Miles today: 79
We left the church after feeling refreshed with our extra hour of sleep and went to the gas station for breakfast. It is the only store in Sheridan Lake, population 66. When we were leaving we ran into Tom and Mallory, the father/daughter cyclists that we had met the day before. They were riding without any weight since they have Donna and Andrew (mother and brother) driving to meet them everyday. So they took off in front of us, already warmed up and able to go faster because they weren't carrying any weight. After a few miles we couldn't even see them anymore. We rode 22 miles into Eads, where we sat at the gas station, also the only store in town. Then we rode 28 miles to Haswell, where (believe it or not!) the only store in town was a gas station! We hung out there for a while and had some snacks. The owners kids and neices/nephews came over to chat with us. Blake was 10 and owned about 8 guns and a BB gun, which he had been using all morning to shoot birds. He showed Ben how to use it and they took turns trying to hit a sign across the road. Blake was proud to say that he aspired to be a redneck... not exactly sure why. He was a cool kid though and we had fun hanging out with them.
We had 35 miles left to Sugar City, so we filled up on water and took off. The terrain started to get hillier and after a few miles we saw the first mountain in the distance! It was a great sight to see that we were finally reaching the Rockies. The Tom/Mallory family passed us in their truck, going back to pick up their trailer and then passed us again going into Sugar City with the trailer so they stopped to give us cold water, which was a very welcomed gift! We also met a dog along the road, who seemed lost but we hoped that he lived on a farm nearby.
We hopped back on the bikes and pedaled as fast as we could to try to beat the storm into town. Well, after half of a mile, I heard a loud POP and my back tire went flat. I immediately knew the dollar trick had failed and my tire was done. My last good tube exploded and the rip in my tire tripled in size. Just then, it started pouring and we still had 6.5 miles into town. This was bad. I started walking, and Ben flagged down the first truck to pass us. The driver lived in town and said he would give us a ride. We were both relieved, and just as we were loading the bikes onto the truck, the Tom/Mallory family drove by again and said they wanted to make sure that we were ok in the storm. It was so nice of them to think of us and even come back to make sure we were ok! They said that Sugar City lost power in the storm and they were just going to drive into Pueblo for the night. I told them about my tire, and they offered us a ride to Pueblo with them. It was such incredible luck that they came back for us and were able to drive us to Pueblo! I would not have been able to ride my bike with my tire in that condition and there were no bike shops before Pueblo. This family really saved us! We got in their truck and drove the hour into Pueblo, where they dropped us off at a motel and they went on to find a park to camp their RV in. We were both disappointed that we drove those 60 miles instead of riding, but of all the ways that things could have gone wrong, this certainly was the best way. We weren't stranded anywhere, which is always a good thing! We are so thankful that we got out of the storm and right into Pueblo. The kindness of strangers continues to amaze me.