Day 58: A mild day in Fort Collins - Chris Cross America - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2022

Day 58: A mild day in Fort Collins

Sunday stats

Start: Belmont Inn, Fort Collins, Colo.

End: Joe and Catherine's home (Warmshowers hosts)

The Daily Progress: 14.9 miles

The Ascension: Whatever

Ice cream flavors: N/A

Beer flavors (hey, when you're in Fort Collins...): Bock and Scottish ale, at Stodgy Brewing Company

Lodging expenses: $0

Food and drink expenses: $76

Sunday recap

I did not feel great this morning. Tried to sleep in. Luckily, there was really only one objective for the day: Reach the point on the Eastern Express where I planned to resume riding westward (with Dani!) after my detour to Denver. (My plan is to get a car ride back to this point so that I don't have to retrace the road between Fort Collins and Denver.) 

I had a mediocre (not huge) breakfast at the hotel and headed off down the Poudre Trail. Such a nice trail!

As I rode down the Poudre Trail, I passed right by this waterfront today, with a metal pedestrian bridge crossing. A few people are wading in the river. The banks are lined with small boulders.
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I found the point where I'll pick up the trail again next week.

Dani, if you'd like a visual of the start of the next phase of this tour, here it is. A concrete path (essentially, an extra wide sidewalk) leads ahead, perpendicular to the street, with a yard and a house to the left and green space to the right. In the distance is, of course, a mountain ridge of a horizon.
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Dani MooreWestward ho!
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1 month ago

As I approached this point, I realized I was starving. I wanted a big old breakfast/brunch. I headed back east toward downtown and stopped at Cafe Bluebird for a delicious breakfast bowl. Then over to the Colorado State University campus — holy cow, does this school take bike infrastructure seriously — where I examined some of the flowers at the CSU Annual Flower Trial Gardens. 

This flower stood out to me the most. It is bright red, not far from blood red, in a shape that reminds me of a poppy, in small clusters of about three, each cluster surrounding a purple-reddish structure that looks a bit like a pine cone. It's called an Indian shot, according to the app Seek.
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My Warmshowers hosts for the night, Joe and Catherine, texted me to say they were available for me to arrive at any time. I saw a storm coming, so I headed over. Joe made a delicious stir fry for lunch and we all got to know each other.

One thing that Catherine said triggered some self-reflection: They were living in Texas and had decided they wanted to live in Fort Collins. She found a job there and they quit their existing jobs and moved. The point is, they picked where they wanted to live and then made it happen. This is probably not a surprising idea to anyone reading this blog, but it struck me that the decision was not "I got a job here, so we moved here" — it was the opposite. "We wanted to live here, so we quit our jobs and found new ones here." I'm failing to articulate why this is novel. It just made me realize that I had been viewing employment as such a driving force in where to live, even though I have been actively making work a smaller part of my life than it used to be.

The other big thought I had when talking with Joe and Catherine is just how different it is in Fort Collins (and also to be among other Warmshowers members) than in the areas I just rode through, in Kansas, Nebraska and northwestern Colorado. Don't get me wrong — pretty much everyone I've encountered has been so nice. But it was very noticeable to come into a city with pride flags and bike lanes. (Again, holy cow. So much biking infrastructure here.)

Joe and Catherine had plans to meet friends for dinner, but we went to their nearby brewery, Stodgy, to talk some more and sample some suds before their dinner date. The brewery scene here is huge. And Stodgy seemed to be a good example: Big outdoor space with lots of people drinking (and eating pizza from a food truck), with babies and dogs in tow.

All in all, a pretty satisfying day. Met two really nice people, ate well, sampled the beer scene. Rested my legs a little.

Catherine, Joe and I smile for a selfie in their dining room.
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Tomorrow, it's Denver or bust!

Today's ride: 15 miles (24 km)
Total: 2,317 miles (3,729 km)

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