Sheridan Lake, CO to Ordway, CO
Total Miles: 3730
The church we stayed in last night was an excellent choice, full kitchen and nice bathrooms with plenty of floor space for us to crash for the night. There were no showers but there was a convenient hose out back where we could rinse off the days road grime. I’m pretty sure the water from said hose is pumped straight from an Alaskan glacier or something because it was fucking cold! Like it was 105 degrees outside and the water was and easy 50, I felt like my body was going to go into shock and it was sooooo nice. After a meal of gas station prepared pizza (pretty tasty actually) I was in bed and asleep by 8:30 and woke up at 4:00 feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the long day we had planned.
The first few hours of riding this morning were probably some of the best I’ve experienced, the temperature was perfect, the road kind of meandered about so it wasn’t boring or anything, there was a gentle but noticeable tailwind and it seemed to be a lot of downhills. Not even 5 miles into the day I discovered a little Turtle making his way across the road, there wasn’t much traffic this morning but I know better than to leave the lives of our Shelled friends to chance, so I pulled over and helped him along. I could feel it after that. Feel that slight tickle in the back of the mind, that gentle but ever-present good feeling, the warm all over tingle that tells me “Today is going to be a good fucking day!” The Luck of the Turtle was upon us.
The tailwind picked up in intensity over the next few hours and everyone was grooving along at a cool 16MPH. I don’t think my new companions truly understand what it means to be a follower of the One True Turtle, but I could tell they were all feeling it. We breezed through the first 30 miles in less than 2 hours and stopped in for a break in the town of Eads, or, more accurately, James saw a Pepsi machine at a little rest stop type thing on the edge of town and forced them to take a break. I rolled straight up to the machine, put my dollar in, pressed the magic Mountain Dew button and guess what rolled out the bottom?! Well, an MD obviously and not just a plain old weak sized can but a nice 20oz bottle. Sweeett!!! After getting my fix we started looking around at the information boards and whatdya know, we had inadvertently stopped at the exact halfway point on the TransAm! It almost worked out to be my halfway point as well, if I end up completing all 7000 miles that is. We’ll see 🙂
After getting my fix we set off again. The weather continued to be excellent and the wind continued pushing us along at a nice, steady clip. It’s starting to actually look like Colorado now, the endless corn fields have given way to endless miles of sage filled cattle grazing land. Not many hills yet but still not totally flat. We stopped in at the town of Haswell after another 30 miles and this is where I met Lacy. She was so incredibly nice, the most beautiful brown hair, kind brown eyes and the kind of smile that lights up a room. I learned that she was born and raised right in this tiny town and had never traveled more than 30 miles from here. She had 6 little ones of here own who’d all left to start lives of their own elsewhere. What struck me the most was how incredibly happy she seemed, she was completely content with her life there surrounded by the ones she loves and the ones that love her in return. She greeted each one of us in return and showed us the kind of friendliness you can only find in small town America. Just incredible. After we got our drinks and snacks we all said goodbye, gave her one more scratch behind the ear and headed out.
We set out to complete the las 30 miles and it went as smashingly as the last. The road started to get a little rough in places, a lot more little pot holes but nothing we couldn’t handle. We arrived in the town of Ordway at around noon after 7 hours and 90 miles of cycling and the first thing on all of our minds was chocolate milk. We popped into a Dollar General to get our fix and while standing outside drinking it a woman pulls up in a mail deliver truck and asks to take our picture. Turns out this is Gillian, she’s quite famous on the trail for hosting cyclists at her little farm in exchange for 15 minutes of work. She told us to head over to her place and get set up and she’d be off at 4 to put us to work. I was so excited! Every TransAm blog I’ve read has had a layover at Gillian’s place and it was always a thing to remember. So now here we are, hanging out in the AC and waiting to put in our hard labor. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-Glacier showers are the best
-Saved a turtle, received a blessing
-Tailwinds, Mountain Dew and the halfway point
-Lacy is a dog
-James works for his bed