Lawrence, KS-Boulder, CO (Day 4)

August 20
Miles 1120-1760

Up bright an early again this morning. Since I was running a little behind schedule, I needed to haul ass to meet brother in Colorado today. Johana woke up with me and I was able to help myself to breakfast from the dorm’s cafeteria. She also showed me stuff I could grab for lunch and snacks. So I stocked up and packed up. Before leaving I gave Johana a quick ride on the bike and then headed out.

I decided to stay on I-70 the whole way to boulder since I needed to make the miles. I was told it was a bit boring but the scenic route wouldve taken too long. What made it boring though made it pretty enjoyable to me. Eastern kansas had a lot of gently rolling hills which kind of reminded me of sheep farms in southern New Zealand. Then the western part into eastern Colorado, the road just went straight through endless fields, which gave off the impression of an ocean as they literally went as far as the eye could see. At one point, the highway went through a giant wind farm with maybe 50 or more wind turbines.

The second half of the day, once the terrain really flattened out, the highway got really windy. My bike is not really heavy compared to a full touring bike so I was really getting buffeted around. Being pushed around like that is not only dangerous but it gets really tiring too (also my gas mileage dropped to below 40 mpg since the engine had to work harder). I eventually started drafting behind trucks which took a lot of the kick out of the wind.

Then finally, after endless miles of flat plains, the Rocky Mountains started to appear out of the horizon. I think this is probably my favorite part about the really long trips like this, is that you get to see the most drastic changes in terrain. From the green forests in the east, corn fields and endless plains in the Midwest, to the very dramatic change of the Rocky Mountains. My adrenaline started to get going again after the hypnosis of the plains and I did the last 120 miles straight to visit my brother.

Quick note, by the end of the day I was starting to hear a funny sound from the engine. Just a tiny tinkling when I’m on the gas like a tiny pebble is stuck in there. Hopefully that’s all it is and it’ll come lose, but I’ll try and take a look tomorrow.

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