Day 56: Pueblo to Silver Cliff

Yesterday morning, Joe and I bid farewell to Maureen and Angie. We rode our bikes to Squawk Coffee. The owner already got a text from Maureen that we were coming. I had a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, with a cup of coffee. The owner of the coffee shop talked to us about Austin, Texas, where he was from. He said Austin got too crowded and the traffic is terrible. That’s why he moved to Pueblo. I bet it was due to poor city planning. Pueblo doesn’t seem to have that problem right now.

After breakfast, I rode one last time with Joe to the corner of 4th Street and Main Street, where we said goodbye. I wished him best of luck going home to Ohio then I started riding out of town.

Goodbye Joe, as he is going back to Ohio

I climbed my first hill in a long while and I was breathing heavily. I actually felt a bit dizzy. It must be due to the high elevation combined with the grade of the hill. As I pedaled west I could see the mountains ahead. By the time I arrived at Wetmore it was past 11 AM. I knew there wouldn’t be anything from here to Silver Cliff and Westcliffe, so I decided to find some place to refill my water and cook some ramen. Luckily, there was someone next to the church. I asked him where I can find water. He called on an older man named Alden. Alden helped me walk my bike across a small bridge and opened the kitchen to the community center. After filling up my water bottles I thanked him and cooked a bag of ramen on the picnic table outside. I was hit with food coma afterward, so I took an hour nap in the shade of the community center. The sound of a car woke me up and I realized it was time to continue riding.

Magnificent view!

Not far down the road, I encountered an incline. The hills around here aren’t really steep like the hills out east. They are more gradual and go on for miles. This was my first gradual hill. It went on for 15 miles going up an elevation of about 4000 feet. I walked my bike most of the time. I also noticed that I drank more water. By the time I rode down the hill to Silver Cliff I went through two water bottles and three reserves since my break at Wetmore.

The slight incline that lasted for 15 miles

I stopped by the first restaurant I saw at Silver Cliff and had some penne pasta. Not sure where to stay, I decided to ride towards Westcliffe, about a mile away. I stopped by Family Dollar to get some more food supplies for the road when a woman started talking to me. Her name is Joy. I asked her if there are any city parks nearby. She said the sheriff will kick me out and offered her yard for me to camp. I was so grateful and followed her to her house in Silver Cliff.

Her yard is full of woodworking materials. Her husband, Ken, is a famous woodworker. He has exhibited in galleries around the US. After Ken showed me a spot to camp we watched NBA basketball finals on TV. I ended up going to bed around 9 PM.

A section of the yard

Ken made this life size horse out of wood

Joy and Ken

This morning, I woke up a little before 6. I plan on riding to Salida and stay at a Warmshowers host’s place.