Also in the past few days I have run into more cyclists and gotten to hang out. Think about this: in 2700 miles and 7 weeks, I think that I shared breakfast twice, dinner once, and a campsite perhaps twice with other cyclists. That leaves a lot of time to talk to your imaginary friends. The first day that I tried leaving Pueblo, I ran into two eastbound cyclists, Whitney and Promise, about 25 miles from town. Since they had me laughing uncontrollably within the first minute of meeting them, I quickly decided it was worth backtracking to ride with them into Pueblo and even take a rest day. Hanging out with them was a great recharge for my travelling spirits. Then in Royal Gorge I shared dinner with a father and son, Jerry and Chad, from Lancaster, PA. I was able to talk to them at length about how to connect the TransAmerica up to Lancaster since that sounds like what Chad is going to do.
In the next couple of days, it should get even better! I will be reuniting with Geff and Mary Anne in Frisco whom I met in Vesuvius, VA when they were riding eastbound. I was hoping to intercept my longtime friend Lauren Reed who is currently hiking the Colorado Trail, but I am not too sure that it will work out. And then I am detouring off of the TransAmerica route and heading up to Steamboat Springs to spend several days with my uncle and a couple of friends. I'm certainly looking forward to all of that!
|Jon, I stand corrected. Marmots are not the most annoying thing on earth. Prairie dogs are. Pueblo, CO|
|The foothills of the Rockies are finally within sight! This was the first time that I left Pueblo. I turned around shortly thereafter.|
|Whitney and Promise were a blast to hang out with and also quite inspiring. This was their first bike tour of any kind and were steadily eating up the miles. In fact, Promise bought and rode a bike for the first time only three months ago.|
|Blue Surly Long Haul Truckers are a tad popular amongst cyclists on the TransAm.|
|I rode Route 96 through Kansas and Colorado for approximately 450 miles. Without making a single turn. I kid you not. This junction marks the moment I finally got off of it.|
|A wild dork in his natural habitat. Royal Gorge, CO|
|Surprisingly I did not notice any "No Trespassing" signs around this property. I think this skull on the front gate is sufficient.|
|I wimped out and decided to stay in a hostel in Alma, CO since I didn't really know where to legally camp. And I was tired. And wet. And cold. Sue me.|