Starting Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Ending Location: Pueblo, CO
Lowest Elevation: 4665
Highest Elevation: 6621
I got up pretty early today so that JT and I could go for a short hike/walk through the Garden of the Gods since I didn't go through the park last night. At 5:30 I came out to the main room and Katie, JT's wife, was already getting ready to leave for a 6AM meeting - brutal! JT and I grabbed a couple of to go cups and filled them with coffee, then got in the car with Holly (the dog) and headed for Garden of the Gods.
We were able to get to the garden just before 6AM. I had a great time exploring the Garden of the Gods. JT knew all of the best places to go so we were able to get through it pretty quickly. I probably should have brought my camera rather than my phone because my phone does not do the best at adjusting for lighting, but I still got some pretty cool pictures in the park!
After we got back from the park, JT and I walked a few blocks down the street to a breakfast place which ended up not being open until 9AM. We thought it was pretty weird that a breakfast place would open so late. So we decided that we would go back to the house and get all packed up and ready to go for the day and hit up a diner downtown that would be right on my way out. He was excited for me to see this place because it was kind of a local legend.
When we walked into the diner it immediately smelled amazing. I was warned about the portion sizes of their meals - they are so big that they have the option to do half or even quarter orders, but I still decided to get a full. Shortly after ordering, a mountain of food was placed in front of me. They really weren't kidding about the huge portions. Surprisingly I was still able to eat the entire thing. I had some motivation though, because you get a sticker and a choice of candy for finishing the whole plate!
After we ate, JT and I said our goodbyes as he headed for work and I headed down highway 115 towards Penrose. I had a few miles of riding through traffic in town before the highway opened up and gave me some more space, and I then had a pretty nice view of Cheyenne Mountain. JT had told me that there is a base built about 20 stories below the mountain which is suposedly one of the most secure places in the country if there were to be a nuclear war.
The ride today was HOT. I was sweating uncontrollably within 20 minutes of leaving from breakfast - gross I know. The first part of the ride was a lot of up and down, and then eventually had a really long downhill towards Penrose. In Penrose I stopped to fill up my water bottles before continuing on towards Pueblo on highway 50. I managed to make it all the way to Pueblo without eating a single thing since I was so well fed for breakfast - thanks JT!
When I got to Pueblo I rode on a bike path for a little bit that went along the Arkansas River. I then headed up to the Mike's house, a WarmShowers host that Joop had been staying with for a couple of nights. He got to Pueblo a day earlier than planned, but still waited for me so that we would be able to go over the flat and boring part of the trip together!
We hung around for a bit chatting while I cooled off, then I got into the shower. A bit later Joop and I went to a restaurant called The Pantry where we got a nice meal. Afterwards, Mike was kind enough to drive us to the grocery store so we could get supplies for the next day since the store next to his house closed early at 4pm rather than 10pm since they didn't have air conditioning. When we returned we enjoyed some ice cream and raspberries, then I sat down to write out the blog for the day before, then headed to bed.