El Barrio

I'm not sure if this place has a name. The sign says Motel; beneath that, $38.95. Within 30 minutes of entering my room the power went out. I'm secretly convinced the owner just does rolling blackouts to keep the costs down. I got word of the place from a passing cyclist named Virgil (wemosey.com) who had stayed here a day or two earlier. It was an uneventful day, no real characters (well maybe one). But like I've seen repeated time and time again, it ain't over until it's over.

Before setting off today, I stopped at the local vending machine to refresh my pallet with a liquid that spent the night below room temperature. While sitting on the picnic table outside of your typical medicinal marijuana/ fishing bait combo store (no I did not stutter or exaggerate), a frazzled old woman came out. She asked me to wait for a man to show up in a pickup truck and tell him the woman would be right back.

She returned before the truck showed. It was no skin off my back to wait, I still had to go through my Pop Tart, sunscreen, stretch routine. We got to talking, she owned the place. She was waiting for a shipment of minnows. It was pretty interesting to hear that the minnows in Colorado had contracted Whirling Disease and as a result she had to bring in minnows from Arkansas. The delivery man arrived, I got a quick charge in and I was off.

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Here's an interesting note about the medicinal marijuana portion of the store. The front window was covered with a plastic bag, leading to my inquisition. When she responded with "I don't know?", I got the impression some of the locals did not approve of the operation. It would be moving to another town next month, that's an example of a little old school democracy.

I've arrived in Pueblo, CO. This is my town for two nights. Fortunately it is home to a few bike shops. I stopped at the Great Divide Ski Bike and Hike because the side wall of my front tire had a portion torn up. Also, my rear derailluer was out of alignment. An hour later I had my tires rotated (one new), two new inner-tubes, and everything was running like clockwork.

I got a tip about a sports bar in town called Primetime. I'm going to check that out for dinner and just walk back to the motel. Tomorrow the game plan is open ended. Some things I'd like to accomplish include: go to the bank, get twelve hundred pennies for our friends at Cooky's, mail back the first half of my maps, send out some post cards, and see a movie. The movie theatre is on the other side of the city. What I will most likely do is run my errands while I'm staying in the heart of the city (I'm on 7th street), then book a motel by the movie theatre so I don't have to leave my bike outside with all of these cholos hanging around.

Well I'm out. I'll be back with more happenings tomorrow.

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