Monarch Pass

The day started off a little slow. It was an easy up hill, climbing only about 500 feet over 30 miles. Lucas and I were both so anxious to get to Monarch Pass, however, that it went by really slow. Once we got to the foot of the climb we stopped for a quick lunch, then we started the climb. It was only about 10 miles of climbing that rose 3,500 feet to an 11,300 foot pass. And we were lucky enough to have a stiff tail wind the whole way. It's amazing how the wind can make or break your day, and in this case a push up our highest climb of the trip was really appreciated. It went by way quicker than we both imagined. I think we had built it up to this huge climax of our trip and in reality it wasn't even the most climbing we have done, although it was at the greatest altitude. It may also have been the tail wind, but either way we made it to the top in little over two hours. We took a gondola ride to one peak on the side of the pass and the view was pretty incredible. Afterwards, we flew down the back side of the mountain and ended up in Salida, CO. We had heard, about a week back, from a few passing cyclists, that there was a guy here that offered up his vacation house to passing cyclists, so we contacted him and he set us up with his nephew who showed us the house. It's pretty epic. Great view of the mountains, hot showers, laundry, and a local beer on tap, right in the house. Not such a bad reward for a solid day of climbing! - Joe


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