Average Speed: 15.1 mph; Max Speed:22.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 121 ft
Average Temp: 84.9 F; Temp Range: 57.2-118.5 F
It was still hot when I went to sleep last night, stretched out on my sleeping pad with just my sleeping bag liner around me. So hot that I almost didn’t want to sleep in the bag liner. By the wee small hours of the morning, though, it had cooled down enough that I woke up and dragged my quilt loosely over me.
Given the expected heat today, I set my alarm for 5AM, with plans to have an uncooked breakfast and set out as early as possible to try and beat the worst of the heat. Dolly had much the same plan, though she woke up well before my alarm went off.
The morning was beautiful: misty, mid to high 60s, brightened by the colors of the sunrise. That mist, though, was no friend of mine. It was not long after I set out on the highway that the mist became a dense fog. Sometimes I could see as far as a mile, other times I could see less than a tenth of that. It was a bit unnerving to be able to hear the approaching vehicles from a distance but only be able to see them when they loomed suddenly out of the fog.
It only took a few minutes of riding in the fog before I pulled out my bike light. Somewhere back in Wyoming, I knocked my little red tail light out of my handlebar bag, but that wasn’t really an issue today. Today, I wanted a more powerful light than the small taillight could have provided. I rigged the light to face backward on my helmet and set it to blink. That seemed to work fairly well. The passing cars and trucks saw me well enough to give me some space, at least.
It took over an hour before the fog dissipated enough that I could see more than a mile ahead of me, and by that point I had crossed into the central time zone. I saw the sign as I passed, but that was during one of the worse patches of fog, so I didn’t stop for a photo.
The first town I passed after leaving Tribune was Leoti. I stopped to fill up my water bottles at a gas station convenience store and moved on without much of a break. It was already getting hot, after all, and I knew it would get worse.
By the time I reached Scott City, the next large town, the heat was uncomfortable. I stopped at a Casey’s General Store, the first I’ve seen so far, and got some cold juice and an apple fritter. Then I sat inside and enjoyed the air conditioning while I tried to figure out what was wrong with my iPod. I had synced it last night at the park only to be told that my audible account wasn’t authorized on this computer. The problem with that was that it was authorized. I authorized it only two days before that. I had to deauthorize and then reauthorize my account and then resync the iPod to get the audiobook to play again.
I met a couple in the late morning on their way east from Scott City. Later in the day, I spotted a large tree next to an abandoned school building. Perfect! A bit of shade where I can sit without disturbing anyone. I was joined there several minutes later by John, who is headed westbound. He had actually started out his ride with Jenny and Lynn (from Day 31, with the kitty litter panniers), but they hadn’t really intended to stay together the entire ride, and split up after the first day. Jenny and Lynn are booking it across the country while John is travelling more slowly and taking the time to talk to people about the cause he’s raising money for. He only had one flier left, so I just took a photo.
Dolly told me last night about the Heritage Hotel in Dighton, an old building just bought out by a young couple who are trying to fix it up. For less than I spent at the hostel in Silverthorne, I have my own room with attached restroom. No communal food like the hostel had, but there’s a small fridge and a microwave in my room, so I went out and bought some frozen pizza. It doesn’t taste as good as when it’s reheated in the oven or a toaster oven, but it works for my purposes.
Then I stretched out on the bed and fell asleep for about an hour. I did something similar yesterday. I think the heat and the length of the trip are both taking their toll. I plan for an early night tonight to offset my early morning tomorrow.
Roadkill count: 4 birds, 3 mice, 1 skunk, 2 unknown mammals, 1 snake