Coddiwomple: Hays, KS -> Louisville, CO
18 September ’18
Awake at dawn again, the sun sun rising directly behind me, I ride chasing my own shadow westward towards the Rockies. I burn copious amounts of fuel to make Colby, KS by 8:30am, 120 miles down the road from Hays. A Starbucks with horrible wifi is this mornings office, I have a pair of meetings and work on a small project for a bit. I-70 is deserted, and will remain so most of the day, just the occasional trucker to break the long, straight monotony.
“Welcome to Colorful Colorado” says the sign, and my heart lifts; I love Colorado, and would move to Denver and the western mountains if I could. The land doesn’t really change much at first, compared to Kansas, but in subtle ways you see the impact of 100 years of different laws, economies, and ways of managing the land. Colorado sorghum starts to mix in corn, but soon all of that fades as we begin to get into the rain shadow of the Rockies, cropland being replaced by rangeland and drought-tolerant trees, ranches instead of farms and grain elevators. Horses and windmill wells. I stopped in Limon, CO for a waffle, having had a leftover sandwich for breakfast at 5am, then pace in the shade outside while trying to track down a new set of tires for The Morrigan. I score a great success; most shops always seem to find time in their schedule to help someone passing through town, and I’ll gladly take advantage of the generosity. Take care of the machine, and the machine will take care of you, and The Morrigan has been a reliable companion the past few months.
60 miles outside of Denver, I crest a hill and catch my first glimpse of the Front Range, the first mountains of any size I’ve seen since extreme eastern Ohio. The gradually resolve from a dark smudge to actual mountains, and with their appearance traffic picks up, until I’m stuck in 1pm traffic jams. I wiggle through and up to Louisville, CO, a bedroom community on the north side where I’ll be staying in a cheap AirBnB for a couple nights; tires get swapped out on Thursday, so tonight/tomorrow is catching up on work, meeting up with friends, and trying not to fall in love with this part of the world like I did last summer.