It had to happen really, didn’t it? Well, we have been spending a lot of time together … 24/7 really, but it still just sort of crept up on us. A first for us, but it turns out afterwards that we’d both been thinking about it for some time. We got all emotional. Not sure why I’m telling you all this as it means much, much more to me and Paul than to you … we have gone over the halfway mark and we’ve broken the back of this bike ride.
Ordney by name and fairly ordinary by nature … the local restaurant and diner were for us the usual redeeming features. After an over leisurely breakfast (it’s oh so easy to scupper your crack-of-dawn start by ordering a loaded breakfast and a full stack!) we left Warren and Esther to their laundry and headed off on the 96West … again. That’s four days and 300+ miles on the same road … London to Lands End. Upwards.
The landscape lost the vast scrubby grandeur of yesterday as we joined the Arkansas River floodplain … but we did get our first proper sight of the Rockies way in the distance. They looked big, especially the ones with snow on. And the railway line we’d been following through the plains came to life with ponderous multi-engined coal trains … sandwiched in between them though was one carrying massive turbine blades … new energy sources starting to replace the old?
Mike, Jerry and Jonathan had shot off earlier but at a coffee stop in Boone we had a pleasant surprise … Keenan walked in. He should have been days ahead of us. We’d last seen him a couple of states back but it turned out he’d taken a few days off to stay with friends. People come, people go on the TransAm. 20 miles, one puncture (Keenan’s) and some prairie dogs later, we hit Pueblo, Colorado’s second largest city. Once the gateway to the gold mines it’s now a rejuvenated centre for the arts and crafts.
Having pushed ourselves through the high plains we were due a day off to celebrate our 2000 miles. We found Mike, craft beers, street music and night life … how could we resist? … we didn’t. Bed at 2.30am as overdoing it a bit though. Having broken the back of the mileage, let’s hope the mountains ahead don’t break us.
Today’s Miles: 50
Miles since First Landing: 2274