliss!

The climbing was fun but the rock was so sharp – granite with loads of quartzite – that you really had to climb a couple of grades lower than normal as you are scared of falling and losing your first five layers of skin. The climbing was literally 5 mins from our camper. The furthest climb was only 20 mins walk into the woods. There are large, huge pieces of rock spread among a wooded area so it makes for great shade in the sun and fab views from on top. Our best climb was on Mt Old Baldy which made us want to dedicate it to a few of our favourite bald mates – no names but your know who you are. Take it as a compliment.

 

Phil cycling through one of the cool tunnels

Phil cycling through one of the cool tunnels

Then we decided to do a few bike rides. One of them involved cycling 57 miles through 2 state parks on a scenic route designed specifically for people to take their time. There were switch backs, pigtail bridges which not only allowed you to swing back on yourself (hence pigtail) but were also a beautiful pieces of wooden engineering. There are also small tunnels made through the mountain but too small for any big trucks etc. There was hardly any traffic either as it is early season. Then the scenery was so varied and stunning but the highlight was going past a very big sign saying ‘Buffolo are dangerous wild animals’ – then about 200 metres later we saw one, then two, then three buffalo just in the woods to the side of the road. My gut reaction was to stop and take photos, but being married to a farmer he knows that these were beasts to be respected so – keep peddling! Then we saw some more in the  middle of the road. We had to stop, we had no choice. Then a loud couple of motorbikes came from nowhere and this was enough to move them on. The next time we saw them was only minutes later and in that short period of time all anxiety had gone and we just wanted a close up – they looked mellow enough so I stage managed Phil as he cycled past the buffalo who was happily munching away. Just to be sure I made him do it again. What is the worst that could happen? He was on a bike – just peddle!

Phil having a chat with a friendly buffalo

Phil having a chat with a friendly buffalo

As well as our fascination for these amazing beasts, we got to see loads of antelope, mule deer, mountain goatsand twitchers would have a field day as there are loads of birds. As rides go it has to be in our top 5 of our American trip so far.

Devils Tower from the tourist path

Devils Tower from the tourist path

Next stop – back to Devils Tower. We arrived in the early evening, which was the perfect time of day to catch our first close up of this magnificent piece of rock. We had both expected a desert like surrounding but far from it. This is cattle country so the grass was green and earth has great shades of red and white, which are like features on the landscape. There is a mass of cottonwood and pine trees too. The campsite is inside the National Park and is down as one of our favorites to date. This is probably helped by the fact we are still in the early stages of the season so it is really quiet, stunning location and the birds are in full Spring chorus. It just feels special and having Devils Tower as your backdrop is awesome dude! There is also a good area to practice our new past time of throwing ball – yes we bought 2 second hand baseball gloves and spend time each day looking like true Americans, including wearing our baseball hats. It can get scary if Phil gets too excited……it is a hard and fast ball!

Phil leading the way up Devils Tower on a route called Tad

Phil leading the way up Devils Tower on a route called Tad

We just walked around the tourist route of the Tower on our first day to take in the scale and beauty of it all. It also gave us time to assess how many prairie dogs were part of the scenery….1000s! They are like ginger moles on steroids. They are everywhere and we stopped counting after 50 in one small area. They are hilarious to watch. They have the meerkat stance when they come out of their burrow, ‘simples!”.

The next day we managed to do one of the classic easier routes as we had no idea how different the style of climbing would be. Phil was his usual self and got us up and down with no problem at all. I managed to strain or do something to my rotary cuff in my shoulder, which meant an enforced no climbing day the next day.

Our fantastic campsite and the first one we have had to pay for...some things are worth it

Our fantastic campsite and the first one we have had to pay for…some things are worth it

We went for a local bike ride to the nearest town to entertain ourselves which is small and full of quirky things like skulls on the front of the bank and shops with wild west frontages next to a modern café.  We are definitely in love with the ‘small town’ feel and I our cowboy hats are going to be out soon as Wyoming is cowboy country and we have a truck so we can just blend in…..as long as I keep quiet. Bring on the line dancing!

summit

We are now in a great small town called Ten Sleep with a population of 260. Despite small numbers it still has a café, 2 saloons and its own rodeo stadium, which we are currently camping next to. We saw a couple of cowboys herding cows on horseback through town this morning on our way to go climbing, as you do.

