Jen and I finally arrived in Leadville, and a kind gentleman took our picture. Looks like he wanted to be in it, too.
The local bike shop in Leadville, Cycles of Life, has been a popular place this week. Everyone in there is super friendly despite a crazy week for them. This is Piper, an employee's dog. She isn't posing here, they said she loves to hug her bear.
After taking it easy on Sunday, Jen and I headed out for the first of two days pre-riding the course. Monday we rode the start to Carter aid station almost 11 miles out. We got a taste of the first major climb, St. Kevin's. We stopped near the top at an old mine to snap a few shots.
I love this open meadow. Hopefully I'll employ the same tactic as in the Silver Rush and remember to look up and take in the surroundings when my mind and body get tired.
Jen and I showed off our sponsors' jerseys, the Emergo Group. Well, it is actually Jen's employer who offered to pay for her entry fee ($345 big ones), lodging for a week, gas, and food. Since I got to tag along with the lodging and gas part of it, I consider them my "sponsor," too. Maybe next year I'll walk into the principal's office at my school and, well, nevermind.
One more look from the top. Jen made it up first and took a shot of me on my little stroll.
A view from the first turn onto the dirt heading towards St. Kevin's, looking back the other way to the south.
This was the first of my two fishing spots. Getting out in nature has been the best way for me to keep this week in perspective. Plus, I always see something incredible. A fawn, pronghorn sheep, elk, a huge hawk, and some fish, among other beauties.
After coming up short every single time fly fishing last trip to Colorado, I finally got a fish in the net! I had almost given up and called it a day. It had been raining on and off (that's when I took the picture with the railroad tracks, you can see the storm coming) and I had tangled my line not once, but twice. But alas! I finally caught one.
After making the fish pose for me, I set him back in the water and watched him dart away.