Guess what we did last weekend? We went bikepacking! Or, perhaps more accurately, we embarked on our very first sub-24 hour overnight bike camping trip, also known as an S24O.
We started from our house in north Fort Collins with our bikes loaded up with gear.
The 10.5 miles to Lory State Park involved 6.4 miles of lovely separated bike lanes over relatively flat terrain and then 4.1 miles of almost completely uphill roads with no shoulder. We arrived at the park hot and sweaty to find, coincidentally, my Mom and Dad and some much needed ice water. They claimed they were out looking at houses but we think they were spying on us... :)
We pedaled into the park, locked our bikes at the picnic site across from the trailhead and loaded up our packs. Did I mention that we had to backpack in to our campsite?
We started the entire trip kind of late in the day so we had to move pretty fast to hike the four miles in to the backcountry sites before dark.
We made it just as the sun was beginning to set and were able to get our tent up before it got dark. We went to sleep pretty quickly after dinner but not before a moment of mild alarm as we heard a strange noise that sounded like a bear. I am proud to say that we didn't panic although in retrospect our plan to throw our trail mix at the bear and flee the scene screaming might not have been the best. Fortunately, we realized after a little while that the sound was probably coming form a bird. A weird bear-bird.
In the morning, we had a quick breakfast, broke camp and headed back down the mountain along a different route.
The trail we took down was way more scenic than the way up and we enjoyed views of Arthur's Rock and sweeping vistas of the foothills meeting the plains.
Once back on our bike, we flew down the road (4.1 miles downhill this time - wheee!) and stopped at the totally adorable Bellvue Bean for some lunch. We had a pleasant time relaxing on their back patio and hanging out with one of Asher's very elderly cousins.
The remaining after-lunch miles were a piece of cake and we arrived home sweaty, dirty and happy. We're already planning our next trip - anyone want to come with us?