If you are ever in Fairplay for an overnight, check out the Hand Hotel. We were the only guests last night but we got the impression that the hospitality we were shown is typical. The property is old but nicely refurbished and maintained. Richard, the owner, recommended dinner at Millonzi's, a few doors down the street, which both Fred and I enjoyed greatly.
We rolled out of Fairplay at around 9 AM in cool but fair weather. Fairplay is at almost exactly 10,000 feet. We were headed for Breckenridge, on the other side of the 11,539 foot Hoozier Pass, the highest point on Adventure Cycling Association's Trans America Route. A couple of summers ago I rode up Hoozier from the steeper Breck side, so I wasn't too concerned. Of course, I didn't factor in my noodle legs and raw ass souvenirs from yesterday's ride. The climb started almost immediately at about 3 percent, but after 6 miles it pitched up to 5, and it stayed at 5 to 7 for the remaining 7 miles to the summit. My speed was stuck at 5 as well. By the top I was puffing like a steam locomotive in the thin air.
At the top the road was dry, but there was snow everywhere else up there, as you can see from the photos.
The high speed plummet down to Breck was cold, but still fun. There was one set of switchbacks that snuck up on me, requiring two fistfulls of brake to scrub enough speed to get through safely. (Sorry, Kath!)
Tomorrow is only 60 miles and downhill, so we hope to be at our destination by noon or so. The afternoon winds are supposed to include gusts up to 60 mph, so that is as good a motivation as anyone would need.
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