Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 13_July 17-->Walsenburg, CO

131 miles today. Left Buena Vista at 6:30 a.m. and 7,900' elevation to enjoy a glorious descent into Big Horn Sheep Canyon and 6,200' elevation. Breathing was easier and my kidneys began to release all the fluid retained from the high elevation of the day before.

So much for the descent and breathing easy as we began climbing again to 8,600'--2,400' in 15 miles. But, there were few cars and Franz, Ellie, Melissa and I worked together so it wasn't that bad. We were joined from time to time by Bob, Neal, Greg, and Larry.

The afternoon was hot and the winds picked up BIG time. They couldn't decide where they wanted to come from so they came from all 4 quadrants at one time or another.

Had my first flat 2 miles from the hotel. I knew my luck would run out at some point.

The sad news of the day is that at the last SAG stop, about 17 miles from the motel, Larry slipped in the gravel turning into the SAG and went down. His hip is broken (may be the acetabulum, could be the head of the femor, conflicting stories at this time). He's on his way by ambulance to Denver as I write. His wife is flying in from Las Vegas tomorrow. It was Larry's Titanium bike that cracked on Day 2, and now...

Didn't take many pictures today as the views were all these panoramic vistas that just don't show up well in my little point and shoot.

Dinner was a high point. The PAC vans shuttled us 3 miles into town to The Iron Horse restaurant which was totally unprepared for 30 hungry riders on a Friday night. As we were paying our bill a train whizzed by, the tracks no more than 30 feet from the restaurant, whistle blaring. I thought I was in My Cousin Vinny. Only Bob and I could appreciate the humor of it all. "Vinny" had not made the list for the Canadians and Australians who were with us.

The dinner bunch:
dinner crowd1

The motel is noteworthy, though. Brilliant mustard yellow, the exterior. The interior is vintage 1950. It has been upgraded to offer a wall-mounted TV which is sure to amputate some part of you in the middle of the night.
killer tv
The shower is really special, especially the stone mosaic flooring. Everyone would quest after this look, for sure.
shower floor

Gotta hit the hay as breakfast is at 5:30 with ride out at 6:00. Tomorrow is a 156 mile day to Clayton, NM.

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