Craig to Dinosaur, CO

Leaving Craig about 7:45 AM

I'm writing this sitting in a nice 'quonset hut' in Dinosaur listening to the wind bang stuff around outside. I'm here because the fellow than owns this hut wanted a safe place for me to spend the night. I ended my riding day, after 88 miles with more than 3000 feet of climbing and some bad headwinds during the last part of the ride, in Dinosaur. I stopped at about 4 PM at a restaurant here after determining than the motels, which are pretty minimal, were all full. I ordered a dinner - the first meal I'd had since breakfast - and asked the lady who runs the restaurant about places to stay. She recommended the park across the street. After I finished my meal I went over to check it out. Very nice! The bathroom even had nice showers, so I cleaned up there and went back to the restaurant for desert and work on web pages.

As I worked, it was getting pretty stormy and I was worried about my pack towel blowing away, so I went outside to secure stuff on my bike. Then the lady came outside to smoke and we were visiting. I'd heard, from conversation inside the restaurant that it was very windy here last night. Folks talked about the 'hurricane' that blew down tree limbs. Not a good thing when tent camping!

A local fellow drove up and joined us in conversation. The lady went to fix him a new pot of coffee and we continued talking. When he found out my plans for the night, he said he had a travel trailer I could sleep in and this hut. It was starting to spit a bit of rain, so he drove me over here to see this place and, after we got back to the restaurant, I brought my bike down here and settled in. It is a good place to be in the high winds!

After I got here, two young men who work for my benefactor brought his truck and equipment back, and we got to visiting, I just got back from having a beer at their place ;-}. The wind was so strong that I trouble walking in it, but it left the best double rainbow I've seen in decades. I wish we'd get more rain - it is needed here - and less wind and I hope the storm cools things off a bit more before my bed time, but it has been a good evening thanks to some nice people.

What it looked like just over the first hill

This morning, I got up early - 6:30, early for me - and, after getting ready to ride, headed down to McDs for breakfast. As part of getting ready to ride, I mounted my second four liter Platypus water bottle, full of water, on the left side of my rear rack. I'd figured out a way to do that after Jim Foreman and I mounted my, now spare, Gatorskin tire on that side. I also put two liter of water in my other water bladder which I carry inside my rear pannier. I wasn't sure if I would find any water between Craig and Dinosaur and 90 miles of hilly road in high temps would require a lot of water. I started with over 7 liters. At McD, I the deluxe breakfast and six baked apple pies so I'd have a good breakfast and enough snacks to get me through a long day without services.

I'd talked to some fellows at McDs about my route. They said it was 'a bit hilly' and that there was a restaurant at Massadona, about 65 mile west of Craig. Then I rode out of town and climbed a long hill at 5 mph. When I got to the top, I saw what a bit hilly meant ;-}. I was not longer riding in the Yampa River valley, but instead was riding across the hills and ridges of Western Colorado.

Antelope in a field near US 40

Early on in the ride things were green and very pretty. I saw a herd of antelope - they were so far away that it was hard to tell what they were, but the way they moved said antelope. I used the long lens on my camera to get a better view of them. Neat!

Leaving Maybell

The initial hilly riding settled down to more rolling hills after a few miles and, by the time I got to Maybell, some 30 miles west of Craig, I was averaging about 14 mph. Maybell is a neat little town with a store, a camping area, a motel, and a hotel, and not much else. I stopped at the store and got a 32 oz root-beer to go with my first baked apple pie. The, very nice, lady running the store asked me which was I was going and I told her I was going west. She was surprised when I told her that I thought that the high desert area was beautiful.

Some of the hills between Maybell and Elk Springs

When I left Maybell, I had a another long hill to climb. This time, the hills didn't go away. They just kept coming till Elk Springs

Just what a bicyclist with tired legs likes to see!

My speed dropped a lot in that 20 miles and it now seemed like I might need long day just to reach Dinosaur. As it turned out, I needed seven and a half hours of riding, which is, for me, half an hour longer than average for this distance. If I hadn't had problems with head winds during the last 20 miles, It would have taken seven hours.

Pretty - high desert - country
And pretty good riding

Good looking place to eat - Massadona Tavern
The note on the door says closed until July 6th
I got there on July 5th ;-{

When I got to Massadona, the restaurant - Massadona Tavern - was closed for a two day 4th of July break. It looked like a good place to eat, so I used their front entry way for my rest stop and to move half of the water from my second bag to my first bag. If the tavern had been open, I would not have needed water from the second bag. My total water consumption while riding today was around five liters, about the same as yesterday.

I took this image at the Tavern after I switched half of the water from the four liter bag on the right to the bag in the pannier on the left

Leaving Massadona
definitely high desert scenery

When I left Massadona, I was thinking I might eat in Dinosaur and ride on to Vernal. The headwinds, which came and went during the rest of the ride, convinced me I should stop at Dinosaur. My new friends here have told me I would likely have had the same problem in Vernal, and I also would have had problems with the storms that already were developing. It was a good decision to stay here.

In addition to creating the best double rainbow I've seen in decades, the storm also produced a spectacular sunset. Life is good.

The double rainbow

The sunset

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