Daily mileage: 240 miles
Average speed: 34 mph
Today I set out sorta late, but that’s OK because we’re turning the clocks back today when I hit New Mexico. Part of the delay, was that I was revising my Track to reflect gas stops, so that I can have an at a glance reference. This of course is because of my having to draw from my reserve fuel bottles yesterday. Can’t have that happening in the Nevada desert.
The last section of Oklahoma starts feeling all western, and as soon I hit New Mexico, the grass sprang up and was uber green and sky was uber blue and road was clean white gravel… the epic level has just been turned up. The scenery was too much to take in, I had to stop myself from trying to take pictures at every turn. Since the plateaus were so far away, it was always a disappointing to view the pictures on the camera, look up a the scene, turn the camera off in disgust. Anyway, I try my best.
After crossing into Colorado the plateaus turn to mountains. I run upon 2 riders on horseback. I stop for a picture and chat with them for bit -- Wes on a brown horse and Colonel Sanders on a white horse (hmmm. I hope I heard that right). They were super nice dudes with an old school appeal. They were asking me what I was doing on this road, and I told them, I wanted to be close the land… Wes was surprised that I was a Mississippian. They asked I wanted to camp out the the Bellerius Ranch up the road (something to the effect). There was going to banjo music and a big cookout. Turns out there was a whole lot of them ahead on a ride, women, children, ladies. Some were with carriages. Pretty cool. I thanked them, but told them I was planning to camp out at Lathrop State Park.
As I am riding through moutains in Colorado, I can see a distant that there was rolling dark clouds that were to the southwest. Didn’t want anything to do with those, and was relieved that the direction I was heading was clear.
La Veta's version of the Hollywood Sign
From reading the trail maps, unless I was in Cotopaxi by 5pm, I shouldn’t try and push it to Salida.. which was fine by me. I had been pushing the last 3 days. Around 5:30, I make to Lathrup and get a tentsite. Remember those clouds… They were on their way here, as confirmed by my Doppler radar app. (which I love dearly). Quickly, I put up camp and move everything into the tent, and not much later a big black cloud descend upon the area, and I duck into my tent for cover. I love t-storms… we don’t get enough of them in NYC.
Its storming outside. Why don't you come inside:
Click on the video to see how simonpig is livin' the dream.
Observation: I’m really happy that I put my stock exhaust back on. Its whisper quiet at idle and I can tiptoe by horseback riders and people without giving off negative vibes. When I’m trail riding with other dudes, its not a problem, but running into people outside the motorcycle community, it makes a difference.