With this heat we set the alarm for 5:00!! It still takes a bit of getting used to, getting up that early! We did the best we could, got packed up and had breakfast and managed to get on the road by 7:00am! That was an improvement and it was cooler at that time of morning! Good for us but we are going to have to get better!
The ride was pretty uneventful, more of the same dry arid landscape! But it is still beautiful in its own way, always changing, there was a mountain range along side of us and that always makes me feel better when there are mountains in view. Trees started to appear and some of the ranches had a bit more life to them with cattle grazing. Who knows what those poor beasts survive on, but they have been doing it for hundreds of years out here so it must work!
We actually passed thru more of the barren land but now it had very tidy and modern looking sheds or greenhouse complexes on them. Could only guess they have utilized this otherwise almost useless land by supporting the now exploding marijuana industry! No tasting or sampling rooms, so we are just guessing!
We did have one very unfortunate event take place, it was shocking! The road was long and open and deserted for the most part, some traffic but you could hear a car coming long before it was visible in our rear view mirrors, which we check constantly. While we were getting a drink from our camelback water bottles, the kind with the long hose to make it easier but we do have to tip our heads a bit for a second or two, Mike had wandered into the middle of the road and I wasn't much better but we finished and got back single file along the white line that also serves as the shoulder for the road. Keep in mind we are on a road that has almost unlimited visibility, we could be seen ahead by any car for a very long way. This truck came up behind us, absolutely laid on his horn for a good minute, pulled up next to me with his window rolled down and passenger sitting there while he proceeded to scream and yell and drop F* bombs every other word! He was crazed with anger and out of control! I could feel my mouth hanging open in disbelief and shock and then he rolled up next to mike and did the same before speeding off! It made me sick to my stomach with fear, he was so overboard with anger! So out of proportion for the situation, it was very unsettling! I kept watching white trucks coming back in our direction in case he decided to come back for another check! It was awful! There were many solutions to the situation that would have got his message across, we did not actually weave in front of him but it probably saw it in the distance, it was scary to watch him overreacting to such a degree!
Other than that it was a really successful day and I try not to let that event take over! We did a good thing by getting an early start this morning and reached our destination of Pueblo by 11:00am! A little early to end the day but we planned it this way as the temperature was expected to be 105 and we did not want to be riding in that heat!
To be fair I have not always held Pueblo in a high regard as a place I would like to spend time. Once again, I am so wrong! My opinion was never based on fact, just something I imagined to be true. Riding into Pueblo and in only a few miles my feelings have been changed as we rode thru the most lovely tree lined streets and lovely homes, big wide streets that are very bicycle friendly and it kept getting better! The City Park was so beautiful and inviting with the huge shade trees and soft grass we took advantage of it and stopped awhile to enjoy it.
We are staying with one of the Warmshowers host and he is great! Met us on the sidewalk and welcomed us in, we rolled our bikes right inside, have our own room and he knows everything there is to know in the area! Unfortunately he has an injured back but his first words were he would muster up as much enthusiasm as he was able to under these conditions! Poor guy is obviously in pain but so accomodating and generous in his hosting!
We settled ourselves in, had a shower and headed out to the Historic Downtown Pueblo only a 15 minute walk from here. Again,such a great surprise! Loved it! While we had lunch we struck up a great conversation with another Mike next to us. A lifelong resident of Pueblo and a school teacher, we all seemed to have lots to talk about and he made lunch very enjoyable! He even offered to take us to Walmart because we were talking about getting some supplies. How kind is that? But it didn't seem that necessary so we declined. After lunch we resumed our self led tour of Historic Downtown and decided we needed to take a trip by boat down the Pueblo Riverwalk! Well, I decided and Mike agreed with me! The Riverwalk was actually designed using the San Antonio Riverwalk as a model. It has a long way to go to match the size of San Antonio but was so pleasant in the simple and quiet atmosphere it has created! It was a great way to spend a hot summer afternoon, all 20 minutes of the boat trip!!
Pretty worn out by the heat, and maybe relaxed from a glass of wine, we headed back to the house for the evening. I spent a good part of the evening sitting on the front porch with our host Mike, just chatting about life, how to keep it simple and enjoying the little things! A nice breeze would come and go and make it very pleasant! For some reason it reminded me of being a kid in Illinois and sitting outside in the driveway, like we did in the Midwest! I hated to leave the front porch but its been a good day, more good memories (still trying to let go of the nasty stuff) and we are ready to go to sleep and get another early start in the morning.
Things have changed dramatically from cold and mountains to flat and hot! We have to see how we go with the heat and work on a new riding routine, see how many miles we can do before it gets to hot to ride.
Good night everyone and I hope you have a safe and happy July 4th, however you choose to celebrate!