9/16 – Back on the trail that evening it was nice to be hiking with Myke. Up in the high alpine meadows we came across a huge herd of sheep (typical in England but not so common in the States) and then their shepherd, a friendly Bolivian. We chatted with him in Spanish and he encouraged us to stay at the yurt a few miles up the road. Our maps had mentioned this yurt but when Dan had researched it online he thought it was locked. But, spurred on by the shepherd, we decided to push on past dark to make it to the yurt.
When we finally arrived it was glorious. It was quite spacious and was kitted out with a few cots, a stove, a table and some chairs. Two mountain bikers, Fritz and Frank (?) were also spending the night there, but thankfully they were welcoming to us latecomers. They were both from Leadville and had decided on this impromptu bike trip because of the superb fall weather. So as we’re chatting, we come to find out that Fritz is the founder & owner of Melanzana, an outdoor clothing company where the clothes are made & sold in Leadville. We’d heard and seen a lot of Melanzana clothing since being in Colorado so it was exciting to meet a outdoor clothing celebrity! Fritz was so down-to-earth and humble about his accomplishments. Myke asked about the hoodie Fritz was wearing, but unfortunately that was one Fritz custom-made and isn’t available in stores. But the rest of their super fly clothes are available on-line at http://melanzana.com/.