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El Plato Principal: América (The Main Course: The Americas)
By Wayne Maurer - (contact)

Grand Junction to Saddlehorn Campground

Friday October 31, 2008, 51 km (32 miles) - Total so far: 16,018 km (9,953 miles)

Late the previous evening I had managed to get my computer up and running, so I decided not to spend another day in Grand Junction; I'd get a few things I needed done in the morning and what I didn't get done could wait.

By just after midday, I was riding out of town towards the Colorado National Monument which towers 2,000 feet over Grand Junction and the Colorado River. That meant there was a good climb to tackle and there would most likely be no water available up there, so I filled my dry bag with about a gallon of water which further weighed me down for the climb ahead.

After a few miles, I arrived at the entrance to the park, and whilst paying the fee I asked if there was water available at the campground, and I was surprised to hear that there was, so I emptied the dry bag to lighten my load. The subsequent climb wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated; maybe it was because my legs were fresh or maybe it was because the of the higher altitudes I'd been cycling at recently and the lower altitude I was at now. This is a common training technique amongst endurance athletes: marathon runners and cyclists and the like. For some time before a key event, they'll train at higher altitude before competing at lower altitude. Apparently it increases red blood cells and haemoglobin.

Once the climb was over, the views along the Rim Rock Drive were magnificent; a semi-desert land with colourful sheer-walled canyons and fascinating rock sculptures; I took loads of photographs.

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The road up to Colorado National Monument

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The road up to Colorado National Monument

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A local cyclist enjoying the downhill

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The view to Grand Junction and Grand Mesa

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Looking down at the climb and the tunnel carved into the wall

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The view from Cold Shivers Point

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Columbus Canyon

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Ute Canyon

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Upper Ute Canyon

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Upper Ute Canyon

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Squaw Fingers

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Coke Ovens

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Monument Canyon

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Monument Canyon

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Monument Canyon

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Monument Canyon

I timed my arrival at the Saddlehorn Campground perfectly: just before dusk which gave me time to set up camp and cook before it got dark; a pleasant end to a great day.

Apparently it was Halloween Night; I was very happy to be in the wilderness rather than put up with that malarky.


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"El Plato Principal: América (The Main Course: The Americas)" Copyright © 2007-2014 By Wayne Maurer - (contact). All rights reserved.
Page was created on November 4, 2008 11:32 PDT, last updated on December 3, 2008 11:06 PDT
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