In the morning I dropped out of the beautiful Cache La Poudre Canyon to Fort Collins. The rock formations in this canyon are simply stunning. I was fortunate to see it again.
Unfortunately my entry to Fort Collins signaled the end of a 70 mile general descent and return to trucks. But I was lucky to find Kristina Rende’s place. She and her boyfriend Nate were a huge help in tackling chores I had put off. Nate is a mechanic, amongst other things, and he addressed a number of issues on my bike, including packing the bearings. We grabbed lunch in Fort Collins, a beautiful city on the Front Range of Colorado, very biker friendly. It felt like Missoula all over again but with fewer fishing options and fewer forest fires!
Late on a 95 degree day I made my way east from Fort Collins and after 48 days on the bike, decidedly into the Great Plains. I turned around multiple times to try to see the beautiful mountains once again. First the short hills fell away and then finally Longs Peak, the most majestic peak of them all, faded away in the hazy distance. I reminded myself of something Mom and Dad taught me, upon my entry in the Great Plains: ‘when some doors close other doors open.’ One long chapter of the ride had just ended, another had just begun.