Pueblo-Lake Pueblo 17
Lake Pueblo-Cheyne Mt. SP 50
I woke up the next morning and made some coffee inside the church. I headed out and just outside of town met an east bounder. He said he'd probably be the last I'd see for awhile. He jokingly spoke of booming metropolis' ahead. I passed Brandon, population 21. Then Chivington, which was even smaller. I stopped at the church there and had another cup of coffee. I peddled on and took my next break in Eads. I stopped at the grocery store and bought apples, bananas, oranges, canned pineapple and a cantaloupe. I sat in the park enjoying my lunch when two youngsters came over to talk to me. They were curious about my rig. They were bikers too. They had afixed crushed soda cans to their tires to make their bikes sound like motorcycles. After talking for a while I asked why they weren't in school. They said they got out early to help with the fair. I learned the fair was coming to town that weekend. They eventually rode off and so did I.
The remaining twenty miles were so hot. When I finally made it to Haswell I was covered in salt. Dried sweat I think. All I wanted was an ice cold beverage. However, the only store in town closed five minutes prior to my arrival. I found a park and set up. Made dinner and went to bed early as I was exhausted. Fortunately I set up under a pavilion because I woke up to the sounds of rain and thunder. I eventually drifted back to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I checked my tires to see if they needed air. Of course the trailer tire did, it does every morning. When I checked my front bike tire I brushed off what I thought was a rock. Turned out to be a thorn. As it came off the tire, I could see the puncture and hear the air escaping. I have no more tubes in my arsenal. I tried patching it and hoped that it would hold. There wouldn't be any towns until I reached Ordway. I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to get a replacement tube in town.
I rolled out of town and checked my tires every eight or so miles, adding air as needed. It made for a slow day but at least I had a tailwind. Eventually I made it to Ordway. The hardware store doesn't sell bike tubes. They sold me a can of slime, I realized afterwards that it was for the Shrader valve not the presta, so essentially useless to me. I went into a car repair shop/gas station and they sold me a patch for a quarter. I realized afterwards that it wasn't self adhesive, so essentially useless to me. I went to the grocery store, purchased some salad, avocado, some canned goods, chips, salsa and ice cream. I went back to the park and sat around eating my feelings. Two east bounders from China rolled through. I wanted to practice my mandarin, but was too shy. They offered me a spare tube but they had different sized tires. They eventually left and Brown and I just sat around the rest of the evening. That night the sprinklers went off in the park. I had my tarp over the bike and trailer and I had my rain fly on but had the front flaps tied back. I woke up to water spraying in my tent. I scrambled to untie the flaps and close them. However, one was stuck and I continued to be sprayed. I grabbed my knife and cut off the clasp. I soon drifted back to sleep. Then it began to pour. Rain likes to seep into my tent from the bottom edges, despite the fact that I have a tent foot print. All I could do was cuddle Brown and fall back asleep.
The next morning was so very cold. The high was sixty five. I woke up to find the tarp had blown off my bike and trailer. It was soaked. I had put some waterproof spray on the trailer back in Buhler. It seemed to be less wet but water got in where the screens are. It was lightly raining on and off. I was cold and damp, I had a flat tire. I decided to go back to sleep. When I woke up again it had stopped raining. The clouds still blocked out the sun, keeping it cool. I packed up, pumped up and headed out of town. I continued to check my tires every eight or so miles, pumping up as needed. It was frustrating but the only way was forward.
I finally made it to Boone. I went into their combination grocery hardware store looking for tire tubes. No such luck. I bought some cookies and canned goods. Then went to the adjacent park to set up my tent. I took everything thing out and let it dry. The park was next to a train track crossing. The train came often and blew it's horn prior to crossing the road. It was loud and probably once an hour or every other. As the sun was setting the temperature was dropping. The nights are getting much cooler. I got into my tent and leaned out the door to cook because I was too cold to sit at the picnic table. After dinner Brown and I snuggled and fell asleep.
The next morning I took my time packing up. I didn't have far to go. I pumped up my tires and set off. I stopped once to fill up my tires again. The highway gets much busier coming into town, however, the shoulder was almost a full sized lane. There were prairie dogs popping out of their holes on the side of the road as I passed. I peddled hard until I reached the bike shop. I purchased six tubes.
Now in Pueblo, I would be leaving the TransAmericaTrail. I was going to follow the American Discovery Trail. However, after close examination I noticed that it goes fifteen miles uphill on gravel. My road bike, towing a trailer would not be able to take that on. So I decided to grab a motel room so I could utilize the wifi to discover a better route. I also needed to do laundry. Two blocks away, I found a motel. Luck would have it, they offer free laundry. No quarters! I had lunch at a sushi restaurant nearby. I haven't had sushi in a very long time. I planned my route to Colorado Springs; with the intent on checking out a bike shop when I got there for info on the remaining distance. Got some good rest at the motel, a warm shower, did laundry and did some planning.
The next morning I made some coffee, didn't have to pump up my tires and checked out of the motel. A short day. I was just going to Lake Pueblo SP for some lakeside fun in the sun. A Sunday funday. I followed the ADT to the lake. The trail runs along the Arkansas river which cuts through the town. On one side of the river it's paved. The concrete wall is painted by artists. Really pretty trail.
Out by the lake the trail got a little steep in places. But I eventually made it to the campground. It's a really beautiful lake. Old juniper trees in a semi dessert like scenery. In the background mountains rise from the earth to touch the sky. Seeing these mountains for the first time is truly breathtaking. Brown and I went down to the water and he jumped in of course. We grabbed a campsite that someone abandoned a day early. The picnic tables at each campsite are covered with paneling to the ground on the west side. This was beneficial when an afternoon shower came from over the mountains. After it cleared I set up my tent beneath a juniper tree, made dinner and went to bed.
I decided to take a day off the next day. I headed to Pueblo West, it looks to be a suburb of Pueblo. It was seven and a half miles to Walmart, where I stocked up on food. Went back to the campground rested, read and walked Brown around the lake.
The next day I decided on another day off.
The following morning was rather cold. I waited until noon to head out of camp. It didn't take long to start climbing. Ups and downs. I took highway 115. Incredibly scenic. It rides through the mountains. I would climb up and turn one way and fly down the other side that would open up to incredible views. I can't get enough of these mountains. After thirty miles I took a break on the side of the road to eat lunch and stare up at the mountains. After fifty miles I reached Chayenne Mountain State Park. My legs were so sore after two days off and fifty miles of hills. At the visitor center I asked where the campground was. Turns out it is one mile uphill. It was a rather steep grade up. I had to walk Brown alongside and push for most of it. Once up there though I was in awe. The campground is in the shadow of the mountain. Overlooking Colorado Springs. As night fell the city lights lit up and a gorgeous harvest moon rose above the city below. The park is adjacent to Ft. Carson, so you can hear the echo of gun fire all night. We lit a fire, something I haven't done for a while. A great evening, after a challenging but invigorating day. Brown crawled into the sleeping bag. It's getting into the thirties at night. A sign, winter is coming.
I don't have many more days to Denver. Nervous and excited for a break.
Thank you readers.