I fell asleep early last night and slept late. When I woke up, I felt good and thought I would have a good day. Unfortunately, it turned into a short day. I would like to blame the climbing, as I continue the long haul up to the continental divide. But, I only climbed about 1000 feet. I have done more than that before.
I think the problem I had was with not eating properly early in the day. I had a similar problem one day in northwest Kansas. Because I woke up late today, I didn’t want to make breakfast at the campsite. According to the ACA maps, there is a convenience store in Howard, about six miles from where I started. I planned to pick up something for breakfast there. Unfortunately, the store was closed for remodeling, so I continued on to Salida, 20 miles from where I started.
While stopped for a short break between Howard and Salida, a local cyclist named Tom stopped to chat. He has ridden the Western Express a few times and gone each direction. When he saw me, he stopped to ask if I was riding the western express. He let me know about some campgrounds coming up that are slightly off route and not on the map. Bicycle tourists seem to be anxious to talk about their past tours. Tom has had quite a few long tours and talked about what I am going to come across on the Western Express. On a side note, Tom grew up in Brooklyn, but now lives in Colorado.
As I approached Salida, the Bighorn Sheep Canyon opened up. The mountains west of me look much taller than what I have passed so far, with many reaching well above the tree line.
Needless to say, I was pretty hungry when I reached Salida and ate a big lunch. Eating a big meal while riding is never a good idea for me. As my energy went to digestion, I started to feel sleepy. I tried to push on, but only made a few miles down the road to Poncha Springs before calling it a day.