Day 47 – Rest Day in Pueblo CO

What is it about rest days that seem to turn my brain and body to mush? I suppose it’s all those miles across the plains catching up with me but it’s odd to feel more tired on the rest days than the ones I ride. There’s something there too that I remember talking with Richard and Tash about back in MO. Exercise doesn’t tap you out, it gives you more energy. I know I need the rest too because today, just toodling around Pueblo, when I stand quickly in the pedals my legs scream for mercy. OK, mercy today legs for tomorrow we climb and perhaps contemplate ”what is pain.”

The folks from Springs Mountain Sangha have been so great to me. Kerry and Linda have hosted me to meals, given me rides, and a place to stay and it has been lovely to be welcomed into their community.

I attended the Koan study with the Sangha last night where we read and discussed this short story: (BTW for those of you not familiar with Koan work, read 3 or 4 definitions on the web and you’ll have an idea of it. I didn’t really like any of the ones I found but then, its kind of the nature of koans to not be nailed down. At least that’s my incomplete understanding, having had little experience with koan work.)

When Dongshan was dying, someone asked him, “you’re unwell. Is there someone, after all, who isn’t sick?”

Dongshan said, “There is”

“Does the one who isn’t sick take care of you?”

“I’m actually taking care of that one.”

“What is it like when you take care of that one?”

“Then I don’t see that there is any illness.”

That may bring up lots of thoughts and feelings as one reads it and the really interesting thing about discussing it with a group is to see how it was received by different people. At first, I had a very definite idea of what it meant to me (engineer brain, kicking in to solve problem. Ha!) Sarah, the Sangha’s Roshi (congrats on becoming Roshi, Sarah!) had us take it apart one line at a time, which really opens it up. As people discussed it I felt my own reading of the lines changed and the meaning broadened. It was a very interesting experience and many thanks to Sarah and the group for sharing it with me.

Today I explored Pueblo, just following my nose as I did a few errands around town. It’s a really interesting place, having been a crossroads for a long time. Did you know Pueblo was known as “Steel City”? Apperently it used to be a big industry here. Now the town has a definite vibe to it – western, green chiles, bolo ties, boots, desert, art, sun. I see solar panels on many buildings, and they even have a coffee shop that roasts their beans using the sun.

I focused downtown as that’s where I’m staying and I didn’t want to spend much time on my bike seat. So here’s a few pictures from my meandering.

Linda treated me to this wonderful breakfast. I also got some pastries from Hopscotch, a local legend in the baking world. Brioche with orange zest, yum.
There are lots of murals in downtown Pueblo – I’m assuming a modern reflection of the Mexican American history.
Pueblo has a Riverwalk downtown with cafes and restaurants. So nice to see a thriving downtown with culture, good food, good music, good beer 🙂
Mural detail. Wish I could do that.
Same mural, different section. Hmmm there’s a story there but I don’t know it.
I found myself at the train museum, downtown in Central Pueblo. The wheels on this one are almost as tall as me. This thing is no small engineering marvel and the engineers that drove them must have been smart and gutsy or they’d be dead. Imagine this thing, full of boiling water, hurtling through the mountains with a full load behind it. Amazing, really.
Detail. When in doubt, use more rivets.
Nearby I watched another one of these go by from the Union Street bridge. Over 100 cars each time, maybe double?
On the Colorado Center for Metal Arts building.
Downtown has lots of cool building from the late 1800s. On Union street, many are antique shops.


There are also many grand old homes here.
Obviously haunted.
Kerry and Chuck. Kerry has been such a gracious host – she’s one of those folks who seems to be always taking care of others.

I did some review today of all the miles that I have to go. I was getting concerned that I wouldn’t make it home by mid August – my original plan. But I was suprised that, if I follow the ACA “Western Express” route from here, I’ve only got about 1,575 miles to go to get home. Only. So that’s about 24 days of pedaling if I can keep to an average of 65 miles a day. Seems doable which is good because I miss Megan and Jonah. All the other pains can be overcome, but that one is persistent and the only way I can ease it is to get home. That provides the constant tension these days between wanting to hurry on home, and slowing down and soaking up all that this trip offers while I have the chance.

Tomorrow I start into the Rockies for real and we’ll see if my legs are up for my first pass. I may wish I was back in Kansas again.

4 thoughts on “Day 47 – Rest Day in Pueblo CO”

  1. We’re leaving today for Camp Redwood, so I’ll see Megan and Jonah tonight. We’ll all miss you there!

  2. I always loved Publeo. And the Rockies have a special place in my heart as well. Camp Redwood starts today.

  3. Great murals. Good to see Megan & Jonah an d others here in Monte Rio. Keep on doin some good pedaling.

  4. In a few days ride you’ll cross the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass just beyond the Monarch Ski area. Please wave as you ride pass Monarch Mountain – it enjoys a special place in my heart. This past ski season I spent 9 wonderful days playing in the snow there. But I wouldn’t dream of biking there – the climb would kill me.

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