This morning, we said goodbye to our new friends at the Simple Lodge, loaded up with 4 days worth of food, and headed south out US Route 285 from Salida, begining our climb over Marshall Pass. After leaving the pavement, we were still left with ten miles to climb up to 10,842 feet, making the total climb around 3000 feet over 26 miles, luckily all railroad grade.
Inspired by yesterday’s trails, we had planned to ride a 10 mile stretch of the Monarch Crest Trail from Marshall to Monarch Pass. However, it was early afternoon when we reached the summit and the weather began to turn. We made the tough decision to pass on some amazing singletrack. Instead we read about a world in which humans, bears, lions and other wildlife live in peaceful communion. After familiarizing ourselves with “Live in a Peaceful New World”, we cruised down a 3% grade for 25 miles with almost no pedaling into Sargents. There, we were able to rent a Teepee at the Tomichi Creek Trading Post for the night. This wasn’t quite as primitive as you might think as the teepee was equiped with a propane heater, an electric outlet, and the best use of rope lights we’ve ever seen. However, it did allow us to cross “Spend a night in a teepee” off our list of things to do before we die.