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August 21, 2008 / jslipschultz

CO 2008 Day 1: Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park

Today was the first day of riding in Colorado for Jamie, Don and I.  We started at in Estes Park at an altitude of 7,600 ft.  Yes, we felt the effects of high altitude almost right away.  We were huffing and puffing just getting to the entrance to the park.  Here’s us at the hotel and the entrance to the park.

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We stopped quite a few times along the way to take pictures and catch our breath.  We were one of the few riders going up, so we were constantly approached by tourists asking us questions (maybe, why on Earth would you climb this mountain range?).  Everyone was very friendly and from all over the country.

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The  picture below is the same backdrop as picture the one above at the right.  You can see the road we climbed to get to where both pictures were taken.  The grades were never more than 6% or so, but there was barely ever a flat section (or downhill)–just climbing.  And did I mention the lack of oxygen.  Whew!

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Over the course of about two hours we climbed about 4,080 feet while riding about 17 miles to just about the summit in the park.  We climbed to above the tree line.  At the bottom, the temperature was in the 70’s at the start and 80 degrees on way back.At the summit, it was windy and cold (maybe in the 50’s).  We had to put on the jackets near the top.  Especially for racing down.  What took about 2 hours to climb took about 37 minutes to get back.  The pictures below of us at the top.

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After getting to the bottom, we had a quick lunch and drove through very scenic passes all the way to the Snowmass area.  Altitude is near 8,000 ft.  Believe it or not, three men can pull together a nice dinner on their own.  We made a great pasta and grilled chicken dish (Jamie is a wiz with some fresh ingredients and Don grilled up chicken fast) and salad.  Don made a fancy dessert (Gramma Golf’s Cream Puffs).  Need to carbo load for tomorrow’s adventure.

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  1. Adolph Shaffer / May 17 2010 12:55 pm

    Also what in that case it is necessary to do?

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