Two nights ago, Ale and I decided to stay in a little town called Guffey, after two cyclists going west raved about it. We almost turned around and didn’t make it there, after we realized it was going to be a 1.5 mile climb off route (not ideal). We finally made it up the hill and stopped at a the only food place open, Rita’s. Rita, the owner (surprise), was an incredibly warm and energetic lady with a big smile. She showed us her favorite video of a man dancing with in all different parts of the world with all different cultures, while she cooked our food.
We ate a huge linner (lunch / dinner). And it was delicious! Rita even kept the restaurant open for another half hour to let us continue eating and using her wifi. During this time we signed up for warm showers (a touring cyclist site that allows hosts who are willing to take in bikers and the bikers to connect), and emailed one of the hosts in Pueblo that said a one day warning was ok.
After the meal, Rita directed us down to the “cabins”. I was speechless when we road up to the workshop area, where we were told we would find Charlie (the man that could hook us up with a cabin). Charlie was missing some teeth and seemed like he had been hanging out in the workshop for too many years. The workshop was a collection of all kinds of signs, bones, creepy dolls, tools, pipes, boots, flags, etc. It reminded me of a life size “Where’s Waldo” Halloween themed room. I can’t fully describe the scene, so I’m just going to add a bunch of pictures.
Charlie was very nice and showed us all around. We walked through a park full of bone sculptures and decorated mini cabins to find the outdoor shower and finally the “nice” cabin, we would be staying in. The cabin was actually awesome. It had some weird decorations but it was fascinating at the same time. It looked like it had been built about 100 years ago and none of the decorations had changed. There were newspaper articles from the early 1900’s on the wall, and I fell asleep trying to understand the comic strip by my head (no success, they were not funny at all).
Ale and I slept in till 8:30 to take full advantage of the bunk bed situation, and then we packed up and road back to Rita’s. We had a delicious breakfast and called our warm showers host, Rick, to tell him we were going to try and make it by 7:30. Rick lived in Pueblo, which was 85 miles away, but Rita reassured us that it was all down hill to Puelbo. No problem.
As we were leaving Guffey, a nice man in the parking lot started up conversation and told me that I was going to pass his wife’s burial site along 9. He told me to say, “I love you Linda,” by mile marker 14 and maybe she would bring me luck. I thanked him and said goodbye, and we were off. The ride was pretty enjoyable after two short steep climbs, although, we did start to face some strong head winds and then some rain on the downhill. Before I knew it I was at mile marker 14, so obviously I said “I love you Linda!” (secretly hoping that maybe Linda would make the wind and rain stop.
Literally about 30 seconds after the mile marker, the sky cleared and the sun came out. I thought, “Dang! Thank you Linda! I can’t believe that worked!” Little did I know, Linda had a lot more in store for me. About 15 minutes later, I was biking along and a slow car pulled up next to me. I almost road right off the highway into the grass when the passenger rolled down the window and there was Liz Dillon with her iphone saying hi to me. I don’t quite remember how I responded, but I’m pretty sure I just said “what” about 10 times. Mike and Liz drove on ahead and parked at the next turn out. They had a beer waiting for me as I pulled up. I don’t think I have ever been as happy to see friends from home. It was an absolutely wonderful surprise! Especially since I forgot to turn on my gps spot thing. So really it was quite impressive they found me.
Mike and Liz had a whole trunk full of things for Ale and me. There were vege sandwiches, ice, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut water, vitamin water (literally all things that any touring cyclist (from Los Gatos) would want). As Mike was moving our bikes he was horrified at how much weight we were carrying, so he encouraged us to give him and Liz some stuff to bring back to Los Gatos. I think that was really the best gift anyone could have given us. We gave them a couple of pounds worth of pots, jackets, extra tubes, chain lube and anything else we thought we could do without.
We took pictures, Ale sung a song, we loaded up our lighter bikes full of coconut water and vitamin water, filled our bottles with ice, and then we said goodbye. I secretly wished we could have spent the afternoon hanging out with Mike and Liz at the Gorge, but unfortunately, we had already committed to Rick, and I am sure Mike and Liz already had other plans. It was nice enough they took the time to buy us supplies and come find us in the middle of nowhere.
As we continued on 9, the headwinds got worse and worse. We road through Canon City and then got off the main highway to follow the bike map. The map took us on a 30 mile uphill in the middle of nowhere, awesome! We were both so angry by the time we got to a rest stop that we were just silent until we downed the rest of the chocolate. By that time we were laughing and cursing at the map. We played some music, did a quick pump up dance, and then we raced towards Pueblo.
We faced headwinds the entire ride to Pueblo. Thankfully, Rick was a very kind host and welcomed us even though we were an hour late. He greeted us on the street and had dinner waiting in the kitchen. There is nothing better than coming home (even if its not yours) to a nice meal and a warm shower. Thank you Rick!
We ate dinner, hung out and talked, and then got ready for bed because we had an early wake up call. We were both so grateful we had connected with Rick and now we are big big fans of warmshowers.org.
We left Pueblo this morning at 6am, which allowed us to really put in some good mileage (not entirely on purpose). These towns out here are so far apart that if you are going to go to the next one, you really have to commit. We ended up doing 115miles, which was way more than our previous personal record. So we are now celebrating by laying completely still in the tent and talking about the breakfast we are going to eat tomorrow morning.
Oh, also a highlight from today: When we had brunch in a small town called Ordway, the two ladies at the table next to us dropped 15 dollars on our table and said they really admired what we were doing and breakfast was on them. It still amazes me how kind people are, what a nice thing to do!