Day 50: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Breckenridge to Hartsel: 42 miles
Up and out of my comfortable abode, and then - pow! - an eleven-mile climb up to Hoosier Pass: at 11,542' (over two miles high!), the highest point on the TransAmerica Trail.
|The Old Coot conquers Hoosier Pass|
What was nice, though, was the other side: a 2500' descent over 30 miles into the wide spot named Hartsel. Nice, except for the cloudburst and accompanying hail. I barely had time to get my rain gear and pannier covers on when it hit - and all I could do was turn my back to the wind and huddle on the shoulder. After about five minutes that seemed like an eternity, a passing motorist took pity and offered shelter. Half an hour later, the storm moved on and the sun tried its best to break through.
|Sun rays over Colorado|
Though small, Hartsel did have its scenic attractions. And it provided what may well prove to be the most interesting evening of the trip.
|Some cool old mining cars|
|I liked this old gas station in Hartsel.|
The TransAmerica map said that camping was allowed in the city park, and to check at the mercantile. But the mercantile was closed, so I wandered over to the bar & grill. The barkeeper said I could camp in the grassy area out back - or, if I didn't want to bother setting up a tent, I could sleep in the children's playhouse behind the church. That sounded good to me, so I wandered over to check it out.
|The Hartsel church in a schoolhouse|
|My wee Hartsel abode|
There, I found Diedra and Jeanine, two of the town's younger citizens, on the merry-go-round. They cajoled me into joining them, and after
|Jeanine and Diedra: kittens on a hot tin roof|
Upon returning to my lodgings, I spread out my sleeping bag and assorted paraphernalia (no, not that type of paraphernalia!), and attempted a little blogging; but that beer had done its work and I was out in short order.