28 Aug 2010, 3:46pm
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as you can plainly see

hello from tribune, KANSAS! woo-ee is it windy here. i asked my mom to check the weather forecast last night ’cause i wanted to see if it was supposed to be stormy at all, what with towns and shelter being few and far between out here, and she said clear, highs in the 90s, etc etc, oh and 20 mph winds. which i didn’t really register at all until the winds happened about halfway through today’s ride. i just checked and there is a WIND ADVISORY in effect right now (”gusts up to 45 mph”), which means i can complain with some legitimacy. it was tough! winds outta the south (gusty sidewind for me) are supposed to continue for the next few days, but with a little luck they won’t be as bad as they are today. i was hoping that the mythical TAILWIND would make an appearance, but turns out there are no predictable prevailing winds on the plains. suck on that, westbound cyclists.

i’m tucked in next to the county library here, which is closed but has unprotected wireless and a little outlet on the outside of the building. i think i’m sleeping in the city park tonight, which i have yet to locate. anyway, some quick catch-up (AS ALWAYS) and then maybe i’ll have time to actually go on for a bit about how things are/how things will be/et cetera.

eastward at last, towards pueblo


(oohhh the mountains…)


(outside of a tiny store near wetmore where i filled up my water bottles, with tibetan prayer flags and a photo of the dalai lama hanging behind the counter)

pueblo

in pueblo i stayed with couchsurfing host jenny. my first night in town, she made me a delicious dinner, and my second night, we made it together! including a tasty chocolate-zucchini cake with a huge zucchini from her garden. thank you jenny!

the levees along the arkansas river through pueblo are covered in murals–very cool:

there’s also a riverwalk (along a canal? i am not entirely clear) through downtown.

pueblo to ordway


(go, grass, grow! take back the streets!)

in ordway i stayed at at this sprawling property owned by a woman named gillian who is in new zealand right now, where she’s from, but her friend mark is taking care of things for her. apparently she has been hosting cyclists there for years and years, and two years ago a big fire burned everything to the ground. cyclists who had come through and stayed with her heard about it and some of them got on planes out here to come help rebuild, plant trees, etc. now the trees are small but you can’t tell it was all gone. there’s goats and horses.

i met two retired guys, jose and paul, who are biking from colorado to texas (god bless ‘em, the heat is gonna be killer there) who were also staying at gillian’s. we chatted some and they bought me dinner at the local cafe.

i sorta get the feeling i am gonna be the recipient of EVEN MORE generosity on this leg of the trip, as a woman traveling alone. i am really grateful for that, though “you stay safe now, you hear?” is gonna get pretty old. but i realize that it’s not advice–staying safe would’ve been staying home–so much as a prayer, and i think i can appreciate that.

oh, also in ordway i learned that the communities along us-96 (which i have been following since west of pueblo, and will remain on for at least another few days) in southeast colorado have joined together to welcome transam cyclists by creating the prairie horizons trail. they publish a super-cute little map with a services index and some historical info and stuff. so nice! in tiny arlington, for example, they’ve built an outhouse! with a cyclist logbook in it and everything. love it.

ordway to eads


(there are TONS of medical marijuana dispensaries in colorado–apparently until recently it was/is badly regulated. this one was in tiny sugar city… i couldn’t resist the punny name)

this is what the plains look like here:

this is what i look like here:

these are some abandoned buildings in disrepair (a pretty common sight):


(self portrait!)

this is a sign welcoming cyclists to the prairie horizons trail:

colorado rocks!*

* also wyoming

my campsite in the eads city park


(this is for you, mom)

eads to KANSAS!

i got up before dawn to leave at sunrise, hoping to beat the heat!


(yeah, saw some of this. sure is a smelly operation. ugh!)


(in the distance the blue horizon looks like the ocean, and so i pedal onwards…)

kansas!

hurray!

all the other photos i took in kansas today are of DUST (and WIND). all these fallow fields… didn’t the dust bowl teach us anything, kansas?

oh, and this awesome hastily-taken photo of a real live TUMBLEWEED a-tumblin’ across the road:

ok, i gotta figure out where i’m camping tonight.

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