60.41 miles (Total: 2308.70) Avg Speed: 11.8mph Max Speed: 35mph
Me and Joe woke and had our final early morning netbook session. Today was the day Joe left us but first we had 30 more miles of riding until the big split at Wetmore. We went across to Subway for breakfast, Joe destroyed the men’s but he blamed somebody else. So bad I had to sneak into the women’s, nobody was about.
Immediately after leaving Pueblo the scenery changed, it was like riding another planet. Strange rock formations and new shrubs cropped up on the sides of the road. There was a storm brewing in the mountains up ahead, they are notorious for cropping up suddenly out of nowhere. Before long we started climbing heading straight for it and soon enough we began to get blasted with strong rain that turned briefly to hail. Thunder started to rumble followed by a few flashes of lightening. At this point I could see Joe near the top of the climb about to head round the corner, Terry was a way behind me. I waited for the next flash to count how far the thunder was but was then jolted when a huge crack deafened me. The lightening had just struck the road right infront of me. I almost crapped my pants, riding a chunk of metal through a storm is nerve racking. I remember Terry saying he had to take shelter under his tent in a previous storm. So I hopped of my bike, lent it against the guard rail with the water now gushing downhill from the rain covering my feet. I jog down the hill to Terry, Joe has disappeared in the distance, he leave his bike by the road too and we take cover under his tent on the grass until it eases up.
We get back on the road as the edge of the storm passes over, when I get back to my bike I see the water still gushing downhill tangling any weeds it carries inbetween my wheels. After making it to the top of the climb we cruise down to Wetmore to find Joe waiting for us at the point in which he turns off. We were all rocked by what just happened. Joe said his arms we tingling whilst Terry said he felt the lightening strike like a physical blow when it hit the ground. Safe and sound, it was time for goodbyes. I was sad to be losing Joe but because I’m hard as nails didn’t show it. Over the past month or so we had reduced each other to tears of laughter several times, usually in busy restaurants. Our humour seemed to match up perfectly and it made any strenuous riding negligible. I have no doubts we will meet and ride again some day.
After departing me and Terry enjoyed a 12 mile downhill cruise to Florence, CO for a much needed lunch stop. We laid our things out to dry infront of the restaurant much to the bemusement of onlookers, I didn’t care. The afternoon from here would see us climbing gradually as we start to enter the Rockies. First stop was Canon City. After skirting round town for a while looking for a grocery store to get supplies for dinner we couldn’t find one so settled for YET ANOTHER SUBWAY :(.
Terry had managed to get us a spot at a campsite that usually require a minimum 3 night stay on holiday weekends but it was still on the pricey side at $30, a heated pool and wifi helped the situation. It was nested amongst several other popular tourist sites as it sat right above Royal George state park. After climbing this afternoon the elevation meant tonight was actually going to be cool enough for me to finally get into my sleeping bag. Probably the comfiest I have been in my tent all trip. I wonder where Joe is? and Cooper! It strange to get my head around the fact they are both still riding somewhere. Sleep.