Pueblo to Canon City, Colorado. (36 mi.) Mile 2353
High plains drifters
We are now on the high plains at the eastern base of the Rockies, an arid landscape with scrubby juniper. This morning was another dash to the next spot with shade. For many miles along Highway 50, the shoulder was dotted with thousands of grasshoppers in all sizes and color variations, hopping erratically out of, or into, our way at the approach of our wheels. Boing.... boing... crunch... pop... crunch..
Riding to Canon City along Highway 50, closer to the Rockies
The temperature was already well above 90 when we reached Canon City a little after 10 am. Another cyclist advised us not to try to ride to the next destination today, due to the heat and elevation gain, but we had already planned on stopping here. We used what was left of the day to have my bike tuned up for good measure. Except for gunk on the drive train and a little brake and shifter adjustment, my BLT is doing great. I need to rotate the tires but they still have some miles left in them.
Canon City (population 12,000) is easier to navigate by bicycle than Pueblo, but with no shortage of chain stores and Western Colorado character. While my bike was in the shop, we went to an art festival at the city park to enjoy the food and music. Then, as if we hadn't ridden our bikes in the heat enough, we unloaded the panniers at a motel and rode our bikes around town to explore the area. Again, our bikes felt incredibly light and fast without the load. We also bicycled the city's bike trail along the Arkansas River, where people were cooling off by rafting, inner tubing, or jumping off Black Bridge into the river. Our efforts to photograph them motivated many stunts not caught by the camera. At the end of our explorations, we brought the makings for a feast back to our air conditioned room and rested up for the next few days of climbing. This is the life!
Locals jump off Black Bridge, a railroad trestle, into the Arkansas River to show off for the camera and a chance to get on the Internet.
The Arkansas River from the Canon City RiverWalk Trail