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June 6, Friday
We had a great time last night with Mick and Kristin and we stayed up later than we should have. We ate a good breakfast, transmitted our journal to Broknspoke, and rode back to Coolidge in the van. We retrieved our bikes from the Co-Op and Mick & Kristin sagged us the 10 miles into Holly, Colorado. We then said good-bye and reloaded our gear onto the bikes and headed out across eastern Colorado. We had 40 miles of nice paved road today which was welcome. With a strong tailwind again we made good time. We saw an interesting collection of roadkill today; prairie dog, rattlesnake, skunk, and possum. We also saw a pheasant take flight right next to us. Laurie was excited to see it as she thinks it's her first sighting ever. We stopped for lunch in Lamar and did an interview about the ADT with a radio station. They said it would be aired Saturday and Monday and they promised to sent a tape of it to Reese. We rode on and camped at the USCE campgound at Lake Hasty which is just below the huge John Martin Dam. By the way, we promised to report on the water level in the Arkansas River and why it is so low. We have seen a couple small dams that divert large quantities of water into irrigation canals or ditches as they call them. Some of these ditches run for 20 or 30 miles to feed small lakes which can then be released to other canals to water fields. We also think the John Martin Reservoir is holding a lot of water back. We were pleased to have Steve and Martha Hayward drive up from their home in Kansas to meet us for dinner. We drove into Lamar and had a nice evening and chat. Steve is an ADT supporter and functions as a coordinator for western Kansas.

64.2 miles, 13.7 mph, 4 hours 38 min
2318 miles biked so far

June 7, Saturday
Now on Mountain Time, we were able to get started by 6:30 am. Laurie was feeling a bit tired and fighting an emotional slump, but by the time we stopped for breakfast in Las Animas, she was perking up. Then we stopped at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. This is a completely rebuilt fort made to look as it did in 1829. Like a western Williamsburg, all the rooms were authentically reproduced and you could do plenty of exploring. William and Charles Bent built the fort for commercial purposes and it was not a military fort. Next, it was on to La Junta for lunch. Here the old Santa Fe Trail turns southwest and heads towards Raton Pass, New Mexico. With 15 miles to go, the winds picked up. As we headed west we could see storms approaching. At first we fought the winds gusting to 30 mph from the south. Then we turned due north and felt like we flew into town beating out the thunderstorms. We entered Rocky Ford with an elevation over 4100 feet, checked into a motel, and ate a Mexican dinner at Casa Luz, which belongs in our great restaurant contest.

58.1 miles, 11.7 mph, 4 hours 55 min

June 9, Sunday
We decided to take a much needed day off — it had been two weeks since our last one. We started off with 12 hours of sleep. The rest of the day we watched TV movies or just vegged out.

June 10, Monday
In an attempt to beat the predicted afternoon storms we got off to a 5:30 am start, our earliest ever. We had hoped to get a breakfast at one of the two small towns we passed through — Manzanola or Olney Springs, but neither had anything open. We finallyu ended up sitting on a crossroad near train tracks eating some banana chips, a dry pita, a granola bar, and water. We reached Boone by 9:30 am having covered 38 miles already and we were able to buy some chocolate mile and a cherry pie in a small store. Hills are appearing near us now and we can see snow-capped mountains on the horizon. We fear we will dearly miss our flat Great Plains riding when we hit the mountains. By the time we got to Avondale, ready for our last 20 miles sprint, the skies looked threatening. We tried to out-pedal the storm, but ended up taking refuge in an open barn with 3 farmers. They were brothers, aged 80, 70, and 63 who farmed 700 acres together. A close-up view of their machinery gave an appreciation of the investment farmers must have in their equipment and land. Besides raising crops, they raised 3600 head of cattle a year, 1200 at a time for 120 days per cycle. In that time period the cattle start at about 650 pounds and grow to 1100 pounds each. After the rain and hail stopped we rode on into Pueblo for the night.

63.2 miles, 12.7 mph, 4 hours 56 min
2,443 total miles biked so far

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

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