Colorado will be remembered for the halfway point of my journey, Rocky Mountains, welcoming fire stations, colorful murals and neon alley and Riverwalk of Pueblo, breathtaking gorges and mountain passes, mountain goats, moose, rocky mountain oysters, forest fires, snow capped mountains, hail storms, quirky town of Guffey, Breckenridge breweries, and small-town parades and rodeos. The first major town I entered in Colorado was Pueblo where I sought refuge camping behind a fire station that took me under their wing. Pueblo is a beautiful town with a hip neon alley, interesting architecture, clean and artsy river walk, and colorful murals around every bend. I could have spent days there. After Pueblo, I took a side trip to Royal Gorge Bridge and state park which didn’t disappoint. The bridge is the highest suspension bridge in America at 1053 feet above the Arkansas River and providing breathtaking views of the gorge below. Next up was the quirky little town of Guffey where all the buildings are old cabins and the town dotted with antique cars and other remnants wherever the eye could see. I stayed in one of the small cabins with the door open to gaze and the brilliant strawberry moon that night. After Guffey I rode through Alma, the highest incorporated town in North America, before crossing the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass, the highest point on the trans american trail at 11542 feet. After Hoosier Pass, it was a fast 12 mile descent into the town of Breckenridge where I took a rest day to catch up with friends. While there I went to the top of snow capped Bald mountain at 13,000 feet and took the Breckenridge gondola to the bases of peaks 7 and 8. From Breckenridge on, it was a constant battle trying to outrun hail and rain storms. Some I won, and some I lost. I rode through 25 miles of the Arapaho National Forest, all of which had been destroyed by recent forest fires. It was surreal and like being in an apocalyptic movie with tears in my eyes both from the devastation and fire smell that remained. The last town in Colorado that I stayed in was Walden. It happened to be their annual Rodeo weekend so I took an unplanned rest day to take part in the parade, go to a Rocky Mountain Oyster roast (fried bull testicles) and attend the rodeo. Thank you Colorado for so many wonderful memories!
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