Belal had left me yogurt for breakfast. Alejandro had also given me a book on yoga and a box of cliff bars. I was well entertained and fed as I meandered to the coffee shop to plan my route.
Belal was a wonderful host and left me his whole apartment to myself and stayed at Alejandro's place.
I rode south from there on Las Vegas road, there was glass, rocks and shrapnel on the shoulder especially the non existent shoulder on 85. Of course about 14 miles into my journey I suffered a flat on my back tire.
I stopped to fix it. While my bike was stretched out on it's side like a beached whale a cop stopped. He asked where I was headed and suggested the route I had already chosen. A couple miles later I found it was a dirt road.
Luckily it was a nice dirt road with only 6 miles of washboard out of 16 total miles of dirt. Dick Wills once told me that if you drive fast enough you float over the divots. This doesn't work on a bike and I don't suggest you try it either. It was a pleasant ride on a lonely road. I made it to Pueblo with much ado.
I rode to Rick's house, anther warm shower host. He was just getting off work and frazzled that he couldn't have cooked for me. We went to Souper Salad buffet and I was very happy stuffing myself to the brim on salads, noodles and soup. The restaurant's music played three songs about Texas while we were there.
Rick told me about his job as a rocket scientist diffusing mustard gas explosives. He told me how time travel is possible! We discussed our very different lives and how he wanted to go on an adventure too.
Back at his house we looked up routes, which I haven't decided on till this morning with second opinions. I retired to the couch to sleep by nine. We got up at 5:30 am had some coffee and cheese. I didn't want to go into the cold darkness and we lugged the bike out there. Rick gave me a small tent as a parting gift, which I thought was very sweet. I will need it tonight! I am riding east on 50 to John Martin resivoir state park past La Junta, maybe even further with enough day light.
Rick was an awesome host, making sure I was all set and even offered to give me a ride to Amarillo.
So I rode into the sunrise five miles to downtown Pueblo to see the old buildings before I get out onto the endless plains. I am glad I decided not to go over Raton pass, those mtn passes are always prettier in a car. Also it's too late in the fall for me to be back up on any 7,880 ft passes.
Also I have more time to take pictures when I am not worried about losing Phil around the corner, but decision making would be easier....