By the time I got my check for Taco Monday at the Trench, the sun had set. Stumbling into that pavilion in the dark, I startled the French couple who were preparing for bed. Two med students, the couple was taking the summer to travel America. They started biking through California, rented a car through the desert, and then got back on the bikes in Pueblo.
Since they were less about the cycling across America and more about seeing it, I went over the Adventure Cycling maps with them to find the shortest way to Washington DC (their final goal). These maps often take a roundabout way to get from A to B. Utilizing more of the US highways they should be able to shave off some miles.
I also put in a phone call to Mike and Joan for a scouting report. They had gone north to St. Louis and over the Ozarks along Katy trail. The French couple will be taking this detour as well. They showed precaution when discussing going off the map at first, but their English was better than some of the Americans I've come across and I was able to communicate how much more enjoyable it will be. Plus if the timings right they can catch a quality baseball game in St. Louis.
On the 113 miles from where I started in Tribune, KS, to where I finished in Sugar City, CO, the services were limited. The last 54 miles had one vending machine where I was able to buy a Coke and a green tea using the rest of my spare change.
The ride was barren again. Limited farming, water, and people. I swear the town of Arlington, CO had as many people as Post Offices (1). That was my primary motivation for forging ahead. I was ready to stop by mile 80 but there was just no where to get food.
The longer day set me up for another ride into the sunset. As the sky started to change colors, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I'm seeing this country in a way that so few will even get close to. It just feels great.
My phone died around sun set so I'm writing this on Tuesday morning. I slept on behind an old caboose last night. They called it a park, but really it was a patch of grass with a picnic table and a sign. Before I laid down, I noticed the sign that said the park closes at 10 pm and that the sprinklers run from 10 pm to 4 am nightly. I figured it was just an attempt to scare away hobos like me. Or I was sleeping in the wealthiest 200 person town in the world (not likely).
The sprinklers never came on. Off I went to finish the last 55 miles to Pueblo. An off day is on the horizon.