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Iohan Gueorguiev -THE RAIN, THE CLOUDS, THE PLAINS AND THE MOUNTAINS

Odkąd Blaise Cendrars wyruszył w podróż koleją transsyberyjską minęło sto lat. Po tej eskapadzie pozostał genialny poemat i równie genialna ilustracja Sonii Delaunay. Tę romantyczną świeżość prawdziwych awanturników i zdobywców skutecznie starają się dzisiaj rozproszyć rozmaite biura podróży, organizatorzy oceanicznych wyścigów maszyn regatowych i projektanci mody turystycznej wspinaczki na Mount Everest.

Nie wszyscy jednak dają się opleść siatką mapy Google, podsycając swoje dziecięce marzenia i podejmując wyzwanie prawdziwej przygody w poszukiwaniu piękna i prawdy o świecie. Jednym z takich niepoprawnych idealistów jest Johan Georgiew, urodzony w Bułgarii mieszkaniec i obywatel Kanady, do której emigrował w wieku piętnastu lat. (…)

Tak przed klikoma miesiącami pisaliśmy o Johanie Georgiewie:

http://www.polskacanada.com/zobaczyc-swiat-arktyka/

W tych dniach dotarł do Kolorado. Poniżej za zgodą podróżnika i autora zamieszczamy jego relację:

August 7, 2015. Island Park, Idaho

This one starts off in Potato country, looking through the haze at the Tetons. Instead a ride through Yellowstone, I’ll take the GDMBR into Wyoming.

Hard to say no to free camping by the beach and a bear proof container at the main camp.

Hanne, Sam and Lucy (the jeep) had driven across Africa, Canada and now, USA. They took off from Belgium on a 2 year trek, headed to Argentina. When they get tired of driving, they will backpack and moped in Asia.

Thunder and rain all the way. It did not look like good hiking weather and so I kept going.

Clouds covered the Tetons, i figured its best to continue to Togwotee Pass.

Togwotee Pass on the other hand was all rainbows, sunshine, tailwinds and unicorns.

Free camping and food storage, how could I say no. In the morning cows overtook the campground curiously munching grass and getting closer and closer to my tent. “Trampled by cows” sounds like a bad way to go, so I packed up.

Revenge has never tasted so sweet!

Many cows, few cowboys and several deers chilling by fences later I approached Pinedale.

Got to hang out with some horses one of which, after unsuccessfully trying to eat my backpack straps sneezed on me. Partly covered in horse boogers I rolled into town.

Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t shop hungry”?
It’s true. I don’t know what I will do with 72 pop tarts, 3 packs of cookies… oh dear.

Finding a place to eat was tough too, I walked in few restaurants and walked right out – they all seemed way too fancy for me. Settled for a bag burger at Wrangler Cafe…

Well anyhow, I grabbed a pair of shoes for the hike, a map and barely packed everything. Sun was going down but there’s nothing for me in town.

After riding for a bit in the dark I found a decent spot not far from the road. No moon, no clouds. It will be a cold, starry night.

he Wind River Range, which I didn’t see much of last year due to the snowstorm.

The ride to the trailhead was 10 miles on a rough dirt road, even for the divde bike route standards. Wow… what???

Apparently this is one of the more popular trailheads. Some frenchmen gave me extra rope so I can stash my extra food here. One of them lives in Utah and the other in Madagascar, both here to enjoy the outdoors. They also offered me lunch… and wine. Good change from all these poptarts I’ve been having. 66 to go.

Two girls I met told me that the lake I’ve been hoping to reach may have a group with 15 Llamas. Wow, it would be a zoo!! They also suggested the East Fork valley, not shown on the map. Its been wonderful talking to other hikers, who always share their favorite spots. Favorite spots that are NOT on the map!

So eventhough I didnt find the Llama party at Piramid lake, I felt that getting to that valley was a good idea. I was exhausted, set up camp and looked down. What a spot.

The bad news… those two black dots are bears. I definitely didn’t have it in me to move… may or may not have night time visitors.

After dinner there was a relentless struggle to get my food up one of the trees. Not only are they pretty short but the branches bend too much. All settled down, I reached in my pocket to find a poptart. Argh! 58 to go…

There’s something about massive pieces of rock and bodies of water…

…wild flowers and rushing streams…

…singletracks and wide open skies…

…vertical rocks… and well, vertical rocks.

I met a couple from Nevada who had a new idea for my route for today and tomorrow.
“It’s like being on the moon”. Well, I’ve never been to the moon so I better check it out.

Few lakes later I was climbing on top of a 12, 000ft ridge. Amazing views, flowers I’ve never seen before and the usual question:
“Where am I going to sleep tonight.”

Was pretty excited to find a tiny space under some rocks. It didn’t seem to stop much of the hail that rolled in, it bounced from the rock and got my stuff wet. It wasn’t that windproof either.

Days are getting shorter, I better get up early to make use of the daylight.

A freezing 4 mile hike and a knee-busting steep descent brought me down to a meadow.

This would explain the lack of horse poop on the trail.

Well… not really, these two workers were headed up that crazy steep and rocky trail.
“Are you with the group of Mexicans?”
“Nope… Can I pet her?”
“Yes, she likes you.”
 There is nothing softer than a horses nose!!
“So… where in Mexico are you from?”
Oh boy. I’ve been getting a bit more sun lately, I better look at a mirror in the next town.
Its truly amazing talking to people who love their work. They also ride wild horses, since they do better on the rough trails. Same wild horses from the Great Divide basin I saw last year.

What followed was a complete zoo. People camping out in the forest, screaming and yelling disturbed this amazing spot. But it wasn’t all that bad.

The cirque of the towers didn’t feel as impressive. This hike was definitely not about it. It was about… the hike.

