Editor’s note: David Freeze is biking coast to coast. His trek started June 10 in Oregon. He’s sending dispatches from the road to be published in the newspaper, at www.salisburypost.com, and on his blog, “Gotta Run” at blog.salisburypost.com/gottarun
Sunday, July 7
For the first time, the headwinds caused me to call it a day. I had expected a good day, after coming down off the 11,500-foot pass from yesterday. Even with the near sleepless night at the hostel over the bar in Alma, Colo., I knew the potential was there to cover a lot of miles. For those who wonder, a hostel is an environment where not all services are offered, or they are offered to a group. One example is several people might share the same bathroom, or two to three people might share a room.
I was up even earlier than usual, out by 6 a.m. After about 6 miles, I stopped for a great breakfast at the Brown Burro Cafe in Fairplay, Colo. More about the significance of the burro later.
After breakfast, I rolled downhill or flat for over 20 miles. Then came the last significant pass on the trip at just over 9,000 feet. Gradually the headwinds started to pick up, and as I came down from elevation, the heat started to be a factor. By about 3 p.m., the headwind was howling and I could barely make any headway.
I passed through several little towns, but had a good recommendation on Canon City, Colo. With about 10 miles to go, I resorted to prayer to help me make any progress toward Canon City. Shortly afterwards, I got a significant downhill that did the trick. Otherwise, I might still be peddling.
Canon City was laid out during the Pike’s Peak gold rush. It has a beautiful and historic downtown. So far since shortly after 4 p.m., I have had a great calzone, an order of crazy bread, two ice cream sandwiches and two huge brownies. At the moment, I am not hungry.
Back to the significance of the burro. The burro was a most important part of mining, and the town of FairPlay wanted to honor the significance of the burro. They made a monument to Prunes, a rather typical burro who had just been put out out of his misery due to old age and illness. The burro still is honored with various community activities to this day.
I was asked to explain whether I get lonely during the day, as the many miles go by. I will admit that occasionally the riding gets monotonous, but not often. I sometimes play mind games, usually focusing on mileage, and try to challenge myself. I don’t get lonely because I usually am meeting people all day. Most are really amazed that someone would go by himself to cross the country, so they enjoy talking about it. Usually the scenery is really good too, like this morning. Good scenery helps the miles go by.
Today, I had 83 miles. Tomorrow, I will end map 6, leaving just 6 more to go. I am nearing halfway in total miles. More on that tomorrow. I plan to enter Kansas in two to three days.