Location: Ordway, CO (The Junction Campground)
I woke this morning to warm temperatures and it felt great to do so. Finally I didn’t need to put on three jackets to crawl out of my tent. I casually packed my gear in the warm sun, and I even spent another fifty cents on a warm three minute shower. This morning, also, I returned Coldfeet’s message. I was thrilled to speak with her, and even more excited to hear that she would be in Pueblo in two hours, as she was on her way from Denver to Santa Fe. Since Brian had to shop for a tent and since I needed to go to the library, I told her to come on, that her coming wouldn’t slow us down a bit since we had errands to do in turn.
We left the campsite around 8:30 and headed into Pueblo. Along the way, as we biked through the city park and zoo, we ran into a mass of people. Thousands of bodies jammed the streets. They were the participants of a 5K to benefit the zoo, I think. Few appeared to be athletes. We could bike at a pace equal to a fast gait. Sometimes, the crowd would slow to the point that I’d have to stop, and click out of my pedals until there was enough room to gain some speed. We made it through the crowd after fifteen minutes and then we found the outfitter. Brian purchased a new tent, a top of the line MSR Hubba. The purchase meant that Brian would not be getting his souvenir cowboy hat.
Just as we wrapped up at the outfitter, Coldfeet (Jennifer Albanes) called to say that she was already in town. We met her in the historic district on Main Street and found a restaurant for lunch.
Coldfeet and I reminisced about our time on the Appalachian Trail and discussed our itch to continue traveling and taking adventures. We had a pleasant lunch on a shaded patio. Of course, Brian and I wanted to be within sight of our bikes. Coldfeet picked up the tab and we walked back to her red pickup, the same old truck that I once sat on and handed candy to kids in costume at Halloween 2006 in Damascus, Virginia.
We sent her off and then we were off. We decided to head to Ordway, CO, where we had heard a woman lived who takes in cyclists. The terrain was mostly flat, but we were staring into a mighty headwind. With some sweat and patience, we pounded out the fifty miles to Ordway. There, though, we could not locate Jillian, the woman who takes in cyclists. We found her house and we had her phone number, but we couldn’t get up with her. We had similar luck at the Hotel Ordway, where the no vacancy sign glared at us menacingly. We tried to contact the hotel manager to see if there was room in the basic hostel, but we couldn’t find them either. There must be a CU football game on or some event that everyone in town was either in attendance or watching at home. Ordway was totally empty. There were no cars in the parking spaces along Main Street. All the stores were closed. Only kids roamed the streets and ran around in parks. Their laughter and arguing was the only sound I heard in the empty town.
As the sun was setting, we had no choice but to move a little further down the road to an RV park behind a sketchy convenience store. I’m not thrilled about the site, but it’s a place to lay my head. Tomorrow, we will try for a long day, but the forecasts are calling again for easterly winds. Head Winds!