Updated: Feb 4
Day 51 07/11/22
So thankful that the family came down for dinner last night and hung out with us. We all went out to dinner and we got a chance to catch up. And so thankful we have such a great family!
Today we slept in and that was fantastic. Decided to go out to breakfast and get groceries. It was a 19 minute pedal to the nearest grocery store but we needed groceries. After our shopping spree we stopped at the hotel to drop off the groceries and then headed over to the bike shop to pick up a new bike light. We have to change our riding strategy to include early morning rides as the heat is picking up so we need a more powerful light to be seen on the road in the early morning. Spent the rest of the day in our hotel relaxing.
Day 52 07/12/22
On the road by 5:30am but not before we took a pic in the lobby of the hotel celebrating our first 2,100 miles.
It was weird leaving Pueblo because we were now pedalling away from home. Not sure why it felt strange but we were both anxious. The traffic was busy and Sarah was on overload with the cars rushing by. We finally had to stop and gather our whits. Once we left Hwy. 50 and got onto the 96, traffic began to minimize and we fell into a good cadence. We both remarked how nice it was to ride on level ground. The landscape had definitely changed to an arid, flat landscape with occassional pot farms dotting the horizon. We made it to our destination, Ordway, by 9:45am. Now we had to figure out what to do with the rest of our day. First on the agenda was coffee at the only shop open in town but it was excellent. We ordered five cherry, apple and lemon turnovers to go with our iced mochas. We ate them all in a matter of minutes.
The local park is available for cyclists to camp and that is where we set up. There are toilets but no sinks and no shower except for the splash park which served as our shower.
We sat in the park all day under a pavillion trying to stay cool; but it was hot. In the late afternoon we walked over to the thrift store and bought a deck of cards. We spent time talking to the ladies who work there. As we were leaving, one of the ladies handed us a $20 gift card to the grocery store across the street. We tried to turn it down but she insisted. Why are people so nice? She obviously wanted to bless us. So we accepted it and headed to the store. We cooked up some pasta for dinner and then took a walk waiting for the sun to go down. Around 8:30pm it cooled down enough to get into our tent. The text was still hot but tolerable. It was not a restful night. Earlier in the day a local woman warned us that we would experience some foul winds but we didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Around 2:00am an aweful, horrific, ammonia smelling, nose choking odor enveloped our tent. We found out the next morning on our ride out of town what is was. Apparently the wind had changed direction and we were getting the sweet scent of cow dung wafting over from the many feedlots in the area. Neither of us could sleep through that.
Rode 50 miles today.
Day 53 07/13/22
Set the alarm for 4:30am to get a jump on the heat. Today will get up to 100 degrees. Having a longer ride today than yesterday, we wanted to give ourselves more time. We have decided that riding after 11:00am gets to be dangerously hot. Our ride was beautiful and flat. Lots and lots of absolutely nothing. We arrived at our destination (Eads) by 10:30am. It was around 90 degrees. We camped in a city park last night and the heat was challenging so today we looked at other options. We could camp at the city park with no showers or look for a motel; we chose the latter. We ended up at a real skanker of a motel but it had an air conditioner and a bed.
When we got our room we quickly left to go into town for ice cream and groceries. Upon arriving back in our room the reality of the heat began to dawn on us. Can we go on in this heat? We got out the maps and looked at our options. We had to face up to the fact that the weekend is looking like 108 degrees and we were not sure what to do. The towns have become fewer and farther between and camping is just too hot. We discussed for hours whether we should call it quits but neither of us felt done yet, especially Sarah. Looking at the map the next days ride would be over 80 miles. That would be doable but very difficult under the current weather conditions. Sarah had the idea of looking at Air BnB to see if we could shorten some of those longer rides that are problematic because of heat. We came up with a plan that will keep us going for another week and stay out of the extreme heat during the day if we ride under the cover of morning. Tomorrow we have a 50 mile ride instead of 80 miles and will get us into the next town before the heat breaks 100. It is now day by day as to whether we decide to move forward or not.
Rode 62 miles today.
Day 54 07/14/22
It is going to reach 104 today so we got up at 4:30am and on the road by 5:15. It was 62 degrees with little wind. The roads are basically empty at this time of day. Sarah and I are amazed how far the land stretches out but it is also sad to ride through what were once thriving farm communities. Most of the towns you can't even call towns because little to nothing is there except grain silo's that harken back to a day gone by. There is a lot of surmizing that could go on here but I will save it for another day. Riding along we could see a tractor up ahead spraying his field. He was right next to the road and the spray created a fog that was drifting over the road. I assumed it was pesticide and I thought we are going to have to go through that! Amazingly, as we approached, the operator of the tractor shut down the sprayer for us. That is loving your neighbor as yourself. Having a good tailwind, we made it to Tribune as the thermometer hit 92 degrees at 10:00am. Riding into town we had our first dog chase. Thankfully, he was friendly. The best part of the day was walking into the Air BnB we had rented. Nice and clean, it was a great place to relax for the day. We spent the rest of the day setting up places to stay for the next week.
Rode 57 miles today.
Day 55 07/15/22
Got up early again as the mercury is going to hit 107 degrees today. The scenery is all beginning to look alike, flat with great sunrises. Rode as fast as we could to our next destination. We made it to Scott City just as we were about to run out of gas but we found a station that was open and filled up.
It was early enough to get a real breakfast at a restuarant. We then headed to our motel room. Fun fact, when we booked the room we were asked if we would like a newly painted room all for an additional cost of $10. We went all in and the space is actually quite nice! We are staying inside today to rest up and do it all over tomorrow.
Rode 47 miles today.