Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goin’ Native

Day: 240
Terrain: Yellow B.O.B Trailer Bag and a Whole Lot of Gear
Location: Littleton, CO

The break is over. I’ve got my sleeping bag, down hoodie, some bicycle shorts, a couple of t-shirts and a pair of flip-flops. I’m goin’ native. I was born and raised in Colorado and I’m really excited to get an up-close and personal look at my home state.
I really have much more gear than that (I am the “chronic over-packer”, you know). I’m actually carrying a few additional pieces of “community” gear this time. Packing has been a little more efficient and hopefully I will keep unnecessary items to a minimum.

And now for the geography lesson…
Colorado is the 8th largest state in the US in size (104,185 sq mi.) and 22nd in population (4.8 million, 2007 estimate). Located at roughly 39 N and 105.5 W, the state is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. With an elevation range of 3,315 ft to 14,440 ft, Colorado has a very diverse landscape. The climate is also variable and has been known to be very unpredictable at times. Any Coloradoan will tell you “if you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes”.
The history of the 38th state dates back to the Native Americans and tells us that the region has been inhabited for over 13 millennia. The boundaries of Colorado started to form in the early 1800s through the Louisiana Purchase but weren’t finalized until 1875 due ongoing conflicts with the US and Mexico (who was in the midst of gaining independence from Spain). Finally, in 1876, Colorado was declared the “Centennial State” as it was admitted to the union 28 days after the centennial of the United States.

Tomorrow we start pedaling and our trip will focus on the northern and central part of Colorado. We estimate the planned route to takes us through about 750 miles of the Rocky Mountains. We’re looking forward to seven weeks of awesome sunrises and sunsets, steep climbs and long descents, beautiful wildflowers, fabled history, and friendly locals.

See you somewhere in Colorful Colorado,

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