Per usual, we woke early and broke down camp quickly but this time so that we wouldn’t get sprayed by the sprinklers in the park (we were told they go off around 6 or 7am). After moving to a safe spot, we had bagels and fruit for breakfast. It was another cold morning (hopefully we didn’t send too many warm clothes back too early!), but there was no rain in the forecast and the wind was in our favor.
At this point, we are leaving the TransAmerica Trail for good. It’s exciting to detour to Denver, but we are both curious about what we are missing. Someday in the future, perhaps, we will have the opportunity to ride the remainder west from Eads.
We chased some jackrabbits as they ran alongside 287N from Eads to Kit Carson. They are funny with their giant ears but sure are fast! They also seem to leap, whether necessary or not, every few strides.
We couldn’t resist getting a second breakfast and pie!
A tailwind pushed us along to Hugh; 15-18mph feels so good! In town we had lunch in a park, which was conveniently located across the street from a grocery store.
Once again, we put our faith in Google Maps. Route 287 north from Eads has been beautiful so far. At times there is heavy truck traffic, but a wide shoulder makes it bearable.
During lunch, we decided to change our route towards Denver and to spend the night in Calhan rather than Limon. There is a nice bike path into Denver from the south, which we hope will be worth the extra ten miles and climbing involved with the alternate route. Also, a storm is forecasted for tomorrow afternoon, so we would prefer to put extra miles in today while the weather is decent in order to have a shorter ride tomorrow, before the storm rolls into Denver.
We called a campsite, but were informed that they have been booked since March due to construction of a local windfarm. Since we’ve spent a lot of nights in city parks recently, I called the Calhan town hall. The woman on the phone said camping in the city park is probably okay, but she would confirm and get back to us. Later in the afternoon, I received a call from the Calhan Chief of Police, Dave Weinberger. He explained that they couldn’t allow us to camp in their park, but offered for us to stay in the adjacent town park or find us a spot at a local campsite for free. We were really hoping to make it to Calhan for mileage purposes, so we opted for the latter. Dave called back a few minutes later and said he managed to get us a spot at the same campground I had called earlier, and for free! Thank you so much for your help, Dave; we really appreciate it!
Unfortunately, we had to turn SW for the last 20 miles into Calhan, which meant the wind was no longer working in our favor. The scenery made up for the more difficult riding, though, as we seemed to be entering into the hills once again.
In the evening we spotted a few antelope (a first for me), but they didn’t hang around long enough to get any decent pictures! We finally arrived in Calhan around 8pm, and decided to buy Subway for dinner to make it an easy night. We met another Dave inside, who graciously bought our dinner after hearing about our trip!
Trip stats, to date (Day 52)
- Eads, CO to Calhan, CO
- Daily mileage: 119.3mi; Trip total to date: 3,377.5mi
- Daily riding time: 9hr 06min; Trip total time: 290hr 21min
- Daily ascent: 3,536ft; Trip total ascent: 157,160ft
- Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0