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Friday, 2 August 2013

Half way and beyond...

Hello, its been a while.  Apologies, my excuses are the smart phone  has killed the internet cafe and Kansas Libraries have funny opening hours. 
Half way has been and gone since the last update.
We have left Wyoming, cycled through Colorado and we are currently on the Kansas/Missouri border.
In Wyoming we continued to cycle at altitude through mountain dessert, still every bit the wild west.  Not a lot of people, several deserted 'Ghost Towns'  mainly from the gold rush era.  The landscape was relatively bland in comparison to the magnificent scenery of the Tetons and Yellowstone and the preceding states. 
Colorado and the Rocky mountains were absolutely stunning, some of the best cycling of the trip so far.  We gained altitude culminating in the highest point of the trip - The Hoosier Pass at 11,542ft, thankfully we were pretty well acclimatised so it didnt seem to effect us.
After this we had some awesome descents which took us into the very flat Eastern Colorado which was a warm up for the even flatter Kansas.
The weather in Wyoming and Easter Colorado continued to be very hot (I cant wait for winter), unusually though Kansas has been very wet.  We had 8 inches of rain in two days which is pretty much unheard off for a state which has apparently been in a drought for the past 3 years.
Some pretty frightening lightning storms accompanied the rain which has been an experience to cycle through, someone needs to tell Tom that it isn't safer hiding under trees if trying to avoid lightning.  A couple of flood induced diversions ensued also, a baw ache at the time but it all adds to the experience!
Photos and further explanation below.
The stats:
Day 30 - Ddebois to Lander                      5hrs 08mins 28secs on bike, 74.94 miles, 14.5mph average
Day 31 - Lander to Jeffrey City               4:26.49 on bike, 58.17miles, 13mph average
Day 32 - Jeffrey city to Rawlins              5:35.02 on bike, 74.3miles, 13.3mph average
Day 33- Rawlins to Riverside                  4:31.11 on bike, 62.71 miles, 13.8mph average
Day 34- Riverside to Walden                  3:48.46 on bike, 49.09miles, 12.8mph average
Day 35 - Walden to Kremmling              5:33.23 on bike, 81.01 miles, 14.5mph average
Day 36 - Kremmling to Breckenridge      5:13.24 on the bike, 64.05 miles, 12.2mph average
Day 37 - Breckinridge to Guffey             4:52.15 on the bike, 67.99 miles, 13.9mph average
Day 38 - Guffey to Pueblo                       5:41.56 on the bike, 85.21 miles, 14.9mph average
Day 39 - Day Off in Pueblo, Tom still cant finish a large Dominos pizza
Day 40 - Pueblo to Ordway                     3:56.24 on bike, 51.08miles, 12.9mph average
Day 41 - Ordway to Sheridan Lake         6:12.05 on bike, 91.05 miles, 14.6mph average
Day 42 - Sheridan Lake to Scott City      5:59.44 on bike, 75.98 miles, 12.6mph average
Day 43 - Scott City to Bezine                  6:39.10 on bike, 67.04 miles, 10.0 mph average
Day 44 - Bezine to Larned                       4:35.13 on bike, 52.48 miles, 11.4mph average
Day 45-Larned to Hutchinson                  5:37.12 on bike, 73.11 miles, 13.0mph average
Day 46 - Hutchinson to Cassody             6:03.35 on bike, 77.8 miles, 12.8 mph average
Day 47 - Cassody to Coyville                  4:53.17 on bike, 66.96 miles, 13.7mph average
Day 48 - Coyville to Pittsburg                  6:36.48 on bike, 89.4 miles, 13.5mph average
NB on Day 48, Tom cycled a further 10.6 miles around Pittsburg to ensure he got a 100mph day, whoever made the bet must now pay up.
Day 49 - Day off Pittsburg

