Two days ago we learned the sad news that fellow thru-riders Deborah and Ralph decided to end their GDR trip. Pressed for time, they felt their trip had become more of a chore than the fun ride it should be. Faced with the challenge of today’s scheduled ride over Marshall Pass we started to question our own motivation. Were we riding today, over a 10,500 ft pass loaded with pounds of gear, because we wanted to? Or did we feel we HAD to? Plus, it was Friday.
After picking up a map we ditched our loads at the Simple Hostel and set off for the Rainbow Trail via Bear Creek. Without our heavy loads we cruised up the 2,500 vertical feet along Bear Creek till we met up with euphoric singletrack of the Rainbow Trail. The name was apt, this was no straight trail. For the next six miles we rode our bikes like they were meant to – ripping around corners and over rocks. For the final few miles we descended 2,000 feet along along a forest road littered with perfect hoppers.
Eventually the trail spit us back out on the edge of town, also the Burger King drive-thru. We had it our way with a few BK burgers before heading down the street for our Fourth Meal at Taco Bell. Back at the Simple Hostel we cleaned up and headed out for dinner at Salida’s Boathouse restaurant. Situated on the edge of the Arkansas River the Boathouse features some delicious Mexican food and margaritas, of which enjoyed copious amounts.
When we returned to the hostel we were pleasantly surprised by the appearance of two new GDR riders – Lucy and Simon from New Zealand and South Africa respectively. We chatted with them about our adventures from the past weeks before retiring for the night.