Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Climb to Wind River Pass

On May 22, I decided to climb up to Wind River Pass, chiefly because it was a wonderful, bright, and blue day, perfect for the mountains. Also to ride a newly-reconstructed section of Hwy. 7 for the first time.

After heading up a quiet St. Vrain Canyon, over the also recent resurfaced Hwy. 7 to Allenspark, some stops along the way ...

The Ferncliff Store remains closed as it has been lo these 20 years. I remember good home-baked pastries they offered inside when we first moved here. But a new sign has appeared, advertising a new liquor store next door. So Ferncliff is showing signs of life, in that respect.

Side of the Ferncliff Food & Fuel

Complete with cheerful bread, gas pump, and drink!

At Allenspark, Crystal Springs is open, unlike the spigot in Ward.

As usual, folks were lined up to fill large containers. Normally in spring, Crystal Spring is unavailable for a short time during tests for turbidity, but we're past that now.

Crystal Spring in Allenspark

Across the street, remodeling by the new owners continues of what was the Fawn Brook Inn.


It was a joy to climb past Meeker Park on the new segment. It now has a nice shoulder, and new, smooth pavement has replaced the potholes, rough surface, and glacier-like fissures of the old road (which had gone from bad to worse thanks to the 2013 flood).

This project meant new culverts, clearing and grading, and of course widening the road itself.

New segment of Hwy. 7

Mt. Meeker looking good, plenty of snow left.

Ditto for Longs Peak

Wind River Pass was my turnaround point, at 9,150 ft.

The stretch beyond this, past Lily Lake and through the rock cuts has been resurfaced (great!) but still doesn't have a shoulder. Dynamite might be needed for some of that.

Time for a bite of sandwich and judicious drink, sparing just enough liquid for the descent back to Hygiene.

Wind River Ranch in front of Twin Sisters

And what a smooth, delightful descent!

Two bottles of Gatorade at the Hygiene store (Mtn Ftn) - the only external contact on the entire ride - provided enough rehydration for the home stretch.

Face (homemade) mask now part of the outfit!

The Lyons to Estes-Park to Glen Haven route, of which this is a part, is a components of the Glen Haven Gallivant 200k Permanent, and the St. Vrain Canyon 400k and 600k brevet routes. Now that Hwy. 7 beckons again, we can start running these routes again ... once perms and events are reactivated, that is.

Meanwhile, I hope you will get a chance to enjoy this stretch of road yourself!

-jle

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