Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pueblo, CO

Day 52: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Cañon City to Pueblo: 56 miles

Today was supposed to be easy. Some flat, a gentle ten-mile up grade from Florence to Wetmore, and a thirty-mile down grade, mostly, to Pueblo. I'd get there early, then decide how much farther I wanted to go.


Everything's a trade-off. The loss of a mile in altitude made it a lot easier to breathe. But the oppressive heat imposed its own burden. And (I should have known by now) I couldn't escape the wind. Remember our terrific headwinds out of Ennis in the Madison River valley? At times, today's winds were just as bad. They finally died down ten miles from Pueblo, but that was enough to make me not want to go any further.

wild gourd vine?
These roadside vines resembled melon or squash plants.

gourd plant fruit
The fruit never exceeded 3-4" in diameter.

Pueblo's a cool town, with a whole bunch of good-looking old buildings (as well as new). The bike route wanders through the city park, which abuts the zoo. I glimpsed some ostriches, but I think those were on a private lot. The park features a 1911 carousel, most of which is original, including the horses and chariots and much of the artwork. When I was there, the original Wurlitzer band organ was playing Disney themes - I don't think those were 1911 vintage! Adjoining the carousel is a kiddie amusement park, with rides that look right out of the 1950s.

Pueblo's carousel
Pueblo's carousel.
Don't the adults look bored?

the Lovers' Tub
Here's the Lovers' Tub

carousel plaque
And, if you want more information...

Pueblo's kiddie rides
Pueblo's kiddie amusement park
is right out of the 1950s.

With a population over 100,000 to provide an economic base, the town is generally better off than many of the small towns I've passed through. And it has a thriving art scene. But the condition of a fair number of streets indicates that the budget is tight here as well.

With the arrival of dusk, I opted for a cheap motel (with broken air conditioning), rather than ride another 20 miles to the next campground.

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