Since we took to the mountains we have met with nothing but kindness and hospitality. We're getting less 'Why?' and more 'Wow! That's awesome!' The first day out of Denver (more like a half- or a quarter-day since we spent most of it running errands in the city) we rode 28 miles (and climbed about 3,000 feet) to Windy Point, just short of Conifer. The couple at Boulder Gas gave us free coffee and tea and let us camp in the adjacent lot. The next day we rode 40 miles and crossed the Tarryall Mountains at Kenosha Pass (10,001 feet), ending at Jefferson, where Tess and Garrett, who run a realty agency and a snack bar (in a town of 16 people), fed us and gave us a bed to sleep on. Our third day out of Denver finds us over one more big pass and 74 miles down the road in Salida, at the home of fellow cyclists Zack and Robin.
We've met with a lot of friendly faces between stops, too, from a free meal and computer use (when it was hard to come by) at the Knotty Pine in Bailey to words of encouragement and lunch money from a couple of sweet hearts in the Conifer post office. A lot of motorists are giving us affirmative little horn messages, so gentle that it's not quite "toot toot", but more like "t't...t't t't." And there are bugs that hang out among the red rocks that sounds like little machine guns.
Look what altitude has done to packaged food!