Over the continental divide...

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July 14th 2008
Published: July 14th 2008
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Yesterday, we left Gunnison, Colorado, and climbed and climbed up and over the Monarch Pass with a summit of over 11,000 feet. We rode by several river rafting groups on the other side of the pass which was obviously a big activity in the area. Beautiful rocky gorges and fast moving rivers for many miles.

In my haste to get going with the trip, I forgot that I was planning on getting my brakes redone this summer. This cross-country trip was not originally planned until we moved to China. So yesterday, after examining the brakes and realizing they were shot, we began our quest for new ones. We checked out the Kawasaki shop in Gunnison yesterday but they didn’t have the parts. They told us that we might get the parts in Pueblo, several hours down the road. We called and they did have the pads but closed at 2, which would not give us a lot of time to get there since we were getting a late start already. Anyway, we bee lined it for Pueblo and arrived about two minutes after closing time. After pounding on the door a bit they reopened and happily sold us the parts we needed. However, there was no way they were gonna put them on. But the guys said that “Alan” in La Junta, our next destination, would probably do it.

So back on the bike and away we went speeding down the road to La Junta on a Saturday afternoon to look for Alan. We arrived in the town just before 4. A lot of the shops closed at 2pm. It was a sleepy little western town that seemed to close up between 2 and 4 on Saturday afternoons. However, we stepped into one of the few places that were open and said we were looking for a motorcycle shop. An older man sitting on the couch in the second hand store said he didn’t think there was one in town until we mentioned Alan’s name. He immediately knew who we were talking about and steered us in the direction of his shop. We got there about two minutes after 4 and the place shut at 4 so we were out of luck. There was a bike parked outside so we knew somebody was there but this time there was no response to our door knocking. But now at least we have the parts and just need to find someone in the next couple of days to put them on. If I had the right tools or was the least bit mechanically inclined, I could do it myself but it is a negative on both counts. And Nancy says there is no way she will let me touch the brakes! The good news is we are now in the flat land of eastern Colorado and will start crossing Kansas today so won’t need to rely on the brakes for any mountain passes for awhile. The bad news is we are entering tornado alley!

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