2014 France / Italy Ride Continued
Our decision to stop at Saint-Michel-De-Maurienne early yesterday was a good one; it gave us an opportunity to get some extra rest after our hard day in the rain, we had good internet last night so we caught up on journal stuff and emails and probably the best reason was that it gave us the opportunity to have the morning sun (yes SUN) at our backs for the ride out today. Several times during this ride we’ve said, ‘this was the best day ever’ and we’ve meant it, but THIS was the best day ever! As can be seen on our track, we are pretty much retracing the track we rode out about six weeks ago and one would think that it would not be so interesting, but there are two important reasons why this is not so; a trail ridden backwards is a new trail (especially to us older folks) and the season has changed dramatically (photos). The brilliant fall colors give this already stunning area an extra magic. We added a little here and subtracted some there, but we riding the same general area we’ve, now, ridden three times (2012, 2013, & 2014) and I’m totally convinced that I could never tire of the scenery and roads of this area. Right now, with the fall colors, it is especially beautiful and we were completely in awe of the views we’re seeing today. It was a bit chilly in the higher elevations especially earlier this morning, but the temperatures overall were very pleasant and no rain. After coming down Alpe D’ Huez (we had gone up the ‘back way’) we found a spot for lunch and had some steak and frites before continuing on for a full afternoon of scenic luxury and wonderful riding. Tomorrow will be our last day on the bike together (Alex and I are planning some off(paved) road riding in the high country before we leave if the weather permits) so we split the distance back to Cannes as much as possible. Many hotels are closed or are closing until the ski season starts so we were fortunate to find lodging in Guillestre for the night. We parked the bike in the garage, grabbed a shower and headed out for a walk and some dinner.