This was the longest “short day” ever! Since we got in late and knew it would be a short day, we slept in until 7 a.m. or so. We had a morning wake up call from the city park sprinklers.
Every 5 seconds, my tent would rattle from the water being sprayed. Good thing I had my rain fly on. I waited for a while for them to shut off, but they just kept going. There was no way I was going to pack up my stuff with the sprinklers going. I didn’t want to get wet, plus I didn’t ant to risk getting my down sleeping bag wet. So, I called the park service and they came and shut them off!
When we went to sleep last night, there were 8 bikers camped out in the tiny city park. When we woke up, Dex, Chris, and Angus had already left. But, the Neon Dudes must have gotten in late. They had their sleeping pads set up on some picnic tables across the park….meaning there were a total of 10 bikers camped out last night. Pretty cool.
We got up and got a good breakfast at a local diner, and then headed out.
We are in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. As I’ve said before, it’s neat to slowly watch the landscape change from day to day. So far, the hills aren’t like the ones in the east. The hills here are very long and drawn-out.
As you can probably tell from the pictures, the climate here is very dry. The humidity is very low. It’s so dry, my nose almost burns when I breathe. It got pretty toasty today (101), but it is bearable due to the low humidity. The other day I looked at my weather app and the air temperature was 100, but it said it felt like 93– what?! It’s always the opposite at home in KY. I found that super interesting.
We ended up doing some shade hopping today. It was another day of making a beeline from town to town, hoping there would be a grocery store, a gas station, or just something.
But, there wasn’t much of anything. In fact, we arrived in a town and there wasn’t a place to even use the bathroom…except this…
The next town we came to was supposed to have a grocery store, but it closed a year ago! We ended up hanging out in the air conditioned post office for a little while.
While we were in the post office, we scanned our gps for nearby gas stations or grocery stores. We found a produce store that was 5 miles away, and headed straight there. It was hot and we were desperate.
And then we discovered that the produce store wasn’t a grocery store…
I mean….at least they had shade.
We rode 7 more miles and finally found a gas station. Highway 96 into Pueblo was very busy and seemed almost like an interstate. The air was hazy with smoke from nearby wildfires, and it made my nose burn. The debris on the shoulder made me nervous. I’m hoping I wake up with air still in my tires. 😐
Riding into Pueblo was a bit nerve-wracking. It was like riding into downtown Nashville, but a western version. As we were riding into the city and traffic was moving slower, we rode further out in the lane to be more visible and to also avoid parallel-parked car doors opening. Needless to say, a few people were totally ignorant about the fact that we were trying to be safe. Someone even yelled, “Get off the road!”
Sorry to inconvenience you and your air-conditioned, motorized vehicle.
On our way into town, we stopped at the local bike shop.We got some new gloves that have a bit more padding, hoping to help the numbness in our hands. Our hands are so numb/weak that we can hardly open packages!! Mash had to have a gas station lady open up a sandwich for us the other day because neither one of us had the strength in our hands to open it. 😂
There was a neat mural outside of the bike shop.
We decided to stay in a hotel, where we could leave our bikes. Our friend Kristi that we used to work with is also here in Pueblo visiting her family. She came and picked us up and took us to her sisters house! Her sister cooked for us and let us do our laundry! Hooray for clean clothes!!! Kristi also took some items we don’t need anymore! Thank you, Kristi!! 💚
They had the most precious dogs: Selma and Molly!!! I made sure they were equally petted and loved on.
Just look at those precious babies!!! 😍
Kristi’s mom, Verla, helped double check our route to make sure none of the roads were closed due to wild fires. She knew the roads like the back of her hand!! It was fantastic!Kristi helped us plan out the towns we will be stopping in over the next few days. Kristi also took us by Walmart on our way back to our hotel. It was so great to see her and to see her kids– her whole family is very personable and fun to be around.
Tomorrow, we continue to ride through the foothills of the Rockies, and by the end of our day we will start climbing towards Hoosier Pass, the highest elevation point of our trip. We will also be crossing the continental divide (several times, actually, over the next few weeks). About 5 different people had the same reactions after we told the we would be climbing Hoosier Pass- they laughed and said, “have fun with that!”
I can’t wait.