July 5th - Blitz Building

Bike & Build sponsored a whole house. How cool is that?

This whole trip, we've been talking about how SC2SC is unique among Bike & Build trips since we have this Blitz Build thing, where we work on the same site for a whole week and get a ton done. 

It starts today. 

The NC2SD route spent two days on the site before we arrived. They worked on the initial framing work, and maybe the basement. I'm not really sure. 

We took off from there, spending six days building on three houses. 

The regular volunteers were friendly, and the Habitat organization was surpassingly organized. We had a schedule for the whole week, ahead of time. That's unprecedented. 

July 4th - Independence Day!

Happy Independence day! It may have been three weeks ago, but I'm writing about it now. 

I'm going to skip captions today. The photos mostly run in the same order as the text below. Enjoy!

We started the day with a very patriotic van: overnight, a few riders filled the van to the brim with red, white, and blue balloons. When the leaders found out, they made us clean the thing out (after laughing quite heartily). Watching 20-somethings running around with pointy things trying to burst balloons wandering off in the morning breeze is ... something. 

July 3rd - Speeding Down Highway

Pulling over for a bit during lunch

We had two choices of route today: either ride 116 miles through back roads (maybe mountains, maybe plains) or ride 54 miles on highway 25 (riding on the highway is legal in some sections). As a group, we voted to take the highway and be careful riding. It wasn't an especially pretty day, but the low mileage was nice. 

Since we were on the highway, I didn't take my camera out much. Meeting carefully across entry ramps was enough to pay attention to.

My group accidentally missed the exit for lunch so the three of us pulled over for some snacks instead. 

July 2nd - Cuchara Pass

Sunrise in Trinidad. The sky caught fire.

My head broke 10,000 feet today. But only my head. It's a little stunning to think I've climbed that entire way.

 Cuchara pass brought us out of Trinidad on a roundabout route into Walsenburg. The pass was much longer than the direct highway route but avoided highways and traffic. Views were stunning the whole day.

The climb up Cuchara involved lots of up and down. Every hill crest I'd hope for the pass's sign. It's a little frustrating to climb every vertical foot two or three times. But the views were worth it. 

July 1st - Day Off #2

Our trailer overlooking some of Trinidad's mountains

Even though we had the day off, we kept ourselves busy today. In the morning we went out for breakfast at a cafe downtown, then hooked a few miles up to Simpson's Rest. After a brunch up on the mountain, we meandered over to the bike shop (Ultimate Sports) for new tires, bar tape, and patch kits. Finally, we headed back towards the host, the Trinidad Community Center, stopping for dinner at a Chinese place along the way. 

It doesn't sound like so much, but we walked about 7 miles in the day. I think. 

And I got snazzy new tires for my bike. Hopefully that's it for the flats for a long while. 

June 30th - Leaving the Plains

Dawn in Clayton. An armory abutting an airfield hosted us for the night, so we had this clear view of the rising sun. Since today was so long, we all left at dawn.

We biked into Colorado today! As we crossed through New Mexico and approached Colorado, the plains gradually began to give way to mesas and hills. As we neared the state line, the Rockies even came into view. 

Unfortunately, bikes were banned on the highway we would have ridden into Colorado. To cover the last 20 miles into Trinidad, we loaded bikes into the emptied trailer 8 at a time and drove across the state line. 

June 29th - Visiting a New Mexico Museum

An Edison phonograph. This holds maybe a few minutes of audio.

I accidentally skipped the entry for June 29th, so here it is. 

The ride today took us across another state line into New Mexico, where we stayed at the National Guard armory in Clayton. A local museum, the Hertzstien Memorial Museum, invited us in and offered dinner. The Hertzstiens's were a local benefactor to Clayton. After making a fortune trading land during the depression, Mr. Hertstien started looking for ways to give back to the community. 

The museum itself was themed around Clayton's history and included all sorts of oddball gizmos. Read the image captions for more!

June 28th - The Exact Center of Nowhere

The sunrises out here are pretty, with nothing to obscure the view.

Spearman is a bustling metropolis of 3300 people. There is a church, though, and they were nice enough to host us. They even arranged for free snowcones as we arrived last night. 

The ride today, like the ones before was full of nothing. You'll see in the photos. 

June 27th - Into Texas!

Texas has the coolest state sign so far. Here I am modeling our route.

We crossed another state line today! I don't think I've biked across a state before Bike & Build. And now I've crossed South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. 

Geez. 

June 26th - Watonga to Arnett

Watonga at dawn with stunning clouds.

One of my images from yesterday noted that these South-central towns have three features: churches, silos, and water towers. Today, I'd like to submit a similar description for the plains between the cities (towns, communities, whatever they are): oil wells and wind turbines. It's an odd mix. 

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