Mountainous Colorado

Ermintrude didn't smell as bad in the morning as she had done the night before, but I still didn't linger, riding on I saw a few of her relatives, maybe they were looking for her

They're a bit of a hazard on the road, particularly this one waiting by the sign, looking like he's going to jump out

Enjoying a cup of tea at a diner, I read the local paper and found out that several towns in the area had been evacuated for the past few days due to the risk of fire, and I realised how lucky I had been last night.

It had been hot crossing Nevada and Utah in the previous few days, and I'd been warned to expect Texas to be brutal in its heat, so I tried to keep to the mountains.

At first things were still quite arid, I liked these flowers beside the road which had struggled to push their way through the tarmac.

I've got a collection of pictures of what I call, "Dilapidated but Delightful" buildings and this particular rundown General Store fitted right into that category

It was in one of the evacuated towns, although people were now back in their houses, as the worst of the danger had passed by. My jacket had lots of white flecks on it from the ash last night.

Finally the road started to climb and I wasn't disappointed with the cooler temperatures and scenery that reminded me of Switzerland. Everything seemed so green

I discussed my route with the lad at the petrol station, and he sent me up towards are not going to believe how that is pronounced
Your Ray is more or less how to say it.
It's a small mountain town typical of those in western Colorado

I listened to a band playing for an open air wedding in the town park, they were a Bluegrass band and played some improbable covers such as the Proclaimers 500 miles and then a Violent Femmes song- pretty funny done as a bluegrass, I've just had to look them up as I always thought they were an Australian band, and have found out they're Yanks.
For those who are wondering how I know about Bluegrass, it's all due to my friend Lois, as in Lois Pryce fellow Brit and bike traveller she plays in an all-female bluegrass band and I've been to see them play a couple of times.
I had a dip in the town's hot springs which were nice but the "hot" ones were tucked away and so I was in medium and feeling chilly after a while so didn't stay long- if you go there and want a dip, make sure you ask where the HOT pool is.

the road was beginning to remind me of Bolivia

steep with sharp curves and a lack of safety railings and crumbling tarmac at the edges

The curves were a joy to ride (especially after Nevada)

At the top is Red Mountain, so named for obvious reasons

and even more steep curves

not only am I having to look out for stray cattle on these roads but also these animals

are they supposed to be moose? It's not the usual deer pictures that I'm used to seeing.

Night was falling so it was time to find another camping spot