That’s it for now folks!  Off to the saloon for a drink  – yee ha!

beer

 

Hot Rock / Cold Snow / Fast Balls…..oh and Special Agents!

 

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Well what a great way to start our trip back in the USA. This blog is for the benefit of family friends and anybody who is interested but also as a diary. Therefore I need to update myself and others on how we left the USA in January as I never did the last blog.

We left Yogi and our camper in a storage site in the middle of nowhere 35 miles outside Denver Colorado. I had arranged for a taxi to collect us with 3 hours before our flight check-in time just to be sure. This was every unlike me as I never worry that much about anything. However in this case it was justified as the taxi I booked hadn’t turned up after being 30 mins late so we called and he said, ‘ sorry, we can’t find you, get another taxi’. Great! So I called a yellow cab ( I happened to have another number ready just in case- OMG I am turning into Phil). They hadn’t turned up after an hour so at this point the calm collected Pauline was getting a tad nervous. Then out of nowhere, this gorgeous car turned into the site – did I mention this was an unmanned office so there was literally nobody around for miles. Anyway, this car pulled in, the window went down and I threw my head and shoulders in as only a desperate woman in need of a lift to the airport could do…..add heavy doses of panic lead chat and before he knew it, the very nice gentleman inside the gorgeous car had offered us a lift all the way to the airport. FAB! His name was David and he happened to own the storage site. In the 35 minute drive we managed to have a real laugh to the point he offered to pick us up on our return….more fool him. He wouldn’t take the money for the taxi so Phil promised him a bottle of good Scottish whiskey on our return…..as long as you pick us up

Phil and our hero David

Anyway – 3 months later, we arrive at Denver airport and true to his word there was David, with a smile and a big empty trunk. We went straight to a bar to catch last orders which made jet lag seem a distant memory. We honoured our promise of a bottle of whisky but I thought he deserved so much more so I gave him one of my books – only 1798 to go – and ignorance is bliss as he seemed really chuffed. So after a great first night he took us back to our truck and camper and said we were free to stay over night and use anything we wanted which was strictly forbidden in the terms of the storage contract – I love how rules are flexible. What a great way to start our trip.

wecome

Our first stop was a small town only 15 miles from Denver called Golden which features in a really famous film with Kevin Cosner  about road biking. ….so famous I can’t remember the name but Kevin was super sexy in it.  It is a great one street town that has an eclectic mix of shops and eateries with an abundance of intricate bronze statues that tell the story of this historic mining town. It all stared with gold but now it is liquid gold in the form of Coors beer. The brewery is a major part of this town as we found when we went climbing on the crags above. It is huge and has really loud bells and horns. Despite an inclination, we never mustered to energy to do the tour with free beer.

Phil getting ready to climb on the Table Top Crags looking down on Golden and the Coors Brewary

 

Phil getting ready to climb on the Table Top Crags looking down on Golden and the Coors Brewery

Below is a typically ornate bronze statue and a kayaker doing it for real right in the heart of Golden.

Typically intricate bronze statue with a real kayaker in the background.

Howdy Polly

Golden is a quiet town during the week but on a sunny weekend it becomes a mix of  Harley Davidson gangs cruising from bar to bar, families eating their way threw a myriad of ice cream stores,  kayakers surfing the waves on the river running through the town, slack lining across the rivers, base ball games, kites, frizbyies and at every other free patch was a Bar B Q. People spotting heaven. I managed to have a chat with a couple walking their pet parrot just as a bonus. It really comes alive and buzzes.

Phil cycling on the only flat section of the Golden Gate ride.

