Dillon Lake
Dillon Lake

Breckenridge

I woke up today in the bathroom at Prospector Campground near Lake Dillon. The temperature dropped down to ten degrees over the course of the night. I need a better sleeping bag. The one I have is rated for 35 degrees and just is not cutting it. I am looking to spend up to $600.00 on one that goes to -20 below zero and possible be a “Woodsies” (person who camps in the woods and chills around the mountain for ski season). We shall see!

Anyway, my socks and shoes dried over night from me insulating them with the newspaper I grabbed at the grocery store in Keystone. I packed up my gear and headed up the hill a few miles. I am completely burnt out, exhausted, food-deprived, dehydrated…you name it, but in the end I am still going forward. I slept quite well recently and ate a lot of food, more than just peanut butter sandwiches, so I am not sure why I feel so lethargic. It may be due to the steep climbs and change in altitude that are messing with my body.

Regardless, I continued onward up to Sapphire Point and hit a steady 1.7 mile downhill ride putting me next to Summit High School right outside of Frisco and Breckenridge. I stopped at the local Shell gas station to grab some snacks, use the restroom, get warm and socialize with the store clerk. Her son, my age, 24, snowboards professionally and his home base is Colorado. She pointed me in the direction of a Free Shuttle service, which runs to Silver Thorne, Breckenridge and Frisco and even lets you strap your bike on to the front if you’re a cyclist, like myself. I thanked her and headed to Summit High School where I waited until 9:43 AM to catch the next ride to Breckenridge. The bus driver, super friendly, helped me load my bicycle on the front mount. We headed five miles down the road to Breckenridge. He stopped a mile from Fireside Inn and the others got off the bus. He walked down the steps and helped me unload my bicycle. Finally, he asked where I was headed and where I was from since it was not often he saw a cyclist, in winter, strapped up with gear on the rear. We chatted briefly and he mentioned National Forest laid all around the area so I could camp wherever like many of the “Woodsies” do for ski season. I should not have trouble finding a job on a mountain, but if I do there are other places hiring for winter due to the rush of tourism that surges in for ski season. He took an interest in my journey, but we parted ways after a few minutes since his bus schedule was time-oriented by the half hour.

I headed down the road for Fireside Inn, a cheap hostel with showers, laundry, computer with Internet access, electrical outlets, bicycle storage and beds, all for just $30.00. I checked in and they did my laundry while I sorted my panniers, took a hot shower, updated my blog and applied to jobs all over Colorado. I applied to Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Loveland for jobs as, “Ski Lift Operators, Payroll Data Entry, Data Entry, Housekeepers, etc.” I am literally looking for any type of work that will get me through the ski season so I can be a ski bum and continue my bicycle trip in the spring come April.

Once I finished applying for jobs I set out to view the city of Breckenridge. I stopped at some local snowboard and ski shops and bought another pair of smartwool socks. I socialized with a few of the liberal, hippie, chill, stoner-like dudes that worked at the stores. Their friendly, helpful advice in regards to jobs and camping gear definitely helped me out. I will set out to Frisco tomorrow to check out the outlets and Wilderness Sports for both jobs and a better sleeping bag. I would also like to get a decent backpack for backpacking since the Salesianum backpack I have at the moment is wearing out on the bottom and several holes are probably the reason for losing my knife and other gear.

I checked out Breck Sports and wanted to apply there for a job, but they are closed on Sundays so I will try again tomorrow. I continued down the street strolling around aimlessly until I set eyes on Moe’s Original BBQ. I ordered a tender pulled pork sandwich smothered in barbeque sauce on a crispy bun with two sides of cheesy macaroni, and sweet and sour hash brown mix. The food here, simply amazing and mouth watering. After every meal I just want more food!

I am now back at the hostel, updating my blog and planning tomorrow’s journey, which will most likely be taking a shuttle bus to Frisco in search of another sleeping bag and a job.

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Brian Cray is not a cyclist. He’s not a hitchhiker. He’s not a train hopper or an adrenaline junkie. He’s just an ordinary man with gypsy blood in his veins, who can’t seem to settle down. Nothing defines him. He goes wherever this world takes him on this journey we call life, roaming the world, at will, by any means. He aspires for a life of indefinite travel, a tiny home in the woods for him and his wife, and any work that keeps him wanderin’. Brian Cray is a travel writer at heart, sharing his stories with the world one keystroke at a time.

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