- I finished my Mechanics of Materials course at PSU at noon and drove to the Philadelphia airport immediately after we finished. The airport was very busy and their baggage handling system was down so the baggage was very backed up. They told me my bags might not make it to Denver that evening but they did. USAir completely shut down their food service on flights and there were only 2 flight attendants on the plane - we got a bag of pretzels and a drink. No blankets, no pillows, no magazines, no movies. Just packed in like sardines for 3 1/2 hours. Security is a little goofy these days - everyone has to take their shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine.
- US Air flight 1173 from Philadelphia (PHL) to Denver (DEN). Scheduled to depart at 7:45pm EDST and arrive at 9:36pm MDST. The flight was delayed somewhat - late loading, waited for a pushback, long takeoff que. We arrived around 10:30pm.
- My friends, Randy and Nancy, picked me up at the airport and we went to their place in Centennial. The airport truly is in the middle of nowhere but it was built right. Great building with lots of opportunity for expansion of services.
- Pick up rental car at 10:00am at the airport Alamo. I got a Suzuki Aerio. It was a great little car with only 4000 miles on it. I put another 1500 on before returning it. The little thing got 35 MPG even though I beat it pretty hard. The previous renters went mug bogging with it or something because the engine compartment was full of dirt and it pulled a little to the right.
- Randy, Nancy and I did some mountain biking in the afternoon. The altitude made me a little lightheaded and weak for the ride out but I felt great on the ride back. I broke my chain and destroyed my inner chainring. The chain was a Shimano chain that was a piece of crap. I've always used SRAM chains in the past and won't rely on Shimano chains again. I bought an SRAM chain at the Denver Performance shop. We had some awesome home made pizza and Corona for dinner.
- Randy headed out with his son and some friends on a kayaking trip this morning. I said goodbye to him, Nancy, and their family and headed north.
- I bought a 30 tooth ring at REI in Fort Collins on my way through town.
- Drove to Dubois, Wyoming by way of Fort Collins, Laramie, Rawlins, and Sweetwater Station. I followed the TransAm route for some of it and saw two riders near Lamont who I met at the hostel a few days later. It was weird to drive the same roads I rode last summer. There was very heavy construction between Lamont and Muddy Gap.
- Dave & Jo-An drove me to the top of the pass by their house. It's not quite all the way up to Union Pass but it's a very good elevation gain. The northbound GD riders must love the descent and views. We got some great pictures up there. I'll post them here when I get a chance.
- I fixed my bike all up (replaced the inner chainring and chain) and rode with Dave to Dubois where we met up with Jo-An at the forest service station. They had a huge stuffed wolf and bear family in there. We rode around down a little, stopping at a photo shop, the bank, and a western store. While at the bank I left my 35mm camera in the trunk bag of my Bike Friday. A gust of wind blew it over and the camera smashed on the pavement. The latch for the back broke, an internal mirror was damaged, and the lens (Tamron 28-200) was damaged. What a bad deal.
- We rode back to their place later that afternoon in a good wind. Five northbound GD riders stopped by the hostel for a stay overnight. They were a great group of five women all from Helena, Montana who are doing the GD in segements. We hung out and the Martin's friends, Jerry and Cody, stopped by with some huge brown trout they caught earlier in the day.
- Checked out Jackson, Wyoming and saw a huge group of Cycle America riders going over Togwotee Pass
- My original plan was to go to Mt. Rushmore but I didn't feel like killing myself with the drive. I drove to Cheyenne via Riverton, the Beaver Rim, Sweetwater Station, and then headed right for Fort Laramie. Saw the Cycle America group again headed for Riverton. Fort Laramie was very nice.
- Stayed over night at a hotel in Cheyenne.
- Checked out the Sierra Trading Post in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
- Stopped by a camera store in Fort Collins, Colorado where I bought a new camera. I got a Nikon N70 with a Tamron 28-80 lens, a circular polarizer, and some film.
- Drove through Rocky Mountain National Park. What a majestic place!
- Continue on to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Met up with Shannon and went out to dinner
- Had an awesome breakfast at IHOP with Shannon.
- Checked out Garden of the Gods and went on an awesome hike. Nice day - very relaxing and awesome sights.
- Did some great hiking and biking today. Very awesome. Pictures to follow.
- Returned the rental car at the Denver airport around 10:00am
- Flight 42 from Denver to Philadelphia. 12:55pm MDST departure and 6:27pm EDST arrival. No big stories here.