Coast to Coast for the FFB: THE ONLINE JOURNAL

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Day 60: Lander, WY to Colorado Springs, CO (by rental car, sort of)

Last night, I was harrassed by earwigs in the tent. I tell you, there is nothing like waking up to the feeling of an earwig crawling on your face. Twice I woke up and snatched the molester off my face and tossed it out of the tent. It wasn't until the third when I decided to turn on the light and have a look at what exactly I was dealing with and if the entire tent was infested.

Well, it was an earwig and the tent was not infested, but I made sure the zippered doors were as closed as can be. In the morning I learned that Dale was visited by the wigs as well, AK slept through it all, and Shawn (even with his floorless tarp shelter) was without an earwig episode. I just cannot figure out how they can get into the tents. We must not have been as careful with the door as we had thought.

Despite my close incounters with our pinchy guests, it was really nice to awake to the sound of the nearby river rather than the alarm clock. We got up around seven and promptly stabbed around in our ears with q-tips to oust any unwanted visitors. Is that even true; do earwigs climb into peoples' ears?

Anyway, today was the day to head back to Colorado Springs for Alecia and Matt's wedding. Since the bike shop did ot open until 10:30, we took our time getting packed up.

Eventually, we headed back up the steep hill from the campsite to the hotel area. We came across a couple whose daughter is doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail. It sounded really hardcore (you end up biking really remote areas and may be away from civilization for 6 days at a time), and Shawn was sold. He declared it his next trip.

We said goodbye to Shawn and Dale, and needing to kill time, we went to breakfast and then biked over to Rent-a-Wreck (nice) to pick up our own personal wreck. Ironically, our car had previously been in a wreck as the hood was crushed in and didn't latch properly. Sweet.

Then it was off to drop our bikes off at the shop for a tune-up and storage. After a glance at the maps, we realized that we would have to drive back on the TransAm route all the way to Rawlins. Knowing the Dutchesses, Valentine, Joss, Sid, Leila (the eastbound Bike Friday rider), and perhaps Dave and Patty would all be on the desolate route between Lander and Rawlins, we stopped by a supermarket on the way out of town. We stocked up on snacks, water, ice and Gatorade and tossed it all in a cooler.

All the way out of town, we kept a sharp eye for our friends, and finally, about 25 miles from Lander, we spotted the Dutchesses. We yelled and waved and tooted the horn to get them to stop. Of course they didn't expect to see us, so they were totally shocked. Soon Valentine and Joss rolled up and we busted out the cold drinks and snacks. While enjoying the company and food, we all got to welcome Sid with cheers when he arrived. The entire group was extremely appreciative and we were happy to do it; it was fun!.

After about 20 minutes we were back in the car headed south. We zipped by Sweet Water Springs and our favorite ghost town, Jeffrey City. About 20 miles from Rawlins we caught up with Leila on her Bike Friday. She was completely surprised as we had only met her for a few minutes the day before.

We stopped in for some lunch in Rawlins and I took over driving. We drove to Cheyene on interstate 80 and then headed south on I-25 into Colorado. Everything was going fine until we were a few miles north of Denver and our rental wreck decided it was done. The engine light flicked on and soon there was no power. Pushing on the gas pedal did nothing and we coasted to below 40mph in heavy traffic. Fortunately, the drivers were courtious and patient as we limped our hunk of junk off the freeway and coasted into a parking lot.

The rental agency was not much help, so we called AAA and had our junker towed away. Thankfully, Alecia's father was willing to drive the 80 miles north from Colorado Springs and back to pick us and our stuff up. We really appreciate his aid as it was getting late and we didn't arrive into Colorado Springs until after 10:30.

Unbelievably, it was really hard to find a hotel room on a Tuesday night. After many tries we finally found a decent option not too far away from where we wanted to be.

It has been an exhausting day, and we are beat. It is amazing how complicated life can be when you are not just worrying about pedalling, sleeping, and eating. Tomorrow, AK is helping out with the preparations for this weekend's wedding, and I am off to find an apartment in Boulder.

Until then, we sleep.



At July 14, 2005 5:28 PM, Anonymous said...

I've got to tell you how much I look forward to the journal each day, what an adventure. It is absolutely true about earwigs, on a desert campout, I was awoken by a buzzing sound which ended with a tap dance on my eardrum. Enough to drive you crazy. Luckily I had one of those minature bottles of scotch along, fit in the ear perfectly, drowned the little sucker. Needed to go to the doctors when I got home, he fished the remains from my ear. Have never gone camping since without one of those little bottles. E.C.

At July 15, 2005 8:29 AM, Anonymous said...

Too bad you're a cheapskate. Should have gone with the luxury rental.


At July 15, 2005 8:54 AM, Anonymous said...

Good luck apt. hunting. Sounds like a pretty good adventure. -Jen Yen

At July 15, 2005 12:41 PM, Anonymous said...

Oh, Old Man Clark, you crack me up! But its true, we have loads of those little airplane bottles around the house just for the purpose of killing earwigs.


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