I did choose to take route 50 out of Pueblo heading east vs. route 96. Overall I was very pleased with this choice with one minor exception which I will explain later. As I looked across the flat open land and thought about route 96 running parallel to route 50 but only 5 to 10 mile north in the same exact terrain I couldn't really conceive of why I wouldn't want to be traveling on that "corduroy" road. Yes there would have been less traffic but route 50 did have wide, and for the most part, smooth shoulders to ride on.
My plan of attack for the great plains is to stop and enjoy the people, but otherwise to ride fast, hard and long, especially when the wind is favorable, in order to provide the time to take in the sights later that will provide greater variety of experience. This is my way of saying it is pretty much all the same out here:):) I only did 68 miles today but didn't leave Pueblo until 12:30pm in order to catch up on the blog.
This is the exit for the chemical weapons storage site. Hope it is as secure as the "New Max" penitentiary that I saw coming into Pueblo from the west:
1941 whachamacallit - Not sure what it is but it sure looked good sitting out in the middle of this field:
Who's going to fix them??
Nice town park in Florence where I took a snack break. I liked this town as there were a significant number of friendly people out on their porches enjoying the evening:
Strange tan lines from my riding gloves. In certain light it looks like I have tobacco stained fingers from chain smoking - but I quit that years ago:):)
Coming into Rocky Ford there was a massive feedlot. I smelled it first from miles away. Can't imagine what it must be like to be a neighbor. When I first saw the cows I thought it possibly was one of the grossest dairies I had ever seen because all of the cows were of a Jersey breed but the business name was Rocky Ford Feedyard:
Impossible to capture the immensity of this operation without a large format camera. Thousands of cows:
As I came through Rocky Ford about 7:15pm I met the nicest lady coming out of the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette newspaper office. She told me she "had heard I was coming" through an email which I thought was interesting. She invited me to come back into the office to look at maps and possible routing options as I am off of the Adventure Cycling route. Shame on me I didn't get her name or photo - what was I thinking?
Later as I exited the east side of Rocky Ford it began to lightening in the distance. As I looked down the road I saw this yellow haze in the on-coming headlights which I mistook for rain bouncing off of the pavement. What I was actually seeing was the mist and humid stench coming off of another feedlot. Soon it hit my nose and lungs and I was choking as I tried to power through it. I don't know if route 96 has it's own feedlots but this was one drawback to the route 50 choice.
Got to La Junta in the darkness. The lady in Rocky Ford had given me a list of phone numbers of people to call in La Junta that would potentially host me but I thought it was too late to be disturbing anyone so I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. Now that Sandrine isn't fulfilling the role of social secretary I need to get better at establishing my route and planning ahead as I am loosing out on a great opportunities to interact with the interesting and warm people of these communities.
Speaking of Sandrine she is now on a motorcycle tour with her boyfriend - he bought them both BMW machines - NICE!!!!
I liked La Junta's extravagant sign:
About Soldiers Best Friend ..... If you have been following along you already know that I am trying to collect donations to the charity called Soldiers Best Friend. This is a charity that provides service dogs to Vets that are suffering from PTSD. These dogs can literally be life savers for these men and women.
My blog averages approximately 175 hits per day. I think that suggests folks are interested in the trip and hopefully are being informed and entertained. I am at the half-way point of the trip at 2151 miles. I consider this my job for the summer of 2014. I am putting in the the "blood, sweat, and gears" to steal a phrase - so would you consider a donation to this very worthy cause?
I've done the math for you .... My entire trip is going to be approximately 4200 miles long. Do you think you could donate $.006 per mile (like about slightly more than 1/2 cent per mile)?? If so then that would be a $25 dollar donation to SBF. Or better yet could you afford to donate at $.012 per mile (1.2 cents per mile) then that would be about a $50 donation. And so on .... give what you can - I know this sounds like a Nation Public Radio fund drive but come on - what a worthy cause!!
Please follow the link below to donate and include my name - just "Neil" will do or "Neal" if you like that spelling better:):)
It's time folks please.......
And finally please remember the cause - soldiersbestfriend.org I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):) Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).
As you donate please enter my name in the "In Honor of Spot" so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. I recognize we are really trying to honor the Vets but this is the only way SBF can tally the results of this drive (tour).