Best part of the day: Nice KOA in Romeroville
Worst part of the day: Hail, yes!!!
Distance: 66 miles Riding Time: 5hrs 55min
Bed count: 15 Sleeping Bag count: 13
Last night it rained pretty good. So, it was nice to be indoors and especially have our own bedroom, thanks to our hosts Mari and Joseph. Also last night, we decided since it was forecasted to rain in the morning that we would look to get going around 9ish, thus, we wouldn’t need to get up early and rush out. We got up before 7 with the winds howling and the rain coming down. And more rain was forecasted for later in the day! We had some steel cut oatmeal with cranberries and maple syrup, orange juice that we bought last night and a banana, too, which Rob had.
Joseph was able to look at Rob’s bike because we was having some rear derailleur shifting problems. He was able to resolve that, but, noticed another slight problem that didn’t need immediate attention, but, not to put it off too much longer. He recommended that when we get to Amarillo, Texas, for Rob to take it in this particular bike shop for which he was familiar.
Getting ready, we broke out our rain jackets and pants on first time on this trip before getting started. It was forecasted to rain more this morning and we were hoping that we could beat it.
We said our goodbyes to our wonderful hosts, and maybe just maybe, we might see them in Spain next year while they are there as they had told us about all of the wonderful cycling there. We’ll have to see how our schedule works out.
At the start, it was cold and the winds were blowing. There were some dark clouds moving across the sky in front of us, so hoped they would pass ahead of us. We had done only less than 30 minutes and decided that it was a good time to peel off our jackets as we were getting too hot. Just as we started back up, we took turned the corner and started feeling some rain drops. So, back on they went!!
Leaving Santa Fe, we missed a turn, but, it only cost us about ¾ of a mile to get back on route. We were now on the Old Las Vegas Highway for about 10 miles. We encountered a few rollers, but, the most threatening thing was this really dark cloud speeding across the sky and heading our way! Well, we didn’t get rain, but, because it was cold enough, we got hailed upon!! It was a good 10-minute hail storm that rained BB- and pea-sized ice balls on us!! There were no places along the road where we could seek shelter. So, we took a chance and continued riding braving the pelting that the hail was inflicting. We could hear the thunder rumbling behind us as the strong winds finally blew that storm cell away from us!(The storm cell that rained the hail down upon us!!)
The winds were really moving, and, blue sky and white clouds quickly replaced what we had just experienced. Our next task, getting over the Glorieta Pass. Our route now brought onto our 3rd interstate highway, I-25. A 2.5-mile climb up over 500’. Fortunately, the winds were behind us and gave a little boost as we slogged our way to the pass.
Over the top, we exited the highway and onto State Route 50 for the fun 6-mile descent towards the town of Pecos. The road was very nice with a good shoulder and hardly any cars in sight. We were able coast most of the way down with the aid of a cross/tailwind. We stopped into DQ for a break at 24 miles, ordered coffee to warm us up and ate our leftover sopaipilla (from last night’s dinner) with peanut butter and honey smothered on top. We still had 40 plus more miles to go!
As for the ride out of Pecos, the scenery was quite beautiful with the mountains and mesas, and, everything being so green.
Our route did a lot of paralleling to I-25, but, our climbs and descents were a bit steeper than that on the interstate. So, it was a lot more work with the climbs, but, a lot more fun with the descents!! Plus, we didn’t have to worry dodging those dreaded truck tire pieces!!
Just before coming into our KOA camp, we reached a truck stop which had a convenience store and a Subway. Ordered a foot long sandwich for dinner tonight. We were getting in somewhat late, 5p.m., so we wanted to make it easy on ourselves. This KOA was one of the cleanliest and had the nicest owners of any KOA’s at which we had stayed so far. The showers were nice and hot, felt good to warm up. Their office lobby area closed at 7 so they said that we could go into their game room with TV and stay there as long as we wanted. One of the owners even said if we wanted to sleep in here tonight we could since it’s going to get down to the 40’s. This was perfect which made Rob happy that he could able to watch not 1 but 2 of his hockey games!
They even have a full on breakfast for $4.50 per person. So, we’ll probably eat there tomorrow morning. We’ve got another 60+ mile day tomorrow towards Santa Rosa.
Winds will be double-digit again out of the south making them somewhat of a cross/tailwind for a good portion of the day and then tailwinds to bring us into camp.
Plus, it’s supposed to be sunny all day!!
Until our next post…