George wasn't feeling well when we woke this morning, but rather than ride uphill back to town, he decided to ride to the next town and try to find a hotel room. The terrain looked to be mostly downhill, so we set out to do 25 miles to Cotopaxi.
The ride was downhill, but we had a 15 mph headwind so we had to peddle in some sections. We arrived in Cotopaxi in about 2 hours and stopped at the cafe for breakfast. George was feeling a little better so we continued on for 33 miles to Canon City. We rode down through the canyon along the Arkansas River. We started to hear thunder and see dark clouds form over the mountains, and it began sprinkling on Seth and me just as we came out of the canyon. We could see the sheets of rain closing in behind us and we peddled harder, trying to outrun the storm! We started up our only climb for the day and it sprinkled the whole way up and along the plateau at the top...but outrun we did! The rain stopped once we started the descent to Canon City, but George was behind us and we knew he was getting wet!
We got to the city and stopped at the first gas station for a break and to wait for George. Seth needed new rear brake pads and asked a local biker about a bike shop in town, who said that there was one close by. We rode to the shop, which is in the same building as a coffee shop. The bike shop was closed but the lady in the coffee shop called the mechanic, and he came in to help us! George arrived and it started to rain again.
We checked into a hotel and Seth and I got dinner at the diner across the street...cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes. Now it is 6 o'clock and we are ready for bed!
We will do a short 40 mile day tomorrow into Pueblo to finish the Western Express route! We will join the TransAmerica route which will take us all the way to Virginia. It is sad in a way to leave the mountains behind...huge ascents and descents have been the norm for the last 4 weeks. I am proud that we have been able to complete this section, as the Western Express has not been easy!