Sunday, August 15, 2010

part 1 - nashville to pagosa springs

so, after hanging out in bell buckle for a day, and enjoying a rest day with good company, i got a ride to the bus station in murfreesboro.

big mistake. i will not be recommending greyhound anytime soon.
i had 2 main reasons for choosing the bus.
1. i could buy my ticket last minute without a monstrous penalty.
2. i could know where my bike was at any given time, and be sure it wasn't being dropped off a forklift onto a runway.

these were smart reason, IMHO.

here are the reasons why i would negate the importance of these previously stated reasons:
a. on a plane from nashville to denver you might sit like a sardine for 3 hours- not 26 hours!
b. on a plane i feel it would be less likely to wake from your uncomfortable sleep at 2am to the dude next to you rubbing your leg.
c. did i mention the dude who was rubbing my leg while i tried to sleep?

- so, arriving in denver after an "interesting" 26 hours on the bus, i put my bicycle together in the parking garage of the greyhound station and pedaled off around 1pm.
leaving denver was uneventful, i kept the mountains on my right and headed south on the first main road i encountered.

i found out that my friend's aaron and leah now live in colorado springs, and since i got such a late start i was happy to find that they could accomodate me for the evening. the trek south from denver was notable for several reasons:
first, the headwind was ridiculously demoralizing. i was struggling mightily for 10mph on flat ground. i got off on a canal trail so that i didn't have to deal with the traffic AND the wind, but it was a let down to be trying so hard for such a slow pace.
second, the scenery was instantly inspiring, it's been several years since i was in CO, and the mountain views, and general wide-open-ness of the area were really refreshing.
third, around palmer lake i caught up to another cyclist, who turned out to be an interesting guy. he has survived some really extreme cancer operations, and now lives without most of his digestive system. we chatted for several miles before stopping for a beer. he drew me some directions for a convenient way into the springs, and we parted ways.

arriving at the kelly's house around 9:30, leah and i went out and filled me up on taco bell, catching up about work and life. it was a good time, but she had to be up early so the evening was short. when i got up i waited for aaron, who would be arriving home from the night shift at 8:30, and we met up with another college friend for a big breakfast at the village inn. good times.

this morning's late start was a little bit of a let down, heading out at 11am...but if you want fun social time you gotta pay the (time)'s worth it.

so, friday morning was another one of fighting the wind on my trip southwest. I had lined up a visit with the furtaws in pagosa springs for saturday evening, so i needed 265 miles or so in 2 days.

i managed to make it to canon city after an early afternoon of dealing with more rough winds, and was almost tuckered out. after a meal of food, i hit the road again and headed into big horn sheep canyon, along the arkansas river.
great stuff. you could take a picture a second through here and every one would be worth framing!
i jumped in the river at one of the may access points and felt instantly refreshed. gosh there is nothing like a cold river to make you feel alive.


i camped at about 10 miles east of salida, and then got up at 5am and road 165 miles to pagosa springs....two mountain passes (9,000 and 10,800 feet) and arrived last night at 9 pm. that was a really long ride. crossing over the continental divide at mile 150-ish of a day long trek is pretty "special" (read: exhausting) good stuff. today i was dragged into taking a day off with the furtaws (ok, so i was easily convinced!) - a 5 mile walk this morning showed my legs as ok, and pizza and beer at the brewery tonight should get me ready to push on tomorrow.

(reminder to fill in more details about the salida->pagosa springs trek)

next to the canal path south of littleton, co

san luis valley, co

necessary evils?

arkansas river valley

arkansas river

no comment

a long day


mkirk said...

heck yes, i was ready for my next installment of awesomeness from the laniak blog and was not disappointed.

man, i am not surprised about the greyhound. can't say i've endured 26 hours, creepy. impressive trek to pagosa springs, good work!

keep cranking and snapping the pix!

JWW said...

Good stuff Carl.

Love that wind. One of my fondest memories is working VERY hard to go 6mph across Montana.

I think the Greyhound might be the most difficult part of this whole trip.

Good travels

Scott said...

YES!! the minister of moustache rides again!

if you find yourself back in oregon, reach out.