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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 44

50 Miles.  Hite to Hanksville.  It stayed hot all night and camping on bare rock made it even tougher.  I had the whole campground to myself until a guy pulled in at 11:30 and set up right next to me.  He used his headlights to see and they were aimed right at me.  I got up at 5:00 to beat the heat but discovered a flat rear tire.  I fixed it with my headlight on and got going at 7:00.  I will make it a short day since there is nothing else for the next 45 miles and I need some food and a shower.   

Day 43

78 miles.  Blanding to Hite.   Amazing ride through the canyons of Utah.  I don't know how many pictures I took but it was a lot.   I did not see a car for the first hour.  The terrain looks more like the moon than earth.  I stopped and took a one mile hike to see some Indian ruins in the cliffs.  In the middle of the desert I ran into my first cyclist since Pueblo.  He was so excited to see another rider he was pumping his fists  in the air 100 yards away.  He was a rider from Poland going from L.A. to Denver.  I swam in Lake Powell for an hour after I got to Hite.  The generator for the store went out a couple.of hours after I arrived.  Dinner was energy bars and gatorade, same as breakfast and lunch.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 42

81 miles.  Dolores, Colorado to  Blanding, Utah.  Spent last night with a warm showers host in Dolores.  Mollie even cooked dinner for me.  She is another kind soul who has been taking in cyclists for years. 
The ride through western Colorado flattened out dramatically from yesterday.  I got to Utah about noon.  The terrain changed to deep canyons.   The ride from Monticello to Blanding was about as good as it gets.  The views were amazing and it was down hill and down wind.  I actually coasted uphill the wind was so good. 
Tomorrow I will be heading out to a 74 mile section with no services or water.  This will be one of the more remote areas with no cell.service, WiFi or anything else. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 41

65 miles.  Telluride to Dolores.  Nice cool camping last night.  The first night of the trip that I needed my quilt.  Telluride is one of my favorite little towns.  Great scenery, a fantastic library, nice camping and a terrific bakery. 
A long 15 mile climb up Lizard Head pass to start the day.  It rained for the first hour.  Some of the best scenery yet.  Jagged mountains and steep canyons were everywhere.  I stopped for an early lunch in Rico.  The town had only 200 people but had a better restraunt than anything on Fleming Island.  The food was wonderful.  I dropped 3000 feet over the next 40+ miles into Dolores.  This is another town with a very nice modern library.  I'm staying with a warmshowers host tonight.       

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 40

68 Miles.  Montrose to Telluride.  Said goodbye to Debbie and my folks today and of course it had to be  raining as well.  The rain eventually stopped but Debbie was still gone.  There was plenty of great scenery.  One big climb up Dallas Divide that gained 4000 feet and was 11 miles long.  On the way down the rain started again.  I had a deer almost run into me.  I missed it by maybe 10 feet.  I got into Telluride about 4:00.  A big herd of elk was next to the road about a mile out of town.  The first elk that I have seen other than on a menu.  I'm camping in the city park tonight.  It is like a regular national forrest campground with primative sites and a nice stream.  Telluride is a really neat little town but it is super expensive.  More climbing tomorrow on Lizard Head pass, 10,000+ feet.         

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 39

65 miles.  Gunnison to Montrose.  It was tougher to leave the friendship and hospitality of my great friends Jack and Elaine and my sister Nancy and her family than it was to climb Monarch pass last week.  I had a great visit in Steamboat with  Nancy and her crew over the weekend.  The rodeo was a blast. 

I got going early and the temperature was in the 50's.  It sure beat the Kansas heat.   The scenery was great the whole way.  Blue Mesa reservoir is spectacular.  I had a couple of long climbs but they were not steep.  I finished before noon and had a nice lunch with Debbie and my folks.  I say goodbye in the morning and head out on my own again. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The blog will be on vacation until Monday when I start riding again.  Please use any time you would have wasted reading this to go outside and take a walk or ride your bike. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


0 miles.  Slept late and took a fantastic three mile hike with Jack and his collies.  My parents got here at lunch time and we spent the day together.  Much eating and laughing.  Debbie arrives tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 38

65 miles.  Salida to Gunnison.   Today was the climb up Monarch pass, the highest point of the entire trip.  It started at just over 7000 feet in Salida and climbed to 11,312 at the top.  It really was not bad.  I did get excited when I came around a turn and finally saw the summit a few hundred yards away.  The decent was fantastic.  I rolled into Gunnison at 1:30 and am now at the beautiful home of my friends Jack and Elaine.  Tomorrow will be my first day off the bike since the start. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 37

58 miles.  Canon City to Salida.  I am out of the bad heat and into the mountains.  I started the day with a 5 mile climb.  The rest of the ride was through a deep canyon.  I got to Salida and went to a bike shop to get my rear wheel looked at.  It had a small wobble in it.  The shop looked at it and showed me where the rim was cracked.  I had to get a new wheel built.  They put me first in line and got it done before closing.  I am staying at a hostel with several folks who are hiking the Colorado trail and the Continental Divide trail.  We spent the afternoon telling stories and had dinner together.  I enjoyed being with them. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 36

48 miles.  Pueblo to Canon City.  Slept very welll last night and then had a great breakfast with Jack and Elaine.  I headed out at 9:30.  The ride to Canon City was easy with a good tailwind.  The air is so dry that your mouth is parched as soon as you put your water bottle.down.  I will have one more day in the high heat before I get into the mountains. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 35

103 miles.  Eads to Pueblo.  I had a not planned to go all the way to Pueblo today.  I got an early start and then my friend Jack Crumpton who told me that he and his wife Elaine would be in Pueblo later in the day and they would be staying the night.  I had a nice tailwind most of the day.  Unfortunately it got up over 100 by early afternoon.  I went through the most desolate area of the trip so far.  Scrub brush as far as you could see.  
I am enjoying a great hotel room after a very nice dinner with Jack and Elaine.  I am looking forward to more time with them in Gunnison in a few days. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 34

58 miles.  Tribune, Kansas to Eads, Colorado.  I got an early start and had an easy day.  Glad to be in Colorado, state number 6.  I camped with Travis and Bob in the park last night.  On the road today I met Dave and Erin.  They are on their honeymoon and are cycling around the country for 4 months.  The flat cornfields turned to sage brush shortly after we crossed the state line.  Eads has a town pool so I will be spending the afternoon there.  Two more days to Pueblo and then the climbing starts again.  I'm at over 4200 feet in elevation now.  We will be camping in the park again tonight.    

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 33

47 miles.  Scott City to Tribune.  The wind decided that I got a little greedy yesterday.  It blew across and into my face today.   Of course it always seems to blow harder when you are going into it.  When cattle trucks would go by the gusts would almost stop you completely. 
Big cattle feed lots were plentiful today.  I also saw my first wind farm. 
  Although I was in a dumpyy motel last night I ended up having a very nice evening talking with Philippe and Mathilde from France.  They are cycling to D.C.   We talked for a couple.of hours and I enjoyed hearing about their adventures. 
I entered my third time zone today.  It looks like I will be camping in the city park tonight.  

Day 32

119 miles.  Larned to Scott City.  I got going early and had a good helping wind.  It was also cooler today, only 94.  Last night we had 8 of us camping in the park.  All of the others were young guys in their 20's headed east.  We swam in the city pool and camped for free.  I can assure you that the Pizza Hut lost money on their buffet with our group.  I had lunch with a Travis from England who is also heading.west.  Later I met Chris and Lauren who were headed east from San Francisco.  I am in a cheap motel tonight enjoying the ac and shower after 8 hours in the saddle.