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Got To Get There - VA to CA - Day Two

June 25, 2010: Had to pick up the pace a little if I wanted to get to Castle Rock before the witching hour. Again, the miles ahead seemed rather daunting but with each passing mile and the rhythm of the highway faded away any concerns. St. Louis had construction action going on that brought me down to a crawl of the westside of the city, but soon I was back wide open. As the sun began to lift high in the sky the heat began to suck the life out of me, with the CamelBak I was able to stay hydrated. As I crossed in to Kansas, with each passing mile the tempature kept rising and when reaching the plains there was a wind of the south that felt like a furnance. At each stop I tried to drink some and keep the CamelBak filled, but it seemed that it was evaporating out of me faster than I was taking it in. At one point, with the CamelBak dry, I began to feel sick, enough to concern me greatly. I began to wonder if I had made the right decision, being 51 and not having ever rode this hard and long before. Riding to Texas to see my son, that is just a 1,600 mile trip one way, here I was appoaching that mark on this trip and I still had over a 1,000 miles to go. I couldn't afford to go down this far away. I stopped and got me some more water and some gatorade, and within seconds I had emptied the bottle of water and half a bottle of gatorade. It didn't take long to recover, and realize how I had become dehydrated the point of feeling the way I did. I rested for a bit and then I was out on the road again. As I hit I-70 I could see a threatening looking storm rolling from the south and that began to concern me as well. I kept looking to see if any twisters were on the horizon and listening to the radio for weather updates. The radio announcer had mentioned that the forecast was clear for the day, however, they were seeing strong storms and hearing reports of damaging winds in the town that lay ahead, I kept rollin'. There was also a report of the east bound lane being blocked by an overturned tractor trailer. I was long until I was in that area and saw that the wrecker had just arrived to right it. Despite the wind I was able to hold my own and being on the northern edge of the storm the rain was not severe, with times being heavy, and other times just a drizzle from the wind. My other concern was being struck by lightening, but soon I had rolled passed the storm into Colorado where I could see another storm in the distance.

I made a quick stop at a rest stop in Colorado having hydrated too much. When I came back out the wind blew so hard that my helmet came off the seat and actually pushed and rolled across the parking lot some. I quickly gathered things and I was hitting the road to ride out of the storm. However, the storm turned into just sparatic rain on into the point I would leave the interstate and head across to Castle Rock.I stopped and got gas and then headed the few miles to the exit. Since the sun had been for a few hours and the rain was spratic I was concerned with the road across the to CR. I returned to the gas station and asked about the road, but was assured it was good road, so I headed on. I arrived Castle Rock around 11:00pm and had no clue where I was in relation to the actual town and where the hotels were. Using the GPS on my phone, I found myself and the hotel where the V2V folks would be staying. There I found one Vic in the parking lot and there was no vacancy. I began to check other hotels and soon found out there were no rooms in Castle Rock. I ditched the idea of meeting up with the V2V folks and headed south to Colorado Springs where I eventually found a room for the night around 1:00am. I was beat, but felt accomplished that I had rode over 1,700 miles in 2 days.

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Comment by Jeff Martini on July 17, 2010 at 4:45am
Thanks VaRyder, I enjoy stories like this. It's as if I'm there with you on the ride. Personal challenges always make for good story telling, and a sense of accomplishment.

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