Sunday, July 21, 2013

This tour has had a number of surprises which causes some anxious moments for the organizers. There has been deadly heat, a forest fire in Colorado causing us to re-route for three new sites,  There was a  washed out highway in New Mexico. We have had riders with broken limbs - leg and arm. A kitchen worker cut her hand requiring emergency room treatment.  One had a heart condition which cause him to be airlifted to a hospital in Denver. (He had artery blockage which was fixed with stints {sp} and was back in camp the next day.  He intends to ride again in a couple of days.) One went went home to be with his wife who had a medical emergency.  Two riders crashed into each other.  One landed on her head, but no concussion. The other got scrapped up but nothing broken. Both are sitting it out for a few days.

Can you imagine a washed out US highway in arid New Mexico?  We couldn't either.  Neither could the locals.  They had not had rain in 8 months, and when we got to Rehoboth NM it poured.  A monsoon rain.  It washed out the highway 40 miles north of us.  The State Police called and said we could not go that way.  BUT, there was no other way for the bikes.  A half hour later they called and said the bikes could go across the temporary fix but he vehicles would have to detour 130 miles around the wash out.  I did take that detour and went through Crown Point, NM.  I remembered that there was a CRC there and looked it up.  I found that there was a team of college men using the church a a base for a mission project of building homes.  This summer they intend to build three new homes and repair a bunch of others. Wow.  That was impressive.

About the forest fires:  Colorado is experiencing huge wild fires. We had intended to ride through Wolf Creek Pass, but it was closed.  Even if we could go through, the high school in Del Norte called us and told us we could not camp there because it was a staging area for the fire fighters.  Even when the pass opened up again, we were told it was too smokey to ride through. SO what to do.  Terry Barnes, a C2C staff person, took off with a car and found three new sites east of Shiprock NM.  He was very resourceful and made it happen.  One spot was a winery.  It was a beautiful place in the middle of no-where.  The owner rigged up three showers, brought in 8 port-a potties, opened up the wine tasting room,  gave us a lesson in wine making, and didn't charge us anything.  The next spot was a campground in Chama NM. The third spot was a Recreation Center in Alamosa, CO.  From Alamosa we went directly north to Salida Co and then we were back on our original route.

The Salida camp site was a fairground.  It didn't have any grass to camp on, but it did have and exhibition apace for folks to sleep in if they chose to. We made it work.

In Canon City we were on the grounds of a former monastery called the Abbey.  They had a lodge which rented us rooms for $14 per night.  Many bikers did that.

The next day (Saturday) we were in Colorado Springs on the grounds of Colorado Springs Christian Schools.  The route into the school took us along bike trails through the city avoiding a lot of the city traffic.   Sunday we worshipped with the Craigmor CRC.  They provided us with a lunch after the service.  There was a rain storm.  Colorado needed the rain, so we didn't dare complain too much.

Monday 7-15 the route took us to Limon CO along us 24.  The next few days we traveled generally down hill. My Garman said I was dropping 1 foot per second.  The riders however said they really didn't notice the drop in elevation because of winds.

Tuesday 7-16 we had to ride on I-70 for 44 miles toward Burlington CO.  There was no other way. When the CO State Police heard about our plans they said we could not do it unless we had a permit, because they considered us an "event" since we had more than 50 participants.  The bill was $750!  Bummer.  We paid it and they assigned two cars to the group.  Before taking off in the morning, they talked to each biker giving the rules.  The Burlington camp site was a city park with nice grass and a pool.

Wednesday 7-17 to Colby KS.  Another city park with a pool.

Thursday 7-18 to Prairie Dog State Park near Norton, KS, with a colony of Prairie Dogs.  A beautiful setting but very windy.  (Go to, BLOGS and see the blog of Jane Brower for picture.)

Friday 7-19 to Red Cloud Nebraska.  Another City Park with a pool and an air-conditioned community center where folks could sleep if they chose.

Saturday 7-20 and Sunday 7-20.  Fairbury, NE.  Another city park with pool and air-conditioned community center to sleep in.  We will worship with a Presbyterian church.  The congregation will feed us afterward and pastor Steve Fraiser says they are going all out - food, food, food.

However I will not be there for the festivities.  Claire Elgersma and I are visiting John and Susan Dahm in Lincoln.  John and Claire's husband Hank are first cousins.  Susan and Jan are first cousins. We stayed Saturday night and will be returning to Fairbury early Sunday PM.

More later.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Its July 20 and I haven't posted anything for almost three weeks. We will be halfway by mileage at  end of the ride on Monday.The stuff I have been doing is not nearly as interesting as the riders.  

My day is full of miles.  I have to go ahead of the riders and mark the turns with a liquid chalk.  When I reach our destination for the night, I continue toward the next days destination to "paint" the turn by turn from twenty to forty miles out, and then turn back to camp.  I have little contact with riders during the day.  I find out what really happened during the day when I pull in.  

The turn by turns have been pre-printed, but there have been occasions when a map had to be revised  Then my job is to re-do, which takes a few hours.  (See how exciting this bike tour is.)
I am driving the technology van which is a mobile office.  It is equipped with a work table, file storage, and a printer and a locked safe.  The electrical system allows me to keep all my electronics plugged in and fully charged.  That with my hot spot keeps me in touch via the internet.  So there is really no excuse for not blogging.  Except maby fatigue and the heat.

I am also the finance person.  I have to see that those who have paid expenses out of their pocket get reimbursed. Riders collect money on the road from strangers.  I have to keep and accounting of all that. Really fun stuff.

I am in Lincoln NE tonight at the home of John and Susan Dahm. .  The rest of the tour is in Fairbury where they will be spending two nights.

OK I know this is hardly a catch-up posting, but I can't stay awake any longer, I will attempt to  do better soon. 

To find out what's really been happening, I suggest that you go to and find the tab BLOGS.  Check-out Jane Brower and Claire Elgersma, two riders who blog everyday.