June 7, 2001

6/7/01 Ordway, CO

63.5 miles

I'll tell you one thing - these birds in Colorado sure don't know they're in the mountain time zone. You wouldn't believe the racket they made at 4 A.M. I finally gave up and started packing at 5 A.M. Those birds sure weren't going to let me sleep in.

On the road by 5:40 A.M. under a very cloudy sky. Why are the weather gods pissed at me? I was supposed to have clear skies for a few days. At least it was a little warmer. And just like the guidebook said, I had almost no traffic those first miles out of Eads.

Had a chat with Paul at the Haswell Propane station. He said it might rain this afternoon and they could use it. In a county that usually has 15"-20" of rain per year, last year they only had 7" and this year is just as dry. No wonder Sheridan Lake was so low.

Finally, the sun pushed all the fog and clouds away and I could see for miles. The guidebooks call this stretch of road lonely. But if you stopped the bike, it was so peaceful and quiet, the only sound being the breeze across your ears. Almost like sailing across a calm green ocean. Even those trucks that would pass, I'd look up a second later, seeing and hearing nothing, wondering if I imagined it.

Eventually made it to Sugar City (named after the sugar beet factory) and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. Since I only had five more miles to go, I stopped at the Sugar City Café. Lynette has run the restaurant for 18 years. I found her collection of over 100 cookie jars fascinating, on shelves surrounding the place. It was starting to get warm as I headed for Ordway.

Because of the heat, I gave myself permission for some ice cream. I stepped up to the counter at the Glenrose Dairy King, and who should be sitting nest to me but Alice, from the museum in Eads. "I thought that was you I passed," she said. And then a cyclist walked in to join us.

Chris Keygar is Dutch, but calls New Zealand home. From his stories, it sounds as if he's been practically all over the globe on a bike. He is eastbound from San Francisco to Yorktown, Virginia, then off to meet friends for some biking in Cuba. I want his job!

Chris started in Pueblo this morning and still wanted to make it to Eads (110+ miles), so I said goodbye. But at the same time, two more touring cyclists whizzed by. All of a sudden the road is swarming with cyclists.

Checked in at the Hotel Ordway, which has been giving cyclists a discount since the original BikeCentennial ride in 1976. Madeline Ferguson has owned the place for 20 years with her husband, but worked here in 1976. After a much needed shower, I headed down main street in search of a library.

Madeline at the Hotel Ordway

Out in front of the "Bit & Spur Café" I found two bikes with trailers, so I had to step in. Steve Ellis and Bob Gloudemans are westbound like I am, but spent last night in a motel in Eads. They're mostly staying in motels, but we're on about the same schedule. It would be great to see them from time to time on the road.

Later I met Madeline's brother, John, who is here visiting from Pennsylvania. He suggested we head on over to the new bank grand opening where all the restaurants in town would be serving up food. There I also met Madeline's son, Tom, who owns "Beans to Go" restaurant, and he was serving up some great Mexican food in his booth. The only bad thing was a storm was brewing and the wind was gusting something fierce. Before it was all over, Tom and I had to literally hold down the booth awning to keep it from blowing away. Once his food was gone, Tom didn't waste any time packing up. He gave his Uncle John and me a ride back to the hotel just in time.

I have never seen clouds traveling in two directions, but I did today. And guess what that does, that twisting motion? Creates tornadoes! From the lobby we watched as a funnel formed a couple of miles north of here. It only lasted a minute or two, then broke apart. Cool! Then we had torrential rains in this semi-desert before the whole thing moved on and we had our sunset, which produced a magnificent double rainbow. Even cooler!

Wow, a double rainbow!