Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 58 Wiped Out By Wind

Breakfast with Jac (westbound cyclist) at the Sugar City Cafe

Miles of empty train cars and endless Highway 96

Trying to find the mysterious creak
Walking the tracks at our lunch stop in Arlington

Arlington Comfort Station where cyclists sign a log hanging within

Yo! "City Slickers" kindly fasten latch after each use and keep the tumbleweeds + varmits OUT + the door on its hinges!
Hanging out in Haswell and hoping for a 21 mile ride to Eads after fighting a headwind all day.

Dusty saves the day! Thanks for the ride.

Bronze statue in Eads

Grain silos and water towers are a sure sign that a town is on the horizon

Date: Sept. 15, 2009

From: Ordway, Colorado

To: Eads, Colorado

Route: Hwy. 96


Miles Today: 42 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Low 80’s with a headwind

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates

After our luxurious night at the Hotel Ordway we thought we’d get an early start but fate would not have it. All packed and ready to go Mike went looking for Gregory’s tights, fleece hoodie and long-sleeved Patagonia only to discover we’d left them 10 miles back up the road at Kiki’s Place where we had lunch (and where our friends from Colorado Springs had driven us back for dinner). Too bad we didn’t realize we’d left them there while we were back for dinner! Fortunately we realized all this at 7:30 A.M. and contacted the owner before she took her daughter to school. She left them out in the backyard on the spa and Tom, the owner of Hotel Ordway, kindly offered to drive us back to pick them up.

Mike packed up while Greg and I drove back to Olney Springs with Tom and I really enjoyed visiting with him and getting a bit of the local history. Tom grew up in Ordway and has lived in a multitude of places before returning to town. He was saying that the schools in the rural towns of Colorado are hurting for funding just like California schools.

We hit the bakery and grocery store before riding the 6 miles to Sugar City for breakfast. There we met Jac, an eastbound rider from Philadelphia, and enjoyed chatting with him for quite some time. It was funny because as soon as Jac pulled in Gregory hopped up from our booth and went out to greet him and tell him about our rig and our trip.

I’m not even sure what time we truly set out but I know it was late and we suffered from it all day. We were really “dogging” and Mike stopped a couple times and just said, “We are not feeling like a team here.” Funny but when it looked flat for miles and miles it really wasn’t flat and we were still gaining elevation and fighting the wind. I didn’t wear my knee braces because I thought the flats would be so easy but after about 20 miles my knees were hurting.

We were shooting for Eads today because that would have made for a 60-mile day today and a 60-mile day tomorrow with nothing between. Half way through our day we knew we’d never make Eads with as hard as we were working and the wind picking up even more. We stopped in Haswell at 3:30 and though they had a park we knew we needed to be in Eads tonight or we’d have an 80-mile day the next day. We sat at the store for about an hour hoping for a ride and whereas earlier in the day we were saying how great it was to have no traffic now we were wishing for a little more!

Thank goodness for Dusty who at first waved to us from the school bus and then drove up on his 4-wheeler to chat. We were telling him our predicament and after visiting for about 20 minutes he said, “Well, if you really want to go to Eads I could take you.” I said that would be wonderful then asked if he had a license and if he thought his parents would mind. He is a junior and yes he has a license. He drove home and quickly returned with a long bed pick-up and happily helped us load up and then drove us the 21 miles to Eads.

On the ride Dusty was sharing with us that his family farms 289,000 acres of which about 190,000 are planted with crops. During harvesting season he has to drive a tractor 13 hours a day and sometimes will attend school a half day and help with the harvest the other half of the day. Even so he is taking college courses currently and working towards his elementary teaching credential. Keep up the good work Dusty and thanks again for your kindness and generosity!

In Eads we met Jerod (eastbound) whom we’d just missed in Ordway. He’d heard about us back in Olney Springs (from Shanan at Kiki’s Place) and seemed happy to see us when we arrived. We also met Robyn (westbound) who, like me, had been having some issues in the nether region. I was happy to give her a pair of my shorts that weren’t working for me and hoped they’d be better suited to her. At least they might be better than the men’s liners she was currently using.

We enjoyed dinner together at the cafĂ© where a man who noticed Mike’s Sierra Nevada Brewery jersey approached us. He asked if we were from Chico, California and we confirmed we were from Paradise just up the hill and are Chico State grads. He had actually grown up in Chico and went to Pleasant Valley High. Once again it just goes to show what a small world it is.

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