Sunday, June 01, 2008

The ‘Boat

Day 251
Rabbit Ears Pass to Steamboat Springs
Time: 2:25:00
Distance: 25.2 mi
Avg Speed: 10.0 mph
Terrain: Another Mountain Pass
Location: N 40 28 53.3, W 106 49 42.4

We accomplished the first goal of our Colorado Tour – we made it to Steamboat Springs. We got on the road at our usual time – 8:30. I was expecting a long arduous climb to the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. To my surprise, we reached the East summit in twenty two minutes. Another beautiful bluebird day made the pedaling pretty easy.
The landscape was vibrant green as we descended into the Yampa Valley on Hwy 40. With higher temperatures the snow is melting fast. The rivers are up and all of the water is doing its thing. It’s a little too much at times as the area is part of a two county flood warning. It might be interesting for us as well travel west to Craig on Tuesday.
The ‘Boat was settled in the late 1800s and has a rich history in ranching. The streets of downtown were even built to accommodate longhorn cattle drives from Texas. In the early 1900s skiing came to town by way of a man nicknamed the “Flying Norseman”. The ski area that bears Carl Howelsen’s name is the longest continually operating ski area in the United States. Today Steamboat is a major Colorado resort town that still maintains a strong western heritage.
After four days on the road we were really excited to ride our bicycles into town. In the past we’ve usually arrived via automobile from Eagle. Back in the day (1890-1908) the only way to get to Steamboat was by stagecoach. After taking the train to Wolcott, one could pay $6.50 for the two day trip over Red Dirt and Yellow Jacket Passes. As I read about this journey at the visitor’s center I was amused by the list of “stagecoach etiquette”. It goes something like this:

-Don’t smoke a strong pipe inside, especially early in the morning.
-Spit on the leeward side of the coach.
-If you have anything to take in a bottle, pass it around; a man who drinks by
himself in such a case is lost to all human feeling.
-Don’t swear, nor lop over on your neighbor when sleeping.
-Don’t grease your hair before starting, or dust will stick there in sufficient
quantities to make a respectable ‘tater’ patch.
-Don’t ask how far it is to the next station until you get there.

Perhaps Chris and I can incorporate some of these rules into our own touring etiquette…

Happy June,

1 comment:

JennSean said...

I always try to keep in mind to "spit on the leeward side of the coach" or car...