At last. It is time to get on the bikes and start moving.
I know, we just blitzed 1600 miles across the country, but moving on the bikes is what we are here to do. Today was sort of a shake down day, with a 90 minute run on pavement. We started on Interstate 25. It was over 100 degrees, and neither of our bikes are really fun on the interstate. Me being me, I recommended a Mountain Dew stop. We hung out in the shade of the gas station, and talked about the beginning of the trip a little bit.
- What do you want to get out of this trip?
- What do you really want to see?
- What do you really want to do?
Luckily, we did skirt the bigger questions, like “What are you hoping to find out there”? I wasn’t ready for that one just yet.
Life got better after the Dew, and we turned to a state route. The map said Pie Town was down this route, the people at the gas station said it was there, but the road signs that tell you the distance to the next town did not, and one of the distances listed was further than Pie Town. Oh well, at least we were moving again.
The ride gets scenic
We curved up through a canyon, and saw mountains off in the distance. We crossed the Continental Divide for the first of 20 projected times this trip, and came to the classic Western Road. You know the one you’ve seen 100 times in pictures? Straight, and flat for 26 miles. We probably only passed 6-8 cars during this whole stretch. Nothing to do but hammer down, and wish that we had our race bikes. Eventually, we came across the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. There were tons of these huge telescopes, and of course I started thinking about our government, alien life forms, and Fruity Pebbles.
I borrowed this picture from a website. Click to learn more about the NRAO
We finally hit Pie Town. Hard to miss really, since there were not many homes or buildings around. The people and the pie here were wonderful. We stopped at the Pie-O-Neer, where they were closed, however they had 2 pieces of pie left, which they let us share- I mean fight over.
We came across some bicyclists that are riding the divide South, but they did not want to sit and talk. The locals in Pie Town were so nice. They told us where we could get a free hot shower, where we could camp, where the dance would be that night, and then 2 people shared knowledge with us about the Divide Trail, and what we could expect. This is where we learned that Chaka could travel almost everything we would be travelling the next day.
Chaka, Sam and Todd at the Pie-O-Neer
We got our pictures taken, and shared many Pie puns. It was a great experience. Chaka even got a cold drink, like the sign offered.
It’s hot out here. Give me a minute!
After our Pie stop, we drove 22 miles to get gas (44 round trip!), and we took the bikes on a dirt road to practice handling them a little bit. They are much heavier than our dirt bikes, but after a little while, we felt ok, and headed back to Pie Town. We noticed a pronghorn watching us from a distance.
We followed the Pie lady’s directions to the free shower. A family had built a little building housing 2 restrooms, and 2 showers on their property. The sign said anyone that was from the community, or travelling could use it, so we did. The place was clean, well-lit, and it had hot water for 3 showers in a row! Jackpot.
It was getting close to dark, and we needed a place to camp. We found a dirt road off a dirt road, off a seldom travelled road. This place was almost heaven. Nobody around, hardly and car or jet noise, and if so it was very sporadic, and a gazillion stars. We all slept well.
Almost Heaven, the campsite
When Todd and Chaka were setting up the tents, I cooked Ramen noodles for us. I have a MSR WhisperLite camp stove, that works great. It’s been a while since I used it, and my initial start up was a little sketchy. It wasn’t the flames all the way across the truck tailgate, the tall grass on fire, or the stove shooting flames waist high that got me nervous. What got me nervous was the bottle full of white gas that was flaming. Somehow we got it all under control, and dinner was delicious.
Chaka says he got out of the tent in the middle of the night, and managed to set off the car alarm. I slept right through it.