The next big event after spending a week camping with family in Estes Park was having my parents join us on our ride for a few days. They met us on the other side of Trail Ridge Road after supporting us on our ride over, and, after shuttling their car a few towns away, the six of us were officially on tour together! The two of them have been interested in trying out bicycle travel for a while and this was their first major opportunity aside from a couple of weekend outings around their home in Des Moines, Iowa. As they both ride carbon road bikes, carrying gear was a bit of a challenge – Mom ended up riding with a loaded rack-top bag and a backpack, and Dad took the bulk of the gear in a two-wheeled Croozer trailer.
Our first day as a group was a short one as our legs, bodies and minds were a little worn out from the climb the day previous. We dropped down into Grand Lake about 10 miles away where we enjoyed an amazing buffet breakfast at the Fat Cat Café. The best way to recharge after a hard ride is at a buffet! With bellies full of delicious gourmet eggs, bacon, pies and cakes, coffee and tea, the kids got to have their fair share of time at the local playground. So far on our journey we have encountered about 4 or 5 playgrounds a day – until we hit the mountains that is. The park in Grand Lake was the first one we had seen in about a week, so Eden and Harper truly had a ball.