Last day of Colorado, what a country, amazing trip. Length - 18min 32
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Start time: 07.43
Start location: Walden
Start State: Colorado
Start weather: clear, warm
Total millage so far: 2,707.51
Finish time: 15.04
Finish location: Saratoga
Finish State: Wyoming
Finish weather: hot, overcast
Miles today: 70.49
Total millage so far: 2,778
Today's top speed: 46.8
Today's average speed: 15.3
Today’s ride time: 4hr 35min 00sec
Punctures - 2 (slow back wheel), (staple in back wheel)
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Blog for the day (Friday, 13 July 2012):
Wow Wyoming! I will get there in a moment, but first lets finish with bumpy Colorado. The Brits camped with us again last night which was good, we had a good chat and a laugh, ah British humour. Nice group, two guys and a girl originally from Bristol, but now in Oz’. I didn’t get a good nights sleep though, first time in a tent for a while now, at least, it seems a while. Still, I got up and out without any fuss. The road out of town was bumpy as the day before, groan. Once I had turned off that road and heading for the State line things improved. As I checked the map at the corner, the local sheriff pulled over to have words! Oh dear, what have I done now? Smuggling fireworks across State lines? Lol, no he was just a really friendly guy who wanted to know how I was, where I was off to today. He had popped past the campsite/city park we had stayed at last night to check on us, so kinda guessed I was part of that group. Seemed like a top guy, who’s job is in one of the most amazing places I’ve cycled through yet. How lucky is this guy?! As with the past similar days, the scenery is just outstanding, around every corner, over every ridge is jaw dropping landscapes. It seriously is like being in a “weston”, True Grit, Rio Grande, Once Upon a Time in the West and Bonanza.
The road really improved after the turning where I was talking to the sheriff, fast smooth surfaces with a really strong tail wind! Great!!!! Not sure how fast it was, but it was perfect, although I know at some point, perhaps tomorrow, we will get slapped in the face with a headwind. Loads and loads of wildlife everywhere, loads of antelope in the fields, one of them got spooked as I took a picture and I ended up cycling along at the same speed as he ran in the fields for quite some time, amazing!!! Days like this really bring it home to how lucky and fantastic this trip can be. Huge mountains with snow in the distance, flowing river creeks, cows in the fields, chipmunk things and prairie dog things scattering about. Not much road kill on the roads either. One of the places we passed was a “Beef Improvement Center”! I guess that’s genetic modification to you and me! There were several of these in Kansas, for corn I seem to remember.
So we got to the border and we all had out photo’s taken at it , pulling different posses, great fun. We must have been there for nearly an hour! The night before we were told that the roads of Wyoming were going to amazing! We crossed the line and… CRAP! Just the same if not worse than Colorado lol. The same old concrete slabs with big gaps in between them, bump bump bump. Thanks Paul ;) There were so many photo opportunities all day it was great, in a way, but you got nowhere fast though. The one thing that does ruin your photos in this country is all the phone and electrical wires criss crossing the countryside. Still. It’s great!! If I were to get all gushy about it then, and this is pretty true, it seems like God created this countryside! He had lots of fun doing so, making every view from every angle just the best. High mountains with snow on them behind smaller hills which open up to large flat green pastures. You have to come to see it to believe it! Not sure it will have the same effect in a car as on a bike or not, but give it a try anyway.
We stopped off later at the Minging Moose where smoking is still permitted inside and caused mainly on our arrival, by the bar staff. Two hard “ladies” who looked like they ran the show! I was trying to think of a better example of what some of these scruffy towns look like, I usually use a nuclear holocaust look about them, but then it hit me, its more Mad Max. The last leg of the ride was ok, we had some side and a bit of headwinds too. Heavy looking clouds were building in the distance behind us, with the ones in front having flat bottoms.
We are now camped by a lake, which had mosquito's earlier, but now the weather is changing for the worse, they have now gone. Short day tomorrow, 40miles I think. The English lads have just turned up here too at around 17.00. These guys are pretty brave, late teens and young 20s, came over on their own to do the TransAm and have met each other on the trip. They’ve had a lot of help from locals and other tour companies too. I was thinking of doing it on my own last year, but not sure I really could have. Good on ‘em. In Saratoga too was a lad cycling from Alaska down to Key West!!! Crazy guy called John, hope he makes it safely. It’s always amusing when people ask me what I do for work. I guess I could just say I’m a banker or something and put them to sleep. Or I can tell half the story, or tell the whole lot and ten be bombarded with the same questions all night. I doubt if I would have been able to come out here and do this trip with many other jobs. Got to be very grateful, just a shame I have to go back in August.
With any luck I can get to sleep better tonight even though the wind is really strong and my little tent is being blown around like crazy. Wow, most awesome sunset just happened, I managed to get some photos of it a bit late though. Sun set behind this ridge perfectly in a huge glowing red fireball, just as a pelican flew across lit brilliantly white. Wind has died down and the mossies are back out.