Sleeping in teepee(s)


There is, and strangers randomly arise to help or host; and then there are those that spend 14 hours a day cooking in a diner in Sargents (barely a town) and at the end of the day, manage to help a trio of weary, but well-fed cyclists.

“Where y’all camping?”

We point, “over there”, which means we know there is some legally habitable property– BLM land, we think– but nothing more to invite us away from the warm diner we are about to exit.

She thinks, remarking that the gully or gulch we must be referring to is real nice. “You’ll have to unlatch the barbed-wire gate. It’s for the cattle.”

She warns us of the expected temperatures in the night– colder than we expected, by a few degrees. A little colder than cold, sounds like.

Twelve degrees will be fine.

She follows us outside to lock the door, is surprised at our bikes (riding them, that is) and immediately offers us the teepee. “The teepee?”

By the creek. The diner is also a gas station and a gift shop and an RV park; and a single teepee, with a propane stove modeled like a campfire, with three cots.

We’ve experiencing a string of hospitality, aside from the teepee, in La Garita and Del Norte. Gary and Patti Blakely are those platinum-level hosts that welcome dozens of cyclists a season; remembering names and bike models, culminating in a panoramic landscape of Divide riders for the season, year after year. This year: the race, without Matthew; Jay’s solo TT, Greg and Sadie from Duluth and homemade bags, lots of Trolls, three Fargos (or more); and our crew, the last of the season.

Probably only one High Sierra. Trivial, but proud.

Indiana Pass today, 11,910 ft. New Mexico tomorrow.20111021-110546.jpg20111021-110646.jpg20111021-110711.jpg



5 thoughts on “Sleeping in teepee(s)

  1. Schwinn Dogs Unite! Thanks to you Nick I am slapping yet more stainless steel hose clamps on my ’81 Super Le Tour and expeditioning her for a 400 mile ride to the Southeast Bike Expo in February. When Surly spit out that disc model LHT they turned my head for a moment but then, again, what’s wrong with what already works?

    • Nothing wrong with what works, which is what Le Tours and High Sierras and Prairie Breakers (Shogun) and Univegas are all about. There are many ways to theorize better bikes, but in practice the differences– if improvements at all!– are minimal. Discs are great, but rotors bend, and squeal, and require heavier frames. Braking also tends to fade as pads and rotors overheat. Parts are harder to find…

      Nonetheless, Surly has hit upon the perfect bike: versatile and durable enough to be a road-ish bike, a proper touring bike, or a go anywhere ATB in
      the style of old Stumpjumpers and High Sierras.

      Add discs, S&S couplers, multiple wheel sizes and the world barely needs another bike model.

      Every high school senior should receive an LHT, gratis, from
      the US government. Now that’s an incentive.

  2. Pingback: Arctic urban cowboys | gypsy by trade

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