Sunday, September 6, 2009

Breckenridge, 2009

Breckenridge for us was a little different for us in 2009. This was our 11th trip out there in 12 years. On all of our past visits, we flew to Denver, rented a car, and drove to Breck. We also have some great friends that allowed us to use their condo in the Beaver Run Resort complex. But, things change. The condo is no longer available to us, so we had to look for a different place to stay. The good thing is, we know the town so well we knew what area we wanted to stay in. There are a gazillion places to stay in Breck. A website, has listings for places to stay in Breck, it's pretty easy to navigate and almost all of the owners were quick to respond with any questions. We found a nice 1 BR condo only 3 blocks from main street for a good price.

The other big change is that we drove out there! We decided to do it to save some money, but also, Diane and I haven't done a road trip in 30 years. It is 1,031 miles to Breck, and it takes about 16 hours. We split up the drive out by spending a night in North Platte, NE. It was about as exciting as it sounds. On the way back, we drove it all in one stretch, leaving at 6:15 AM mtn time, and arrived home at 11:45 PM central time. It really wasn't that bad. Having XM radio in the car is a big help. We talked, read, and listened to music. We didn't really get bored. It actually was pretty neat to see a piece of America and to realize just how great and beautiful our country is. Driving across Nebraska isn't as bad as it sounds, and, the stretch from Omaha to Des Moines was beautiful, green, and hilly.

All vacations start out with a well stocked fridge. You can see how well we stocked it below:

Diane insisted we have grapes, I decided on the milk.

Nothing like getting up in the morning, going out in the parking lot and seeing a Fat Tire van!

Above is Dave, a bartender at the Breckenridge Brewery. We've known Dave for a few years now, but we really hadn't talked bikes. He told me about the new 29" bike he was building up, a Gary Fisher Super Fly. Bob, one of the Amigos, has the same frame, so I could talk intelligent about it. The next day, I ran into Dave at Avalanche Sports where I rent my bikes, so I snapped a photo of the proud man!

The first day, I went on the first trail I ever rode in Breck. It is called the Burro Trail, and it climbs Peak 9. This shot was taken at the crossing of the Wheeler Trail, around 11,000 feet. I pedal up trails, service roads, and "jeep" roads to get to this point. The Wheeler is as narrow as it looks, and I've found it very difficult to ride. Narrow, rocky, and the elevation make it hard. The photo is very deceiving.

The above photo shows the top and Northern end of Jack's Cruel Joke. The open space shown is a series of switchbacks to come down this side of the hill. It's called Carter Park. I used to hate it, but, this year they banked the corners with berms and it is much easier. Dave the bartender told me you can "fly down it with a smile on your face." I, uh, just kinda rolled down it and I smiled because I didn't crash.

This is the new single track trail that is accessed from Nightmare on Baldy. It is a beautiful trail, although it is still new and a little soft. I rode it from one end to the other and only had to get off the bike once due to difficulty.

What a great name for a trail! What is really is a drain chute on the mountain. Crazy steep and rocky. No way in hell you could climb it. They closed it off, and now you criss cross it riding the new trail mentioned above.

A shot of the 10 Mile Range, taken from the East side of Breck.

This is a photo of the lower lake that I mentioned in the video section.

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