Conclusion 2022 Recap – Day 2: September 11, 2022 - Dodge City to Pueblo
Published: Tue, 10/11/22
Conclusion 2022 Recap Day 2
Day 2: September 11, 2022 Dodge City to
October 11, 2022
Day 2 was
planned at over 275 miles of road to cover.The route from Dodge City to Pueblo was US-400/US-50 through Syracuse, Kansas, then Lamar, Las Animas, and Nepesta, Colorado.
My boots were still soaking wet from riding in the rain the previous day, but it was a sunny day and I had high hopes I could
“air dry” them on the road to Pueblo. Fortunately, there were no mechanical issues on Day 2, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the open roads and endless prairie… and contemplate what C.K. may have been thinking riding by himself all the way out here. I relished the day’s ride, putting lots of miles on the Red One at cruise speeds around 50 mph. We fueled up in Garden City and I rode the Red One through the outskirts of town before heading west.
about the cities he passed through in Kansas and Colorado, “I passed a few small towns at long intervals, towns with picturesque names such as ‘Cimarron,’ ‘Garden City,’ ‘Lamar,’ and ‘Las Animas.”C.K. also included a negative review of his stay at a “dirty inhospitable little inn” he recalled being named the “Broadway Temperance Hotel”
in Syracuse, Kansas. However, my research included a visit to the Hamilton County Historical Society Museum in Syracuse back in 2018. It seems there was never any such hotel in Syracuse. I suspect the name C.K. gave to the “inhospitable little inn” where he stayed only reflected his general offense of the establishment.
I rode through all the places C.K. identified above, plus Lakin, Kansas (one of the earliest stops on the Santa Fe Railroad from Dodge City to Colorado in 1872), Syracuse, Kansas (the home of the
Hamilton County Historical Society Museum, closed when we passed through), Holly, Colorado (incorporated in 1901 just four miles west of the Colorado border), and Grenada, Colorado (a very small community laid out before Colorado became a state).
We stopped at the state border entering Colorado to take some pictures. C.K. wrote that the sign entering Colorado read,“This is the State of Colorado, the MostPicturesque and Fertile State in the Union.” Today, the sign instead proclaims,
“Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” In truth, the landscape at the border was remarkably flat, drab, and indistinguishable
from western Kansas.
I rode on to Las Animas where we stopped for a break. The gas station we pulled into was closed (it was Sunday morning). But, as luck would have it, there was a great taco stand in a trailer parked in the open lot next door, so we all chowed down there. Later, we stopped at a gravel road intersection at US-50 that Google maps
identifies as being “Nepesta.” C.K. wrote about being sheltered in a tent in Nepesta where his hosts were building a house.
It seems unlikely the house in the above photo is of the actual house C.K. saw being
built by “those house-builders of Nepesta,”but this is the only structure in the area, so who knows? Up the gravel road
behind me (which Google says is named “Nepesta Road”) you can see the dikes that hold back the Arkansas River (when it is flowing). After taking in the sight (singular, pun intended) at Nepesta, I fired up the Red One and rode onward to Pueblo, our stop for the night.
When we were planning the ride through Pueblo, Willie had suggested we stop at Pueblo Riverwalk. But we ended up riding straight to the hotel. After we got checked in, Willie and Glen doubled back to check out the Riverwalk and found a nice dinner spot while I spent some time with the Red One giving it some TLC and generally checking over the bike. Willie and Glen returned shortly, bringing enough beverages for the
A little while later, Lloyd Hill arrived on his BMW R1200 GSA, having ridden all day from the Albuquerque area. He had lunch on the way up with a friend who happened to be staying at an RV Park in Red River, New Mexico. After lunch, Lloyd headed north to Colorado and scouted the condition of some dirt roads south of
Walsenburg that I planned to ride the following day.
When Lloyd arrived in Pueblo, the sun was still up and the temperature was perfect! Out by the trailer in the hotel parking lot, we talked about where we'd been and where we'd be going while I was finishing up with the Red One.