Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 53 Guffey, Colorado Elevation 8,600 feet

Sunrise outside our motel in Fairplay, Colorado

Blogging in bed last night


Way off in the distance is Current Creek Pass.

Bill and Barb surprise us once again and this time bearing oatmeal, cranberry, pecan, chocolate chip cookies!

Lots of cool old cars and trucks in Guffey

"Guffey's Historic City Hall built in 1896 Elevation 8600 ft.
Folks came from miles around to dance and have fun here." (Taken from a postcard at Rita's Place in Guffey.)

"Monster Mayor...shown in Pet Life Magazine resides at the Guffey Garage. Box 2 Guffey, CO 80820. Elevation 8600 ft." (Taken from a postcard at Rita's Place.)

"Prison Wagon - Looks like the last ride..." (Postcard in Guffey)

Boot taken by Gregory

3 does, a tub and a Plymouth taken by Gregory

Date: Sept. 10, 2009

From: Fairplay, CO

To: Guffey, CO

Route: Hwy. 9

Passes: Current Creek Pass (9,404’)

Miles Today: 48 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 49.2 mph

Weather: Beautiful day and once again we rode wet roads but escaped the rain

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates

Getting up early isn’t near as tough when you are in a motel room! We were seated at The Brown Burro having our first cuppa java at 6:30 A.M. and upon the waitresses recommendation we rode a few blocks up the street to the historic area of Fairplay called South Park City. Though it was closed off we got a glimpse of what this old mining town must have been like. We were on the road by 8:30 A.M after a stop at the supermarket. It was 55 degrees and though it was chilly enough that I needed my balaclava it was a glorious morning made all the more glorious by a newly paved road and miles and miles of downhill. We spotted a couple of herds of pronghorn antelope along the way and even came across a lone bison that was fenced in below the road. We found out later that they are raised here for their meat.

The day was not without climbing and Current Creek Pass was a bit of a workout as well as a couple of other hills. When we met up with westbound cyclists Ben from Maryland and Matt from Philadelphia we could see the sign for Guffey and thought we were at our destination. We gave Ben and Matt most of our water (it was 1:30 and they still had quite a bit of climbing to do) and then proceeded on to Guffey. Little did we know Guffey was another mile off the route and all uphill. Mike was doing great without knee braces until that last stretch. We pulled into this eclectic town and immediately met Carl crossing the road who informed us that Main St. is one big loop and directed us to Bill’s Hostel. At the Guffey Garage (across the street from Bill’s house and the Antique store as well as a menagerie of rustic outbuildings) we met Charlie. Bill was out of town and Charlie was watching the place but had no keys and could be of no further service. At this point it started raining so we made “the loop” and found a little slice of heaven at Rita’s Place (Carl’s other half) where I was warmed by an incredible crab asparagus soup and spinach parmesan bagel followed by my main course of a fantastically flavorful Thai Eggplant Curry. I was blissfully happy as I snuggled down into a comfy chair and put my feet up. I closed my eyes and nodded off, only to be awakened by, “There you are!” As I began to open my eyes Mike said, “Look who’s here!” Can you guess? Our friends Bill and Barb made one more motorcycle trip to wish as yet another bon voyage on our bicycling journey. We were of course amazed and delighted to see them and as we’ve come to expect they weren’t empty handed. I devoured two of Barb’s freshly baked moist and chewy oatmeal cookies with cranberries, pecans and chocolate chips. They were sheer delight. Because Barb and Bill are experienced tandem cycle tourists they know we can always be convinced to partake in more food. They also brought Gregory two terrific drawings by their incredible grandsons. He was thrilled to get them.

Bill and Barb were amazed to find us at our destination, even upon their arrival around 3:30, and we must say we were pretty proud of the great time that we made today with our 1:30 arrival. That was even with an hour stop at the South Park Mercantile in Hartsel where we poked around and found such treasures as army men with helicopters and old coins for Gregory and strangely enough Mike found an REI youth fleece hoody (that Greg has been wanting) in a bin of recycled clothing I guess you would call it. Mike saw a sign that said “Hoodies $2” and went digging. When he made his find and I asked how much she held up one finger. So, off we went feeling pretty good about our bargains.

After Bill and Barb were on their way Rita (the restaurant owner) made a call to track down Bill of Guffey’s Hostel so we could make our arrangements for the evening. She left a message but soon got a call back. He’d be out of town for a few more hours but we could camp on his property across from the post office and use the shower (in an outbuilding not much bigger than an outhouse but with terrifically hot water) just outside the “Honeymoon Suite Cabin”.

We were snug in our tent before the sun had set. Gregory and I explored the entire town including the playground at the charter school (28 students) and took lots of pictures of the cool old cars and trucks and miscellaneous antiques and junk that are scattered about EVERYWHERE! It is a dream town for a collector of stuff or an artist who likes to make sculpture (or structures) with found objects. I took an art class called “Sculpture With Found Objects” in Chico, California once upon a time and found it intriguing and a blast. Gregory said he wants to be a collector now! Mike of course is just the opposite and we are definitely not in that mode currently!

Lastly, I wanted to share that while we were riding today Gregory and I were pretending to whine and complain for whatever reason and really doing a bang up job of it when Mike slowed the bike and said, “If you kids don’t settle down RIGHT NOW I’m going to turn around and go home!” Well that is kind of an ongoing joke and we all just started busting up laughing. Then all of a sudden Gregory pipes up and says, “We don’t have a home.” Well that just got us laughing even harder. So, though you might think that comment would be a sad one it wasn’t at all and that makes me so happy to know that we’ve made the right decision selling our home, furniture and vehicles to set out on this incredible journey. Gregory also said today that this was just a warm-up trip and that he wanted to do a bigger trip like The Vogels who are riding from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to the tip of South America over 2 years. I guess he is enjoying himself!!!


  1. Great to meet your family yesterday at the Cafe in Fairplay, CO. John and I went on to reclimb Mt Democrat, a Colorado 14er. I hope you will check-out:, another blog of our family teaching in Saudi Arabia for 2 years. Have a great trip. Email me for a night's lodging if you'll be in the South Denver area. Doug Pierce

  2. Hi Williams family,

    Really cool new header photo!
    Safe travels,