Nice to have slept in a hotel again, especially while recovering from the long 125-mile ride. Today, I’m off to “Colorful Colorado” as the welcome signs at the state border tells folks. I remember the first time I saw this sign when I was 9 years old and our family was living in TX at the time and we took a vacation to visit our relatives in Boulder, CO. I remember our leaving at 8am the previous day and driving until 7pm, at which point we stopped at the Holiday Inn. That’s right, we drove all day and never left TX, and that’s when I realized how freaking big TX was (as well as my younger sister Liz who continually asked, “Are we out of TX yet?” :). Those were good times.
So of course when I entered Colorado and saw the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado!” sign, I had to stop my bike and take a picture. Lots o’ memories came flooding back. It put a smile on my face. There had been a headwind but it had gradually lessened into the late morning. So I had a good pace going on the bike as I continued into Colorado. I stopped at a remote gas station and grabbed a sandwich, as I can eat just so many health bars in my “health/nutrition bag”. I spoke to a few locals, really nice people and one of the ladies in her 60’s told me how she used to make extra money as a 5yr old girl in the area, cleaning fish for the men who went to the local river. It’s nice meeting local people who share such stories.
The temperature wasn’t so bad and there were only a couple mountain passes that were only moderately challenging. I had biked about 50 miles… was around a town called Pleasantview (no doubt the only town in the U.S. with that name) when some storm clouds suddenly appeared and the rain came crushing down. I don’t mind biking in some light rain…it can actually be refreshing, but this was a shower, and the drops were rather large. I totally lucked out, as I saw about 200 feet off the road to my right an open pavilion. I turned right, rode up the gravel road (not the best for my tires, but hey) and got some refuge. There was no one around, and it was cool watching the rain pelting down hard all around me, and I was dry as could be. It was the first time I recall seeing a pavillion off the side of a state highway… perfect timing.
After about 20 minutes, the rain had abated and I was back on the road again for Dolores, about another 30 miles ahead. I had one mountain pass to cover, then I was pretty much set to roll down into Dolores. I like it when my final destination is on the downhill side of a pass. 🙂 I arrived into the small town of Dolores at about 5pm. On my right was a magnificently manicured little league baseball field, and trotting next to the field was Hurley, with Matt nearby. We chatted for a few minutes, then Matt went outside of town to find a campground. Upon his return, we walked in a small park, central to Dolores. We then spotted a brew pub, Dolores River Brewery and wondered if the owner would be up for an on-the-fly promo (we had our equipment and could do it). Nice place, homey atmosphere, and solid beer. Unfortunately the owner was not able to partner with us, as he had so much going on that evening. That’s ok, we gave it a shot. On to the campground where we called it an evening.