by David Hardy
After conquering Hoosier Pass we screamed through Alma and Fairview (where the cartoon South Park takes place) and aimed for lunch in Hartsell- a typical roadside Colorado town. Burgers and enchiladas-what else!
More map study. Canon City was still 50 miles away and it was nearly 3pm.
"Well, if it's all downhill..." We shrugged. But it wasn't. Another tough mountain pass at Currant Creek (9400 feet) really slowed us down. No way to make another 30 miles with thunderheads building and time leaching away.
"There's a place called Guffey eleven miles from here." I said, and we turned left and pedaled our way into the funkiest, friendliest and slightly bizarre town I've ever seen. Population 36.
Picture a little hamlet about a mile in diameter nestled in the foothills about three miles from the main road with every building built of rough-hewn timber and corrugated tin roofs. Abandoned rusted out old cars and appliances are the yard art. Every shop (all closed) are covered with cow, horse and deer skulls. Some of them with meat on the bone. There's a charter school, a few houses and The Freshwater Saloon.
A guy in a truck saw me and asked if we had heard about the hostel. I gathered Ed and we got a tour of these tiny cabins with bunks, no electricity, no water, and an outhouse nearby. $10 per person. Sold.
A few minutes later the boys were unpacking and Ed and I went down to the Freshwater.
And here's where the magic of Bike Loud took over.
The people of Guffey like being off the grid but they donated over $50 to the cause. Then a wonderful lady named Karen bought all of our dinner. Other folks, Annette, Ely and Mary chipped in. It was that kind of night in Guffey, Colorado and I'll never forget it.