Sundown Monday, found the cig-lighter connector for my headlight had broken internally. Hadn't brought my propane iron. But couldn't just stay in Moffat overnight, it would have been too cold. So I started out by twilight, then starlight, hoping I was visible enough with my reflectors.

Then, shortly after dark, a Northerly wind combined with a slight upgrade made biking too difficult. Resigned myself to walking. Reached the last milepost on highway 17, mp 118, before it merged with 285 North, which meant 14 miles to start day 12 by 2:07 AM. The zero milepost for this stretch of 285 was mp101. I doggedly made 30 miles, then after another two miles began an 8-mile downhill that took me all the way into Poncha Springs. On the way down, some asshole threw a full can of beer or soda at me, which could easily have killed me at the speeds involved, but luckily it just glanced off my leg and my trailer ran over it. It was a bronze-colored pickup truck, and when I got to the bottom of the hill a bronze pickup with a yellow plate with red letters was just pulling out. But I had no idea if it was the same one, and in any case what could I have done? Had to let it go.

Stopped there, the High Valley Center at Poncha springs for a 90 Shilling ale and chile-smothered pork tamale, excellent. Then a few minutes later, headed towards the town of Salida, a blue pickup truck stopped in front of me and a beautiful cowgirl got out and hugged me. Melinda, my childhood neighbor from Skowhegan, who had recently reconnected with me via Facebook and my blog, drove me another 40 miles or so into Fairplay where I'm now couchsurfing in comfort, recuperating from the journey thus far. That made about 80 miles for day 12, and there won't likely be any more progress until Saturday evening.

Last night, besides getting a hangover from too much beer, my system adjusted to the high altitude (over 10000 feet) by gasping for breath every few minutes, waking me each time. Should go easier tonight.

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last updated 2009-08-13 00:54:25. served from tektonic