The past fews days have been some of the best of the trip, and morale is high. On day 30 we began with a short ride down into a mountain valley where we went white water rafting on the Arkansas River with some guides from Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base (the BSA camp we stayed at the night before). I was very lucky that they let me go and sit in the middle of the boat with my cast. I just got to sit there and enjoy the ride.
We had a few people who had never rafted before, and a few that had gone multiple times, but we all had a ton of fun. It was nice to do something together other than biking.
After rafting, knowing that I was going to miss some riding the next day due to a orthopedic appointment for my wrist, my dad and I got right back on the bike and kept on riding. We did a little under half of the next days distance, so when time came on day 31 to leave for my appointment, I did not miss any mileage.
Day 31 (83 miles) Cotopaxi to Pueblo, CO
On this day we rode out of the Rockies, stopping by the famous Royal Gorge, a huge canyon carved out by the Arkansas river. Then we descended on a road called Skyline Drive, a one lane road built on top of a very narrow ridge. It featured an amazing view of the town below and was truly a marvel of human engineering considering it was bordered on either side by extremely steep cliffs. We then desended into Canon City where I hopped in the car to go to the orthopedist in Colorado Springs.
Day 32 - Rest Day
Today I had a doctors appointment in Colorado Springs. This doctors appointment, being 6 weeks after I first got my cast, gave me the possibility of getting it removed. I had no idea if my wrist had healed correctly considering what I had just put it through. Luckily my cast was removed for good! Although I must slowly transition to riding my bike until my wrist gets stronger, I can't express how happy I am to have two full hands again!
After seeing the doctor, I was able to explore the very cool city of Colorado Springs. I was able to see the U.S. Air Force Academy. I also was able to stop by the Garden of the Gods, a collection of giant red rock cliffs that shoot up out of the mountainous terrain. Although they would blend right into some of the places we saw in Utah, the juxtaposition between the snow capped mountains and the red rocks was spectacular .
Lacking transportation on our day off, we actually had a real rest day. Instead of going on hikes and other adventures, we were able to hang out and rest our weary muscles.
Day 33 (117 miles) Pueblo to Eads, CO
Today marked the first day of our push to get through the Great Plains. Over the course of seven days, we will have 6 century days and 1 off day. We will ride over 632 miles in 7 days!
Although the days are long, they are flat, very flat. I have never seen anything like the Great Plains. You can see for miles and miles. And unlike Nevada, where you can always see mountains far off in the distance, on the plains you can't see anything in the distance but endless grass that seems to stretch to the ends of the Earth.