May 20 - 30: Colorado

5/21 - Ordway (61 miles 1979.5 total)
it was another beautiful day. cool in the morning, but with a clear sky. once the sun rose it warmed things up quickly. winds were still to light all day, never a problem. the route--highway 96 all day--was again flat & mostly deserted...tho' we started getting some low, rolling hills. rose made a traffic count between our motel in eads & our 1st "pass thru" town, caswell: in 21 miles there were 15 vehicles & 2 of them were ours. i 'spose being early on a sunday morning helped.
here's a picture of how a biker doesn't like to start her day. as barbara rolled her bike out of her room at the motel in eads she noted that she had a flat tire.
fortunately she rolled the bike past anne, an accomplished bike fixit person. i guess if you're going to have a flat, having it before you get out on the road & in front of anne is ideal. anne & debby ended up fixing another flat later for gerrie on down the road a few miles. we've been warned about the thorns in this part of the country; they can wreak havoc with bike tires.
today was patty the chef's 43rd birthday. other staff took over all her daily chores so she could ride with us. we sang happy birthday to her this morning as she ate her multi-grain oatmeal. usually she's cooking it, not eating it.
remember that country kitchen restaurant across the parking lot from our motel where most of us had pie yesterday? they also have homemade cinnamon rolls....still warm at 6 a.m. many bikers made that their first stop this morning.....after a laborious .2-mile ride. a few bikers who didn't stop picked up rolls to go.
linda, our subaru driver for today, made her first stop at a little town park in caswell. no services there, but the park had outdoor toilets. closeby was the nation's smallest jail....about the size of a one-car garage.
a highlight of the day was at mile 48. as we came up over a rise in the road, a breathtaking, expansive vista stretched out in front of us, with the towering silos of sugar city 8 miles away. & behind sugar city, the mountains. they were enshrouded in haze, but you couldn't mistake those majestic snow-capped peaks. sarah threw a more practical spin on the scene when she commented that our reaction to seeing the mountains loom up before us might be similar to the pioneers' reaction: oh boy, how are we going to get up over those things??
at 56 miles we rolled into sugar city & the sugar city cafe.
that's sarah wending her way inside. (notice the towering grain silo; that's a fixture in all these little colorado towns.)
she was pleased to find hamburgers that were not made from frozen patties but were instead pattied up from fresh meat with human hands. sarah searches for those with even more fervor than sari & i search for homemade pie. sarah finished her 1st cheeseburger then had another. she wanted to make the most of this rare opportunity. sari & i each had a piece of lemon meringue pie; it was only 90 cents. sari's glass of milk was 35 cents. we all felt sorry for the woman running the restaurant; she was the cook & waitress & ran the cashier--a one-woman operation. she was glad to see all of us extra customers leave the place.
our overnight town, ordway, was only 5.5 miles on down the road from sugar city. we're staying in the old ordway hotel, which sits across from a lovely town park. our host is madeline, who has run this hotel for 48 years...21 as its owner. the place is spotless & the rooms comfortable. (but there are no room phones; hence this late daily report.) there's a lobby downstairs with 2 pay phones, which have been kept busy with pocketmailers. several of us walked a block to main street to pick up snacks at the grocery store.
pictured here are linda, one of our sag drivers (& sometimes a biker) for this trip segment. she's standing with her mom. her sister dona is in the car; she lives in pueblo with her 2 canine friends, who ride in the back of the convertible.
that little white dog rides there on top....even on the highway. we enjoyed having them visit this afternoon; some of us (like me) spent some time with the dogs in the park. dona & her mom played a big part in pulling off patty the chef's birthday surprise from us bikers...a new burley rain jacket, which was sent to a bike store in pueblo. dona & her mom drove 50 miles to deliver it to ordway for the birthday party. we sure appreciate their generous help!
gloria, debby, & anne fixed dinner tonight. patty the chef wasn't allowed in the galley. she--& we--had to wait with tense anticipation. but it turned out well, & we all enjoyed picnicking in the park on an absolutely lovely colorado evening. later we moved into the hotel lobby for cake & gifts. lin presented an original & very clever musical tribute to the birthday girl. the day's cooks created 2 wonderful chocolate cakes from a favorite recipe of patty's; sari decorated them.
here's patty showing off her bike-wheel birthday cakes.
as debby, one of today's cooks, pointed out, it's a $2 box cake to which you add about $25 worth of extra ingredients. WOW was it good!! i'd say this cake would cause death by chocolate lots faster than any of those other confections making that claim. if i find out the recipe i'll put it in tomorrow's report.
then patty opened presents & seemed to generally enjoy her special birthday celebration. & we all enjoyed celebrating her.
tomorrow it's only 50 miles into the bustling city of pueblo. then a layover day before we start climbing mountains.
Higher quality versions of the pictures from my trip are available here. If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, or if you would like text-only versions of these daily reports e-mailed to you, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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