I assumed it would be cold this morning, but it was no colder than most mornings, probably around 50. About 4 miles down the road, we turned down WY70 and were almost immediately stopped by a flag woman. She told us we would have to wait for a construction escort, but we let her know we just were headed for the driveway a little past her, a NF work center. There we found a pit toilet and running water. As a knee reaction to yesterday's low flow, sheep infested stream, we filled all water bottles and bladders.
On our way out of the work center, the pilot vehicle for the construction showed up and offered us a lift through the construction, telling us it was about a mile of almost 10% grade. Apparently they had just removed the last of the heavy equipment and the paving was now complete. The transport had been mandatory for the cyclist 1/2 hour ahead of us with the BOB trailer (camped near us last night), but not mandatory for us. We declined, but the pilot vehicle escorted us anyways at 5 MPH. When she stopped after a steep 1/4 mile, I figured it was just a plateau and she was waiting for us to re-group, but that was the end. It would have taken us longer to load our bikes into her pickup than to just ride up and I would have been embarrassed to have taken the ride in hind-sight.
The whole thing was in stark contrast to the incident 3 years ago on the Trans Am, when the construction company working on Hosier Pass between Fairplay and Breckenridge not only did not offer a ride, but let the single lane of oncoming traffic come down on us.
The road to Slater (Post Office only) was mostly downhill, where we lost most of our altitude and will need to mostly regain it again tomorrow.
Aspens have been pervasive, but only at higher elevations. As our elevation dropped, sage returned until we climbed back up again. We passed through a lot of private range land until the Routt NF boundary. It began to rain and the temperature dropped until we were forced to don our raincoats. As the road deteriorated and the temperature dropped we looked for a campsite. A site with a shepherd trailer and truck offered plenty of room and around 7:30 pm two spanish speaking herders showed up . John and Roger were able to communicate enough with them to gain water and get permission to store our food in their trailer.
odo start- 1817