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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 18 of riding

It was a chilly 53 degree morning as we drove out of South Fork around 6:30 under partly cloudy skies.  Russ had ridden 70 miles beyond South Fork yesterday so we had a bit of a drive this morning.  By the time we reached our spot beyond Blanca at 7:45, the sky had cleared but the distant mountains were a bit hazy and it was 65 degrees.

Today marked the final day of our "alpine" views of Colorado, this photo from the top of our last pass to cross in Colorado was my favorite today.
 As we headed out this morning, the traffic was light, our road was good, the shoulder pretty wide and we were still in some hills.
 Colorado is really beautiful!
The sign announced the beginning of the 5 mile climb to La Veta Pass.  The climb was gradual, not nearly as steep as other climbs Russ has faced.

Here we are at the top at 10 am! After reaching the top, Russ & Gene changed the rear wheel to Russ' "normal" one.  The one he'd used most of the time so far was geared to do the mountains & climbs. 
 And then, it's downhill!  Wow, did Russ fly down the hill!  Sometimes he was over 40 mph!
 It was downhill coasting for over 15 miles.  We went from 9413 ft to about 6000 ft in 20 miles.
My mom was in my thoughts today.  She's been a resident of Heaven since 1996, but I recalled many times we were in the mountains during the years my sister, Jan, lived in Colorado.  As we zoomed down the road, (40-45 mph is zooming compared to our 5-20 mph) sometimes there were extreme drop-offs just beyond the guard rail.  Mom was not a fan of steep mountain roads, especially when her side of the car looked down over the edge.  I couldn't help but smile thinking about how she would be squealing if she was in the car.  If Mom were still with us, she may have thought we were crazy for this adventure we are on...but she may have enjoyed the journey, too!  Maybe she's living in the mountains in Heaven!

We coasted (well, he did have to pedal a little bit!) into Walsenburg just after 11 am. 
That was 27 miles in 1 hour! 
This picture marks the turn onto Colorado Hwy 10, we've been on US Hwy 160 since we crossed into Colorado, over 300 miles! I felt like we were leaving an old friend.
We stopped in Walsenburg for lunch at Subway just a few blocks after we turned.

 From Walsenburg we headed east, the terrain changed, in fact, I really wouldn't have been surprised to see cowboys riding across the grasslands or a stagecoach coming over the hill.  It looked like scenes from an old western movie!

 I stopped to take a picture of this strange viney plant we've seen in drier areas here and in Arizona.  It could look like a squash type plant with blooms...I have no idea what it is, but it THRIVES along some of the roadsides we've encountered.  It is RIGHT NEXT to the road, you see the pavement at the bottom of the picture. 
Russ rode about 10 miles beyond Walsenburg on Hwy 10 ending at 12:30.  By this time the temperature was 98 degrees according to the van thermometer, it was a scorching 104 degrees on the bike. 
We drove back to Walsenburg and checked into the Best Western motel right on I-25.  We enjoyed the hot tub and pool and have spent the afternoon and evening relaxing, I even had some time to do some laundry!  Tonight we walked next door to A&W where Gene & I got a root beer float.  A few sprinkles were coming out of the cloudy sky.

As we climbed to the last pass today, I plugged in my ipod and listened to the Brooklyn Tabernacle singers and the choir.  Singing and praising God as we were surrounded by the beauty of the mountains He created seemed like the perfect thing to do.  I am so thankful for the safety God has provided us on the roads, the guidance and protection we have felt, the places we've been and the people we continue to meet.  We can't thank you enough for your encouragement and prayers, we appreciate you!
We wish you a blessed Independence Day tomorrow; we will be "on the road again"!
Russ & Carol 

1 comment:

  1. I love your reflections on the journey, Mrs. Munch!



The CrossNAmerica trip is First to be a witness of the significance of the Cross of Jesus Christ and Its Foundational Influence Upon This Nation. Its Even the Glue That Holds Us Together. "LAMININ"

Secondly we are raising pledges per mile or single pledges to support any of the five mission organizations listed on this blog or any other worthy Christian mission effort around the world, locally or globally.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18