July 9, 2015 – Sunny, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 75
Miles to Date: 3,914
States to Date: 18
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and was out of Laramie by 6:30. Already I can feel the days getting shorter, the morning was just getting underway as i headed south on U.S.287. But for the first time in Wyoming, the skies were clear!
Twenty-six miles in I crossed the state line, and – voila – the entire landscape changed; Wyoming’s stark majesty turned into Colorado’s layers of rocks and hills and mountains.
I turned off the paved highway for a dirt stint to get to Haydn Christenson’s specialty farm north of Fort Collins. On the dirt path of Owl Canyon Trail I met Vicky Mortenson who told me local stories of Overland Stagecoaches and Butch Cassidy.
I had hoped to get to Haydn’s by 1:00 p.m. but the push of the 2500-foot elevation drop from Laramie Fort Collins helped me cover 57 miles by 11:30 a.m. – a record for morning pedaling. Haydn and his girlfriend Lindsey showed ma around his high yield, ten-acre farm, which has some cool implications for tomorrow.
The final twelve miles into Fort Collins were a breeze. I had a good barbeque lunch at Moe’s on College Ave and then met up with Brian Janonis, retired Head of City Utilities. Instead of having a chat, he invited me on a city-sponsored walk through the area north of downtown to discuss prospects for turning the area around the Poudre River into a Innovation and ‘rugged scale’ commercial district. Since I can always use more exercise (!) I might as well add a mile of two of walking to my day. The tour was fascinating. A few projects are already underway; Fort Collins has impressive sustainability objectives. The first really big project is a $30 million distillery; more proof that our microbrew fetish is giving way to harder stuff.
Finally, I wove my way through town and the CSU campus to my wonderful warmshowers host for the evening. Camilla, her boyfriend Bruce, and his two children laid out a great cook-out followed by an ice cream bar. Camilla raises bees and I learned about hive life. I think bees and Chinese are two longstanding cultures that share much in common.