Well a couple of notables:
- Today MG and I completed 3000 miles on our trip. This is 2590 from the trip out plus the total on the way back 412 equals the current trip total of 3002 miles.
- Today MG and I also completed our longest 1 day route. We completed 147.11 miles. Trust that this wasn’t necessarily the primary plan.
- While at Lothrop State Park I had some time to kill and went to the Ranger station. They had a fox and bobcat (pictures #1 and #4) on display. They looked really lifelike. They had a number of other displays with animal questions and a mural done by a Walt Disney animator about Walsenburg. State Parks are kinda’ cool. If you ever get the opportunity you should check them out.
- The lonely sign here was placed frequently and say something like, ‘No Snowplowing from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. I have no clue why such a sign is needed. Couldn’t they say “Only Snowplow During the Day”. Any ideas why a sign is needed at all?
- Rocky Ford Sonics: So leaving Lothrop State Park I knew I had to go about 72 miles to Rocky Ford to get breakfast. The only place between me and Rocky Ford was a 7-11. The 7-11 was 3 miles away. I traveled to the 7-11 and got a snack that consisted of two Hostess Chocolate Cup Cakes and two Chocolate Milks. Together that was about a 600 calorie breakfast which equates to about 100 calories for every 10 miles.
- Today was one for the books. My desire was to go a little over 100 miles. I knew there were 4 cities out there whose endpoint destinations would have started around 100 miles and end at Eads which was 147. Never in my wildest imaginations would I have imaged I’d be sitting here writing in Eads to you. The other 3 cities just didn’t exist. The closest was Sugar City at 100 miles that had only a Cafe but no other services. I passed it by thinking I need to have breakfast close by seeking Arlington and Haswell. Arlington was a park that a bike rider coming West was settling into and Haswell had 1 store that closes on Friday afternoon and doesn’t open again till Monday – no help. In Haswell I started talking to a construction worker would was tearing down the “no longer operational” hotel. He confirmed that the only thing to do was to proceed to Eads. I was out of water and he handed me his last bottle of water – again an unexpected act of kindness. The 21 miles to Eads (I was already dead tired and ready to crash) was long. While the wind wasn’t in my face it also wasn’t pushing me along. With about 7 miles to go I spoke to Myriah (remember the wind?) and asked her to give me a break. At mile 5 the wind did indeed shift and I went from 11 or so miles an hour to 18! I am not a superstitious dude but whatever happened I am taking it. Wait the story isn’t over. I get into Eads and nothing. I go down main street and find a closed liquor store, an inn that is no longer in service, a restaurant that is out of business, and little else. I am now in a quandary and turn around thinking of my next play. A flashing sign and a “Cobblestone Hotel” off main street – saved. Shower, dinner, post, and to bed.
- Today I was on 160 East and was supposed to stay on 160 East until it turned into 10 East. Pretty simple steps and after picking up my 7-11 breakfast started today’s journey. About a mile down from the 7-11 there is a big sign that says go right for 160. I follow it another 3 miles when 160 merges with I-25 S. I have been around the block. I knew that if I followed this route I would be going southeast and giving up ground gained over the last couple of days. I retraced my steps to Walsenburg. Sure enough where I made the right there was a little 10 East sign below the 160 East sign (apparently you could go left or right at this point even though only the right direction was advertised). Moral of this story is don’t trust signs and pay attention to your gut.
- You may be curious how I get up in the morning so here is a typical morning. I go to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 when it is still light because I don’t have anything to do (finished my last book is Costilla). In Costilla I went to bed without a shirt or socks and froze. Ever time the wind blew it would find a way in by my head and I’d shiver. So now, if it is cold, I will wear an undershirt and socks. The rest of the clothes that I will wearing the next day is in the sleeping bag with me to stay warm. I will wake up 2 or 3 times to look at my watch. When it gets to be around 5:00 a.m. I will poke my head out to look for the sun. I try be ready to go when the sun is radiating enough light for me to see the road and for the cars to see me. I don’t use my tent when I am under any kind of roof. While in the sleeping bag I get fully clothed and put on a windbreaker. I then pack in order, my sleeping bag, my pad, and the tarp loading each on the big when packed. My objective is then to go to a McD that is close, eat two breakfast sandwiches, 2 chocolate milks, brush my teeth and be on the road by about 6:00 a.m. How is that for boring.
- For some excitement . . . I am riding down 10 E which I was on for most of the day. A truck had passed me and was about 1/2 mile ahead when he swerved into the other lane alerting me that something was up. I see cows (or horses, I wasn’t sure) on the side of the road. A motorcycle comes up the other side and scares what I now know is a cow into crossing the road. Looking ahead I see a bull (it had two horns but I wasn’t sure it was a bull) facing me with a defiant stance with some calves behind. Now this is a situation I hadn’t expected and was sure what to do. All of a sudden I hear a voice that says, “What would John Wayne do”? Instantly I reacted but kicking MG (Miracle Go) up a mile or two and shouted, “Yahoo, let’s go”. You see I figured it was time for a round up. The cows all headed back to the gate they came through and I passed on by. For the record, if that bull had come for me I would have been out of there John Wayne or no.
- This morning I was in my wake up phase deciding if I should get up or not. I stuck my head out and said “naw” another 15 minutes. I stuck my head back in the sleeping bag and head a bird tweeting away. I listened to this really loud bird and thought “what the heck”? Turns out he was on a pole in my campsite about 5 feet away. Why he thought I needed waking up I will never know.
- Wasn’t looking forward to this morning’s run. I knew I had 70+ miles before breakfast and that isn’t any fun. One of my lessons is that to enjoy life you sometimes just have to get out there to see what is going to happen. This morning the 10 E road and the wind was at my back. The roads were straight as arrows and the hills were the gently rolling kind . . . and I know how to ride gently rolling roads. MG and I did over 70 miles in 5 hours with a 16.5 mph average. It felt good to be moving and making tracks.
Sorry for being overlong on this. Sometimes I have time and stories and other times my mind is blank. Hope you were able to find something of interest and I think tomorrow will find me in Kansas or very close to it. I continue to use Colorado (as I used New Mexico and will use Kansas) to climb North to make an easterly approach to Wisconsin.
Sweet dreams to all!