Saturday, July 26, 2008

rocky mountain high

rocky mountain high
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
This morning, I’d revised my goals, and upon arrival in Walsenburg, had met them. But it was still only 4:00pm mountain time, so I decided to press on. It was only 72 miles to my original goal of Alamosa, and that would give me extra time tomorrow. Perhaps even a visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park.
I was cold and wet, but the rain had stopped for the moment, and the gas station attendant said, “I wish those clouds would come over here, we never get any rain!” So I figured I’d stay dry for the next 72 miles at between 7,000 and 10,000 feet elevations. I was wrong. Not only was much colder than I’d expected, but it also continued to rain all the way through the ride. Of course, it didn’t diminish the beauty of these early glimpses of the Rockies – if anything, it enhanced it. But I had to stop half-way there to warm my Raynaud’s hands on my hot pipes, and take out an extra shirt to keep the wind from entering my sleeves.
I arrived in Alamosa, wet, cold, hungry, and sore. The thought of setting up the tent in the dark, in the rain, and shivering from cold, made my heart ache, so I set out looking for a cheap motel. After 5 stops to fully booked establishments, that campground starting sounding more and more pleasing. Finally, I found a place that had a DNR (do not rent) because the air conditioner was out. AIR CONDITIONER? I’m freezing! So I got the room for half price and set about, unsuccessfully, looking for food.