Last night we returned to Casey’s for dinner, but also picked up donuts, yogurt, and coffee to have for breakfast in our motel room before getting another start to the day.
Sadly, we battled another indirect headwind, but the temperature was comfortable so we knew better than to complain.
In Leoti, we enjoyed our energy drinks (thanks Ranelle!) which we hoped would give us a boost for the rest of the day. As we stood we had logged 25 miles, we were 11 miles from crossing into mountain time, and less than 40 miles from Colorado! Denver, here we come!
The wind was still gusting from NNW at 9AM MT, when we arrived at a truck stop in Tribune. At one point, we saw a hawk gliding in place for a few minutes before turning and speeding off to the South. At least someone can enjoy this wind!
To complement the wind, the temperature was only 70 degrees, which felt cold with the wind and occasional sprinkle of rain, especially when compared to the extreme heat of yesterday.
We feel fortunate because out of 6 days in Kansas, we only had 2 with relatively bad wind. Our experience has been that the wind most often blows closer to N-S than E-W.
Just before crossing into Colorado, we met a few more tourers. A guy from Guildford, CT had joined up with a couple he met on the TransAm and they had been riding together for a few weeks. They will part ways in Missouri (the couple planned to detour to ride the Katy Trail, which is a popular alternate), but it is really fun to see that bike touring brought these strangers together and they are enjoying each others company!
It is fitting that we cross into CO on day 51 because we are entering the West just as we are starting the second half of the ~100 day trip. We are so excited to experience all that the West has to offer!
The terrain was still flat in Eastern CO, and the wind shifted in our favor. We are always excited to cross into a new state, and we have been especially excited for CO. so this was just the icing on the cake.
In Sheridan Lake we had pizza and candy bars, then spoke with a few farmers who are following the grain harvest northward through the states on their combines.
The tailwind persisted for the afternoon, but we started climbing gradually sloping hills into the high plains region. We highly recommend this section (from the CO state line to Eads along route 96W). There were no major features to be seen, but the view down into the plains from atop these hills is gorgeous.
We set up camp in the Eads city park and were early to sleep after such a long day (although this was our most enjoyable and easiest 100 mile day yet!). While exploring a bit in Eads, we found out that it is the halfway point of the TransAm trail (2,131 of 4,262 miles).
Trip stats, to date (Day 51)
- Scott City, KS to Eads, CO
- Daily mileage: 104mi; Trip total to date: 3,258.2mi
- Daily riding time: 8hr 35min; Trip total time: 281hr 15min
- Daily ascent: 1,668ft; Trip total ascent: 153,624ft
- Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0