Yesterday took us from 6 miles south of Sterling to 2 miles south of Crook. Lots of waving grain, cows, horses, barns, silos, heat (in the morning), wind and gigantuan clouds (in the afternoon), two airplanes buzzing right over my head first thing in the morning (I took it as a morning greeting from my dad), and one mysterious feral creature that looked like a cross between a fox, dog, and cat - with its morning repast dangling from its mouth.
When yesterday's morning run toasted up to 81 within the first hour and 91 by the midday break (in the shade of a tree at the Iliff Community Center), I had a chat with the family about needing to get on the road earlier. They're all for it ("oh sure" says the teenager sitting next to me). Now we just need to make it part of the routine!
I started yesterday's afternoon run slow slow slooowly. (I'd actually fallen asleep during the midday break - the first time since I started heading east - and was moving rather groggily along the road.) Then the wind picked up, it started to rain a bit, the temperature dropped off, and Kendall joined me on the bike. Thus the afternoon perked right up. (Kendall actually does know the lyrics to songs and can be a very entertaining companion!) Kendall rode about half-way with me while Paul solo piloted the motorhome with a huge grin upon his 19-year-old face. Then the fellows switched and Paul rode along, educating his mother with various environmental ethics philosophies and laser-related chemistry experiment methodologies. We also kept eachother amused with string/stream misinterpretations (Look how long that str**** is - What stream? I don't see a stream? That red str**** A red stream???? no, string - followed by I think they measure it from the str**** Why would they measure it from the string? No stream....and on and on....it's a fun time on the plains let me tell ya'!).
The final pickup of the day was two miles south of Crook. We drove from there to Julesberg and got the motorhome parked just before the big rain hit - with the most astounding lightning show we've ever seen - continuous bolts and flashes throughout the entire sky. The RV Park manager's son described it as War of the Worlds; Paul countered with War of the World's wished it had been like that lightning display.
Day 6 random observations:
- I've always been a mouth breather but suddenly realized I was breathing through my nose. Paul and I conjecture it's a survival thing, trying to add moisture to the inhaled air. Either that, or it just takes less energy.
- Runner's cocktail: pina colada clif shot blocks washed down with Riptide Rush Gatorade. mmmm mmmm good.
- For many miles of the afternoon run, we discovered that a tree was growing at each mile marker (sometimes the only roadside tree for the entire mile).
- Second best rest stop of the run (after 1st best Hudson Public Library): Northeastern Colorado Community College in Sterling. Roomy bathrooms, air conditioned, cold drinking fountains, big sinks for dunking hat and bandana.
- Essential heat running gear: cold bandana (a bandana that has some sort of stuff in it that soaks up cold water then stays cold) (thank you AndyE - who gave me one after a too-hot marathon a few years ago), and the big brimmed, floppy shade in the back Solumbra hat.
- Handy item for bugs (yes, they've started biting): old fashioned bandana - light weight, good swatter, also handy for wiping away sweat (yes, formerly dainty me now has rivulets of sweat dripping everywhere - did I mention it's been hot out?!)
Trip miles to date: 169