Sunday, July 06, 2008

Western Nebraska and Eastern Colorado

We rolled out of the Victoria Springs Rec Area camp ground and continued riding west on RT2. Pretty soon we had to pull over and put on our rain suits and minutes after that started to rain. The rain continued for a while, but when it stopped it got so hot wearing the rain suits that I couldn’t wait to get it off even though the skies still looked dark towards the west. I had passed a larger town with lots of gas stations when I still had half a tank of gas. The next few towns after that didn’t have any gas stations on RT2 and we didn’t want to waste our time going in to town, some of the towns were on the other side of the train tracks and those freight trains moved really slow.

Some curves on 21A leaving Victoria Springs Rec Area

Some big hills on RT 2

When I saw a gas station right before the town of Hyannis, I pulled into it and finally got my rain gear off. It was sunny here and the temps were in the 80’s already. The gas station had a deli and even though we were hungry we thought better things were waiting for us in town. We rode west and got in to Hyannis but there were no restaurants in town, at least none that were open on this Sunday. We continued riding west and back in to the dark clouds. The rain started up again but I don’t put my rain gear on hoping that it would be short sprinkle and it was. The rain lasted only about 15 minutes and soon I was in a clearing again.

That is a bug on my camera lens... leaving the gas station we had to ride though a large area of gravel and dirt, pavement is a luxury out west

We arrived at the end of RT2 in the town of Alliance. This was a larger town with many restaurant choices. Ken and Dales Restaurant was packed even thought it was already 2PM. That is always a good sign when a restaurant is packed full of locals.

Lunch at Ken and Dales Restaurant in Alliance, Nebraska

Unfortunately the food was so-so and the prices were very high compared to Chicago. Mike had a hamburger, no bigger then a fast food burger and it was around $6-7. I had a chicken wrap with honey mustard and it was $8. The fries were really good, but my chicken wrap consisted of a single piece of breast meat smeared with honey mustard placed in a tortilla with a slice of tomato and some lettuce. I’ve never had a whole slide of chicken inside a wrap.

Cheeseburger and a chicken wrap with fries

Over lunch we realized we still had over 250 miles to go. We turned south on 385. For a while there were some amazing views from the road but soon the scenery got a bit dull as we rode through some desolate looking landscapes. This is the high desert.

Leaving Nebraska on 19 South

Entering Colorado on 113 South

From there we took 19 south which turned to 113 in Colorado. And the rest of the trip was on the slab. I-76 heading in to Denver was loaded with cars. We were not on there too long before we had to exit and put our rain gear on again. We saw the storm from 60 miles away, but the roads would veer away from it. Now for sure we were heading right in to it.

Gearing up for more rain about 120 miles east of Denver

Heavy rain to the left and to the right, we rode through the middle

Back on the slab it started raining again but we got so lucky. Two big rain clouds one to our right and one to our left, and we rode through the middle not getting very wet. We gassed up outside of the Denver area and took of our rain gear again.

Approaching the Denver area and Rockies

We were staying with sport touring folks in Broomfield and at this point we had an hour of riding left to get to thier house, unfortunately we had a hard time finding the house, as the roads get very confusing. 120th Street is also RT 128 not to be confused with 128th street. We rode around in circles, but the whole time we were just around the corner from their house. We did get to see a lot of Broomfield though, which is a really nice suburb north of Denver. We arrived at the house around 9PM, the sun had started to set already.

Today's route: 2 to 385 to 19/113 to I-76 to Denver

Our route from Chicagoland to Denver

We did 431 miles today and 1182 miles since we left Chicagoland.

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