Day 21 - Down the Mountain

Longmont Travel Blog

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TUESDAY 10 AUGUST 2010
Distance by Car: 24.5 miles
Distance by Bike: 18.2 miles
Departure from Estes Park: 9:40 am
Arrival in Longmont: 1:15 pm
Saddle/Total Time: 1:28:01/3:35
Average Speed: 12.4 mph
Temperature: 92*F
Money Spent: $15.17

Eli picked me up this morning in Zach's car. He's on his way to play hockey in Boulder this morning, so he's taking me down to Lyons, to save my brake pads. I'm also glad that it's 25 fewer miles to ride with an aggravated saddle sore that I really should not be riding at all on.

The quick ride to Longmont seems hardly quick enough. Highway 66 has a nice, wide shoulder, and I suppose it's only 92* or so; not too bad in comparison to everyday my first two weeks. I stand most the 8 miles.

In Longmont, I locate a thrift shop called Planet Ares. I pick out three t-shirts, two pairs of shorts and a pair of slacks. I will still need some more underwear and socks, but I'm not so desperate to buy those sorts of things secondhand. I eat lunch outside the store and call Joseph, one of the principle owners at Crestone Farms. It's located 3.5 miles north of Highway 66, on Highway 287.

I'm greeted at the farm by several horses, ponys, and shaven sheep. Joseph comes over and shows me back to where I will be staying for 22 days while I do farm work weekdays: an open clearing between horse yards. Joseph tells me to lean my bike up against a barbwire fence. "Is that your tent?" he asks me, pointing to the sleeping-pad slot on my pannier. Joseph then shows me the kitchen and bathroom. He introduces me to Angela, a visitor from Ghana, who lives in a room next to the kitchen. She speaks a shy English. Nicole and Joseph are adopting a child from Africa soon. Angela is the daughter of the orphanage Nicole and Joseph are looking into. In this small apartment-type building, I look into a living space with a chair and sofa, a TV, an ancient desktop computer with a fan noisily buzzing, and four mattreses leaned up againt one another. Baby things are tucked into a corner.

Back in my own quarters, it takes me awhile to find a spot clear enough of dead, hard cut grass stalks. I wind up pitching my tent over a busted plywood board because of its flatness and guarantee I won't sink in the mud if it rains. I try fitting my panniers inside the two-man tent, but it's no good. There wouldn't be any space for me. Yet another reason I need to design a smaller set of panniers.

I catch Joseph out in front of his house as he's leaving to do errands in Longmont. I ask if I can put my bags somewhere else besides my tent. He shows me to a dark shed full of hay and dusty shelves. "You can put them anywhere on the shelves in here. Or, we have an empty stall nextdoor in the horse shed." I ask to see the latter. "Somewhere cleaner?" he says. The vacant horse stall has some crates and tarps I later put my panniers, helmet, bike, and clip-in shoes onto. Flies swarm. I can hear horses stomping in the adjacent stall. This sure is a farm.

I soon meet Nicole over dinner of long-grain rice, curried vegetables, spicy ham and naan bread. Forty-three horses call Crestone home; twenty-three belong to Nicole, the rest to boarders. Their other farm, with vegetable crop, is four miles from downtown Boulder. "You can stay there, too, if you want," says Joseph. He doesn't spend any time there himself, but he offers to lend me a camp stove and fuel if I want to spend nights there.

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photo by: nyprne