Friday was our first day of beauty in the mountains of Colorado. We headed northeast up highway 145 climbing up the San Juan Valley adjacent to the Dolores river. We passed grassy meadows surrounded by aspen and tall pines. The climb was gradual and we felt relaxed and enjoyed the cool mountain breezes. The mountains got taller and the river ran faster as we approached the town of Rico.
Our original goal was to get to a campground 6 miles past Rico. But when we pulled into Rico, we were tired after 1900 ft. of climbing at 5:00. We decided to eat and explore our camping options in town. We pulled up to the BBQ House where 3 small children were collecting bugs and riding bikes in an adjacent lot (ah small town life). A gentlman on a bike pulled up and started asking us questions about the trip. We gave him the usual responses and then asked him about camping in town. He said we probably could camp anywhere since there wasn't a town cop and then offered his lawn and hot showers at his house. His daughter worked in the restaurant and he said he would be back when we were done eating. We decided to take him up on his offer and subsequently learned he had bicycled across the states 3 times, around Australia several times, and from Portugal to England via Czechslovakia. We had a great time sharing cycling stories and he could just not stop throwing the ball for Jack. Thank you, T.J. in Rico, from Dave, Belinda and John.