I got started around 9:00 am today under clear skies. As I rode West on Rt 50/400 across seemingly endless miles of straight highway, my legs were constantly being hit by grasshoppers. I’m sure glad I have a windshield.
There are many large feedlots with thousands of cows in large pens. You always know when one of these is nearby – you can smell them from a mile a way.
As I crossed from Kansas into Colorado, it was about 100 degrees and getting warmer. The eastern part of Colorado is just as flat as Kansas and I was really getting tired of riding down straight roads. I found myself looking forward to every slight bend in the road just to break-up the boredom of the ride.
At some point, I saw an isolated storm cloud on the horizon. It was a small storm cloud, but it was definitely producing rain and I was almost hoping to drive through it in order to get out of the hot blazing sun. Just when it looked like I was going to miss the rain, the wind started getting very strong and I saw a few raindrops on the windshield. Within a few seconds, the wind got so strong that I and to slow down and lean to the right just to keep going straight. I’m guessing that the wind was probably about 50-60 mph because the rain started hitting me from the right side and stinging my face as if I was driving directly into rain. It was really odd because only my right side was getting hit by rain and when I got through it, only my right pant leg was wet.
At around 2 pm, I got to Walsenburg CO and saw the Rocky Mountains on the horizon. It’s interesting how the landscape changes abruptly from flat to mountainous. As I climbed the mountains, the bike began struggling to maintain speed. The high altitude really affects the power of the engine. At about 7,500 feet above sea level, I found it necessary to downshift to 4th gear just to keep going 60 mph. This road takes you through Wolf Creek Pass where I observed a maximum altitude of 10,880 feet on the GPS.
I got into Durango, CO at around 7 pm Mountain Time. As I was checking in, I met a couple from Canada and decided to go across the street to eat at a Texas BBQ place. Harvey and Rose had been riding through the US for the past couple of weeks and we shared stories as we ate dinner.
- States: KS, CO
- Miles Travelled Today: 518
- Total Miles: 2,681