Today I rode 260 miles from Ouray to Pueblo. The day started out cold and rainy in Ouray. It was a morning where everything I tried to do was hard. It took me almost 30 minutes to load the bike as I wheezed my altitude sick self up and down the stairs. I had hoped to take everything in one load but it would up being two. Then the ground was muddy so I struggled not to get mud everywhere as I mushed my wet and muddy bike cover into it’s little compression bag. Two bikes had parked on either side of me making accessing my tub difficult and I had to repack one of my bags to get it into the panier. Needless to say, after breakfast when the rain started I just wanted to cry. Instead I saw an acquaintance from Austin who was in Ouray with his daughter. Mr. Man and I had ridden with him at TAR. It was odd to see a familiar face so far from home and it cheered me up.
I stayed almost the entire day on HWY 50 heading east. HWY 50 is an interesting road, either long, flat and boring or “Oh God, Oh God we’re all going to die.” As I rode I thought about all the twisty mountain roads I had been on this trip and felt that I had diminished some of my fear of twisty mountain roads by this point. Next year we will be taking about 6 bikes into Oatman, AZ up Sitgreaves Pass. I had been very afraid of this road but honestly, I was doing some very similar riding all this trip. I’ll just talk everything at the posted speed and let all the Ducati’s pass me going 90 and I’ll be fine.
Once I broke past the Mountains the chill and the raid went away but then the heat started. The high here in Pueblo is 104. 104 degrees in Pueblo, Co. I think that’s just wrong. Tomorrow will not be much better in Dodge City. I was thinking to myself during the ride today that I love to travel but I absolutely hate leaving and coming back to Texas. I just don’t think there is any pretty way to do it. Except maybe coming from the northeast. Going to Arkansas can be pretty almost the whole way. Maybe that’s why we end up going there so much.
I loved staying at the El Rey Inn in Santa Fe and at the Ouray Hotel in Ouray. Neither are chain hotels and both are charming but lacking in upscale amenities. I had booked myself into the Mariott here in Pueblo because there was one here and I have to say, walking into the uniformed tasteful blandness of my room and finding a room service menu and bell hops to take away my luggage cart….It was great. It’s an entirely different type of relaxation. I think I’ll even order room service for breakfast tomorrow. That way I can eat while I pack everything up and then be ready to go.
I have a new goal for tomorrow. I’m going to eat lunch. I skipped lunch today trying to beat the heat into Pueblo. Do you know what that got me? Hot and hungry. Tomorrow, I don’t care how late it puts me into Dodge City I’m eating lunch.
Lots of rambley bits in my head today. I think that’s all of them. Now to unwind before I fall into bed. Tomorrow is a long, hot, boring ride to Dodge City. Did I mention how much I hate riding back into Texas?