We woke up in Brush and Rebecca decided to go to the local bakery to get donuts. Unfortunately, all the sites in small towns tend to be closed on Sundays (and we forgot it was Sunday) so we resigned ourselves to eating granola bars on our way out. However, the invitation to join the family reunion for breakfast was reissued and we took the opportunity. We each ate a muffin and drank some milk and then happily headed out for a day into small town Colorado. We knew there wasn’t much going on in the towns we’d see, so we filled up our water all the way and stepped/pedaled away. Once we were off the main highway the bugs appeared. In Hillrose it was so bad that Tim only took a short break and Rebecca only stopped for a second.
The bugs were so bad Tim even put on his bug suit.
Rebecca arrived at our designated stopping point to scope out camping places and then kept biking because at least the biking kept the bugs away. And Tim stopped in the dugout at the high school in Merino for a quick break. The dugout blocked some of the sun and kept the bugs out. As he was settling in with his snacks a couple walked over to ask him how he was doing.
They’d seen him walking in Hillrose and couldn’t imagine walking that far in the heat and with a pack. They came back soon after with a packed lunch for him to snack on! The man was the groundskeeper for the baseball field and discussed where we were staying for the evening.
By the time they were leaving Rebecca had knocked on a door in Atwood to secure a lawn for us to sleep on and Tim started walking toward it. The bugs were terrible, and then it rained for about 30 minutes only to see a return of the bugs. It’s hard to decide which is worse sometimes, but we both decided the rain was way better on this day than the bugs.
Tim got to the tent, dove in to avoid the bugs, and we both ate dinner together cramped into the tiny space. The next morning we knew we’d only make it to Proctor, CO. Rebecca would have to knock on another door, but on the way we’d have Sterling to walk through. We stopped for a resupply at the wal-mart in town, and met at the McDonald’s for our internet and electricity fix for the day.
Tim left Rebecca in a small park in town and started his trek for the day. Rebecca hung out and blogged for a bit before going to find a nice person who would let us camp in their yard.
On the way to Proctor, Rebecca passed Iliff and texted Tim about the many port-a-potties in town. She assumed there must have been a street fest. When she got to Proctor she saw a woman pulling into her driveway and asked about camping in her yard. The woman was hesitant, because she lived alone, but said to ask at the gas station/diner to see if she knew who to suggest. And then said if no one said yes to come back. Rebecca wandered over to the gas station to get the suggestion of the woman down the street, Meagan. When she pulled up to the house the dog ran out to greet her and the door was answered by a friendly woman, Lisa, who turned out to be the mother of Meagan. After some initial hesitation, it was decided that Rebecca and Tim would stay with Lisa in Sterling, and she’d bring us back to Proctor in the morning. We parked Rebecca’s bike in the garage and drove off to pick Tim up on the way toward town.
In the car we discussed Iliff, apparently the water mane broke and the whole town has no running water. The flooded Platte River is preventing them from fixing it, so it could be weeks before they have working sinks. Tim was excited to see us pull up to get him. We were more excited to hear that we were offered dinner, showers, laundry, AND a bed! Lisa and Warren might have been our biggest saviors on the trip so far. When we took our showers there was an obvious feeling of stress relief. Neither of us realized how dirty we were. The heat and humidity had been adding up for a few days of camping and we didn’t have another shower planned for days.
Lisa gave us a quick history of the popcorn man, who used to sell popcorn at a stand in town. The statue reminded Tim of the statue of Orville Redenbacher in Valparaiso, Indiana where he went to college. We watched a movie, ate amazing food, relaxed, and almost tried to devise a way to stay there forever. There is no way to describe how amazing it is to meet people so friendly on the trip, we may eventually forget some things from this trip, but never people like these. Lisa, you’re still our saviour, and adopted mother for a day, thank you!
Today(s) we walked through:
Tim: 62,870 and 48,363 steps
Rebecca: 63 miles biked
1445 miles finished