Arlington to Pueblo - The woman who sat on the toilet too long (and other odd American tales) - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2014

Arlington to Pueblo

Imaginative village sign, typical for the area
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JEFF EARHEART was sleeping when it happened. I think he regrets it, but he was.

"That was in my drinking days," he says with a smile that could be mischief or faint embarrassment. "I lived close to the village store and that night a freight train tore up the track and cars came off the rails everywhere and they ploughed into the store and completely demolished it. Must have made a heck of a noise but I slept right through it and the first I knew was I tried to go to work and I couldn't get across the tracks because of the wreckage. Biggest thing that ever happened in Boone and I slept right through it."

Boone is another of the small dusty towns on the way to Pueblo and the Rockies. Jeff works in the store there and a cutting from the crash, 20 years ago, is still pinned to the wall.

"It took a week to clear up the wreckage. And it was good that it happened at night because there was nothing left of the store and it'd have killed anyone inside."

Daniel Boone, of course, is a big name in Wild West history and you might reasonably suppose the town is named after him. In fact it's named after his grandson, who happened to be the first person to sell postage stamps there and, having some control over the delivery of mail, was happy to see the town named after him.

There's not much there these days and not many addresses for the modern postmaster to remember. Jeff works in the store with the woman I take to be his wife. I asked how long it took to grow his curling moustache.

"Oh, just a year. I had one off and on for the last 15 years, however the fancy takes me."

His wife looked up from the other end of the counter. "It grows pretty quick," she said.

"And how do you get those curls?"

"I put moustache wax on it." He reached beneath the counter and produced a tube about the size that cyclists use for puncture repairs. He offered it to me to smell. It was lightly scented, although I couldn't tell you of what.

"And I use curling tongs."

His wife looked over again

"My curling tongs," she said with mock protest.

We met the two of them after a day which couldn't have been more different from yesterday. We packed up in the garage and left early, met a family in Ordway who agreed to drop off a thank-you card to supplement the small note we'd left on leaving, and bowled out in sunshine and with the wind rising at our backs. By afternoon it was blowing handsomely and we completed the last hour beside the main road into Pueblo with barely a sigh.

Breakfast stop: we recommend it
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Caboose in the park at Sugar City, pretty among the trees
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Mixed messages at Olney Springs
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The words of the prophet are written on the junkyard wall...
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Crowley advertises its "frontier days" appearance
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Boone's grocery, home of Jeff Earheart
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Larry and Rex: taking a break at Boone before crossing America at twice our speed
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Jeff and his splendid moustache
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Today's ride: 129 km (80 miles)
Total: 3,630 km (2,254 miles)

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