Day 41: Selkirk, KS to Eads, CO
June 26, 2011

The Reimers sent us off with full bellies after biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, and melon for breakfast. About 10 feet past their house we entered Mountain Time. Woo hoo! It’s actually really weird moving through time zones like this, when it gradually stays light later and later and then BAM, back an hour. About an hour later, we entered Colorado. This was an exciting state line because we feel like we are really in the West now. The landscape changed, too. There are still some wheat fields but also a lot of sage brush and a small amount of contours. The landscape today was super boring. We had a 58 mile stretch with basically nothing except for a closed gas station. We were also greeted in Colorado with a nasty collection of bugs: clouds of gnats that stick to any exposed skin and gather in Hillary’s shirt, biting flies, and tiny brown bugs that crawl around the inside of sunglasses while you slowly go crazy. And it was 103 degrees. At the closed gas station where we stopped for “lunch” we met Ken, who bicycled the TransAm in 1976 and is reliving that adventure on a motorcycle. He wished us luck and rode off but then reappeared when we had ridden about 15 miles to give us cold water, Gatorade, and Chex Mix. Definitely the highlight of the day. We arrived in Eads and were a little disappointed that the town at the end of “58 miles with limited services” did not have unlimited services. After showering at the town pool, Andrew foraged for dinner at the gas station, emerging with 3 gas station burritos and a York Peppermint Patty. Yum. The attendant didn’t charge him for the York because she thought he was cute (or because he spent about 5 minutes helping her restock the drink refrigerator). We camped in the town park next to the grain elevator. Quote of the day: Andrew: are my bike shorts see-through? Hillary: I can’t tell, there really isn’t much to see.

  • Start: Selkirk, KS
  • End: Eads, CO
  • Slept: Camped in the town park
  • Miles: 69
  • Avg: 11.1

Day 42: Eads, CO to Ordway, CO
June 27, 2011

Last night was WINDY! There was an incredible northerly wind all night that sounded like it would blow our tent away with us in it. It was still windy in the morning and the first 10 miles were kind of a drag until we turned a bit South. The landscape is still pretty boring but feeling more and more like the west. We passed through huge pastureland today but there is a lot of sagebrush and the occasional cactus. In other news, we can finally see a faint outline of the Rockies in the distance. Woohoo! After over a month of carrying too much food with us, we really blew it here. Once again, there was not much to eat besides…gas station burritos! We arrived in Ordway a little before two and found the only hotel in town which has bicyclist accommodations (small and cheap) upstairs. After showers we hit up the grocery store for all the fresh fruit, vegetables, yogurt, etc. we could handle and hung out in the park for most of the afternoon. We rode today and lunched with Andreas, a young Swedish cyclist who has biked over 30,000 miles since 2007. Woah. And, he looks eerily like our friend Alex K. The wind brought the wonderful aroma of the ginormous feedlot outside of town into our room just before we went to bed. Hmm, mmmm cows. Andrew had two crickets jump on him as he tried to fall asleep on the floor. He screamed like a little girl each time. Hillary slept through both.

  • Start: Eads, CO
  • End: Ordway, CO
  • Slept: Cyclist hostel / hotel
  • Miles: 61.5
  • Avg: 12.0

Day 43: Ordway, CO to Pueblo, CO
June 28, 2011

We didn’t set the alarm today but all woke up around 6am and set off after breakfast in our room. We made quick, easy progress and stopped for an early lunch / second breakfast of picnic tacos (Taco Tuesday!) in Boone, CO in front of the general store. The owner came out to talk to us and he had the most amazing cowboy mustache ever. After that it was a quick 20 miles in to Pueblo, the largest town we’ve been in since Washington, DC. (I see you DP.) We went straight to the Great Divide bike shop to take care some bike needs–new tires and a functioning bike computer for Andrew (he finally decided the old one was broken and he didn’t actually ride 96 mph up the Ozarks), and a new chain and bike shorts for Hillary. After an hour at the bike shop we beat back our hunger by eating the local specialty: Sloppers are open-faced burgers, covered in chili and served in a large bowl (some might say trough) with a spoon. In the afternoon we checked in to a motel, talked to some crazy guys about our lack of steroid use, and visited the local Safeway. Sweet, delicious, well-stocked grocery store! Blueberries! Hummus! Yogurt! Clif Bars! On the way to the store, Hillary’s rear shifter broke so she high-tailed it back to the bike shop where they determined that it was beyond repair, but dug out a non-indexed 7speed shifter to replace it. Thank goodness it self-destructed while were still in town! Also, we have nothing but good things to say about Great Divide bike shop!

  • Start: Ordway, CO
  • End: Pueblo, CO
  • Slept: Motel
  • Miles: 55.5
  • Avg: 12.2
  • Notes: prairie dogs!

Photos: ironic welcome sign, we’re on a road to nowhere, camping at the grain elevator, picnicking in Ordway, Wyatt Earp