Hank – We waited an extra day in Pueblo because the weather was colder than it was today. It even snowed yesterday but it didn’t stick. We used our time wisely. I swapped out the front tube on Kathy’s bike because it had a slow leak. Since that tube had multiple patches I figured it was safe to throw out. We still have a couple of spares. I also got our taxes done. What a relief to get that off my plate. I took our old tent to a bike shop and asked if they knew where I could donate it. The rain fly might be giving out but the rest of the tent still works well enough. One of the employees said they would take it to a thrift store.
We left the hotel at 11:00 am and went to a nearby restaurant to fuel up for the ride. Today called for 38 miles to Fowler. There’s an RV park there that charges $10 for cyclists to camp there and you get to shower, too.
We hit the road after eating and made our way west on US Hwy 50. The temp was in the 40s and we had a headwind that gradually increased during the day. The wind impeded our progress a little but mostly just made us cold.
Overall, the ride was plain vanilla uneventful. We had plenty of shoulder and light traffic. But it was cold.
With about 10 miles to go we decided to check on the motel status in Fowler. There is one there. I called but had to leave a message. With five miles left to go we got a light rain to add to the wind and cold. That pretty much settled the debate on camping vs hotel. We arrived in town and went to Bushy’s motel. Nobody was there so I called the two numbers on the door. I got the owner who told me she and her husband were 30 miles away in La Junta and they would be back soon. We went to the convenience store/gas station next door and got hot tea to warm up with while we waited.
About 45 minutes later I saw a vehicle in front of the motel office. We went over and met Scott. He and his wife just bought the motel a week ago. They managed it for three years before buying it. We decided on a room with a two beds. Scott made a mistake and charged us for a single. I offered to make up the $10 difference in cash but Scott wouldn’t have that. I think he was sympathetic to us being on bicycles. Regardless, that was kind and generous of him.
We took showers, which helped us warm up. It was raining steady now so I grabbed my rain jacket and walked to a nearby restaurant, the only one open in town. I found a Cape Canaveral visitor guide in my pocket. I guess I haven’t used my rain jacket for over three months. After eating a burger I brought back a salad for Kathy.
One observation I have about today’s ride is that it took place nearly four weeks after the last time we rode loaded bikes. My butt was not happy about being in the saddle for four hours after such a long break. We may do a shorter ride tomorrow to give our butts time to adjust and toughen back up.
Kathy – We spent yesterday in Pueblo, Colorado because of a cold system coming through. We had nice cold winds, light snow in the morning and thunderstorms in the evening. With temps in the 20’s it was a good choice to stay put in a hotel.
Today we decided to get a later start to give the weather more time to warm up. With the wind chill, we started our ride in 38 degree temps. The weather did not warm up. The misty rain and the strong headwinds made it feel much colder. My feet and hands were frozen and numb driving our entire four hours of riding. We also are at almost 5,000 feet of elevation which may have played a part in my mild headache all day and how it felt a little harder to breathe at times.
On a different note, being back on the bikes we quickly remembered the smell of all the dead roadkill. The worst one today was a dead skunk strewn all over the shoulder of the road. We were going up hill with strong headwinds that slowed us down. We pedaled as fast as we could to get away from the strong stench as quick as possible. That one is in the rankings for the worst smelling roadkill so far. Yuck!
We had a great shoulder and cars were very polite and did not get close to us at any time today. After freezing all day we talked about getting a hotel for the night instead of tenting it because it is going to get down to 22 degrees. I am thankful for this small local hotel. It’s dated but clean. As soon as we got to the room I took a really long hot shower to warm up and now I feel much better. Other than the cold weather, it was a good ride today. Hoping the temps warm up more tomorrow. 🤞
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On To State #49