the great american road trip take 4: breckenridge and vail pass

Because going up the mountain wasn't adventure enough, today we decided to bike back down. Blue Valley Bike Tours helped us load up our gear for a 22-mile ride through Vail Pass. With Kooka on a tandem bike and Yoda in the Burley, we took off down the mountain at a breakneck pace. 

The first half of the journey was breathtaking. We coasted past turquoise ponds, patches of wildflowers, and two - count them - two Rocky Mountain rattlesnakes. With Kooka as my witness, I didn't even flinch - mostly because we were coasting past at about 20mph. 

Punk was in heaven, and hated to stop for lunch, but we did, pausing in the mountain village of Copper Mountain, where we dined on nachos, sweet potato fries and grilled avocado sandwiches. We stayed for almost an hour, which was about the same time that the clouds changed to gray and thunder echoed through the mountains.

The bike path flattened out, and suddenly pulling Kooka behind me felt like towing a Mac truck with the emergency break on. The sky darkened, cold rain began to fall, the path grew slick, and our absolutely perfect day became slightly less perfect. 

But not for long. Although the rain followed us all the way to Frisco, we still saw some little critters frolicking near the streams, we took shelter under a nearby overhang, were treated to free samples of gumbo, lobster bisque and crayfish soup at The Lost Cajun restaurant, and were soon loaded back into the Blue Valley transport van and headed toward our lodge.

For dinner, Frank let Kooka help make his famousItalian meatballs and macaroni.

Thankfully, Yoda fell asleep early, and for the first time in 5 days, we all got some sleep.