A 94.4 mile day is nothing to be sniffed at, but the descent was greater than the ascent, and we knew we had a rest day at the end. So with the exception of the massive thunderclouds to the north west of us, the journey was fairly uneventful. We said goodbye to 10 people in Pueblo; our group shrinks to 11 for the final push across the USA. All should be there by the end.
Pueblo has become one of the centers of Colorado’s marijuana industry. It’s quite a shock coming from Singapore and seeing grass weed pot cannabis openly grown, sold and consumed. There are no restrictions here other than you need to be 21 years of age. The dispensary near our Pueblo hotel is probably 15,000 square feet, and has a much larger greenhouse adjacent to the property. The one in the picture is a small (but busy) place in front of a church.
I talked to a couple of Uber drivers as I went to and from lunches and Walmart; when I asked each the question what is Pueblo known for they said “steel and pot.” Apparently the steel industry has had major ups and downs as mills expand and contract, open and close. I overheard a conversation at lunch by someone who seemed connected with the cannabis industry that “marijuana prices have fallen from $2000 / pound to $800 in just a couple of years. One of the Uber drivers had set up a small farm but now couldn’t make ends meet so was supplementing his income with Uber driving.
I haven’t been into one of the dispensaries yet, but our group is fascinated by them. Chocolates, brownies, gummy bears, extracts, glass jars of weed like an old-fashioned country store.
The Uber drivers I spoke to all seemed non-plussed about the legalization of marijuana — 2 of the 3 said it causes less problems than alcohol, and most seemed to think “of course people can become dependent on it, but they can become dependent on other things as well.” Debate about marijuana has far less emotion attached to it than debate about gun control.
I had a couple of dinners with Father John over the last two days. He is going on a 6 month half-world sailing trip after this bike ride is over. Doesn’t feel that appealing to me; I guess everyone’s bucket list is different. 22 people on a 70 foot boat crashing through waves and not getting enough sleep?
Ride Summary. Nice steady decent for about 50 miles, interrupted by one big climb and then a shift from mountains to prairie. 94 miles, 2515 feet of climbing. L/R balance still 60-40, but felt stronger Friday.