I rolled out of Pueblo pretty early this morning, like 6:30 AM early. I had high ambitions for the day, 90 miles to Haswell. East of Pueblo is where the route flattened out, so it would make for easy riding. It’s going to be flat for awhile, I’ll be in Kansas soon. Two and a half hours into the ride I already had 40 miles in. I was cruising along and not paying much attention to what was off to my right. Out of the corner of my eye I catch a big black thing. I quickly look up and what do you know it was a single bison, standing there having breakfast. I slammed on the breaks because I was shocked to see a bison here in Eastern CO. I had not seen any big wildlife in Yellowstone. But, here I am, east of Pueblo and there stands Steve. I named the bison Steve. I asked Steve to pose for a picture but he was too busy eating his greens.
I continued my blistering pace for some time. I was starting to have thoughts creap into my head about the number 200. What? That is crazy talk! It didn’t happen. I stopped for a picture and video of the vast nothingness I was traversing. There is only the one picture and video because that is what it looked like for 111 miles. So I am not holding out on you.
I came up on 3 riders going east Sven, Leslie and Mark. Sven and Leslie live in Maryland and Mark lives in Golden, CO. I joined them for the ride. We talked and rode 2 wide 2 deep. There was just not enough traffic to worry about it. It was nice talking and riding. Leslie is a high school guidance counselor, Mark climbs larger structures (he calls himself a monkey) and I did not catch want Sven did. Sven and Leslie started the TransAm at Hossier Pass and are doing the rest of the route. Mark was only along till Alexander, KS, then he has to get back to work. We got to talking about where we all were heading to and they were shooting for Eads, CO. That was 21 miles further then I had planned, but I was making good time. So I decided what’s another century ride.
Mark and I got ahead a bit and Mark wanted to double back and check on Sven and Leslie. I told them I would meet them in Haswell that was the planned stopping point for lunch. Mind you there are long distances between these towns that have almost nothing as far as services. In fact on the map it says, “very limited services on route next 58 miles”, lol. Nice.
The headwind started to pick up, Yeah! I made it to Haswell and found the convenient store, gas station, antique shop, repair shop and who knows what else. I got sooooooo lucky. The owner had the store closed but opend just so a trucker could fuel up. I asked if I could just buy some food. He said sure but I could tell he was in a hurry to close back up and leave. I grabbed a bunch of stuff and paid. This is where it got weird. The store owner locks up and the trucker and me sit down outside to enjoy our beverages. The owners car is right in front of us. He opens the back door and pulls out part of some rancid, decaying animal and puts it on his trunk. The trucker and I both almost gagged from the smell. We looked at each other and are like, what the hell? The guy gets in the car and drives out of view. The trucker and I were looking at each other trying to comprehend what we just saw. I don’t know what happened but, coming from the direction the car went, came a dog, with the animal carcas in his mouth just trotting down the street, happy as can be. I think the wind does something to these people. Bizarre….
Mark showed up and mentioned Sven and Leslie were having a tough go of it and they were going to stop in Haswell for an extended break. I said cool and told them I might see them in Eads and off I went. As I rode and looked in my rearview I could see a strom a brewing. The last 40-50 miles of the ride was into headwind. It took me 3 hours to ride the final 20 miles. There was some fun in the last 20. I saw a sheriff’s truck pulled over on the opposite side of the road, lights flashing, next to a herd of cows. I rolled up on the officers and said, “I don’t think you are going to fit all of them in the truck”? They found that amusing, so did I, and I took off. As I rode along I thought to myself, “man I missed my chance”. I had thought of a much better joke. I should have rolled up on them and said, “Did you get them on a moo-ving violation?” I was like damn that is what I should have went with.
The TAT map said Eads had tent camping in the park. The park was nice with green grass and trees. Trees are a luxury item now a days. But, the storm was coming in. The wind was blowing hard and I started to hear thunder and then see lightening. Better judgement prevailed, Audrey told me to get a hotel room, lol. I was on the phone with her at the time.
The hotel was great. The desk clerk Peggy Sue was amazing doing so many jobs at one time. She mentioned it was good I decided to get a room for the night. A few nights prior there was a lightening storm that caught a wheat field on fire and hit a railroad bridge and set it a blaze. The whole town lost power for a bit as well. I also met Josie, her friend and their kids. They were from Midland, TX and driving up to the Dakotas and Canada to visit family. I enjoyed talking with them and filling them in on my adventures.
I am staying tonight in Eads, CO.
Day 28 – 111 miles
Total – 2,188.4 miles
There is a video on my Facebook page at:
I forgot to mention I finished map 7 yesterday and started map set 8 today. Five more to go!