I awoke at 6:30 am, after a 12 hour stint of tossing and turning. I felt the need to get out of unlucky Pueblo, despite my host's kind offer to allow me to stay longer and get over the McDeath. I felt horrible, but left anyway.
Thankfully, the day was young when I ran into Chris and Alex, riding east on the same route. They actually whizzed by me as I was stopped, panting. I decided I wasn't going to be so decisively passed, despite the McDeath, and decided to follow.
Chris and Alex are from the Bay Area, and have quit their jobs in order to bike across the US for the summer, and get a new perspective on things. They started, unlike me, from Eugene, OR, in mid-April and passed through different states than I, until we met in Colorado.
They kindly offered to let me ride with them for as long as I liked, and given my huffing and puffing, I was glad to accept. I rode mostly with Chris on the first day, as Alex was far ahead, exploring.
We planned to make a stop in Haswell, CO, but arrived to find the town devoid of life. Tumbleweed blew across the main road, and the promised convenience store was nothing but a faded Texaco Gas sign. We felt fortunate (after riding through some similar towns earlier) to find a water spigot and shade. We rested there for a period, then decided to head for Eads for the night.
I actually thought that the McDeath was fading when we entered Eads' only open diner that evening, and ordered a large meal. I managed to eat a single bite. Literally - one bite. Not quite like me. A lingering disease this McDeath. However, Eads wasn't a total loss. The city park offered free camping to cyclists, and sported green grass and shady trees. It was a very nice spot to spend the night, despite my empty and churning stomach. We had managed 110 miles that day.
Before concluding the post, I should point out another Mule injury. Alex pointed out that my rear wheel had lost its tread, and was now flashing its red undergarments. Come on, Mule En Rouge, keep it in your rubber!