Friday, July 1, 2011

Go East, Young Men (part 1)

Thirty years ago today: July 1, 1981

Two younguns, 18 years old, less than a month after graduation, lookin' for adventure. So we loaded up them bikes and headed east. We left Boulder, Colorado (home) on July 1, 1981 and ended up in Minneapolis 11 days later.

I had no idea what an impact it would have on me... suffice to say that it got me hooked on bike travel. Within a dozen years after this journey, I had cycled in 30 of the U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 8 European countries.

A few photos and stories to follow over the next 11 days to commemorate the trip's 30th anniversary! [CLICK on any photo to see it bigger]

Above: Dave (right) and I (left) ham it up before riding off from my house.

The first pedal strokes: Boulder, Colorado early in the morning.
I personally am fond of Dave's mom's plaid pants.

Above two photos: Pedaling out of Boulder.
Photos by my friend Gene who saw us off.

From Boulder we headed northeast through our favorite stockyard town (not any more, I don't think), Longmont... then north up through Loveland to Fort Collins. 50 miles under the belt; time to EAT. Although, given we were 18, we probably had already eaten a fair amount...

Moi. Lunch spot in Fort Collins. Dig those old-style Bell helmets!

After lunch we slogged another 37 miles due east, basically. We ended up near the tiny town of Briggsdale, in a dusty campground at the edge of the Pawnee National Grassland. It was HOT that afternoon. I remember being sorta dismayed that we thought it would be flat riding, but nooooo. There were a number of large rolling hills that definitely took something out of the legs...

Dave's tan/dirt lines, day 1.

My tan/dirt lines, day 1.
Were we dumb to sunscreen?
No, I think we just didn't apply often enough.

Slim pickin's from the "grocery store" in Briggsdale.
I think we had the donuts and some fruit the next day for breakfast.
Drank all the milk at once.

Dave at campsite, Pawnee National Grassland.

The day's "shower." What the hell, it felt good I'm sure.

Dave kicks back in the hammock.
We tried sleeping in these once but it wasn't comfy enough for that.
We did think they were cool though.

The campsite, Pawnee National Grassland.

Like I said, the campground was dry and dusty. There was a creek running through it that was completely dry. If I remember right there were Very High weeds growing in it, so it appeared to have been dry for quite some time.

Um, it didn't stay dry long. Stay tuned, gentle reader.

1 comment:

Mandy Tripp said...

So excited that you are posting a trip again! I love reading them and I love your pictures!!