Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 54 - July 27, 2013 - Pueblo, CO to Florence, CO

Miles - 26 by bike, 14 by car
Total mileage - 1,559

Par for the course - we got a later start than we wanted to from Pueblo this morning.  After a breakfast of cold pizza leftover from last night, we took off sometime after 9, and discovered that Pueblo isn't as flat as the rest of Eastern Colorado!  The route took us through the burbs, and the city park and zoo, which was nice.

A mile or two out of town though, we were tossed right back into the desert.  And into the biggest climb we had seen in weeks.  It was quickly apparent that we had not acclimated to the altitude, and we had to take several breaks to power up that thing.  But...we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the Rockies when we got to the summit.

It was getting hot pretty darn fast, and we were going through water like champs - another side effect of the high altitude, in addition to it being harder to breathe (especially for Mel with asthma), getting tired more quickly, and occasionally feeling a little lightheaded.  Luckily we had some extra Gatorade and a bottle of water, but it was all hot, and drinking hot liquid when you are already overheated is pretty nasty!

We had planned for my (Erica's) mom to come up from Southern California to meet us today earlier in the week, so we knew she wasn't far from Pueblo now.  She is going to act as our chase car in the Rockies, and entertain us for an indefinite period of time (until my dad gets too jealous of all the fun we are having, or she gets sick of us!).

After struggling uphill against a 10-15 mile headwind for hours, while only making it 26 miles, and after making a turn only to be faced with another climb up something called "Hardscrabble Pass", we decided to call it quits on a gravel side road.  We waited for my mom to arrive with a bike rack, loaded up all of our crap, and cranked up the air conditioning as we drove the remaining 14 miles or so to Florence, CO.  Oh, and just our luck, another storm was rolling in!

We had a quick dinner in a cafe in Florence called 2 Sisters, then I emailed Charlette - she and I had been in contact for a few months about her organizing a fundraiser for the Looking Out Foundation through Looking Out Across America, and we were going to meet up with her to hang out and get to know Florence a bit.

Turns out Charlette had gotten worried about us when the storm rolled in, and was driving up and down highway 50 to find us and rescue us from the rain - how sweet!  We met her over at the brand new bar she manages - Creative's Cork - and had a few beers and met some of the awesome people that Charlette knows before she showed us to the bed and breakfast she had lined up for us to stay in - seriously, we are not used to being spoiled like this!

We cleaned up at the B&B, then headed back down to the bar - Charlette had also lined up live music for the evening to keep the fundraising going, and entertain us and many of the locals - the place was pretty busy that night!  We enjoyed second dinner and some drinks at Creative's Cork while being entertained by the musical stylings of Chauncey Crandall.  We were taken over to another new bar in town, The Hamlet, who had also been raising money for LOAA!  We met some great people there too.  We actually ended our night there with a lot of the Creative's Cork crew, since they close earlier than The Hamlet.  Chauncey entertained us with some karaoke music, and many laughs were had by all!

We had decided by this time that we were having so much fun with this crew that we needed another day to enjoy this place and these people, so we made some rough plans to go zip lining near the Royal Gorge the next day, and would figure out the specifics in the morning.  The Creative's Cork crew graciously decided to just close the bar the next day to hang out with us!  We were exhausted - this was later than we had been up in weeks, so we passed out soon after getting back to the B&B.  

We had so much fun in Florence this evening - thanks again to everyone who donated to our cause, came out to support us, and made our night so much fun!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great stop in Florence. Cheers to Charlette for taking care of you and gathering donations!