Pueblo to Ordway...
And then to Eads
Rode a flat but windy ride out to Ordway. We are officially out of the mountains, which is a bit of a bummer. The mountains are a fickle lady. They can be so wretchedly punishing at times and others so glorious. I cannot adequately prepare myself for the desolation that is Kansas.
We arrived in Ordway around 4pm. I had found a woman online that had offered up her trailer to cyclists. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this was far more grim than anything I could have concocted. Picture the remake of Hills Have Eyes, add some fiesty goats.
We rolled down a quarter mile of red dirt road and gravel. Coming into view was a winding series of animal pens, trailers from the seventies and work out equipment turned lawn ornament. The woman of the house wasn't home when we arrived, but a fellow on a dirt bike, smoking and swinging his two year old through sprinklers showed us where we could clean up. We showered, dined and hung our clothes on the line. We spoke with another cyclist who was staying in the camper that had AC but smelled of poop. He was nice. A veteran. Strange bird. Chain smoking and a 10,000 mile tour of America on a bicycle don't seem to pair well. But hey, do your thing.
Matty showed up looking peckish. I gave him some fruit and he disappeared to another home for dinner. I'm sure some kind of situation that came out of Matty talking to strangers while looking for a grocery store.
Johnny arrived. He and I sat on the "porch" of the mini RV park. We said very little. Mostly we just sniffed the poop smell and decided it was wise to rip all the half-dry clothes from the line and make a b-line for the city park.
The sun was just setting as we pulled up to the plot of grass. We were quickly intercepted by a guy who was clearly on drugs. He asked us if we knew where we were, 'A bad dream?' I thought. When we looked around, we noticed that the entire park was infested with teenagers and weirdos on drugs. Not to mention mosquitos.
Johnny proposed something nutty. "Let's just bang on. Ride ahead tonight." Weighing zombie mob in the park and Hills Have Eyes, I decided that riding through the night was, indeed, the best possible option. Also, I had always wanted to use the phrase, "Bang on".
It was 9:30 when we left. The moon was already high. Heat lightning zapped the dark on the horizon. We rode three deep on the road and chatted. Parents, fear not. We had lights strapped to every part of our bodies and bikes. We were lit up like Christmas trees.
I was fine for the first 22 miles. Then I felt loopy and my eyes started to cross. We stopped for a bit. Johnny took pictures with his $1000 camera. Chris and I chugged Five Hour Energy and ate an entire tub of peanut butter.
As we rode, we noticed little black blobs in the fields. They were entirely still, so I was convinced they were sage bushes. Johnny took his mega powered flash light and shined it into the field.
Dear reader, what I saw made me lift out of my seat like I had been stabbed in the butt with a sharp knife. A black bull with a single horn reared his enormous head and his eyes glared in the light. It was as though Johnny had illuminated the face of the devil himself. The image will be forever emblazened in my mind. I have decided that henceforth, I would rather not know what is lurking in the field.
In the end I would say a night ride was the best possible idea. Johnny keeps us laughing and you can't get a moon burn.
We made it to Eads, a sixty mile ride, at three in the morning. Staked our ground in a city park that was about six feet wide. "Do you notice...how lush the ground is?" Johnny was right. There is something fishy about fresh green grass in a dust bowl.
Like little land mines, we searched for the heads of automatic sprinklers. The place was littered with them. After identifying potential threats and covering them with helmets and various other Macgyver contraptions, we slept for a glorious three hours. Chris and I in the tent and Johnny on the ground, right next to the tent. What can I say, he sent his gear home.