Rangely-Dinosaur, CO - Exploring northwest and central Colorado with a bit of Wyoming thrown in - CycleBlaze

July 7, 2018

Rangely-Dinosaur, CO

I keep coming back to how much I like this bike when it behaves. I did take the Stratus out for a 20 mile spin when we were home. Nope. Not happening. It’s a solid as a rock. That’s the #1 thing going for it. I’ve never had a scare on that bike. At least nothing that I could blame on the bike. I now notice that the pedaling position isn’t near as efficient on the climbs as the higher pedals. Mostly it’s an overall feel of lifeless-ness. On a bike that I was perfectly happy for all of that time.

So - if this bike is too high spirited for me, and that bike isn’t spirited enough - then what do I ride? Golden question.

Today we rode only 18 miles. It was supposed to be a semi rest day after the tough climb over Douglas Pass. Wayne did that - 80 miles and 12 hours. He said the wind (the real wild card) was mostly non existent or helpful. I think he stops a lot for photos. But I expected him to town much sooner. I’m happy we went the easy way. Jacinto probably would have rather had the challenge. I offered he could go with Wayne and we could meet in Rangely, but he didn’t go.

Dinosaur is a wide spot in the road with three restaurants and three motels (two of them defunct). A couple of convenience stores. A very nice welcome center, as it’s the first Colorado town over the border on Highway 40.

The first two motels I saw were the closed motels. The first one had boarded up windows, so that was pretty easy. The second one looked like the Bates Motel and had a sign that said ‘office in the back’. I did not want to go in the back. I turned left to see if perhaps our motel was down that way. Nope. Just an ice cream store. I came back. I could see nothing else. I walked my bike down the long driveway to the back of the property and left the bike where someone could see it after I disappeared forever. I did not bring my wallet because I didn’t want to admit that this was our spot. It was 100 degrees, windy, 3,500 of climbing over 50 miles to Maybell. If I have to keep going, I guess it’s doable, but it sure wouldn’t be pleasant.

There was no answer on the door. What to do? I decided to bicycle to the other end of town, which was perhaps two blocks around a curve. Thank goodness! There was a nice little 50’s strip motel. 10 rooms. It wasn’t our spacious luxe room from last night, but the bathroom has been remodeled and it has AC.

I usually leave a $2. bill for a tip. The owner/maid is a one leg woman - carrying dirty sheets under one arm while she uses a crutch to get around. I feel as if I should leave more money. I can’t imagine how hard it is to do all of this with one leg . . .

I’m showered and in the room. Wayne just texted that he’s in. Jacinto was thinking of riding the 6 miles round trip to the border to take a photo with the Utah sign. I don’t know if he did that or not. The check out in Rangely wasn’t until noon and I think he was going to stay until then, just because the room was so nice. But the wi-fi sucked and the TV was old also. Which was strange given how nice of a place it was. This place is old, but the wi-fi is great.

I had a couple of little bobbles today - it was windy at the top of a climb and a semi passed me, you know how they sort of suck you in. I tensed right up. I’m thinking I can’t blame the bike. I jump at everything . . . . I told Jacinto last night - this bike is great riding around home in perfect conditions on familiar roads. I’m blaming the rider more and more . . .

But what if it’s raining at the top of the pass and I have to descend with traffic on poor road conditions? If I’m already swerving around in good conditions . . . . I can think of a dozen situations where the rider needs to be calm and cool. I’m neither at this point. Sigh.

I was very happy to discovered a nicely cared for 50's style motel was our lodging for the evening. I could see the rooms were being cleaned as I pulled up - there were doors open and laundry was piled outside. I was quite surprised to see the lady cleaning the rooms had only one leg and used a crutch under one arm while she carried dirty laundry under the other. Our room tonight was $56. compared to $97. last night.

The room was small, but the bathroom has been remodeled. There's a fridge/microwave, big TV, and good wi-fi. No ice though. That's a shame because the temperatures was 94 degrees.

I hadn't been in long when Wayne arrived. We agreed to go for lunch after he showered. I wanted to go to the busy looking place, which was packed with cars. I didn't even look at the big sign on the marquee CLOSED. We walked right in to a packed house. A man quickly came over and let us know they were closed for a funeral. Eeegads. So sorry. We walked back to the Roadhouse. Their menu was short - hamburger, hot dog, grilled cheese. There were some appetizer type things like fried cheese sticks. How about a hamburger, skip the bun.

There's the ice cream place on the other end of town. Jacinto said the sign says sandwiches also. I'm not sure what we're doing for dinner. I guess we could have a hot dog.

Our limited options here made me think of Maybell and how the restaurant was closed last year. Wayne tried calling on his phone. The phone just rang and rang. We called the little store. They are open until 8 PM, but said the restaurant was closed because of equipment problems. I had looked on Facebook, it said their freezer was down. So . . . . what's for dinner tomorrow? I asked her very specifically if they have canned chili. Yes, they have Stagg's brand. OK - that's dinner . . . . lucky me. It's not even my birthday.

Our usual morning while touring. I'm ready to go and Jacinto's just having a second cup of coffee.
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There were 6-8 porta potties in the cluster next to this tiny home. I found that odd.
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Dinosaur doesn't amount to much, but we are very happy it's here. Can you just make out the 'D' on the hillside?
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Motel #1 - it was pretty obvious it wasn't our place, as the windows were boarded over and it has a for sale sign.
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Motel #2 - it reminded me of the Bates Motel. I certainly didn't want to stay here. Jacinto's favorite thing to say when we are at a less than desirable motel is that it doesn't scare him, it isn't as bad as the place in Unity, OR. This looked far worse . . . .
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After some dithering around and riding back and forth, I found our place at the far eastern edge of town. It was a relief.
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Jacinto rode an extra six miles round trip to get his photo with the sign. More impressive is that I thought it was 26 miles round trip, but I was wrong.
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Today's ride: 18 miles (29 km)
Total: 119 miles (192 km)

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