Today was one of those days that, when you’re in the moment, you’re thinking, ugh this is awful. But, when you look back on the day, you think, that was awesome.
We left Pueblo, and immediately started climbing into the foothills of the Rockies. It is amazing how quickly the landscape has changed since entering Colorado.
The first half of the day wasn’t too pleasant. It was really neat seeing the landscape change, but it was just a morning full of feeling uncomfortable.
Neither one of us had a great breakfast. One thing I have learned is you have to eat a really good breakfast, or else you will completely bonk mid-morning. It was also pretty toasty and the air was really dry.
The other major factor was the elevation. I suppose us lowlanders are slow to adjust to elevation changes. Although we have been slowly climbing all through Kansas, we have gained quite a bit of elevation the past couple of days. Normally it doesn’t bother me, but I guess when you’re doing a strenuous activity, it takes more of a toll on your body. We reached nearly 6,000 feet today….but that’s going to double here in the next day and a half or so…
The climbs so far are much better than the climbs in the Appalachians. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still not easy; they’re just more gradual and longer.
As the day continued, the hazy mountains in the distance became closer and more clear. After about 30 miles without any towns or gas stations, we finally came up on a tiny “town”. The country store was closed, and the post office didn’t have any air conditioning.
Thankfully, Masherra saw a lady at the library/community center. She let us come inside to refill our water bottles and cool off. She told us that we couldn’t cook anything with our stoves because they are in a stage 4 burn ban. There are wildfires popping up all around the area.
The sweetest dog ever came up. He knew how to sit and shake!
As we were leaving, we actually saw a sign that told people to not call 911 if they see ashes drifting through the air. Like I said, there are wildfires all around and you can occasionally see ash floating around. We could even see a smoke plume coming from the other side of a mountain in the distance.
The ride to the next town was so much fun! It was all down hill, except for 3 tiny hills. There was about 6 miles where I didn’t even have to pedal!! It was the best.
As we were going through the next town, I saw this:
So, yeah, it was cool to see my name and everything. I’m named after the aspen tree (and can rattle off random facts about the aspen tree like a nerd 🤓) and since there are tons of aspen trees out here, I see my name often.
What makes this picture crazy is the number under the word “Cafe”.
People don’t understand when I tell them, but this number follows me around everywhere. It was my car rider number in elementary school. I literally see it every single day. I don’t look for it, I just randomly see it. And there it was under my name. I see it so much, it bothers me and I think it’s really strange. If you know me well, I’ve probably told you about this at some point.
Ugh that is so weird!!!
We found a place to set up camp. The next town after this town is 30 miles away, so we didn’t have much of an option but to stop at 51 miles today–but that’s ok! We will be glad to be able to stock up on good and supplies before setting out tomorrow.
We are camping at a monastery and it’s really pretty! We just have to be gone before 7 a.m. because apparently there is a lady that will shoo us off….at least that’s what the sprinkler system tuner off-er said. 😂 we are currently holding down the fort as a storm is trying to storm….it’s not really accomplishing anything so far other than causing it to be really windy.
The next couple of days will be big days. Tomorrow, we will start climbing towards Hoosier Pass (we kind of started today). We won’t make it all the way to Hoosier, but we will be basically climbing over a mountain over the next day and a half. I’m a little nervous, but also really excited! Once we reach Hoosier Pass, it will be all downhill to Breckinridge and Frisco and a few other ski towns! It’s going to be a fun next couple of days!
Happy 4th of July! No fireworks for us due to the burn ban.