The bike riding is brutal and convenient. Lookout Mountain hosts more road bikers than I think I have ever seen on one hill. It is a 5 mile uphill push from the edge of town on great tarmac so it is a joy to come down and obviously works as a training run for locals – but so many of them! Then there are the long rides like up Golden Gate Canyon (up hill for 16 miles to nearly 10 000ft) then back down and up Coal Mine Canyon which was about equal up and down back to the start finishing on a 2 mile up  – how can a loop have more up than down? We were both suitably shattered after our 60 mile altitude hill experience so when a sheriff came knocking on our door at 7am in the morning to say, ‘Excuse me maam, you are illegally camped. Can you move on please’ I am not sure who cared less, me or Phil. The Sherriff stepped away from the entrance as soon as he saw what a sexy lady in her non matching pyjamas, rough as a dog hair and probably overnight aroma emerged from the door. He looked more scared than scary……

Phil leading an easy section on The Bastille

We managed to get some great climbing done in El Dorado Canyon too which is a classic area in the history of climbing. We did one of the classics called The Bastille which was a perfect climb from my perspective. Loved it. That was the day before the snow came. We had literally been taking shade between climbing only 2 days before and then 4 inches of snow fell in one day. We took refuge in Boulder and visited Pearl Street – famous apparently. Full of Bohemian and funky shops and cafes with a generous portion of homeless wanderers just to keep the balance of life real. We also took in a movie and found a great leisure centre where you can use the gym, pool and sauna for $7. Deal.

Final hold on the Bastille looking into El Dorado Canyon

We met up with David and his son Ryan and friend Mike to go to our first ever baseball game. It was great to have our own personal guide both to the match and during the match as we were clueless both in terms of finding our way around a city in a huge and overweight vehicle and in terms of understanding the rules of baseball. Basically it is cricket with 4 posts instead of 2 and a different bat. We had a great night including the compulsory burgers and beers – awesome dude. The Coors Stadium is another historical landmark of Denver.  David had me sussed when he saw me playing with the giant foam hands – so he just grabbed two, gave the camera to Phil and said, ‘you know what she wants, lets do it!’ I am so predictable. It was everything we expected from a big game so no anti-climax and finished with beers back at the RV site where David let us stay again!

I just had to have those foam hands!

I just had to have those foam hands!

A real pitcher at our Coors game

A real pitcher at our Coors game

 

We spent another day climbing at a small crag near Golden and met 3 men having a great time and refused not to let us join in. Yes, we were going to share a fun day whether we wanted to or not. They were a lot of fun and managed to down a bottle of pastisse between routes. Phil developed a fan club and the cheers that went up as he went over an overhang made the cheering at the Coors stadium seem tame. They were in awe! We soon found out they were ‘Special Agents’. They go around the country chasing the bad guys. They need to be slightly mad to do that job and that spreads into social time too. They invited us to go to dinner with them and they took us to what can only be described as a Disney style Mexican bar with a flame throwing, diving woman in a leapard skin swim suit plus waterfalls and more fairy lights than you could shake a stick at. We had a fun time and got all their good stories about chasing the bad guys. They escorted us to our truck and reassured us we were safe by flaunting their weapons they had hidden in their car and person. If they were not so nice, they would be comical. They were however really good people with a slightly bizarre life and style.

14%

We managed to get another couple of exhausting road bike climbs in. One up Magnolia Rd from Boulder. Phil managed 8 miles up, I managed 7.5 miles ( with 2 breaks) but it was steep and long! 14% steep and long! Too much ! The snow meant there was gravel left on the road which meant dangerous downhill so that was a nightmare. Another ride was the Latimer Loop from Golden for 44miles which was great but with a long stretch on the equivalent of the motorway…..not my favourite. We have to remind ourselves how close we are to a major city compared to other places we have been. We are looking forward to the more remote places to ride again.

Phil found himself on the cover of a guide book in a Boulder store - Look at me!!!

This is a picture of Phil, having just found a Scottish climbing guide with hi on the front cover…LOOK AT ME!!!!

 

We are just off to meet David for beers before we head off to Wyoming and Devils Tower which is 400 miles away. By they way he is reading my book and was up to Chapter 5 ie not just looking at the pictures – what a great guy!!!