Close

La Junta

Hank – We woke to a cold and foggy morning. How nice it was to be inside. We decided on doing a short day–about 30 miles–to La Junta. Since a low budget hotel was only $8 more than the KOA campground a couple miles outside of town, we reserved a room for tonight. We waited to leave until checking out at 11:00. The bright sun welcomed us to ride in the cool breeze.

We cruised down Hwy 50 until we came to Manzanola. We didn’t need a break but we had plenty of time so we stopped for a bit at the Veteran’s Park. The tornado siren sounded at noon. We haven’t heard one of those for a while.

Next we rode to Rocky Ford. Now there’s a town with an interesting history. Back in the late 1800s it became the melon capital of the world. Thanks to the railroad they were shipping watermelons all over the country. The high school teams are called the Meloneers. Every year since 1878 everyone attending the Arkansas Valley Fair received free watermelon. They still grow melons here but not nearly at the scale they used to. It waned back in the 1920s and now they ship more seeds of a wide variety than melons.

Unfortunately, the Rocky Ford museum is only open on Wednesday and Friday afternoons so we missed out on another one. It’s in the 1908 library built by Andrew Carnegie. The old library is much like ones he built in cities and towns all across the country. Spokane’s is on Cedar between Riverside and 1st. It houses an architectural firm now. By the way, Rocky Ford also claims to be the dove hunting capital of America.

On the way to La Junta we spotted three Colorado license plates. Two were in good enough shape to be used in a guitar. The third looked like a trifold. Yesterday I saw two plates but they also were bent up pretty bad. Since plates usually come off as a result of a collision and I’m seeing a concentration of plates on their roadside here I guess we should pay more attention to traffic.

We were very hungry when we got to La Junta. We stopped at Safeway to pick up a couple grocery items. We met Bubba who was outside cooking up barbequed chicken. We jumped at the opportunity for eight pieces at $5.99. Inside at the deli we each got a side dish. Then we hung out with Bubba, who was very friendly, and accommodating, and we chowed down.

We went to the Otero Museum, (La Junta is in Otero County), and we were disappointed to learn it’s only open June through September. Their web site lists a lot of cool stuff inside. What a shame to miss it. La Junta has a lot of railroad history, which continues today as evidenced by the Amtrak station and large railyard next to town.

We checked into our hotel, cleaned up, and hauled our dirty clothes to the laundromat. Tomorrow we ride to a campground near John Martin Reservoir. The state park campground is closed but the private one is open. Twenty bucks gets us a camp site and a shower. We’ll get to use our new tent a second time.

Kathy – We didn’t leave the hotel this morning until 11am when the temps rose to 38 degrees. I gave Scott a package of flower seeds and he said he would put them to use outside the motel. It was a cold morning start but it warmed up nicely as we rode. We completed 33 miles on a sunny day and pretty much flat terrain. We continued to have nice wide shoulders to ride on and friendly drivers that moved over as they passed us to give us more than enough room.

We could see spring in the air with the flowers starting to bloom, green grass showing its colors, and buds in the trees starting to form. We could also smell that it was springtime as the many farms we passed had just laid out their fresh manure on the fields. Lucky us.

It really was a beautiful ride today. Sunny temps in the 40’s and 50 degrees. The sun was shining brightly with blue sky’s all around us. It was a great day for a bike ride. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

We have limited towns as we travel east again. Today we could have rode 30 or so miles, or ride 75 or so miles. We opted for the shorter distance. Tomorrow we will ride approximately 40 miles to the next camping site. All is well, our spirits are good and our bodies are doing great.

Looking forward to another day of riding in Colorado.

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here: Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones. Please look around to find this area). Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like: www.HankandKathyGreer.com

A Wind Fighting Day

We left La Junta at 10:00 am since the winds were projected to get increasingly stronger as the day progressed. The 19 miles to Las Animas was rough. The headwinds felt worse than they were predicted. We had only eaten a light breakfast and yesterday’s big meal was early in the afternoon. So our energy levels were near the “E” mark. We stopped at a restaurant and sat down to a good meal. We felt much better after that.

Las Animas is the only incorporated city in Bent County. Hence, it is also the county seat. The courthouse, which looks to be in great shape, is the oldest continuously serving courthouse in Colorado. Outside of that, Las Animas doesn’t appear to have a whole lot going for it.

We got back on the road and slowly turned back into the wind. We had 18-19 miles to go to the campground near Hasty. We slogged out six miles in about 50 minutes and took a break. Then we worked hard for nearly eight miles in about 90 minutes. We were crawling. I was trying to help break the wind for Kathy with mixed results because the wind wasn’t hitting us head on. It was coming from our two o’clock. We took one more break and then finished the final leg. It felt good to arrive at the campground even though it doesn’t look like much.

We set up the tent on the leeward side of a big tree, which was the only available shield from the wind. Once the tent was up and we got our bags and stuff arranged inside we got showered up. The men’s bathroom was disgusting so I told Kathy I was skipping it. She invited me to the women’s side. In comparison it was brightly lit, colorful, and cleaner compared to the men’s, which looked like an unkempt janitor closet. There are maybe five people camped in RVs here. I figured the odds were low that anyone else would come in so I used one of the women’s showers while Kathy was in the other. I was correct. Nobody else came in.

We settled into the tent while the wind kept whipping about. It’s supposed to die down later this evening. We fixed dehydrated meals, pasta primavera for me and spaghetti for Kathy. I also cracked open the bottle of Chardonnay I hauled today. We should sleep well tonight.

Tomorrow we think we’ll get an early start to beat the wind and try to make the 50 miles to Holly, Colorado. We’ll see in the morning.

Kathy – This morning we waited until 10am to leave so the temps would warm up a bit. Since the winds were not scheduled to pick up until later in the day we thought this was a good plan. 😏 We started out in the low 40’s, and our high temp today was supposed to be near 60. Well, that didn’t happen. The winds were only supposed to be 9 mph around 3pm. We thought, great we will be at the campsite before the winds pick up. Well that didn’t happen either. We arrived at the campsite around 4:45pm. Made for a long day in the saddle.

The winds picked up much earlier in the day and much stronger than the weather service initially predicted, which made it a cold ride. We rode most of our ride in sustained winds of 15-20 mph and had gusts up to 30 mph. It was a slow 39-mile ride today and not so enjoyable. We gave it our all and got through it, but it wasn’t a fun time. I am thankful for all of Hank’s support today as I slugged along.

The campsite we are at is a total dump. The website makes this place look like a palace. Not the case. It’s pretty much some farmland that they turned into an RV Park. It looks like it was flooded recently because there are large amounts of dried up mounds of dirt everywhere. There are only a few RVs here and they look like they are here permanently. We are the only campers. Lots of old junky cars, building materials, and just junk all around. The women’s bathroom smells like a mix of strong moth balls and mold. Not much works in the bathroom. And you don’t want to touch any doors because they are all stained black from people touching them with dirty hands. The ladies bathroom is also really dirty and the lights are very dim, but apparently much better than the men’s restroom. I don’t even want to see theirs. Happy to be clean and out of there quickly.

I’m in my woolies and have my hat on over my wet hair to try to stay warm. The tent is blowing like crazy but the wind is supposed to decrease around midnight. Ok, I’m tired, cold, and hungry so my post is not very positive. Sorry about that. Getting ready to eat our dehydrated meals, have glass of wine and relax. Hopefully I will feel better after that. I will end with somewhat of a positive note…I am very thankful to have this ride completed, and hoping for a better day tomorrow. 💗

A couple of notes…

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here: Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones. Please look around to find this area). Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like: www.HankandKathyGreer.com