Day 3: Trinidad to Westcliffe
(no pics because of spotty coverage and bad wifi)
We both woke up around 630/7am and try to get less groggy by checking up on the latest news and funny videos via our phones. After we feel awake enough, we shower, pack, and head to breakfast at a place Google recommended: Joey’s Diner. (Truth be told, we are here cause James wanted biscuits and gravy, and who am I to stand in between a man and his B&G?)
After breakfast, we headed to Walmart to unload. We chose Walmart because they generally don’t care too much if you leave a vehicle for a while, and James talked to a sheriff the night before who assured him that the truck would be safe.
So we headed out and the first couple roads were long and straight, but then we hit some good stuff. At the end of the road, I went to make the turn. I looked up see if James was behind me and he’s nowhere to be seen. I turn back to see if I can find him and go all the way to where the road first split. No James. I go back and stop at this lodge/RV park to use the phone, hoping I can reach James. I call but no answer. I text my GPS coordinates and then call Hannah, kind of freaking out. As I’m talking to her, James calls. Turns out we just got split up because he stopped to take a picture and I didn’t know. There were multiple forks in the road and he just ended up going down all of them until he found me. I thanked the folks at the tavern and we headed northwest.
We carried on and eventually land in la Veda I think. We both need gas but the only gas station we find is closed on Sunday. We head down the highway and thankfully find a new Sinclair. Their logo (a dinosaur) makes me chuckle… You know… Since oil is dead dinosaurs and all… (Ok, its more complicated than that but you get the jist).
After filling up on fuel, snacks, and drinks, we carry on. It finally gets good as we cross a washed out creek bed. This thing was full of deep silt and we had to really gun it to make it through. This is where we met up with the four Canadians (known from here on out as the four horsemen). They too had left Trinidad that morning and were also on the TAT.
The next… Many many miles were a blast, they reminded me of riding back home. We passed the 4H and just pegged the throttle. It was great.
All good things must come to an end though, which is when we hit pavement. We rode the next 22 miles on highway to Westcliffe.
We pulled into Westcliffe around 5 and filled up at the local Conoco. Since we still didn’t know where we were staying for the night, I asked the clerk and she recommended Deweese lake. (Interesting aside: I found this to be comically coincidental, as I am a descendent of a Deweese).
We decided to eat before setting up camp and headed to downtown Westcliffe. I had forgotten that today is Sunday (when doing trips like these, the days tend to mean nothing so you don’t keep track of them). The only thing open was a place called Chappy’s. So of course, we headed in.
Chappy’s was pretty cool inside, it gave off the feel of an old saloon that has been modernized. They were having some issues with the grill, but were making do with a charcoal grill in the back. That being the case, we both got a burger and a side salad (cause, you know, we’re healthy).
As we’re finishing up, the four horsemen we met earlier walked in the door. We greeted each other and let them know that we are headed out to set up camp before we get drenched. They responded with, “Rain? We checked the forecast… It’s not supposed to rain.”
Meanwhile, James and I are hightailing it out of there, headed to Lake Deweese. We find a suitable spot and scramble to set up. Soon after, we are in our tents, rain flys on, yelling back and forth to each other as the storm just starts to present itself with infrequent but fat rain drops. Lightning is prevalent in the distance.
It’s now 8:06 pm and I can hear James snoring. I wish I could fall asleep that fast. It’s pouring here. Lightning, thunder, and wind. So far the tent is keeping me nice and dry, and I suspect our bikes are getting a good wash. I’m going to hit the hay.
Until next time…