15 miles today until I found my bike, still there… in the forest. I’ve been doing about 15 per day last 3 days. I know its not about miles, but hats off to CDT hikers, to any hikers. It’s not that easy.

Found a single beer in the river, and since campground was empty…

Back on the GDMBR, open views and moving fast on smooth roads.

Two motorcyclists stopped to chat. They are doing a 14 day loop on the dirt roads.

One of the three year round residents in south pass city. Also the man who probably saved my life (or at least fingers and toes) by offering me a cabin to stay at last year when it was -30C.

“Come on… turn red… turn red…” with the sad news that Atlantic city’s restaurant closes at 7, camping at town seemed like a good option. I spent the evening chatting to a CDT hiker.

The folks at the bar in the next town were also excited that I made it alive last year. 4 cups of coffee, big breakfast and the largest 3-pancake stack later, I was off.

Dogs! Not what you’d expect to see out here. They kept barking at me and circling around. There was a wagon back on the hill, I think they wanted me to go there.
Shepherd’s wagon. I’ve been tricked. Dogs thought I was a sheep and herded me back… some 800 sheep were on the field.
In the horse wagon was the shepherd. He barely spoke any English and started talking to me in Spanish, waving a can of coke. Smiling and nodding goes a long way but it wasn’t really working.
Then I got it, he was giving me a can of coke!

trailmagic!

Riding ridges, racing antelopes, refreshing rain and raging tailwind. The Great Divide Basin was a blast!

An owl flew just overhead, do owls even live in the plains? If you look hard enough you will always find an antelope watching you. Not much luck with wild horses but I spotted two, sometimes I wish I had more zoom on the camera.

5:30am, BP trucks are on the move, I better get moving too.

Not sure if its oil or natural gas. I was kind of close to those things last night but I feel fine now… we’ll see in 10 years!

Colorado: Near the top of a pass I got to visit a ranch, have a delicious meal and good talk with Kristen. There is some trail magic on the Tour Divide and this is the place. She has been helping cyclists for years.

Well, let me introduce you to my new friends, left to right:
3% milk, vanilla yogurt, whip cream, cheesecake, milkshake and of course BigMac.

Found a good spot near the pass and if I didn’t take this photos and several more of the coming rain maybe my stuff wouldn’t have gotten wet. Wild storm was raging on the other side but it was all good here. Not a single poptart was eaten the last two days. 34 to go…

Made it over a pass and down one of the bumpiest descends on the GDMBR.

John, whom I met last year rode up to meet me. Its his first time on the bike after the Colorado Trail Race. We spent the rest of the bumpy downhill chatting and trying to hear eachother trough the wind. Luckily I got a flat, definitely some good rest as I was barely keeping up with him. We parted ways 17 miles from Steamboat Springs.

ome dammed lake, it was time to look for a place to camp.

I asked some forestry workers and they said it’s either go back few miles or ride 12 miles up to Lynx pass. I really hate going back.

Instead, I asked one of the houses on the way if I can pitch my tent on their yard.
“Welcome to Colorado.”

At night I got terrorized by the local fox, he knocked over my bike twice. Got my oatmeal and a pack of instant mash potatoes before I got up and hid the food inside the barbecue. Food storage is important, gotta remember that. Even if you are in somebody’s yard!

I was killing it on the way up Lynx Pass but the “king of the mountain” title was already taken.

Met Paul, one of a group of 4 cyclists, section riding the GDMBR.

Then came an amazing ride down to the Colorado River,

And a dusty climb up.

One bison burger and few hours later at Kremmling, I was off to look for a campspot. The owner of the subway gave me a gift card when she heard I was off to Argentina. I really need to take it easy on those raspberry-cheesecake cookies.

Looking back at the sunset and relentlessly swiping mosquites off of me. Worst mosquito day ever, feels like back in The Yukon. Unlike up north though, it was time to fall asleep to the distant howls of coyotes and lightning in the sky. Oh and put this saying to a test:
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

More lightning and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard kept me up until 1am. And when I’m tired, I get these Ideas… you know…

So I rode over to Winter Park and up Berthoud Pass

Then Jones Pass.

Way out there where Granny Gear meets “Wow does the road really go there?”

At the top few CO DOT workers helped me get my bike up.

And then it was like a dream…

Tough going uphill,

But once I hit the 13 500ft mark it was the most amazing ride.

Hikers going up Herman Gulch were very happy to see me,

And every time I had to hop off the bike, I smiled. Scott and Ezster who did this last year must have had a tough ride/push up.

Then the most amazing bike path took me down to Georgetown. historic place, lots of tourists but I wasn’t buying it. I was more interested at climbing up to the next portion of singletrack.

It wasn’t the best idea but I didn’t want to have a huge chunk of climbing tomorrow, I got up to 11.5k feet leaving me with few hours before hitting the top tomorrow. It will be a cold night.

Morning was clear and cold, I definitely need to get a warmer sleeping bag if I am doing the Colorado Trail…

About an hour’s worth of pushing took me to Argentine Pass, 13 200′

The descent was amazingly beautiful and equally terrifying and dangerous. One wrong move and you can be flying down the side of the mountain.

Surprisingly a lot of it was rideable, I guess I am getting better at this whole Mountain Biking thingy.

Here is how some of the ride went:

All downhill to Frisco via paved bike paths by the lake.

Just in time for the USA PRO race at Breckenridge. It’s good knowing that even the last finisher can ride at least 3-4 times faster than me.

While it’s exciting to get going with the Colorado Trail, a friend is driving down from Ontario to meet me and go on a road trip around Utah. Time to leave the bike for a week or two and go see a bit more of those national parks in the Colorado Plateau!

13 days, 517 miles, this dude certainly approves. See you soon!

 

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