Today’s ride of 108 miles started in the plains 15 miles east of Trinidad. To break it up mentally, I just thought of it as a ride to Kim (which was actually about the midpoint). At first, I had a gentle tailwind, but then a fairly strong cross wind kicked up. I was concerned that the wind might continue to turn and become a headwind but Bill and Yolanda relieved me of that notion. Yes, that’s the same Bill and Yolanda who offered to put us up in their home in Ulysses. I had hoped to talk to the folks at the Kim Outpost but it was closed on Saturday so my brother and I pulled peanut butter, crackers, and fruit out of the car and made ourselves a picnic. A car pulled in and out jumped Bill and Yolanda. They asked how the ride was going today and I told them my concern about the wind direction. Bill said not to worry, that the wind here is reliably from the south.
After we finished our picnic and pulled out of Kim, a woman drove up to my brother and told him of weather warnings of 1-inch sized hail. That sounded like hype to me so we plodded on. Having made it to Kim, I could now think of the next part of the ride to Springfield.
The next thing we know we are side by side with a massive storm. It’s giving me tailwinds now and I’m going 28 miles per hour and I don’t want to stop. I’m looking forward and all I see is sunshine. I’m ignoring the view to my left, but Mike sees it all too clearly. I give him the job of pulling me off the road when he decides it’s too dangerous. He’s seeing lightning but decides it’s far enough north that we’re okay.
We know the route turns north and that’s where the storm is, so we’re thinking about Plan B if we get caught in it. Instead, once we make the turn, we find that the storm is now to our east and there’s a beautiful rainbow in its wake.
I spot some white stuff by the side of the road and wonder where that cotton came from when I take a closer look. It’s 1-inch sized hailstones!
We doggedly followed today’s long route and the weather wove around us. There was no rain, no hail, no lightning on the narrow path we traced.
In the plains, there were long rolling descents into creek beds followed by tough climbs out of them. You could see the creeks from afar because the trees in them flourished in the moisture. Grasshoppers lined up in the exact direction of the wind, remarkably on the white lane line. What happened to camouflage? The sides of the roads were at times lined with lovely black-eyed Susans. Chartreuse butterflies fluttered in the storm’s aftermath. I also spotted tarantulas crossing the road in two different spots. Please tell me what was so plain about the plains.
Start location: 15 miles east of Trinidad in the Colorado plains
End location: Springfield CO
Distance: 107 miles
Cumulative distance: 1284.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2181.8 feet (all in rolling hills, no more mountain passes)
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/715926378