 The view leaving Debois was stunning.  We stopped at an Indian reservation about 20 miles after leaving Debois, a guy came up to me and asked me if i liked Debois, i replied 'yes, very nice' before i realised what i walked into. Prick.
Tom insisted on taking a photo of me on this occasion, he said i looked really nice.
 Typical camping scene, kit explosion.  If i was to hazard a guess I would say Chili and Pasta was on the menu with sweetcorn and/or green beans.
 Proper cowboy pose in the Wild West, more Brokeback than John Wayne though.
The stars and stripes flying proudly on Tom's bike. Tom has mentioned many times how he wished he had been born an American
 Jeffrey City, one of many 'Ghost towns' in Wyoming.  This town within the last 30 years was booming with over 3,000 people, a new school was built in the 80's which in its prime had around 600 attendees. Jeffrey City was a Uranium mining town.  When the Uranium industry collapsed in the US the town was vacated over night, there are lots of empty buildings, i believe about 50 people now reside there, very creepy.  Liquor store wasnt open, darn it.
Continental Divide #lost count, still enthusiastic though, you got to give the guys some credit.
 Some sight seeing, Wyoming State Penitentiary opened in 1901.  It was a very interesting place if not a little eerie.
A low budget movie titled “Prison” was filmed on location. The movie was one of Viggo Mortensen’s first and featured several other well known actors. Significant damage was done to the prison grounds during filming because it had yet to be considered a historic site, the walls still stained with fake blood etc.  The Gas Chamber and Stalls where quite a few people were executed over the years remain intact though.
 Wyoming and Tom. State #4 (although this seems in the wrong order, we took this when entering Colorado as the sign was better than the one within Yellowstone)
 Spelt colourful wrong, other than that the photo is flawless.  State #5.
 We visited a Rodeo whilst in Breckenridge, an authentic American experience.  A bit cruel for my liking but the Americans seem to be all over it!  That said they love Baseball.
Breckenridge was one of the best places we have stayed, it is a winter ski resort so very cool (and expensive).  We would have liked to have stayed longer but were also keen to get going with the Hoosier Pass looming.
Highest point of the trip, we reached the 11,524 feet pass on the last day of the Tour de France. Many road users commented on how i reminded them of Chris Froome in the way i tackled the mountain. The climb was beautiful and the downhill was class too.
This was our accommodation in Guffey, Colorado. The gentleman (Bill) owned a lot of land which was full of cattle skeletons, old buildings, wrecked cars etc. He let some of the buildings out to cyclists and has done for a good few decades. It was a very unique place, Tom put some of the external shots on twitter.
Kansas........I might have something nice to say about it if the wind blew East. It doesn't though so i haven't. Dorothy your shoes are shit. OK so perhaps a bit harsh.  The people were incredibly kind and friendly, the weather could have been worse. 
An indication of how flat the roads are in Eastern Colorado and Kansas
 Half way! yeeha.
 Seeking shelter at a church by the side of the road.  Kansas doesn't have too much going scenery wise but it does have lots of Churches which are generously open to cyclists.  Happy to soak up the hospitality.

A quick stop following a thunder storm, although i dont like it i am very happy at the UK'esq weather.  I am more suited to it peeing down (this was pre humidity) with rain than i am to anything above 25 degrees, it tends to be around 35 degrees.
 This was a church we stayed in Hutchinson.  The Zion Lutheran Church.  We picked the key up from the local bike shop as indicated on our map.  The place had two beds with a TV and DVD player above each bed, a kitchen, showers, lots of room to hang stuff up.  It is one of many churches offered to cyclists along the Transamerica Trail. It is incredible.  There was a storm outside as we sat watching a DVD, so happy and grateful to be indoors.
 Early morning cycle to beat the heat.  The rain has brought the humidity, and i know i keep complaining about the weather but it is so bloody hot.  The humidity is unreal.
The community centre where we stayed in Coyville. We asked a local resident whether we could stay there for the evening (another cyclists had said it would be ok if we asked).  The same lady we asked offered us use of her pool, we ended up showering in her house and she made us dinner.  I in return offered up Tom but she declined.
In the photo Tom is planning the remainder of the trip.  We are a little ahead of schedule so have decided to extend the trip another 250 miles and cycle up to the Nations capital.  According to the maps, the Obama's let you camp in their garden.

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