Day 76 • May 16, 2012 • Maysville to Buena Vista, CO • 31 miles
Last night we stayed at the very scenic Heart of the Rockies campground in Maysville. For dinner we all hopped in Rob’s Metro and cruised the area for a decent place, eventually winding up at Amicas Pizza and Microbrewery In nearby Salida. This was a great choice– excellent Italian style pizza, local brews on tap, and friendly service. Downtown Salida was pretty charming in general with a variety of businesses inhabiting some historic old buildings. Today Salida seems to exist primarily for tourism, particularly access to the Arkansas River which runs through town. It was originally a railroad town with both an east-west and north-south line of the Denver & Rio Grande Western railroad running through it.
Rob scouted out our next campground in Buena Vista while we pedaled down the road. He also saved the day once more. When rain threatened in Poncha Springs I realized I didn’t have my riding jacket. A couple calls later I’d located it back up the hill we’d just descended, in Maysville. As we began our climb back up I did the math—there was no way we’d make it to Buena Vista before dark, which would blow the schedule we’d just made for our arrival in Denver. So I left Rob a message, hoping he could drive all the way back and fetch it for me, and turned back around on a course for Buena Vista. Eventually Rob called back—he was on it! We finished the ride, miraculously avoiding some big thunderstorms lurking in the mountains, and arrived at the Buena Vista KOA with my jacket and a camp site waiting for us.
When we arrived at the KOA we were greeted by an ovation from Leonard, a resident camper, from the second floor of the KOA office. He was pretty impressed with Zoe and this was a great way to end the ride. As we were leaving to grab some dinner that evening Tommy, the manager, sweetened the day even more by offering Zoe (and Rob and I) an upgrade to a KOA Kabin for the night. It was still threatening rain and would get quite cold overnight so this was an awesome break from the elements. On the way in Zoe had mentioned how much she wanted to try out a Kabin—this was perfect! The Kabin was right next to our camp site (or in KOA lingo, kamp site) and was very nice, with heat, komfy beds, a desk for blogging– even a porch swing. Zoe slept on the top bunk.
Zoe and I would have to shore up our sloppy operation as Rob wouldn’t be around any more to save the day. He was heading back to LA in the morning and likely wouldn’t make it back out on the road with us this trip. We celebrated some good times at a restaurant in town. Not quite as good as last night’s meal in Salida but we got to sample some more local beer on tap while Zoe created some art for Mom.