After riding with the group to Dumont, we continued west on I-70. When the group reached Copper Mountain, they took Exit 195 and headed south to Leadville. I kept going to Exit 171 and then headed south to Minturn, Colorado.
Minturn is a super small mountain town, but seems to have a lively summer schedule and cool things to do right by the Eagle River. There was some festival going on, so traffic was pretty backed up and the smell of smoke (from the nearby forest fire) was very strong, so I didn’t hang around.
Once I got through the other side of the busyness, I stopped for a few pictures. The town does have some amazing views…I might have to check out the scene a little more on a future ride!
Climbing south out of the valley on U.S. Hwy 24, the smoke started to clear and the views were wonderful!
I passed by the ghost town of Gilman, Colorado and then stopped for my first glimpse of the Red Cliff Bridge! This cantilevered steel bridge is 78 years old and has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places The original cost was $372,000, but the recent restoration cost over $3.6 MILLION! Inflation is killer.
I rode down into the town and got underneath the bridge for a quick picture.
Unfortunately, the locals didn’t seem to like my presence as I was getting a lot of weird stares. I half expected someone to approach me with a shotgun and say, “Yer not from here, are ya boy”? It creeped me out and felt too much like a scene out of Deliverance, so I got out of there.
The views got better and better as I headed south and came in to the west side of Leadville. The valley is absolutely gorgeous!
It had been drizzling off and on for a while, but the skies ahead looked a little threatening, so I pulled over and put on my full rain gear.
I had told Jeff (our group leader) to give me a call/text as they left Leadville, and if it worked out, I’d ride back to the Springs with the group. Incredibly, he called me as I came through town and was only two blocks north of them as they were filling up at a gas station…perfect timing!
We headed back home through Buena Vista and Woodland Park, and completed a great day on the bikes. Although I didn’t really take many more pictures, there is one that is still worth of mentioning. The group stopped in Hartsel so that everyone else could put on their rain gear.
We like to tease Scott for his flamboyant, Ronald McDonald themed rain pants, but I have now learned that he has retired them from future rides. So, in honor of the yellow pants, here is one last picture from the trip!
Until next time!