After crossing the dam, I noticed I began to feel a bouncing sensation coming from my rear tire. I reluctantly stopped and checked the tire and found it to be losing pressure rather quickly. I pulled over to a dirt path and began weighing my options. The past attempt at replacing the rear inner tube led to much cursing and head aches outside of Hutchinson, KS. I looked ahead on the map and found that there was another bike shop in Kremmling, about 12 miles out from where I was. I decided to pump up the tire and ride it as far as I could.
It only took a couple of pump breaks to make it into town. It was there where I found a nice little shop, run by a really personable owner and his dog, Bopper. (See Photos Below). In place of pain and effort, I just relaxed with a fun little pup and let the owner of the shop have the privelage of replacing the tube. Even he, the expert, took about 20 minutes to properly replace the stubborn thing and then he asked for 5 dollars. It was the best 5 bucks I've ever spent.
After having lunch in Kremmling, I only had 17 miles to get to my final destination. It went quicker than expected due to a pleasant tail wind (the irony of this is that I was heading East towards Hot Sulphur Springs). I've heard stories noting that heading West would not necessarily put me into the wind, but I'd beg to differ! In any case, I traversed a gorgeous canyon that led into town. I arrived shortly after lunch and had a lot of time to spend. I pitched my tent off a dirt road about a half mile towards the river and rode around the town looking for water. According to the locals, the water source has been contaminated, therefore water is sold by the gallon at most shops. I bought some water, checked some emails, played with some dogs, and caught an early dinner.
As I was enjoying my taco salad, Chris and Chris knocked on the window next to my table. It was great to see them, which I hadn't since Carbondale, IL. We chatted and hung outside a local shop and shared some stories and drinks. It was then when Callum, Chris, and Dowds showed up in all their smelly glory. It felt like a reunion. We hung out for a bit and I followed them to another diner for some free water and conversation. I took off early to leave them with their food and headed over to the "Hot Sulphur Springs," a series of pools the town was virtually built around. The natural springs heat up pools of water (that smell of rotten eggs) and are very therapeutic.. the springs were originally utilized for medicinal purposes. I soaked in these hot springs and were later joined by the lads. It was nice; however, the springs were less "natural" than I expected and there were a lot of annoying elderly couples commenting on how "faaaabulous" one spa was in comparison to another... but it was well worth the 11 dollars I'd spent. Chris and Chris opted for an early night and I hope to meet up with them in the next town on the map.
Feeling refreshed, I utilized my headlamp and rode back to my tent. The guys later joined me and set up their tents in very close proximity to mine. Apparently, setting up a tent in the dark is not the best idea due to Callum's bemoaning the slant of rocks and twigs he was trying to lay on. It's going to be a cold night and I don't have any trousers/slacks. I've heard people saying it will get into the 30's and I'm hoping that my non-3-seasons tent will hold in some warmth through the night. I can't believe it's August!