I sit in front of the Bank of the West on Lincoln Ave. in Steamboat Springs, CO as I write this. I can't tell you how excited I am to be here - my family vacationed here a few years ago, and so it kind of feels like coming home. As we road towards the town, my excitement built. I never would have expected to be so happy... but I've realized that this is the first familiar place for me on the route, except for Peninsula Covenant at the very beginning. It's the first time that I've ridden into a town that I've driven through before, with sights that I recognize and memories along with them. I miss familiarity.
In a few minutes, we'll head east toward Rabbit Ears Pass, which is one of two Rocky Mountain passes that we're tackling on our trip (the other is Cameron Pass). Our map says that the grade is 6.8%, and that the elevation is 9426ft (the highest thus far). It's going to be hard, but I can't wait for the view.