The morning was spent in pure, unadulterated heat. Pueblo was having "near-record highs" and I was feeling the heat, even in the early hours. I went through my water very fast and was in dire need of more H2O. I stopped into Wetmore, and not befitting to it's name, had no place open and no dripping faucet in view. I stopped at a local diner and as I was checking the store hours (which said: "We open around noon, and we close later") and a piece of wood fell from the awning about two feet away from me. I snuck around a back alley to find the town library. It was closed, but I snuck into a side door and found a conference room with jugs of water near a coffee maker. I helped myself to this would-be-bad-coffee-water and hit the road again.
I spent the majority of my day looking behind my back and expecting to see the "lads on tour," but I never did. I rode into Florence, an area lousy with prisons and correctional facilities and got myself a cheap lunch. The heat was borderline unbearable, but I kept pushing on. The worst part of today came in the form of US Highway 50. It was a slow, hot crawl upward and my lungs were filled the exhaust of the numerous RV's flying by me at high speeds. I later found that US 50 feeds to the Holy Mecca of plastic camping. Yogi Bear's "Jellystone National Park" looked like a Disney Land camp site for fat tourists with Hawaiian shirts. "Hey kids, want to go camping?" "No? They've got mini-golf and astro-bowling!" Feel allergic to Hummers and funnel cakes, I decided to keep on riding into the mountains. I did a lot of climbing today.... more than a vertical mile, to be exact. Thankfully, the grades are more gradual than the Appalachians, but the ascents are still very challenging.
I set my eyes toward the town of Guffey, where I've heard they had elected a cat as the town mayor. It was getting late and the sky was growing dark due to afternoon storm clouds. Thunder ricocheted amongst the mountains around me and I knew I had to maintain a quick pace to get into town before dark. During one brief downhill section, I saw a deer running at full speed clear two barb-wire fences and dart across the road in front of me... it had to be going at least 30 miles per hour... impressive, to say the least. Anyways, I pulled into Guffey around 6:30PM and was instantly taken with it's unique charm.
Guffey is the home of about 30 people, but attracts many lost tourists who were looking for astro-bowling. I asked around for a place to camp and I was told to visit Bill, a local shop and hostel owner. Bill turned out to be the nicest person in the world. He set me up with a bunk in a small cabin, fully equipped with an outhouse. After hanging with Bill for a while and sharing stories, I walked down to the restaurant to catch some grub before they closed. There I met Iain, a self-proclaimed Scottish "Fat Man on a Trans-Am." Iain started his trip in Washington and will be finishing in Boston in September. A good place to end, if you asked me!
I'm going to bed early because today was exceptionally exhausting. I will also need to have the energy to climb Hoosier Pass, the highest point on the Trans-Am. Maybe the Brits will catch up with me tomorrow? In any case, I really enjoyed riding alone and seeing fields full of grazing alpacas and the mountains... oh, the mountains. Did I mention how gorgeous they are? I'll save you the inevitable hyperbole and just go to bed with this following quote by Ansel Adams: