There is warmshowers.org, 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.