June 10, 2001

6/10/01 Royal Gorge, CO

57.5 miles

Woke up to another clear, crisp morning. The only one who saw me off was "City Yard Dog." Andy, who works evenings here and was kind enough to unlock the shop restrooms for me, said the guys kind of adopted him and feed him, but the dog still won't let anyone get too close before he runs off.

Traffic was pretty light all morning. The scenery was definitely "wild west." Also a lot of winds. It was hard to enjoy the ride as I was still nervous about my rear wheel. Not much was open today because it was Sunday. By the time I got to Florence, it was getting pretty hot. But, as they say, "it's a dry heat."

I actually made better time to Canon City. Stopped off at "Burger Baron" and talked with a bunch of old college buddies just back from a morning on the river. All the bike shops in town were closed, as was most of the town.

Stopped briefly at the Territorial Prison Museum, which is housed in the old women's cellblock, right next to the existing prison.

I got a little confused with my map reading, thinking the campground was nearby when it was, in fact, another seven miles. Thank goodness those afternoon clouds rolled in to cool it off a bit.

The Fort Gorge Campground was a welcome sight in this heat. Joyce was working the desk and was full of enthusiasm. She loved the idea of riding to benefit my cousin's memory. Don't tell Karen, the owner of the campground, but she gave me extra shower tokens.

Damian is from Ohio and just arrived in Pueblo by bus yesterday. He decided to skip Missouri and Kansas and jump on the TransAm here in the mountains. Also saw two girls headed east with full trailers.

The temperature is hot! In Canon City, they had reported 101 degrees. Guess I wasn't imagining it. Spent most of the afternoon just hanging out in the office with Karen Brown, trying to cool off. Even after eating some dinner, I returned for more conversation with Karen. The Fort Gorge Campground has been a wonderful relaxing spot to stop.